Questions to ask yourself before you create a TikTok account for your business
One of the most frequently asked questions I’ve received in 2023 so far is, “Should I have a TikTok for my business?”
I don’t like to give blanket, definitive yes or no answers to questions like this, because you never know what untapped potential you might be sitting on. However, one thing is for sure: when adding a platform to your social media strategy, you have to be very calculated and know all the pros and cons before jumping in. If you’re curious how your business would fare on TikTok, start here by asking yourself these questions.
1. Do I have the time for this?
Successful TikTokers post anywhere from one to four videos a day. Luckily, not all videos have to be super-edited and impeccably produced. Some can even be responses to comments left on other videos, or what TikTokers call “stitches”. This posting frequency is really nonnegotiable; if you want to grow your TikTok account and have valuable followers you need to be prolific and consistent.
But it doesn’t stop at video creation. Like all social media, successful TikTokers understand they’re part of a larger conversation. You need to spend time interacting with other accounts, browsing relevant hashtags, and being active on the platform. This alone can take up a lot of your time.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Instagram penalizes accounts that upload videos that are downloaded straight from TikTok. That means you need to either create distinctly different content between the two platforms or use a third-party video editing software and upload the same video separately. Even for savvy smartphone users, this can be quite time-consuming.
A question within the question: If you don’t have time to do all this, do you have someone on your team that can devote a large chunk of time on a daily basis to create content and engage in platform interaction?
2. Does it make sense for my business?
Yes, many business owners use TikTok for promotional purposes. But in order to have an actively growing account, you need to consistently provide helpful content in an interesting way. This might be difficult for an established CPA or loan officer, for instance.
Another way to determine whether creating a TikTok presence is a good idea for your type of business is to look up your competition, search relevant hashtags, and see what kind of content comes up. While it might be a good idea to try if there are not many businesses like yours doing TikTok, you also may want to ask yourself why you would be one of the few in your industry to join the platform. Others may have already tried, failed, and left TikTok.
3. Can I keep up with trends?
TikTok videos often have a shorter shelf life and are an immediate response to current goings-on, either on TikTok or in popular culture. If you don’t keep up with what’s going on today, you can still be on TikTok, but your content might seem a little stiff and stale. Successful TikTokers create topical content consistently.
4. Can I handle controversy gracefully?
TikTok is a very popular platform with young people, but it often acts like a digital schoolyard. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to get caught up in heated discussions or say things that could get negative attention. One comment, one video, or one interaction can result in you going viral for the wrong reasons. You see that happen almost daily.
Earlier this year there was a prime example of this: #cakegate. It all started with a bakery owner’s video. The video was of her creating a cake and the narration was a story about a recent negative interaction she had with a customer. Essentially, the customer asked for a cake, the bakery owner provided a sub-par product in the customer’s opinion, and she refused to pay. The video went viral for two reasons: one, the baker openly disparaged the customer and people considered it unreasonable. Second, the video that she posted was of her making a cake that was judged mediocre by the TikTok community, especially given that the bakery owner was transparent about the hefty price tag of the product. From that one video there were MILLIONS of stitch videos where people ripped apart the owner, her lack of design skills, and her nasty attitude. At that point, had she made an apology and tried to make it right, it probably would’ve blown over. Unfortunately, the bakery owner doubled down on her mistake and made angry response videos that made #cakegate only bigger and much worse for her business.
While it’s true you run the risk of getting bad press on any social media platform, the TikTok algorithm is much more powerful. There’s no telling what an angry mob with digital pitchforks can do to you and your business if you take a misstep and handle it poorly. There’s a delicate balance between taking your business’ brand seriously, while at the same time being able to be lighthearted and willing to learn from users on TikTok.
On the bright side, not all viral content on TikTok is negative. You could also go viral in a positive light. The problem is, you don’t know what could blow up on the platform, and if you don’t have a plan on how to properly handle it quickly, and effectively that could negatively impact your business.
5. Am I comfortable showing the real me?
Viewers require businesses and creators to have an air of authenticity. People will quickly sniff you out if you’re not being yourself or you’re producing overly sales-focused content. If you’re not being yourself or struggle to convey your personality, you likely won’t perform well on TikTok.
I often talk with business owners who are hesitant to put their face on their own company website. If that sounds like you then TikTok is definitely not your lane.
If you answered yes to all or most of these questions, then it’s a good idea to give TikTok for your business a shot! Remember, all social media is trial and error until you find the secret formula for success. To tap into your online promotional potential, email Sara and email@example.com for a free online audit.