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Should My Business Be On TikTok?

With 1 billion monthly active users and counting, TikTok shows no signs of slowing down. And social marketers can’t ignore it anymore—no matter how confusing or stressful the platform may be.


September 14, 2022

Join our encore webinar and dismantle the barriers to your success with TikTok for Business. Learn the basics and find your place in the platform, whether you think your brand belongs or not. (Spoiler alert: It does!)

Our super friendly experts will be there to answer all your burning questions (and share unlimited words of encouragement) either way.

What you’ll learn

  • Just how much opportunity TikTok offers businesses of all shapes and sizes
  • Why there’s no such thing as a boring business on TikTok
  • Unexpected businesses excelling on TikTok—and the ideas you can steal from them
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The TikTok opportunity: is it that big?

Welcome to TikTok, where there's a place for everyone. Many of you are probably here because, despite your love for the platform, you may feel a bit scared to start posting on it. And there are new trends, filters, and songs appearing left and right. It can be really overwhelming to get your start on the app. 

But don't worry, no matter what industry you're in, you can find your niche on TikTok. And we're here to help you get the most out of the app, build confidence, and most importantly, become fearless on TikTok. 

Now, in terms of the opportunity that TikTok can present for your business, let's dive into a few different stats since, of course, we cannot talk about why you should consider taking on a new channel without some good data to back it up.

  • Users scroll an average of 19.6 hours per month on TikTok (source)

  • TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users (source)

  • 947,778 users age 18 years of old and above join the app every day (source)

  • 700% year-over-year increase in the perceived effectiveness of TikTok as a platform for reaching business goals (Hootsuite Social Trends 2022 survey) 

So numbers like these really prove TikTok's fast-expanding reach. It is the new place to be, and brands that want to stay on top need to show up where their customers are. Getting on TikTok gives businesses of all sizes a huge opportunity to get discovered by new audiences or connect with existing customers in a whole new way. 

  • 47% of TikTok users say they bought something they saw in the app (source)

  • 39% of TikTok users say they discovered a product or brand on TikTok they didn’t know about before (source)

  • 67% say TikTok inspired them to shop even when they weren’t looking to do so (source)

5 questions to ask yourself when considering a new social platform (like TikTok)

Whenever we're looking at entering a new channel or a new network, there's a set of questions we recommend. When it comes to TikTok, let’s start with these questions:

  1. Can I provide value to my audience on this platform?

  2. Is the time and resources investment worth it?

  3. Can I do things on this platform that I can’t do on my existing channels?

  4. Do the platform and the opportunities it provides align with my social media goals?

In this webinar, we’ll answer all five of these questions to help you hone in on your TikTok strategy for business. 

TikTok Myths and Misconceptions

Myth 1: TikTok is just for Gen Z

Although TikTok may have started as a Gen Z app, its user demographic is diversifying—and fast. 

  • TikTok usage by Americans aged 35 to 54 more than tripled from 2020 to 2021 (Source)

It doesn't matter if your customers are millennials, Gen Xers, or boomers, you can find them all on TikTok. This is quite helpful for those of you who might be wondering if your audience is even on the platform. 

TikTok has really grown to encompass every kind of content and community. It could be a really great opportunity to also reach your audience on the platform. So, to really showcase that folks of all ages are on TikTok, I wanted to share an example from @TheOldGays.

@TheOldGays have amassed a huge following on TikTok, where they're sharing a new vision for what it means to live meaningfully with age, their coming out stories, their financial advice, and so much more. And they're also challenging the idea that seniors can't have fun on the platform too!

Myth 2: TikTok is just for B2C and retail

TikTok is best for business-to-consumer (B2C) and retail business, right? Wrong! Plenty of business-to-business (B2B) brands—including Hootsuite—are on the app. In fact, there are 6.6 billion views of the hashtag #finance on TikTok. And there's a lot of opportunity since there are almost 7 billion views on this topic.

  • 6.6B views of #Finance on TikTok (source)

  • 13.9% of B2B decision makers who use social for work research say TikTok influences purchase decisions (source)

As you can see, 13.9% of B2B decision-makers who use social for work research say that TikTok influences purchasing decisions. That goes across the realm—not only just your traditional retail, but the B2B world as well.

We see non-profits, hospitality, beverage, tech, healthcare, finance, public sector, education, government, and higher education doing great stuff on TikTok.

If you are a B2B business selling to other businesses maybe you'll try and reach your target audience on TikTok that might be interested in buying whatever it is that you're selling to other businesses. But you could also leverage it for employer branding as well. 

For example, giving a behind-the-scenes look at your company or telling employee stories could help with recruitment efforts. Even if you are B2B, there's lots of other opportunities for people that you could reach.

Myth 3: TikTok is just for dancing and lip syncs  

There’s more to TikTok than just trending dances and viral sounds. You want to make sure you're educating, entertaining, or inspiring your audience—since most people typically head over to TikTok to learn something new or to be entertained. 

  • 45% of users feel more connected to brands that teach them something new or give them information about themselves on TikTok (source)

  • 56% of users feel closer to brands they see on TikTok—particularly when they publish human, unpolished content (source)

The TikTok slogan is "don't make an ad, make a TikTok." So it's important to layer in that authenticity piece and ultimately try to provide value to your audience without cold selling to them. Most of the time the educate, entertain, and inspire videos can lead to conversions and brand discovery on their own.

TikTok users value authenticity over perfection. Don't worry about getting any fancy equipment—just use your phone and that will do the trick. Consider using some popular sounds to answer frequently asked questions. Maybe you show your products or services being used in a daily life scenario or share behind-the-scenes videos.

