Have you ever wondered how to use TikTok for business? Or have you wondered if it’s worth all of the faff? In today’s article, we’re going to answer just that. Through our list of pros and cons, we’re going to find out how beneficial this multi-billion pound app can be for businesses in all types of industries; giving you that push or warning before you jump on the TikTok bandwagon.
What is TikTok?
Stupid question, right? But really, what is TikTok and how did it come about? TikTok is a Chinese video sharing platform created by Zhang Yiming, a billionaire software developer who also founded the app’s parent company, ByteDance. Although, since TikTok, also known as Douyin in Chinese, has been banned in China in response to a border clash with India.
Yiming, the smart cookie that he is, built the app for young people but has since began making his own content in competition with all other management members. Yiming simply wanted to create a platform for individuals to express themselves, and my word, has he achieved just this.
The best performing TikToker’s of all time
While this statistic may have changed by the time you’re reading this, one of the best performing TikToker’s of all time is Bella Poarch, an ex U.S. Navy Veteran turned social media personality & singer. Poarch bagged herself a whopping 49.6 million likes on a lip syncing video of “Soph Aspin Send” by Millie B. This is then closely followed by the incredible artist Franek Bielak, Lip Syncing god Nick Luciano & the American star Billie Eilish for her questionable time warp scan.
But, what about businesses on TikTok?
Now that you have an idea of the TikTok stars, what about the businesses that have made it big? Let’s focus solely on the UK business Gymshark. The fitness clothing & accessory brand, first founded in 2012, absolutely smashes it on TikTok. With a networth of over £700 million, this is no surprise. They have a TikTok following of three million and an overall liking of 44.8 million. This business is definitely one to shout about when looking at success on this video platform.
The brand, of course, showcases their products throughout their videos. Focusing solely on the hit vid that got over 11 million views when a team member prepped herself for a long jump while wearing a GymShark two piece. This is a prime example of a video that doesn’t scream ‘BUY OUR PRODUCTS’ but a video that proves their activewear is suited to all types of movement; an effective selling strategy.
This is a running theme on the GymShark TikTok channel. Throughout their content, they don’t go on and on about their products, but instead, they show them in action. Not only is this relatable but it also steers away from the viewer feeling like a customer and being pushed into purchasing from them. Supporting the success of their TikTok further, they share their viewers content, provided they add their hashtag ‘#gymtok’ into their caption.
This is a great tactic because the content is share-worthy, meaning viewers see it as a must-watch, and of course, it’s usually relatable.
So, is TikTok for business worth it?
The million pound question, is TikTok for business worth it? Below we have listed our pros and cons on whether or not businesses should be utilising this platform for brand awareness and of course, conversion rate.
THE PROS OF TIKTOK FOR BUSINESSES
1) ROOM FOR CREATIVITY
First and foremost, it gives businesses the opportunity to be creative. No matter what industry you’re in and how ‘serious’ it’s perceived as, there is scope for your business to push boundaries on TikTok. Yes, this may encourage a mixed reaction from loyal & new customers, but in most cases, being original and generating this return, positive or negative, is still achieving your goal: to be recognised.
Take for instance, M&S, the nation-loved supermarket that has stirred up much of a reaction through their Colin the Caterpillar cake product, uses their Percy Pig sweets to market their entire business on TikTok. By getting the team to dress up as a giant pig to take part in trending TikTok’s is on-brand and entertaining; the two musts when making business videos on TikTok.
2) TARGETING GEN-Z
While the TikTok network appeals to all ages, its biggest audience is gen-z. If you’re looking to target this age range or that is where your audience already lies, why wouldn’t you take advantage of a growing platform that is on the fast-track to being the highest performing social media channel in the world? Not only that but you are able to target a niche audience on TikTok, too. If you’re producing creative content that goes viral, those who may not have considered purchasing from you previously may begin to want to.
Again, M&S is a prime example of this. Their traditional target audience is of an older age, but by creating content that incorporates the latest trends and diverse humour that appeals to younger generations, they are successfully tapping into this new audience. If you need advice on a social media strategy that can do the same, get in touch with Soshell today.
3) FAST GROWTH
Jumping on trends or thinking outside the box for videos that’ll push boundaries is how you make it on TikTok. And if you achieve this level of invention, there’s no doubt that your business is going to grow. With over 689 million users and an average of 52 minutes being spent on the app per day per person, It’s almost guaranteed that you’re going to target new custom. And if you keep up consistent uploads and original content, your numbers will only improve over time.
THE CONS OF TIKTOK FOR BUSINESS
Now that we’ve covered the key pros of TikTok for business, what about the cons?
1) YOUR ESTABLISHED REPUTATION
Although its always great to target new audiences, you need to make sure that it won’t have a knock on effect on your already-existing audience. For instance, if you target middle-class above 40s, not only may they not have TikTok but they may see this new prersonality that you’re unleashing as unappealing. Remember, people like consistency and if your business is portraying themselves as the opposite of what they have over the previous years, this may not always pay off.
2) LIMITS TO FUNCTIONALITY
Like with any platform, a business wants to monitor their performance. But with TikTok, you can only do this for 28 days before your organic data is then erased from the app. Yes, its straightforward enough to produce your own spreadsheet but with many other tasks on your hands, especially if you’re a business owner, you may not have the time to do this.
Secondly, TikTok also doesn’t let you link to your website. So, you better get your thinking cap on for other ways to drive your viewers to your website.
3) TALKS OF DATA BREACHING
Now we’re getting serious. Back in April, there were talks that information collected by TikTok was in fact breaching the UK & EU data protection law. TikTok’s ad revenue is generated from personal information of the app users, and that even counts children. With that in mind, banning the app may not be as unrealistic as you may think. So, it is important to note these headlines when decided on whether or not your business finds its presence on TikTok.
Not only can this affect your performance rate, but it can also give off the impression that you’re supporting this activity which in turn, can impact how your audience views your business.
What is it going to be? Is TikTok for business for you? While it can open many doors for your business, we believe that only certain industries need to break into the world of TikTok advertising. If you’re considering this platform but you’re unsure as to how to get started, we will be more than happy to help. As an experienced social media management agency, we have the tools and expertise to get your business to where it needs to be online. Get in touch with us today for your bespoke quote.