Tik Tok has claimed the title as the social media app with the most downloads in a yearly quarter, ever. This came at the end of the first 2020 quarter, with 315 million downloads. Through Tik Tok, you have the ability to place your business in front of the eyes of millions of people, if you use it in the correct way.
The key difference between Tiktok and additional social media apps that benefits businesses the most, is the fact your videos don’t only appear on your followers’ feeds but appear on different audiences’ feeds too. Therefore, if a user has shown interest in other accounts that offer similar content to yours, it will automatically place your video on their feed. Tiktok also will naturally register your location and place your video on feeds of other users in the similar radius. This makes it the perfect tool to promote yourself as a local business, and is especially effective for those businesses that are service-based.
Throughout this article, we will use the case study of Tony Allen Auto Service, an auto repair service shop, as a case study for how Tik Tok benefits businesses. Using a mechanics business as an example will help to display a service-based business as well as show how the Tik Tok algorithm works with location targeting.
Free advertising to long-standing audiences
Reaching even thousands of people on additional advertising platforms will cost you hundreds, and you are going up against competitors. The ideology that your content has the ability to reach up to millions of people means Tik Tok can essentially act as free advertisement for your business.
Incorporating Tik Tok into your social media marketing strategy is a low-cost effective way to boost your reach and bring in long-standing audiences. While Google Ads can reach people, Tik Tok videos can reach people then allow those people to follow along to see more content. As your followers grow, you can then continue to promote your business encouraging repeat purchases.
Looking at the Tiktok stars’ rise to fame as an example of the potential to quickly grow your followers from 0 to millions within a matter of months. Addison Rae went from being a normal teenager to amassing 76 million followers. Her second ever video brought in 92,000 likes overnight. So you can see that you don’t need to invest money into content in order to go viral, reaping the benefits for your business. While you may not see this initial reaction, if your 30th video did receive this amount of attention, it would still be worth the time and effort of creating your videos and certainly cost less than paid advertising.
Let’s look at free advertising for the auto repair service shop in our case study. You can post clips with your branding and mechanics undertaking repairs and post. An employee posts 6 in the space of one month with the hashtags relating to mechanic Manukau – #Manukau #Auckland and #NewZealand as the local hashtag. 5 of these 6 Tik Toks reach around 50 people in the local area. One of the Tik Toks go viral, reaching 56,000 users in Auckland. That’s reaching a total of 56,250 people who have the potential to become long-standing audiences, all for free. This means when any of these audience members do need car repairs or a WOF, their mind will instantly go back to that mechanic that created a relevant, funny or educational video.
Increased engagement and connection with consumers
Social media holds a huge influence on consumerism. In fact, many people nowadays become immune to ads, zoning out when they scroll past them. Instead, you’ll see people purchasing a face mask they have seen all over Instagram or purchasing the ‘Tik Tok leggings’. Tiktok takes the influence you have on your Instagram platform to a whole new level as people can feel as though you are right in front of them talking to you. The video element adds a whole new dimension.
In addition, the fun trends on Tiktok gives opportunities to extend creativity beyond just perfected photoshoot images. The style of content on Tik Tok being video enables a deeper connection with your audience and allows them to see personality, as opposed to just product or service. This personality can set you aside from competitors who have the same offerings. It can also encourage people who weren’t even looking for this product or service to purchase from you, simply because they like the personality behind the brand and want to be involved in a business they connect with and believe in.
With the higher organic reach than any other platform comes increased engagement. As soon as audiences engage with a post, they start the customer journey. It is this beginning of the journey which ends with the end purchase.
Let’s compare the engagement the auto repair service shop would get from a billboard as opposed to a Tik Tok. A busy journalist is rushing to work. In this half hour car journey, she passes 24 advertisements including that of Tony Allen Auto Service, however, is only focussed on getting to work on time. She is preparing her tasks for the day in her mind so she can jump straight into it. For this reason, she doesn’t absorb any of the information or brands she passes. Whereas, that night she lies on the couch to relax, fully engaged scrolling through Tik Tok and comes across Tony Allen Auto Service reenacting a funny Tik Tok trend. The staff seem lovely and she gains trust in them as they show personality and display honest content. It’s this that encourages her to go to this mechanic repair shop next time she needs to fix her car.
