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How to Start Using TikTok Today for Your Small Business

Like other popular social media, TikTok's power is in the numbers ‒ the platform reports more than a billion monthly active users worldwide and about 138 million monthly active users in the U.S.

Further, 90 percent of all Tik Tok users access the app daily, as of the recent statistics released by Hootsuite and We Are Social, and 68 percent of users watch someone else's video. 

"TikTok users love the app," writes Brandon Doyle, CEO, and co-founder of Utah-based Wallaroo Media, in the company's mid-August TikTok statistics blog

On average, Doyle added, users spend 95 minutes per day (more than 1.5 hours) on the platform.

Like big brands, small businesses are drawn to TikTok's relentless popularity, generous algorithm, and attentive audiences with a wide range of demographics.

Is your small business considering adding TikTok to your marketing strategy? Check out these insights from marketing experts and experienced entrepreneurs.

"TikTok provides small business owners with an opportunity to tap into what content their target audience really wants to see, without spending a lot of money in advertising," says a post by the University of Houston Texas Gulf Coast Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network.

More Numbers. Most TikTok users are female, and 60 percent of all users are between the ages of 16-24, and 26 percent are between the ages of 25-44, says the post by Wallaroo Media.

And while TikTok, in terms of users, may not be ranked among the Top 3 social media platforms ‒ those spots go to Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, respectively ‒ its ongoing popularity is undeniable. Engagement keeps going up, says Wallaroo's Doyle.

He writes that the average user's screen time on TikTok is 26 hours per month, surpassing its rivals.

Going Viral. It's not just users with vast numbers of followers that go viral either. 

According to the Texas-based SBDC blog, if you can continuously produce engaging material, TikTok's algorithm will show it to a growing number of users, similar to Instagram.

The ability for something to go viral on TikTok, regardless of how many followers you have is what pastry chef and former investment banker Candace Nelson likes about the platform.

Additionally, Nelson shared in a Wall Street Journal article, when a video first goes live, it is typically shown initially to people in the same geographical area, which is beneficial for building local brand recognition.

Still, she added, video views may differ significantly among creators with large followings, which is why it's essential to keep trying despite failure. 

Your Content. Though still hugely popular, dance videos are no longer the only viral content on TikTok. 

Authenticity, ingenuity, and attention to issues that are pertinent to your industry, audience, and niche market are the elements to delivering exceptional TikTok content, explains the SBDC post.

Marketing experts advise using popular hashtags relevant to your products, services, or industry to help attract potential customers – the We Are Social and Hootsuite report says 87.3 percent of videos have at least one hashtag. Also, they say to keep your videos short.

Remember that TikTok users are typically scrolling their "For You" pages in search of entertainment, says Nelson in the WSJ article.

"That means your videos will be competing for attention with other videos on that page," she writes. 

The Potential. TikTok offers small businesses the opportunity to inject fun and authenticity into their brand. 

Your small business may strengthen brand awareness and messaging, promote product and service offers, and interact with a developing and powerful audience that has the possibility to become devoted and lifetime customers with TikTok added into the marketing strategy, notes the Texas-based SBDC post. 

But like any other content strategy on social media, your success on TikTok is certainly not a sure thing, cautions Nelson, co-founder of the cupcake bakery chain Sprinkles and co-founder of CN2 Ventures.

"Think of it as a trip to Vegas: Don’t spend more than you can lose, but have fun while you’re there."