To TikTok or Not to TikTok… That is the Question!

to tiktok or not tiktok


Ok so if you’re wondering whether or not your business should be on TikTok…you’re not alone. With all of the confusion surrounding the short-form video app – Will it be banned? Will it still be available in the app store? Is Walmart buying it? – smaller brands and businesses don’t know what to think of the relative newcomer to the social media game.

hannah is a 31 year old tiktok fan
Hannah McClung, Social Media Specialist

If you do some research, you’ll probably find a ton of experts claiming that you should only be on TikTok if your target audience is 13-24. But speaking as a 31-year-old TikTok user…I think there are some marketing possibilities if you have the time and want to try something new.

But you have to remember a couple things:

  1. TikTok isn’t like Facebook or Instagram where you have to get followers and likes
  2. Your actual business account might not be the main way your brand gets exposure
  3. You have to become a user first before a marketer

*If you want information on how to create content on TikTok there are plenty of articles out there…but that’s not what this article is for, so keep scrolling (side note: on TikTok when a person says keep scrolling” it means to scroll past their video, but for this article it means keep reading!).*

When deciding how you want to market on TikTok…there are a couple of options.

  • Hire a big-time influencer with a ton of clout on the app for even a ton more money.
  • Create your own content and put ad money behind it so when users first open the app they have to scroll past it to see the content they’re actually there for.
  • Become a user yourself and find opportunities to insert your brand into organic content.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you start using TikTok daily and find a person who makes a different smoothie recipe every morning. They post the ingredients, the process and then their opinion on the combination. They have a big personality and 1,000+ people who comment on their videos each day. And let’s say your business sells protein powder. Perfect! Your business account reaches out to the person and asks if you can send them some free products to try out…no strings attached.

It’s like influencer marketing but leaning more toward the organic side of it since the person isn’t being paid for the content and probably doesn’t have a huge following. If you follow and enjoy their content…that means people similar to you also follow and enjoy their content and maybe those other people will become future customers.

You are taking a risk if the person doesn’t like your product, but if you’re confident in your product – it’s a great opportunity to get your name out there.

A perfect example of a big company that’s doing this well is Dunkin Donuts. Dunkin Donuts has a business account on TikTok but I’ve never actually seen any of their content on my FYP (that’s the For You Page or main feed). But what I have seen is several TikTok users with bigger followings and videos that regularly go viral who post about going to Dunkin Donuts.

So what has Dunkin done? Recently they’ve sent those users gift cards, swag, Dunkin branded Halloween costumes and even custom Dunkin products for the users. It’s probably a small portion of Dunkin’s marketing budget, and I can guarantee it was cheaper than one of those major sponsored ads on TikTok, and it’s much more engaging than those sponsored ads. And it works! After a couple weeks of watching the Dunkin content I found myself in the drive-thru line at my local Dunkin Donuts.

This type of influencer marketing on a smaller scale with a more organic feel is the most effective way to market your brand on TikTok.

So back to the question – should my business or brand be on TikTok? The simple answer is probably not…but if you want to try something new and fun, become a user first and find small opportunities to get your brand some play time with other active users.

And if you still want to market on TikTok, you can hire me – Hannah, Signalfire’s Social Media Specialist – to spend some time on TikTok (ok…to spend more time that I already do) to find those marketing opportunities for you! To talk with one of Signalfire’s other experts, drop them a line!