How SMEs can use TikTok to build their business

Digital media has a lot to offer for SMEs. The cost to entry is relatively low and you can manage a lot of the process yourself. Plus, it’s a great way to target very specific consumers. But you need to follow the trends and stay where the audience is and right now, the audience is on TikTok.

So far this year TikTok has been the most downloaded app in the world. It currently boasts 2.5m users in Australia, 100m in the US and over 800m globally.

While TikTok has courted controversy in the past, there’s no denying it could be a powerful tool for small businesses. Here are some simple tips to help you use the world’s latest social media obsession to your advantage.

Find your USP

Unique content thrives on TikTok. If you’re thinking about creating your own channel on TikTok then you need to identify what content you can create that nobody else can. Plenty of small businesses have found niche followings on social media by celebrating what makes their business special. Building a following is relatively easy once you’ve identified what is it your business can offer.

Start small

TikTok isn’t the cheapest platform to advertise on, but it perfectly capitalises on the key things consumers are currently hunting for. 2020 has driven even more people to look local and shop small – things that are music to the ears of SMEs. Your social media advertising should be making the most of these trends, targeting local consumers and those who are already interested in what your business can offer.

Be clear in your focus

Whether you’re trying to drive sales or build brand awareness, it’s important to maximise your spend by being clear in your advertising. TikTok is a great way to introduce your business, or your sector, to more people. If that’s your goal then you’ll need a very different campaign to the one you would need to sell a product. We all know how important it is to make your budget stretch as far as possible and by creating a clear plan before you begin advertising you can ensure maximum bang for your buck.

Think beyond your business

At the end of the day, TikTok and other social media platforms are in the business of entertainment. A traditional approach to advertising won’t work if you’re trying to cut through the noise on social media. Think beyond your business or product and try and create advertising that entertains as well as sells.

Optimise your budget

You don’t need million-dollar production budgets to create eye-catching advertising. If you’ve got a great business or product that speaks for itself you’re better off using your budget to boost your reach. Likewise, if you have no experience with social media then your budget is best used in connection with a platform or team who can optimise your campaigns. Work out how much budget you have then do your research, find the right services and products that can help you make your money go as far as possible.

Build your base

Lastly, there’s no point driving your new-found TikTok fans to your eCommerce page or app only for the functionality to let you down. Make sure the basics of your business are solid before you invest in advertising. You only get one chance to make a first impression, don’t waste it with an app that’s full of bugs or a web page that doesn’t have any contact information.

Max Bluvband, Founder and CEO, AppsVillage

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