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8 Ways To Get Started With TikTok For Business
TikTok for Business can work wonders for both new and established brands.
Written by Madeleine
TikTok for Business 💰
In the world of social media marketing, TikTok has quickly become one of the best locations on the web to showcase a business.
If you haven’t already heard, the short video app announced earlier this year that it has surpassed one billion active monthly users and was previously the most downloaded app in 2020.
TikTok has made its unique debut and is well-known for; memes, dance challenges and viral content, but the next big brand identity label for the application will soon become associated with online shopping. That’s right, TikTok shopping is a recent release that has attracted both top brands and small businesses onto the application.
We guess that you’d be hard-pressed to find top retailers who aren’t at least experimenting on the platform and if they’re not, they’re missing out on something pretty significant.
If your business has not used TikTok to create and publish social content before, you should know that it’s normal to feel a little intimidated and unsure of the territory. After all, the application does possess many unique; quirks, filters and trends, but this shouldn’t be reason enough to stop you from taking advantage of the platform.
Therefore, within today’s guide, we are going to walk through the 8 ways in which small business owners can get started with TikTok for business. However, don’t feel unwelcome here if you’re already familiar with the application. Who knows? You might just pick up some new ideas in the process.
Why Do Brands Use TikTok For Business? 📱
TikTok is popular with businesses and everyday users, but does this mean that the application has the potential to help new customers discover new brands?
The answer here is a strong yes! TikTok is unlike any of the other social media platforms out there which doesn’t just show users videos from the accounts that they already follow. The app’s home page (known as the ‘For You’ page) is a never-ending stream of content that mixes in a healthy dose of videos from accounts that users are not following.
These account suggestions are based upon what the application predicts that the user at hand will resonate with, meaning that there is a much higher chance of potential customers stumbling across your brand’s videos without having to visit your profile directly.
As a platform, TikTok aims to keep users on the app for as long as possible by continuously feeding browsers with new, watchable content.
In short, this means that whatever your business sells, TikTok is working behind the scenes to present your content to users who have been identified as interested in your account's niche by the application and this is based on their previous watch history.
TikTok for Business can work wonders for both new and established brands, but the trick to success on the platform begins with creating content that people want to; watch, favourite, and share with others.
Over time, this unique take on discoverability has allowed business accounts to become viral sensations, allowing brands to grow at an exponential rate and earn a substantial amount of TikTok money.
If you think this sounds too good to be true, you can see the proof in the pudding for yourself by looking up the #smallbusiness hashtag which is home to a community of entrepreneurs who share and boost content by utilising; trends, sounds and hashtags.
Essentially, with a free TikTok for Business account, merchants can put their store’s URL within their profile's bio, which will lead customers directly to their website of choice.
Of course, this is just one way that small business owners can utilise the application as a monetization tool, but if you’re interested in learning more, you should check out the link above to discover how your business could earn TikTok money on the platform.
Success Story - Azur Fit 💪
Azur Fit, the fitness clothing brand was founded by Erin Dubs in August 2018. Initially, the brand started by selling tank tops, but consumer demands soon led to a larger collection of products including; leggings, bras, sweats and swimsuits.
By utilising TikTok’s marketing potential, Erin has accumulated over 126,000 followers on her account (@erinndubs) where the business and its products are promoted.
“TikTok is not something that can be ignored. It gives you a step up if you have it.” - Erin Dubs
Azur Fit’s founder also stated that when she creates a popular TikTok, the effect is immediate for her online business:
“When that happens, there are consistently people on the website all day long. It'll bring in 60,000 views over just a few days.”
The reason we are so eager to bring the success story of Azur Fit to life is that Erin was once a small business owner too, but the first time one of her videos went viral, her store’s inventory was wiped out.
However, it’s not just the viral videos that make a big difference, see with TikTok, even smaller views are valuable because traffic can still be driven to the website inserted within a profile’s bio.
If you’re sat there thinking, okay sure that’s great but Erin got lucky, we can tell you that other small business owners have also seen similar results by utilising TikTok for Business.
