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Does your business need to be on TikTok?

TikTok has been the social media buzzword among businesses for the past few years. Since 2020, the platform has gained more than 100 million users in North America alone, leaving many businesses wondering if they need to have an account, too. But is this platform really worth your time and effort? Let’s dig into it.


Want an expert’s advice on which social media platforms your business should be using? Scenda’s at your service.


What is TikTok?

Photo of phone with TikTok logo on it

TikTok is a video-based social media platform, used mostly on mobile. Users swipe through short-form videos that often are created around trending sounds, formats, or topics. While users do follow friends, brands, and influencers, much of users’ viewing happens on a separate tab called their “For You Page.” This algorithm-driven feed uses a user’s view behavior to show them videos they are likely to be interested in, regardless of whether they’re following the video’s creator. For instance, if you’re really into books and dogs, your For You Page (or FYP for short) will show you lots of videos about books and dogs, even from accounts you aren’t familiar with. Users can engage with videos by liking, commenting, reposting, or editing their own content onto the original video.


On TikTok, you can also send direct messages, livestream, save useful posts, and buy or sell products directly on TikTok Shop.


What are the benefits of using TikTok?

The biggest benefit of using TikTok is discoverability for your business. Compared to other social media platforms, it’s much easier for your brand to be discovered by new customers. Because users spend so much time watching videos on their FYP from unfamiliar accounts, and because the algorithm is feeding them the kind of content they like to see, there’s a lot of potential for reaching new and interested customers.


It's also relatively easier to go viral on TikTok by creating videos that use trending sounds, topics, and formats.


Is TikTok safe?

TikTok is owned by the Chinese company Bytedance. Chinese law requires companies to turn over customer data to the government if requested. American politicians have raised concerns that the Chinese could use TikTok user data to surveil Americans and amplify content that manipulates users’ worldview.


TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew stated in a U.S. congressional hearing that “TikTok has never shared, or received a request to share, U.S. user data with the Chinese government,” and if a request was made, TikTok would not honor it. The company claims that “sensitive user data is kept on U.S. soil, cannot be accessed from Beijing, and is subject to U.S. government audits.”


While TikTok doesn’t have a completely clean privacy record, there is no evidence to prove a nefarious connection to the Chinese government. Many of TikTok’s eyebrow-raising practices are the result of inadequate U.S. privacy laws and are also practiced by other social media companies.


All in all, there isn’t really proof that using TikTok is a serious risk, but that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be issues in the future.


Do I have to dance?

No. There’s tons of dance-free content on TikTok. But you can dance if you want to. 🕺


So should my business be on TikTok?

Answering these four questions can help you decide.


1. Am I trying to reach people under the age of 30?

Well over half of 18-29 year-olds in the U.S. use TikTok. And nearly 40% of Gen Z would rather search for info on TikTok and Instagram than Google. If you’d like to reach a younger audience, TikTok’s the place to do it.


2. Am I trying to reach a regional, national, or global audience?

TikToks travel! If your business offers products or services that can be purchased from afar, TikTok is a great channel for reaching a broader audience. If you offer local, in-person services or don’t ship your products, TikTok may not need to be as much of a priority.


3. Am I trying to build my brand?

Even if your business is more localized, TikTok can be a great place to build your brand. Gaining followers who understand and appreciate your skill can be a great way to demonstrate your subject matter expertise.


For instance, SB Mowing is a landscaping company based in Wichita, Kansas. They post videos that demonstrate their landscaping expertise, and 7.3 million people follow the account. While SB Mowing works on yards in their Kansas area, potential local customers are more likely to know of and want to work with SB Mowing because of their TikTok content.


4. Do I sell products directly online?

Businesses can now sell products directly on TikTok Shop. An estimated 33.3 million Americans will make a purchase on TikTok this year. If you sell products online, there’s a lot of potential in using TikTok Shop.


What’s the verdict? Ready to get your business on TikTok? Scenda can set up your account, come up with a content plan and growth strategy, and train you to use the platform. Contact us here.


Scenda is a social media agency that uses month-long programs to help businesses set up, brand, and optimize their channels. Along the way, we provide tools, templates, and training so that after finishing the program, businesses can manage accounts on their own. Visit scendasocial.com to learn about our services, and follow us on social media.



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