Create low-effort videos and repurpose existing content
As content creators don’t have their own studios and photographers, audiences don’t expect you to hire a videographer and create exclusive content. You can instead post quick or existing videos you have on your phone and optimize reach without needing to invest money or time into creating professional content. In fact, the more real you are and the more personality you incorporate into your page, the higher respect you will earn.
It’s important to note you should still prioritise quality content and this can easily be done with your iphone. This quality content doesn’t need to consist of hours of filming and editing like you would on a video shoot for television. Set up clear, simple shots and use the editing features on the Tik Tok app. The initial learning of the editing features may take time, however, the app is easy to use and once you have the hang of it, it is quick and efficient.
Periodically, you should look through your archived footage to see if any content can be repurposed for Tik Tok trends. Each time you look, you may find creative ideas are sparked and it saves you needing to reshoot or bring these ideas to life. For instance, a shot of wheels in your mechanics’ business can even be placed in 5 videos without your audience even knowing as incorporating additional diverse clips, songs and editing can bring whole new meaning to the original clip.
It is very busy at Tony Allen Auto Service. There isn’t an allocated Content Creator or Social Media Manager. With 5 employees, the owner allocates one employee with the most understanding to help with social media posting and marketing. The employee is familiar with Facebook and social media but not Tik Tok, and doesn’t have much free time throughout the week to post. This is completely viable with Tik Tok as it can be a low effort app if you choose it to be, as long as the camera quality is high and the video content is appropriate for customers. The employee can simply post clips throughout the week which are either educational, follow a Tik Tok trend or both. Due to this business being in the mechanics industry, educational content is very fitting. In the same manner, previous archive footage can be repurposed for trends.
Ability to post more frequently
Unlike other social media platforms, Tik Tok users do not get frustrated with too much content. Tik Tok has designed the app to have an addictive nature, to encourage users to keep scrolling. The full screen functionality which influences you to go from one entertaining video targeted to you, to another specially discovered to be of interest can be done with a simple swipe up.
Tik Tok actually rewards you if you post three times a day by placing you on the feeds of a significantly higher number of feeds. While three times a day is the preference, many popular accounts post more than this. The more videos you post, the higher reach you will receive and the higher chance you have at generating leads. In addition to this, when you post every day, according to the amount Tik Tok prefers, your videos will start to appear on more of your followers’ feeds. It’s important to remember that just because someone follows your business page, it doesn’t mean your videos will appear on their feed. In fact, you could have 2000 followers and only receive 50 views on a video because you aren’t undertaking the techniques and posting in line with the Tik Tok algorithm’s preferences.
For Tony Allen Auto Service, there will be opportunities throughout the day to quickly film mechanic repairs or additional clips and save the content to post when there are gaps in between customers. It could be the steps you undertake to do a WOF service, the signs a car battery or engine needs repairing, clutch or brake service or alignment, wheel alignment and more. There are many relevant topics that will be useful to the target audience of auto repair mechanics. As a business, you will be able to get into a habit of seeking opportunities to film or have creative ideas come to life. Fitting it into your busy schedule is key. Again, when you post every day, your videos will start to appear on your followers page. If this is too overwhelming within the schedule, it’s recommended that you start out by posting once every few days. This is due to the fact that being unfamiliar with the app, you are likely to take longer to come up with ideas, research, create and edit. Once you get the hang of it, it will soon become second nature.
Tik Tok has grown in popularity for a reason, so it won’t be going away anytime soon. With the exceptionally high number of users, along with the ability to reach more people than ever before, it is recommended that you create a Tik Tok account to market your business to your target audience.
Olivia Fairhurst is a business owner and content manager for various clients, including Tony Allen Auto Service, a mechanics and auto repair service shop in Manukau, Auckland, New Zealand.. As a former Journalist, Olivia has always been passionate about writing and helping others.