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Make Money on TikTok

How to Use TikTok for Business to Reach GenZ Shoppers

9 min read

Have you been avoiding TikTok? You’re not alone. As social media platforms go, TikTok has been largely unpopular with GenX and Boomers, and even Millennials have been slow to adopt the platform. About half of US TikTok users are between 11 and 29 years old. At first, businesses didn’t want to start relying on a social media app with such a narrow demographic of active users. But that is all changing quite rapidly. TikTok, it seems, is here to stay, and you know what they say: if you can’t beat “em, join ‘em.

The pandemic provoked a dramatic increase in social media use in general, but because TikTok was already gaining popularity, it exploded. TikTok now encompasses over one million US users as of March 2021. User demographics have also widened considerably, and there are now a little over 20% of each Millennial- and GenX users.

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Here are a few other reasons you should be selling online using TikTok:

  • TikTok is still a fairly new platform, and as such, you’ll have less competition in your niche.
  • The unique TikTok algorithms allow any video content to go viral, even if you are not an established TikTok influencer and opt not to pay for promotion.
  • As people move away from Facebook and Twitter, TikTok will continue to grow, allowing you to reach more of your target audience.

Initially, the platform wasn’t set up for using TikTok for business, but the social media app has worked hard in the last year to provide more opportunities for businesses and individuals selling online. Still, it might not be immediately obvious how TikTok could be used to sell online.

Ways to Use TikTok for Business

Selling online with social media has some similarities regardless of platform, but TikTok does offer some unique opportunities for gaining brand awareness and increasing sales.

Using links and CTAs

TikTok gives you a lot of opportunities to get your ecommerce store in front of as many people as possible. You can include links to your online store or other social media accounts within your bio (profile) or within videos themselves. Each link should be attached to a strong call to action (CTA) for maximum benefit.

Using hashtags and emojis

If you primarily use Facebook or Reddit, you may not be familiar with the best use of hashtags. But, like Twitter and Instagram, TikTok users rely on hashtags to find the content they want to see. If you’re not familiar with the best use of hashtags, spend some time poking around in TikTok to get a feel for how they are used.

It is also important to note that you must use emojis as if they were keywords. Use TikTok emojis in your bio, your videos, and any other content on the platform. If you don’t, your videos and TikTok ads will be scrolled past as if they weren’t even there.

Connecting with content creators and influencers

Like Instagram, TikTok relies on users to create content. Influencer marketing is a great way to promote products. Social media influencers plug and/or demonstrate products that they use or receive in videos that are more likely to go viral. Connecting with these influencers can give you a huge boost to sales. Look for TikTok users with large followings that regularly post content in your niche, then reach out to determine terms.

Using hashtag challenges

Hashtag challenges are a tremendous opportunity that is not often utilized to its full potential. You can create a hashtag challenge and promote it using the same organic methods you would use for any other post, so don’t be discouraged by the $150,000 price tag on sponsored hashtags for your challenge.

Advertising

Just like every other social media platform, they have also launched the ability to create TikTok ads. Like shoppable videos, ads promote your product and give consumers an easy way to purchase directly from the TikTok app. Unlike shoppable videos, you will pay for ad clicks.

How to use TikTok for business

Getting started using TikTok for business isn’t very difficult, but begin by familiarizing yourself with the platform. As social media goes, TikTok is very user-friendly and doesn’t take long to set up. Still, it is unique in many ways, and it is a good idea to get a feel for the type of content that people are looking for.

Once you have successfully downloaded the app, created a basic account, and played around to discover hashtags and other features, you’re ready to start setting up your business on TikTok.

1. Create a business TikTok account.

It is entirely possible to sell online with Facebook or Instagram without a business account, and it is tempting for small businesses on TikTok to forgo this step if you have just a few items. However, if you want to make sales directly in the TikTok app, you must have a business account to link your ecommerce platform. You cannot post a link in your bio on an unverified personal account.

Setting up a business account is easy.

  1. If you have not already done so, download the TikTok app and create a free personal account.
  2. Go to the ‘Me’ page.
  3. Click on the ellipses (…) and navigate to ‘Manage My Account.’
  4. Select ‘Business Account,’ then ‘Switch to Pro Account.’
  5. Choose the category that best represents your business.
  6. Choose a unique username that incorporates your business name, your niche, and your domain, if you have one.

2. Set up your bio (profile).

Your TikTok bio can only be 80 characters, and not everyone can be so concise. It might take some time to condense your message in a highly effective manner. Don’t forget to include keywords relating to your niche or product, as well as those emojis.

When you set up your profile, you will be prompted to link your Instagram and YouTube channels. If you are interested in building those followings as well, it is a good idea to link them from the beginning. You should also make sure to mention your brand or premier product.

Also read: How to Make Money on TikTok Guide

Using TikTok for Business in the Future

Remember that TikTok is still a very new social media platform, and they are continuously improving the experience for business users. Most recently they began rolling out new integrations that allow you to manage your TikTok business account through your already established ecommerce platform. While this is currently only available with Spotify, they are working on rolling out for more ecommerce platforms in the near future.

As these and other seller features become more prominent, TikTok’s appeal to small businesses selling online is bound to grow rapidly. If you don’t get in on the ground floor now, it will be harder to make use of the social media platform later.

Do you want to learn more about growing your business with TikTok?

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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