Influence the Influencers: Turn Your Small-Scale Business into a Huge Enterprise with TikTok

TikTok has taken the world by storm since its launch in 2016. The social media app has catapulted several people and companies to fame and fortune over the past six years and has become a central hub for social networking, including marketing campaigns.

TikTok: the popularity of videos

TikTok is built on the popularity of short (very short) videos, especially those that have the potential to go viral. 

The duration of videos on the app—15 seconds to three minutes—has proved to be an incredibly effective marketing tool and an ideal tool for small businesses to communicate with consumers. Research has shown that people like video marketing; a finding that has prompted millions of small businesses to turn to platforms like YouTube, and now TikTok, to engage with their target markets. 

The rise of influencers

The concept of an influencer has been around for hundreds of years. Influencers these days are people who have the power and social leverage to impact people’s choices, especially their spending habits. They might have amassed a following because of their knowledge or expertise in a particular field, or through a single viral video or meme. Some influencers have grown their fan base offline, such as actors and actresses, musicians, or sports stars, while others have built an audience from scratch with a blog or similar setup. 

Influencers, in general, can be categorized by the number of followers they have. 

  • Mega-influencers typically have at least 1 million followers (on TikTok or other social media platforms)
  • Macro-influencers have between around 40000 to 1 million followers
  • Micro-influencers have a smaller fan base of up to 40000 

TikTok influencers and followers

Just like most small businesses remain small, most TikTokers remain relatively unknown. Most TikTok users are members of Generation Z and have grown up with every social networking and media platform at the tips of their fingers. 

“Going viral” is something they understand, which probably increases their fondness for an app like TikTok that can turn a fifteen-second video into a universally recognized piece of media. TikTok influencers of today include comedians, reality TV stars, musicians, and even families—many of them Gen Zedders. 

TikTok, small businesses, and influencers

Seeing influencers on TikTok and other social media platforms can give entrepreneurs the hope that they too will make it big. On the other hand, when there’s no immediate success, it can be a huge blow to the confidence of a small business owner. 

TikTok is now the sixth-largest social media platform in the world, which means that businesses simply can’t afford to ignore it in their marketing campaigns. Surveys have shown that most TikTok users use the app for entertainment—funny video clips in particular—while a lesser percentage value it for self-expression, communication, and to keep ahead of the latest trends. Many brands have also already started using TikTok in their day-to-day marketing.

You can try to attract followers with organic reach, but that particular path can be long and disheartening when the going is tough. 

Another method entrepreneurs use to broaden their customer base is to join with influencers for affiliate marketing. This involves getting well-known TikTokers to promote your product and share your online presence in exchange for a certain percentage of commission from resulting sales. 

How to use TikTok as a small business – the basics

  1. Do a bit of research

If you’re a small business owner just starting out on TikTok, begin by reading up about the app and getting to grips with it as an individual user before signing up as a business. 

Download the app from Google Play or the Apple App Store and create an account. From there, you can create a profile and start viewing videos from other creators. 

Like other social media platforms, TikTok allows you to follow your favorite accounts and leave comments on their videos. 

  1. Sign up as a small business

Downloading TikTok and signing up in your capacity as an entrepreneur or small business owner should be easy once you’ve got the hang of the app. Instead of completing your profile with personal details, use your business’s name, logo, and a summary of what you offer—the same kind of information you would use on any other social network like Facebook or Twitter. 

  1. Link to your other social media profiles

Just like email, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are also crucial marketing tools for small businesses. So, be sure to link your TikTok account and try to maintain a consistent style over all your online profiles. It’s rare for any kind of influencer to have only one online profile, so spreading yourself and your marketing material over several sites is a sensible move. 

  1. Engage with potential customers

To reap any benefit from TikTok, your small business profile needs to start the ball rolling and interact as much as possible with other TikTokers. If you already have a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account with a following, you can connect with those followers on TikTok as well, which opens you up to being seen by more people. 

The “friend of a friend” networking method works as well online as it does in real life. Growing your TikTok following requires consistent engagement, and not only the promotional kind. Nurturing relationships with potential customers involves authentic interactions. 

  1. Build your brand

It’s unrealistic to expect your small business to grow into a massive enterprise in a short period. But with consistent posting and engagement your brand will blossom. Another great way to become more well-known is to collaborate with influencers and implement affiliate marketing. 

Partnering with a TikTok influencer can automatically spread your content to the hundreds of thousands of people that make up their fan base. 

Consistency + strategy = success

Every marketing campaign requires careful planning and analysis, and TikTok is no exception. 

Staying consistent in terms of how much you post and how you convey your brand identity is fundamental to success. Keeping up with influencers and trends certainly doesn’t hurt either.