See, the feature has been designed to assist brands just like yours to generate more awareness of their store.
Authenticity Is Key 🔑
It’s a well-known fact that authenticity bodes well on a platform like TikTok because audiences don’t just want to be sold something, they want to be; educated, inspired and entertained by a real person or group of people.
Going back to the success story above, it took Erin two attempts to find her sweet spot on the application. Originally the Azur Fit account was launched to show off the store’s products and behind the scenes content.
However, she quickly noticed that despite gaining some followers and content views, these interactions were not translating into sales for the business.
So, Erin abandoned the account for some time before picking the app up again, switching the account to her name. This time, Erin took a more personal approach to the content that she uploaded, which also showed her personality.
Then one day, a user asked her about running a business and something just clicked. Erin then began to post TikToks about her business and give advice which opened up her content to a whole new audience. Since this time, Erin has achieved; multiple viral TikToks, followers and an increase in sales for her ecommerce store.
“It was cool. I wasn’t talking directly about my product, I was giving business tips and that turned into sales.”
So, Erin learned through trial and error that taking a more human approach, as opposed to simply pushing products is what would sell her clothes.
8 TikTok Ideas For Small Business Owners
So how can you create authentic content TikTok like Erin? The short answer is by incorporating the proven success formats below when creating and sharing content on the application.
For instance, you could:
N0.1: Go Behind The Scenes
Showing the inner workings of a business is one of the most popular types of videos that companies post on TikTok. These types of TikToks show the real side of running a business whilst providing an in-depth look at how a store’s orders come together.
Erin stated - “I always tell people to be transparent on TikTok. People want to see proof of what you’re doing, whether you’re shipping out your very first order or you’re talking about your sales on a launch day.”
This doesn’t mean you have to get into the nitty-gritty details of being a small business owner, but showing users how you run your business will give your brand’s content the human touch that consumers are looking for.
You’d be surprised what people find interesting. What may be a regular part of your day could be the angler that reels in curiosity.
“You’ll always have something to talk about, no matter what stage you’re at.”
For instance, merchants could post videos showcasing their stockroom, setting up for an event or receiving inventory. Ideas such as this will not only offer transparency but prove that your products are in demand.
Small business owners could also try filming a TikTok of:
- Organising their inventory products or office space.
- Celebrating company milestones.
- Preparing for a new product launch.
- Sharing how the design and selection process works.
N0.2: Packing Orders
Packing up orders is a fun way to show what happens behind the scenes within a TikTok video, plus it’s a laid back approach to showcasing the care that’s placed into each one.
This is an excellent method for merchants to show customers what they can expect when their package arrives. It’s also an especially great idea to include things like; freebies, thank-you notes and bespoke packaging to stand out from the crowd.
N0.3: Share Tips and Advice
We can say with some confidence that sharing business tips and advice has been a winner for Erin and has drawn in many followers for her company.
There are many small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs on TikTok who love to hear advice from fellow founders and while they may be drawn in by the advice that has been shared, they could also become customers and help grow your business’ following.
So, if you’re in a position to provide information, what’s stopping you? Don’t worry, you won’t have to reveal all of your brand’s secrets, but transparency lends itself to authenticity and in the process, you’ll build your brand as a business leader and an inspiration to others.
Not sure what business tips and advice you should share? Why not discuss the elements of launching a new product or finding a new manufacturer? We bet that users would also love to uncover the do’s and don’ts of business, as well as the best ways to market an online store. So, start there and see how things bode with your followers.
Erin stated - “I think what works best is just whatever you can do to get eyes on you, whether it’s information, tips, something educational, or something fun and different.”
N0.4: Share Demonstrations
First things first, you won’t want this to be the only type of TikTok that you’re posting, but you should take advantage of the opportunity to show off your products and services.
The best way to do this is to share demonstrations of your products being used and for Erin, that means showing; herself, her employees and models wearing her brand’s clothing.
When it comes to demonstrating an item, no matter what it may be, people want to see and understand how it will fit into their lives and TikTok content is a great way to get this point across.
