If you think TikTok is still a platform for 15-second dance and lipsync videos, it's time to catch up. TikTok has quickly established itself as the place to be for individuals and businesses alike.
While I don't recommend a catch-all social media strategy for any business, if you want people to know who you are – you should not be overlooking TikTok.
1. Tiktok users value authenticity over everything.
The adage "social media is a highlight reel" is true because that is what Facebook and Instagram made it to be. Before business profiles and influencers usurped the platforms, the internet was the Wild West.
We learned how to code our MySpace pages to play our favorite emo tracks after fighting with our grade school boyfriends. We'd upload 100+ photos taken on a digital camera from a night out without a trace of FaceTune or filters. Can you imagine?
When the tides began to change around 2013, aspirational content became the norm. People ooh'd and ahh'd over perfect bodies, perfect vacation shots, perfect product placements, perfect everything.
But perfect isn't sustainable. And when the pandemic rocked the world, perfect no longer mattered. People began seeking relatable content that made them feel heard -- and TikTok was perfectly poised to make that happen.
At present, Instagram is publicly hashing out its identity crisis. They've turned all videos into Reels to mimic TikTok's formatting, yet they still prioritize content from businesses and people who spend money on their platform. Creators and casual users are frustrated, so they're turning to TikTok to get content they care about.
This presents a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business owners who don't have a big budget for Instagram but still need to connect with their audience online. TikTokers are hungry for original content. To be blunt, they have the best bullshit radar money can buy – and will actively reject businesses or individuals they believe to be inauthentic.
So if you're ready to leave behind the tricks and games of the "old-world" social media, TikTok is the place for you.
2. It's a relatively low-effort way to capture a younger audience (even if they're not ready to buy from you yet).
In Instagram's glory days, the most successful profiles were the ones that were most aesthetically pleasing. While that's still true today, TikTokers care far less about the aesthetics of a video and more about the message within it.
So what does that mean for entrepreneurs?
It means you don't have to make a 12-point plan before creating a piece of content. If you have something to share, open your app and speak. My highest-shared videos had little to no planning behind them. Plus, you don't need to worry about the "vibe" of your grid like you do on Instagram.
Because aesthetics aren't a top priority, TikTok is a great way to increase brand awareness with a diverse audience without much effort or time investment. Plus, laidback content helps establish trust. It shows you're a real person – not a social media content bot.
3. There's a need for reliable information.
Snake oil salesmen exist in every corner of the internet, and TikTok is no exception. Financial and wellness "coaches" that lack formal credentials create compelling content to attract people desperate for advice.
They'll create buzz around trending (and unfounded) topics like "healing your gut" or give investment advice without any disclaimers. Young people eat it up. That's why there's a real need for actual experts that can cut through the noise and contribute responsible and informative insight.
And remember: the aspects of your job you find benign are likely very interesting to other people. This professional ring cleaner has 1.6 million followers. All he does is set up a tripod next to his ultrasonic cleaner.
4. You can capitalize on the new wave of Tiktok SEO.
Anecdotally, I can say with 100% honesty I have used TikTok as my primary search engine for the past six months. And I know I'm not the only one. Prabhakar Raghavan, a Google SVP, recently said that 40% of young people use TikTok for their search queries rather than Google Maps or Instagram. Are you paying attention?
Just as Google uses SEO to optimize results, TikTok does the same. Creators who use TikTok's native text functions (auto-generated captions and text on screen) are reaping the benefits tenfold. Entrepreneurs and business owners with niche-specific interests have a massive opportunity to dominate SEO in that niche and spread their message to the masses.
Want to build a TikTok strategy but don't know where to start? Get in touch to schedule a free consultation so we can discuss your TikTok goals.