This article was originally written for Inside Magazine and featured in their August edition as part of a monthly column entitled The Inside On Social Media.
TikTok? That video app thing that your nieces & nephews use? Surely not!
TikTok may have started as a dancing & lip syncing video app, but over the past 18 months it has become nothing short of a social media sensation - and savvy business owners are cashing in!
From Subway workers showing life behind the scenes of making your favourite sandwiches, to a young Pool Cleaner (who goes by the username @thep00lguy) showing off his surprisingly satisfying cleaning methods, employees and business owners alike are using the platform to build excitement and interest around their products and services. The simple to use interface means the ways to get creative are endless. Traditionally users upload video clips anywhere from 15 seconds to 3 minutes and then either use original audio or add a backing track from TikTok’s extensive library of songs and soundbites to finish the video off. Then you can add a caption, throw in some hashtags for good measure, and send it off into the ether. Congratulations, you’re now a TikToker!
TikTok currently holds the crown as the most downloaded app of 2021, it boasts over two billion global users, and even sponsored the UEFA European Football Championships recently. Its impact on pop culture and the music industry has been massive. Through its feature of allowing users to add popular songs as backing tracks to videos its almost singlehandedly responsible for whether a song makes it into the charts or not. With a global reach like this it’s no wonder that the apps userbase has diversified quickly. Originally thought of as a Gen Z hangout, older users have since flocked to the platform during lockdown as a place to find entertainment, share funny moments, have a laugh and - inadvertently - discover new businesses.
As with any social media platform TikTok is not all about selling or promoting. Instead if used correctly the platform is ideally placed to get customers, or potential customers, excited and interested in what you do. No matter what your profession, business owner or bobble hat enthusiast, I guarantee there’s a TikTok audience for you. Examples of existing users who’ve had considerable success on the platform include independent jewellery designers showing the creation process, tradesman giving out handy tips on DIY, postman taking us along on their daily rounds or an incredibly enthusiastic young trainspotter who can’t help but make you smile - the possibilities really are endless and there seems to be viewers for anything.
No matter what you decide to use the platform for if you do it right I have no doubt that it will rapidly become not only your businesses largest online platform, but also your favourite place to post content - even if it does mean getting the trending songs stuck in your head for weeks!
If you do one thing today for the online presence of your business download the app, sign up, get familiar with how it works, then get involved by posting your first video. If you could go back in time and get on the Facebook, Instagram or Twitter train before it left the station, theoretically getting your business on the largest internet platforms before anyone else, you would do it, right? Well this is exactly like that. Despite its colossal success TikTok is still young and it’s not too late for your business to build a powerful and passionate audience on what I believe is the next social media Goliath. And failing that, you might just discover a video or two that make you laugh - and I think we could all do with a little more fun when it comes to social media!
By Jordan J. Whittingham.