TikTok Is a Small Business Building Platform
The digital age is giving traditional advertising a run for its money. The days of cheesy TV ads are changing into more engaging approaches. Building a business has become less about how you start it, and more about how you show it with a unique, creative approach. With an audience largely reliant on the internet these days, adding relatability, authenticity, and a casual tone to a brand is now more important than ever to build a sense of trust and a desire to buy from/support a company.
According to Hootsuite’s 2022 Digital Report, TikTok was the most downloaded app in 2021 (656 million downloads). But more importantly, consumer spending, and ad reach, have skyrocketed within the last year, with ads reaching 17.8% of all users of social media in the US aged 18+. Consumer spending increased by 77%, with users spending 2.3 billion in 2021 on products they found on TikTok. 61% of users said finding products on TikTok inspires them to shop, and that they feel a deeper connection to the companies by seeing their content on the app, which explains why the best performing “ads” were simply more relatable, fun videos rather than the yell-in-your-face type you find on TV.
Hootsuite’s 2022 Social Trends Report revealed that heading into 2022, 38% of marketers planned to invest more into TikTok marketing, vs 13% in 2021. TikTok was also voted the most effective social media marketing platform by 24% of surveyed marketers compared to 7% last year.
Brands are becoming more authentic in their marketing and advertising strategies. TikTok is the emerging market and creative outlet for them to do so. Now, thousands of businesses are getting their big breaks through TikTok. Here are 3 small businesses that went viral on the app and the things they do well that help them keep their audience AND customers scrolling.
Small Businesses That Grew on TikTok
Liv Portio is the owner of DBL, a jewelry company she began when she was 16 to support her family. Her business began in her parent's basement, and she began posting videos of her custom-made necklaces on TikTok in 2019. Now, at age 21, she owns her own design studio and receives hundreds of daily orders.
She went viral on TikTok by using her business/passion and applying it to a funny relatable niche that started on the app. She made a TikTok about designing jewelry for a girl who wanted to expose her boyfriend for cheating on her in a creative way. Liv designed a necklace with multiple girls’ names on it, and people loved it.
Liv recognized that at the time (early 2021), TikTok was mainly used as a funny video platform, where relatability was essential. So, she positioned her business to be relatable and funny on the platform and got professional attention from that, leading more and more people to buy from her. She custom-made jewelry for many different requests and shared them with her followers. It kept them invested (in the jewelry-making and the drama) and her business has been a great success with over 2 million followers on TikTok ever since. Portio has even been published in Forbes Magazine’s 2022 30 Under 30 as an inspiring young business owner.
Peachybbies began on Youtube in 2017. When Youtube influencers began fizzling out in 2019, founder Andrea O saw the importance of consistent content creation on TikTok. Her products have been purchased and reviewed by Kim Kardashian and North West, which also helped a huge increase in sales and reached 4.9 million followers on TikTok.
Andrea O admits her slime business almost went out of business entirely before she switched to Tiktok to share her slime creation process.
“TikTok seemed to give new life to slime; now, the majority of our sales come from the platform. Social media has been the biggest factor in our success,” she told Business Insider.
Peachybbies has incredibly unique, aesthetic, and detailed packaging and presentation. They also put lots of effort into content creation. Peachybbies uses a feature on every single one of her videos: answering a user’s comment. She includes the comment on the screen and makes slime in the background as she either makes a slime request, addresses a comment, answers a question, or shares a story. This way of utilizing TikTok appeals to her audience because it shows she is willingly engaging and communicating with them through the platform and through her content creation.
Facetory is a skincare brand that launched in 2016. With over 300k followers on TikTok, the company makes face masks, lotions, and various body washes with probiotics and healthy products. It now has Wholefoods, Amazon, and Target storefronts after taking to Youtube and Tiktok to talk to viewers about skincare misconceptions, life hacks, and more.
They appeal to their follower base by giving them skincare-related tips and tricks. People are constantly looking for advice, whether it's what to wear, how to make a recipe, or building healthy habits. The hashtag #TikTokTaughtMe, which TikTok just used in an advertisement of their own, has hit 9 billion uses. Facetory shares skincare-related hacks for newbies, avoiding acne, do’s and don’ts of a product, and more all over their TikTok feed. Teaching their audience about their industry effectively educates them and makes them feel part of the community. Facetory welcomes all skincare lovers and wanna-be skincare lovers with their tips and knowledge about skincare. They use engaging colors and fonts on their video covers that make their content clear for viewers to click on and immediately know what they are watching.
If you're a small business whose target audience is heavily Gen Z and young millennials, you need to focus your social media efforts on TikTok. The evidence is overwhelming that small businesses can be transformed by the marketing power available on TikTok. Remember, don't think along the lines of making commercials for the platform. Simply share your process, hop on trends, be authentic, and repeat what video format has the best results. And if you ever need support for short-form video creation, you know where to find us.