TikTok’s “what’s hot” or trending topics list in the TikTok Creative Center.

TikTok for Small Business

5 Growth Tips from TikTok’s Global Head of SMB Marketing 

Looking to reach potential customers with your small business? TikTok can be the platform for you. In this post, we've curated five small business growth tips directly from TikTok's Global Head of Small Business Marketing, Josh Hilliard. Discover how you can use TikTok's unique features and algorithms to help boost your business's online presence and potentially reach new customers. 

If you’ve thought to yourself, “Is TikTok for small business?” This advice is for you. You can use these 5 tips (plus one bonus tip) he provided, below, to help improve your confidence while using the interest-based social platform, whether you’re new or experienced. Let’s dive in. 

Why Authenticity is Essential on TikTok 

First, keep it real! TikTok's audience responds well to a lo-fi, authentic approach. There is no need for glossy, premium production to connect with viewers. Find good natural light and let the camera roll. 

Keep it real by making your videos feel personal. Small businesses can build relationships with viewers by sharing actual experiences with your products or services.  

Think of real people, problems, and solutions. According to Josh, TikTok's algorithm prioritizes engaging content. So, videos that feel genuine and honest are more likely to be shown to users and, as a result, more likely to earn engagement. 

For example, @loveandpebble makes a frozen beauty pop or mask-like product. They used a family member to demonstrate how to use it at home. The video went viral on TikTok and earned them a spot on the TV show, Shark Tank.  

Embrace the simplicity of everyday life and showcase your products or services in a real way. “Fam, where you at?!” 

Be Consistent with Content on TikTok 

Second, post every day. Think of posting daily as your version of customer research. Put things out into the world and see what comes back. 

Consistency on TikTok also helps you hone your craft. Regularly creating and posting content allows you to experiment with different techniques and learn what works and doesn't work with a growing audience.   

You never know what will resonate with viewers, so explore your creative styles on TikTok. Do this by asking what your viewers want to see from you. Then speak to their needs and include what makes you and your business different.    

Use Trends on TikTok to Grow Faster

Third, finding success on TikTok can make content the backbone of your business. Use the platform to tell stories and track trends. Follow popular content trends on the platform and provide value to your viewers as a “what’s new” source. Who knows, you might earn influence alongside your business. 

Did you know TikTok offers a trending topics tool? Get the “what’s hot” so you can see what kind of content you might post daily. 

Explore the TikTok Creative Center: 

Another option is using TikTok for desktop, where you can easily search the “popular topics” or “suggested accounts.” Sign up for their weekly newsletter, too. 

Access New Communities on TikTok 

Fourth, TikTok connects people within communities. Lean into a specific community with your content to get discovered. Be bold and pick a niche.    

For example, if your business focuses on real estate or related services, create content that speaks to this community—or subcategory, such as real estate photographers. Engaging with a group can grow your following and reach new customers or partners without spending a dime.   

Small businesses are easily discoverable on TikTok, given that one of the main features is a search bar. If you are a realtor in, say, Jacksonville, no doubt there is a niche audience on TikTok searching for realtors in Jacksonville. 

“Should I Respond to TikTok Comments?” 

Yes! Live in the comments section and capture real-time customer feedback. @POPFLEX is an excellent example of a business that responds to customer comments and amplifies community needs. They even use comments to design new products. 

Pay attention to what people say in the comments and use them to generate new ideas for content or your business. More interaction in the comments equals deeper relationships with your audience. 

Plus, comments can also be a source of user-generated content for businesses. You can ask your audience to participate in challenges or provide input on future content. A win-win! 

Here’s how to turn comments on: 

1. Click on the three bars in the top right corner of your profile.  

2. Click on Settings and Privacy.  

3. Click on Privacy and scroll down to Comments. 

Here, you can control who comments on your videos: 

You can choose everyone, followers, friends, or None. If your account is public, “everyone” allows anyone to comment when the comments are turned on.  

If your account is private, “followers” requires users to follow you to comment. “friends” refers to people on the app who you follow and follow you back. 

You can always turn off comments on all your existing videos. 

Or you can toggle comments on right before posting a video or for a single existing video. Lots of options. 

Use AI to Make Content Creation Easier  

 Tools such as ChatGPT or Jasper AI can offer ideas for content and help you outline everything from a headline to a script. Remember to check the terms of use for these new tools before you use them, fact check the accuracy and quality of the outputs they provide, and to ensure that what you post on TikTok is your own. 

Meanwhile, Grammarly can manage all your copy-editing, including voice and tone recommendations.   

For example, you can type the following into ChatGPT: I’m selling organic lip balm made of beeswax. What are three ideas for TikTok content about my product? Use these product details.    

The results will include three ideas with examples. You can use them for inspiration to create content unique to your business. That’s it!   

Following these tips from a senior TikTok’s Global Head of Small Business Marketing, you can potentially grow your business with confidence. Remember, it's all about authenticity, creating content that resonates with your audience, and building a community. With a little creativity and effort, you can take your business to the next level on TikTok.