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The Impact of TikTok on Small Businesses
by Sharon Schappacher
September 4, 2022
TikTok continues to be popular and was the number one downloaded app in 2021 with 94 million downloads. It is currently the sixth most used social platform in the world. The most important statistic for small business owners is that TikTok users spend a lot. Their spending increased 77% in 2021, spending 2.3 billion on the app. TikTok started as a video platform used mainly for dance challenges and has evolved into a network with significant social and cultural influence. According to the Digital 2022 Report, most of the TikTok audience is Gen Z (Born 1997 to 2012), with 42% of the audience aged 18 to 24. That still leaves over half of the platform’s audience to everyone else. For years, influencers have dominated the social landscape. Creators appear to be the next iteration of influencers. While influencers build a community around themselves, creators tap into online communities that are already established and create content specifically for them. Creators are known for developing authentic and engaging content for their audiences and, above all, going the extra mile with their creativity. What should you do to create an effective social strategy on TikTok? First, get familiar with TikTok. Spend time watching TikTok videos and check out the top creators on TikTok and study how they collaborate with businesses. Second, Identify your target audience. Study the demographics and find out what communities or subgroups your audience is part of on the app and then find out what content resonates best with your target audience. Third, align your goals with your business objectives. Do you want to reach a new audience your brand hasn’t tapped into yet or are you promoting a new product? Fourth, research creators to find the right fit. The creator should have an audience that aligns with your target market, have appropriate reach based on the marketing campaign you’re running, and make sure they have high levels of engagement with their content. Fifth, get creative and collaborate. Collaborate closely with the creator and give them some flexibility. Sixth, track and measure your results. Tap into TikTok analytics to understand the campaign’s value in terms of return on investments.  TikTok is an entirely different social network and creating content for TikTok requires a unique and tailored approach focusing on quick and snappy videos. TikTok is known for video content, short captions, and trending challenges. Tips for creating content on the platform: 1. Find your subculture, 2. maximize the first moments of your video, 3. write a short, engaging caption, 4. create high-quality videos specifically for TikTok, 5. post at the right time for your audience, 6. engage with other TikTok users, 7. use the right hashtags and 8. use trending sounds and music. It will take some research and effort to create some different types of content to relay your message to the right audience-the results are often quite surprising.
About the author
Sharon Schappacher
Sharon Schappacher
Sharon Schappacher is a business mentor with SCORE’s Tip of the Mitt chapter, and currently serves as the chapter’s chairperson.
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