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The UPS Store Small Business blog
  • 02 August 2021
  • Alex Penfield

How to Get Started on TikTok with Your Small Business — It’s Time!

It’s the app on the tip of everyone’s tongue, a content-creation platform that has taken the social media world by storm. TikTok is here. And you should be taking advantage. 

women business owners taking photos of product

TikTok is a short-form video-sharing app with more than one billion users worldwide. As a small business owner, you may be wondering what this seemingly niche platform has to do with your operation. While it’s true the app started as a haven that Gen Zers flocked to for everything from dance videos to life hacks, it has quickly expanded from its Gen Z beginnings to become a multifaceted, multigenerational machine with serious marketing potential. According to Fortune, 21% of millennials 25 to 40 years old already have a TikTok, with an additional 17% likely to create an account. Fast-growing, wide-reaching and not going anywhere, it’s time to get serious about getting your small business in on the TikTok trend.

Utilizing TikTok for business can be intimidating to break into, especially for small shops that may not have a wealth of experience navigating the social media space. Luckily, TikTok is making it simple for businesses of all sizes to get involved. To jump-start your TikTok business profile, we’re covering some of the most frequently asked questions about the app.

Is TikTok good for small business?
Yes, especially if you’re audience skews younger or more female. Regardless, TikTok can be a great platform for smaller enterprises looking to reach a larger audience. Paid advertising on TikTok can be costly, but it provides your business with a large network of 20+ markets worldwide and an impressively accurate algorithm that allows you to focus in on your most relevant audience. If you choose not to use paid advertising to promote your posts, creating organic content on the app can still help you spread the word about your products or services and appear relevant to a younger subset of your audience, all at no cost to your business.

How do I get started on TikTok?
Go straight to the source. TikTok For Business provides a ton of information, from setup tutorials to budget breakdowns, that can help your business get discovered. If you are just looking to dip your toe into the TikTok waters, you can set up an account for free here on your desktop or mobile device to start exploring the app and creating content for your business.

What content is best for small businesses on TikTok?
Create videos that will pique the interest of your customers. Popular content forms such as “Day in the Life” and “Meet the Team” give users a peek into the wild world of small business ownership and can make your customers feel more connected to you and the people who make your small business special. Content that adds value for your customers, such as industry-related tips or videos highlighting deals on your products or services, is a great way to build a loyal following. TikTok’s tone is largely lighthearted and fun, so remember to keep things good-humored when creating content for your brand.

How can I leverage hashtags on TikTok?
Hashtags are a great way to score more views without having to utilize TikTok’s paid advertising feature. Hashtags like #ShopLocal and #SupportSmallBusiness have large followings whose interests likely align with your business. If a hashtag is trending or is part of a “challenge” that relates to your small business in some way, hop on the bandwagon and create your own content to get in on the conversation. Try using #fyp to increase your chances of appearing on people’s “For You” page — a page of uniquely curated content TikTok serves each of its users based on the app’s laser-focused algorithm. Sounds, filters, and songs can also go viral on TikTok. Explore your own “For You” page to get a sense of what is currently trending and utilize those elements in your own brand content to increase your relevance.

The above information is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to leveraging TikTok for your small business. It is an exciting time for the app and could become an out-of-the-box sales driver for your small business. Don’t be afraid to have fun and let loose a bit when creating content. The platform encourages experimentation, and unlike the picture-perfect, filtered world of Instagram, it embraces imperfection. While we can’t promise you’ll become TikTok-famous overnight, you’ll have a leg up on your small business competition when it comes to social media marketing.

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