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Getting Started with TikTok for Small Businesses

32 min listen

Tune in to the latest episode of the Ecwid Ecommerce Show. This week we’ve brought on Hahney Yo, a Product Marketing Manager at TikTok. She uncovers what makes TikTok so special and how small businesses can use the platform to grow their reach.

The World of TikTok

TikTok is a place where short form videos reign. It also has over one billion users globally. TikTok content splits the difference between content that entertains and educates, with creators using the platform to discuss everything from food, music and sports to more niche subjects like Victorian fashion or frogs.

In other words, TikTok is a place for content about anything and everything you could possibly be interested in, from catching up on recent headlines to relaxing with ASMR videos.

TikTok is all about making things fun—including educational content. The platform personalizes video recommendations over time and tailors them to your interests, allowing its users to get up close and personal with content that really resonates with them.

The platform is built on short-form videos (up to three minutes long) with music to go with them. In fact, music is so integral to the app that it’s a searchable attribute for videos.

Business Accounts on TikTok

In addition to personal accounts, you can use TikTok to open a Business Account to help promote your growing side hustle or retailer. But don’t be fooled by the name, both business and personal accounts should be personable.

Not sure you have a great idea for some business related TikTok content? Don’t be afraid to start simple. Complexity can come with time, and inspiration can strike along the way. In the meantime, don’t miss out on being a part of hashtag trends like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt!

TikTok creates a “For You” experience for its viewers, which can include great products, presented by savvy vendors who are willing to highlight the stuff they sell in a personal way.

What Videos You Should Make

Reaction videos can be a great way for store owners to participate in TikTok without having to create elaborate videos.

Following popular videos can create opportunities and allow you to participate in viral trends.

You can showcase how your product is used, or interesting people who are using it. Just keep it authentic and personable.

Ecwid merchants can participate in all of the above to build brand awareness! Just remember to make TikToks, not ads. The goal is to harness the power of connecting with people organically. Just start making videos and you will discover how popular basic video formats can be.

You can also boost your most popular videos making them function more like ads. But remember that they should always be driven by engaging content first.

A quick path to making your own videos is to watch what others are doing, then mimic what resonates with you. And to remember that more is more: get in the habit of making TikTok videos, even if you aren’t sure they’ll perform well. Keep sharing more about who you are and how you help people, and success will surely follow.

TikTok is a booming platform, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to participate and promote yourself there.

Handy links mentioned in this podcast:


  • TikTok is one of the most entertaining content platforms out there, and we have a hyper-engaged audience. So what TikTok is: is when you open up your phone, you go into the TikTok app, you’ll see videos automatically playing and you’ll scroll through something we call the For You page, which looks different for everyone. And it’s a great place where you can see what people all around the world are getting up to. My favorite thing is that it’s a fully immersive, no judgment zone.
  • A lot of the videos that you’ll see on the platform are between 0 to 30 seconds long. The type of content you see on there very much varies. So you have folks who are vlogging their lives, giving you a glimpse of what they’re doing all day. You’ll see a bunch of different video clips, montages with great music. You might see some folks showing us how they’re cooking and you get that good ASMR of all the knives on the cutting boards. And you have content across all different types of topics. There’s #foodtalk, there’s #edutok, there’s a hashtag for combating climate change.
  • Sound is super important on TikTok. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone watch TikTok with the sound off, just because it’s such a core component of what makes a TikTok fun and vibrant. It doesn’t always have to be music.
  • We have a feature called “Promote” where you can, in your app, promote a video that’s been doing well really easily. We also have something called Spark Ads where you can take a video that’s been doing super well and then you can figure out a way to advertise with it.

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