N0.5: Promote Product Launches
Small business owners can build up hype for new products before they have launched by teasing their followers on TikTok with a sneak peek video. This will prepare customers for when products are available to purchase.
Erin utilised this technique when launching her brand’s swimsuit collection. She started with a model wearing a new bikini on a beach, followed up by a TikTok of her wearing one herself and showing off the details of the garment.
Shortly afterwards, a third TikTok was posted, using a trending dance and sound. So, each of these steps headed the business in the right direction for extracting the potential of TikTok for Business but as a whole, the three uploads truly showcased the characteristics of what makes her store’s products unique.
We’d recommend building demand for your business and its products by delivering what it is that your customers want. If you’re looking for further ways in which you could create a buzz around your store, try posting countdown content that leads up to the launch day of your business’ latest collections to build excitement amongst your followers on the platform.
N0.6: Introduce Yourself and Your Employees
TikTok is an app that is driven by unique people and individual personalities which means that videos of users simply talking to the camera are the bread and butter of the app, but you don’t need to have the sparkling charisma of a full-time influencer to make this type of format work for you or your ecommerce store.
Why? Well, believe it or not, users will want to get to know the person behind a brand to add the human element back into the business and its content. Besides, it is far more engaging to see a face rather than a steady stream of products. Wouldn’t you agree?
Naturally, this can understandably be challenging if you’re not used to being on camera, but it’ll get easier over time as you become more comfortable posting content on the app. Take the Azur Fit account as an example, Erin is in many of her brand’s TikToks, whether she’s giving advice or modelling a product.
However, it’s not just Erin that makes it onto the screen as her employees are often a feature in the account’s videos, not to mention the office mascot as well. If you’re not sure of what type of video you should post first, try to ease into the strategy by uploading a video for your followers to learn more about you and why you started your business.
N0.7: Interact With Your Customers
TikTok for Business offers tools to merchants that lend themselves to interaction in several ways, but TikTok’s average content publishing tools are also worth looking into. For instance, duets are a great way for businesses to create videos that feature another user’s video besides theirs.
This is a fun way to react to customers that create videos showing off their orders or reviewing products. So, small business owners could encourage their customers to post these types of videos by offering discount codes or other perks with the purpose of re-sharing and regenerating their content.
Another great way for businesses to interact with their customers is by creating a video from a comment. For instance, if a customer were to ask a question or give a compliment, merchants can click reply and film a video that includes an overlay of their comment.
This shows that the account is not only active and a reliable source of information (and customer service) but that the brand cares and checks to see what people think about the brand in the comments that they leave.
Furthermore, interacting with customers makes them feel seen and appreciated and gives small businesses another content posting option.
N0.8: Be Trendy
Last but not least, if you’re stuck on an idea and aren’t sure what your business should be posting, TikTok is never short on; trending sounds, memes or challenges. They are there to be taken advantage of, so get to it.
Of course, this does require some time investment to scroll through the application’s content to see what’s trending at that very moment. However, we’ve heard that following other businesses and viewing the kind of videos that they’re posting is a good way to gather inspiration for your branded account.
Erin revealed - “If I have some downtime, I’ll just scroll through TikTok for an hour. I’ll listen to the sounds and think, how can I apply this to my office? How can we put together a skit or apply it to something funny that happened the other day, even if it’s not necessarily business-related?
Utilising TikTok For Business
By now you should have a few ideas of how you can get your small business started on TikTok, or for reviving your old account. Either way, each format can be used in different ways, so even just using these eight ideas you’ll be well on your way to creating content for an engaged audience.
Note:Just remember that TikTok can be fickle. Some videos will work and some won’t. The key to success is to keep trying new ideas and don’t be afraid to experiment with the platform. You’ll never know what might just make it big.
Erin suggested that there’s always a chance something simple and unassuming will go viral.
“It’s amazing. It’s free advertising that would otherwise be hundreds of thousands of dollars to get that kind of exposure. So why not take a chance?”
What are your thoughts on TkTok for Business? Reach out and let us know. If you’re actively looking to work with a Shopify agency designer or developer to assist you with your business, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch to get started!
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