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  • Writer's pictureElec Izenson

The impact of TikTok on businesses: Getting started

TikTok has rapidly ascended to the forefront of social media platforms, transforming from a niche app for viral dance challenges to a powerful marketing tool for businesses. With more than one billion monthly active users, TikTok presents unparalleled opportunities for small businesses and marketers to expand their reach and engage with global audiences. Read on to learn more about this medium as you may be surprised at how it could be a fit for your organization.


Understanding TikTok's Business Potential

While you may have discounted TikTok in the past as a potential tactic for your business, it may be time to reconsider. TikTok's unique algorithm promotes content based on user engagement rather than follower count. This allows even small businesses with no initial following to achieve viral success. The platform's short-form video format encourages creativity and concise messaging, which are critical for capturing the attention of modern consumers.


TikTok's algorithm prioritizes content based on user interactions, such as likes, comments, and shares. This ensures that high-quality content can gain traction regardless of the creator's follower count. Understanding and leveraging this algorithm is essential for businesses looking to maximize their reach on the platform.


Success on TikTok can be measured through various metrics:

  1. Engagement Rate: Track likes, comments, shares, and views to gauge audience interaction.

  1. Follower Growth: Monitor the increase in followers to assess the expansion of your audience.

  1. Conversion Rate: Evaluate the number of viewers who take desired actions, such as visiting your website or making a purchase.

Unlike many other social media platforms, TikTok allows for significant organic reach. You don't necessarily have to invest in paid advertising to get your content seen by a large audience. By focusing on creating high-quality, engaging content, you can naturally attract views, likes, and shares. This organic growth can lead to increased brand awareness and customer engagement without the need for substantial financial investment.

There are a variety of ways an organization can leverage TikTok. Here are a few potential outcomes that are worth reviewing in terms of your marketing program:

  1. Brand Awareness: Use creative and engaging videos to introduce your brand to a broader audience. While we joke about the dance contests, is there a potential way to build your brand and use TikTok for recruiting?

  1. Customer Engagement: Utilize TikTok's interactive features, such as polls, challenges, and duets, to foster a sense of community. What are your clients/customers/members saying?

  1. Product Demonstrations: Showcase your products in action to provide potential customers with a better understanding of their benefits and uses. Audiences love DIY videos and how-to snippets!

  2. Reach a Global Audience: TikTok is a global phenomenon with over 1 billion active users. This vast user base provides an incredible opportunity for businesses and content creators to reach a diverse and extensive audience. By creating engaging and shareable content, you can significantly increase your brand's visibility and attract followers from around the world.

  3. Connect with Younger Demographics: If your target audience includes Gen Z and Millennials, then TikTok is the perfect platform for you. These younger demographics are highly active on TikTok, and engaging them through this platform can lead to long-term brand loyalty. By understanding their preferences and interests, you can create content that resonates with them and establishes a strong connection.

  4. Cost-Effective Advertising: TikTok offers various advertising options that are more affordable compared to traditional marketing channels. From in-feed ads to branded hashtags and sponsored challenges, TikTok provides numerous ways to promote your brand without breaking the bank. This cost-effectiveness makes it an ideal platform for small businesses looking to maximize their marketing budget.

Tips for Success on TikTok

Before diving into TikTok marketing, take the time to understand the platform's unique features and trends. Spend time exploring popular content, challenges, and hashtags to get a feel for what works. Understanding the platform will help you create content that aligns with user expectations and maximizes engagement. For example, TikTok has revolutionized content marketing by emphasizing authenticity and creativity over polished production. The platform's emphasis on real, relatable content has led to a shift away from traditional advertising methods.

Marketers wanting to explore the medium may consider the following strategies to maximize their impact on TikTok:

  1. Influencer Collaborations: Partner with influencers who align with your brand values to reach their established audience.

  1. Hashtag Challenges: Create branded hashtag challenges to encourage user-generated content and increase brand visibility.

  1. Paid Advertising: Utilize TikTok's advertising options, such as In-Feed Ads and Branded Effects, to target specific demographics.


Getting Started

TikTok's impact on businesses is profound and multifaceted. By understanding the platform's unique features, leveraging effective strategies, and staying abreast of emerging trends, small businesses and marketers can capitalize on TikTok's immense potential. As TikTok continues to evolve, it remains an invaluable tool for driving brand awareness, customer engagement, and business growth.


Key to success is consistency, as regular posting helps maintain visibility and engagement, as well as authenticity. Genuine content resonates more with audiences. Further, engagement is key as actively interacting with followers fosters a loyal community. Despite its potential though, TikTok presents several challenges including content saturation since the sheer volume of content makes it difficult for businesses to stand out. Further, frequent updates to TikTok's algorithm require businesses to stay adaptable. Finally, like all other mediums, it is key that your content aligns with brand values while avoiding controversies.


Ready to explore TikTok's potential for your business? Start by experimenting with creative content and engaging with your audience—success may be just a video away. Reach out to AOE – we can help!


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