TikTok becoming the marketing tool of choice for young SME owners

October 20, 2019. Barnaul. Russia. Men holding Phone with TikTok logo on the screen. Tik Tok is app to create and share videos

New research reveals that young small-business owners are increasingly looking to TikTok to market their products or services and drive sales.

The inaugural top online channels for small businesses list, compiled by small-business loan specialists iwoca, reports that one in ten business owners under the age of 44 are now using Tiktok, double the one in five who were using the platform before COVID struck. The report reveals a significant generational difference, with only one per cent of small business owners over the age of 44 turning to Tiktok to market their business.

The growth of small-business usage of social media

The report shows that an increasing number of small business-owners are turning to social media as a whole, with 14 per cent more of them using Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to market their products and services since pre-pandemic times.

Company websites are still the most popular online channel, with 40 per cent of small-business owners using them. Facebook is the second most popular, with 37 per cent of small-business owners now using that platform; 19 per cent are now using Instagram, meaning that platform has overtaken eBay as the third most popular marketing vehicle. Again here there is a generation gap, with 37 per cent of younger small-business owners using Instagram, compared to just 11 per cent of those aged 44.

“The pandemic presented huge challenges for small businesses to get in front of their usual customers,” iwoca spokesperson Mark Di-Toro said. “Small-business owners responded with entrepreneurialism, turning to new social media and online platforms to market their products or services. There‚Äôs no doubt that social media is now a fundamental marketing tool for many SMEs to increase revenue, whatever industry they operate in.”

Top online channels SMEs use for their business (pre vs post pandemic)

Top channels pre pandemicTop channels post pandemic
1 Company website 38 per cent1 Company website 40 per cent
2 Facebook 34 per cent2 Facebook 37 per cent
3 eBay 16 per cent3 Instagram 19 per cent
4 Instagram 15 per cent3 eBay 15 per cent
5 Amazon 9 per cent5 Amazon 8 per cent
6 Etsy 5 per cent / Gumtree 5 per cent6 Etsy 5 per cent / Gumtree 5 per cent