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How To Use TikTok for Business

Conal Yarwood-Frost
22 May 2024

Innovation is at the heart of successful businesses. As a business owner, part of your job is staying on top of trends and positioning yourself to best take advantage of new opportunities. Whether it's an app, a new consumer channel, or a new POS system, it’s important to be ready to adapt. 

TikTok has become an unstoppable force with an active and committed userbase that’s ripe for marketing. However, if you’re new to the app, it can seem like an intimidating kaleidoscope of dances, inscrutable hashtag challenges, and Gen Z memes.

With this blog, we’ll give you a general introduction to the social media platform and give you some tips on how to market your business on the app. 

What is TikTok? 

In short, TikTok is a content creation and video-sharing platform. TikTok’s users are able to create videos up to 3 minutes in length on any topic they wish. Ads on Tiktok are generally between 5-60 seconds long. ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, also operates a Chinese version of the app that preceded it by a year called Douyin. 

After it was launched in 2016, Tiktok was only initially available in mainland China. It became available on the iOS and Andriod app stores after ByteDance merged it with another popular video app called Musical.ly. Since then it has been expanded into 40 different languages and currently has a reported user base of 1 billion active users [1]. 

With a userbase that large, the content on TikTok is virtually limitless. The app uses a highly sophisticated algorithm to ascertain the content their users enjoy watching and directs them towards specific subcultures and “fandoms”. This has led to TikTok enjoying a very healthy ecosystem of user-generated content that has a laser focus on any number of special interests.

This wide but still specialised userbase means that both retail and hospitality businesses on TikTok can quite easily focus on their target audience. This means that, when used correctly, TikTok can be a powerful tool in marketing that can raise your brand awareness with the general public.

Using TikTok for Business

You may be thinking, “all this is very well and good, but is TikTok good for business?” The answer depends on how you use it. Many companies have found success and reach new customers by advertising and creating content for their products on TikTok. If you’re interested in using this social network as a tool in your marketing strategy, check out our tips and see if they could work for you.

Create unique content

As a platform, Tiktok is wholly focused on user-generated content. This means that unlike on social media platforms, where more traditional ads are much more prevalent, TikTok users value a sense of authenticity above all else. If you’re seen to be trying too hard, it could lead to users writing your business off as boring marketing. 

Whether your business is a restaurant or you’re selling products on TikTok, it’s important to show the human element behind it all. The content you create on TikTok should reflect this and show how your business is necessary and sincere. Keep these tips in mind as you create your content:

  • Be authentic - As mentioned above, authenticity is currency on TikTok. When you’re making content, ensure that you’re showing off the personality of your brand rather than straight advertising. It might be a good idea to involve your staff in the content and show off what makes your business unique.
  • Follow trends - TikTok is a platform where new dances and original sounds pop up every two minutes. If you want your content to be part of the wider app ecosystem, it’s important to stay up on the trends and take part in them where appropriate. If possible, try to think of fun twists on trends that would better show off your business' personality. 

Advertise on TikTok

As with nearly all social media platforms, TikTok has the option to use traditional advertising to get your business in front of users. As the userbase of TikTok skews towards young people, youth-focused brands and companies can have great success using this method. 

There are a number of different types of ads available on the platform. When you’re considering buying advertising on TikTok, take care to do your research and get a good handle on what ad type would be best for your best business. 

The most popular  TikTok ads include:

  • TikTok feed ad - These are the basic ads that are shown to users in their “For You” feed. They play in between user-generated content and are the most commonly used ad format on the platform. While these are generally non-intrusive, they are also the easiest ad to ignore. 
  • Brand takeovers - Brand takeovers confront the user as soon as they open up the app by taking over the screen and showing a full-screen ad. These ads often include videos, clickable links, and partnering with influencers for ‘behind the scenes’-style videos. While these ads guarantee a large audience, they are very expensive and usually out of the reach of small businesses. 
  • Top view ads - Similar to brand takeovers, top view ads only take up the real estate at the top of the user’s screen. After this, they take up the first in-feed post and can include sounds and links. 
  • Branded hashtags - These popular ads use TikTok’s proclivity for challenges to market products. Basically, a business formulates a dance or challenge relates to their goods or services and asks participants to create a video using a hashtag. When done correctly, this type of ad can lead to organic virality. 

Give more support to your business

So, your TikTok marketing is working and you’re seeing an uptick in business. At this point, it’s important that you have an POS system that can help you make the most of your business. 

With the Epos Now Complete Solution offer you the following benefits all while handling things like sales trends, business insights, and loyalty programmes:

  • Create personalised email communications using set templates
  • Schedule emails and SMS messages to be sent at the most impactful time of day
  • Review analytics on engagement with your website and outreach 
  • Save customer contact details and shopping preferences for more targeted marketing on our CRM system
  • Integrate with the business automation apps that are right for your business

Get in touch with our team below if you’re interested in a superior POS system.

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