The more TikTok users there are, the bigger the marketing opportunities are for businesses. This hugely popular social media platform recently crossed the 1 billion monthly active users mark, bringing good tidings to small business owners. This number explains why it’s a good idea to leverage this app as an engagement goldmine for your business.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a rookie or a pro on this platform. In fact, most viral stories just started from scratch — some, unintentionally; others, strategically.
So if you want to explore TikTok for your small business, you need to take a strategic approach. In this article, you’ll learn the fundamentals of TikTok For Business, get inspired by real-life examples, and learn some cool tips to create your own campaigns.
8 ways to grow your small business with TikTok
From setting up your account to nurturing your newly-built community, these eight steps can help you get the most out of TikTok. Get your phone, prepare to install the app, and let’s get started.
1. Optimize your TikTok For Business account
For TikTok newbies, garnering enough attention and wins on this unfamiliar ground doesn't come easy. You don't need to be a professional TikTok marketer yet, but your knowledge needs to extend at least beyond the signing-up part. Learning how TikTok works for businesses can help you position your brand in the long run.
Optimize your TikTok account by choosing a photo that represents your brand. Add an 80-word captivating bio that describes your business, and don't forget to add a CTA that prompts your prospects to do what you want them to do.
2. Define and understand your target audience
TikTok allows small business owners to target the right audience using their age, gender, location, and interests. It would be wise to know the demographics of your target audience before you post your first piece of content.
Not sure where to begin? Scope out your competitors' TikTok profiles. What are the common attributes of their followers? What type of content engages them the most? What doesn’t?
Once you know the answers, you can create a content strategy that resonates with your audience. If not, you’ll become susceptible to vanity metrics, such as likes, views, followers, and shares that don't translate to sales.
You don’t want to be one of the many businesses that gain followers from locations they don’t yet serve or may have little to no interest in buying their products. By narrowing your focus to a few key categories, you can deliver content that is strategically targeted, reach your ideal customers, and generate sales.
3. Leverage your reach with the right strategies
After understanding your target audience, the ultimate challenge is how to get your content to their #FYP or “For You” page. This step requires a blueprint. You must have a sensible advertising plan to attract new audiences, build a following, and drive traffic to your website. That is true for both organic and paid TikTok marketing.
If you have a budget, you can reach a wider and more targeted audience with your videos. This is a great way to grow your metrics among real potential customers.
You can even set a goal for your campaign to let TikTok customize the experience for your audience. All you need to do is click the Promote button and set up your campaign goal. Choose from the three: more views to reach new TikTok accounts, more website visits, or more followers to build your TikTok following.
Alternatively, you can use organic followers to achieve the same goals. To find out what engages your target audience the most, you'll need more patience and research. Being active on current Tikok trends can never go wrong because you’re hitching on TikTok’s unique algorithms. Here are a few tips to make sure you don't miss out.
- Know the best hashtags for your products.
- Create unique videos using trending sounds.
- Participate in relevant TikTok challenges.
- Use TikTok’s duet and stitch features to increase exposure.
- Bring value to your viewers — prospects and non-prospects alike.
4. Share authentic content
One common pitfall among SMB owners on TikTok is overselling. Don’t turn your potential customers off by showing off your brand or products without providing much value to them. Doing so can lead to a rapid decline in engagement and the number of followers.
Plan out your content calendar to avoid posting videos out of necessity. Impromptu videos are likely to get viral, perhaps, but pre-planned videos remain an important part of a successful TikTok business account. For your inspiration, here are some content ideas with real examples from small business owners.
Behind the scenes: Give your customers a glimpse of how their orders come together like this crocheting BTS from @passioknit_goods.
Small business tips: Share relatable advice for aspiring small business owners like you. Here, Isobel shares how her skincare shop, @perlcosmetics, gained 50K followers in 2 months.
Pack an order ASMR: You can join the “pack an order with me” trend where shops like @asanibrand share satisfying packing videos with their customers.
When you run out of ideas, stitch or duet your customer reviews. You can also start an Ask-Me-Anything series where you answer all their questions. This list of ideas will surely help you build and attract more authentic engagement with your audiences.
5. Enhance your brand marketing
Increasing brand awareness on TikTok is another key to ensuring constant engagement and store traffic. Here are some ways you can level up your marketing strategy:
Potential customers are likely to be intrigued and even suffer from FOMO if your packaging is both thoughtful and beautiful. When Bridg Shop — seller of handmade accessories — shared a video of their circular packaging using noissue’s Custom Kraft Box and Printed Tissue Paper, people actually commented that they “might buy something because of the packaging.”
Giveaways and contests encourage viewers to take action, such as comment, like other people’s comments, or follow a business’ account to win prizes. Here’s a good example from the cosmetics brand Sutra Beauty.
If you can find the right influencer in your niche, influencer marketing is a great way to get more traffic. Here we see Vanessa Chen, a lifestyle and fashion influencer posing with her @princesspolly outfits while announcing an exclusive discount code for her followers.
Building and establishing your TikTok brand with the three techniques mentioned above is one thing, but sustaining it is another. To achieve the latter, you have to take additional measures. That’s what we’ll talk about next.
6. Interact with your customers and prospects
Actively engaging with your audience keeps the momentum and results going. Remember, social media is part of your overall customer support. And statistics show that 80% of shoppers are more likely to connect with a brand if they receive good customer service.
So when you start getting views and comments on your content, it should always be your utmost priority to reply to — most, if not all of — them.
7. Post consistently
If you post on the TikTok platform, set a goal to post every day at least. That may sound like a lot of work, but that's the secret sauce if you want to beat the competition. If you only post twice or thrice a week, you won't reap the benefits you want. Here are some pro tips to keep you going:
- Use videos to reply to comments where necessary.
- Start a niche-specific how-to video series.
- Show off your best-selling products.
- Have a workspace or supplies shopping tour.
- Announce product launches or promotional sales.
- Take advantage of holidays and special occasions. (e.g., gift-giving ideas)
- Give your team, third-party logistic providers, or customers a shoutout.
8. Build and nurture your TikTok community
When you have a decent number of followers, engagement, and sales from TikTok, it’s time to build a TikTok community. This is what the big players often do. They don't just build a business; they also create positive and wholesome communities. Even without a million views, this technique can help your business capture a wider reach.
A good example is noissue’s Eco-Alliance campaign, through which customers are able to advocate for sustainability. As we inspire them to commit to this crusade, they also motivate their followers to do the same.
Other ideas for building your TikTok community are hosting webinars and online events, partnering with organizations and charities, and collaborating with other small businesses. The bottom line: involve your audience, empower them, and keep them interested.
Grow your TikTok with a strong, guilt-free branding
Viral TikTok videos don’t always happen overnight, but the way you position your small business can make a huge difference. Start by making your audience feel at home with your brand.
Tempt them with your pack-an-order-with-me videos and give them a remarkable unboxing experience while being environmentally responsible. Check out some of our best, low-waste packaging solutions today.