The more your viewers get to know who you really are, the more likely they are to connect with your brand—even if you don't dance! For example, @Halfpastblack uses TikTok to promote his fitness business in an authentic and fun way.

Myth 4: You Need Professional Editing Skills to Make TikTok Videos

True or false: you need professional-level video shooting and editing skills to make popular TikTok videos. Definitely false! Literally anyone can make TikTok videos because the app’s tools do the heavy lifting when it comes to editing and effects.

If anything, seemingly unpolished, no-frills content is more welcome on the platform because TikTok users value authenticity over perfection.

  • 65% of people agree that professional looking videos from brands feel out of place or odd on TikTok (Source: TikTok Marketing Science Global Community and Self-expression Study 2021 Conducted by Flamingo)

We’ve all observed brands on Instagram or YouTube with a more refined, professional touch. On TikTok, the best videos seem to take the least amount of effort and time and are the most off-the-cuff and authentic. And that's really how you're able to connect on a human level with the viewers and with your target audience. 

Perfect. And we do have an example here from @Chipotle.

Myth 5: It’s difficult to show value onTikTok

There’s a misconception that it's difficult to get and prove business results on TikTok. But really, the days of TikTok efforts being unquantifiable are long gone, which is something that we love to hear. Integrations for measuring performance like Hootsuite and TikTok's own robust research can help give businesses a ton of data on how they can really prove TikTok's impact on users and ROI. 

  • 73% feel a deeper connection to brands they interact with on TikTok compared to other platforms (source)

  • 128 and counting views on #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt (source)

So for our next example to showcase #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, let’s look at the jewelry brand Mejuri. Mejuri makes you want everything they post. The proof is in the comments!

Kicking your TikTok business strategy into high gear

Now that you know your brand should be on TikTok, what happens next? We’ve outlined a good, better, and best guide for how to approach TikTok.

  • Snag your handle

  • Write a bio

  • Post Something

  • Follow your interests

  • Repost your Reels

  • Post 2x a week

  • Write engaging captions

  • Use trending sounds and music

  • Comment on content

  • Post 5x or more each week

  • Create videos based on trending hashtags and effects for your niche

  • Use Hootsuite for TikTok

  • Create savable posts

Go viral on TikTok with Hootsuite

Now you can put everything into practice with Hootsuite’s brand-new TikTok integration

Hootsuite now allows you to schedule your TikTok videos in advance and automatically publish your videos all through the Hootsuite dashboard for desktop or for mobile. 

You can also engage, pin, and like any comments on your TikTok post and you can measure all of your performance within Hootsuite Analytics. You can even see the best times for you to post on TikTok. 

In order to try TikTok scheduling with Hootsuite, you first need to sign up for a TikTok for business account. It's very easy to switch over if you're on a creator or a personal account.

Try it For Free

TikTok Business Strategy Q&A

Q. Are there ways to create engaging content if your team does not want to be on camera?

A. Great question! We understand that being on camera is not for everyone. 

Consider showcasing your products without being in them. For example, if you sell an app or software, consider a screen recording on your computer or directly filming your computer screen via your iPhone.

If you're comfortable having your voice on the app, you can use TikTok’s voiceover feature, which is very popular. Write a script, practice, and film in the comfort of your own home.

Another great idea? Use TikTok filters. For example, there’s a filter that just has eyes and a mouth and brands will put it behind or over top of their logo. If you don't feel comfortable showing your whole face, you can sort of humanize your brand logo by just using that eyes and mouth filter on TikTok.

Q. How does making content onTikTok differ from making content on Instagram Reels? Which one is better?

A. You want to make sure you’re differentiating your content on all of your platforms if you can, since you’ll have different people following you there. Differentiate a bit if you can, but also take a look at your metrics, see what your top posts are on Instagram versus what your top posts are on TikTok and that can help drive your content strategy going forward. Maybe they're different top posts with different goals, so you can create more content similar to your top posts.

Q. How do you make content as a single person in the marketing team?

A. Consider batch shooting your content. Have a content creation day to shoot all the videos for the next week or month. Then use a platform like Hootsuite to schedule it all out so you can get all that done and focus on other things. 

Q. The TikTok algorithm is always changing, so how can we keep up with it?

A. There are so many variables, but ultimately the algorithm wants to see more engagement. Think about your hook. Are you capturing people within the first couple seconds? Which hashtags are you using? How many comments are there? That initial engagement, the sound, the saves, watch times, and shares. Is it savable content? Is it shareable? 

Q. As a business account, even if I have access to trending sounds, I can't use them?

A. If you have a business account, TikTok will have a banner at the top that says certain sounds "can't be used for commercial use." So many of the most popular songs—Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift, etc.—you’re unable to use due to copyright reasons. However, you’re free to hop on remixes or songs that are sped up. So you can often find versions that will work. It's just a matter of scoping around.

Q. How long would you keep an audio saved before it’s no longer trending?

A. If you see something on your ForYouPage over and over again, if you can hop on it in the coming week, that's awesome. But I understand that's definitely not for everyone. So you don't necessarily need to hop on trends. You can always do your own thing. TikTok is a platform all about creativity. If you have your own idea, your own skit that you wanna put on, put on TikTok, then definitely have free reign and go ahead and let your creativity run loose.

Q. What if your manager is wary of making humorous content on TikTok. How can you educate them? 

A. For us here at Hootsuite, we were cautious about the “mild to wild” scale of what we wanted to post on TikTok because we are a B2B brand and we're a larger organization. I think it's okay to get a little slap on the wrist from your manager if you think it's the right direction. But make sure to get those approvals as well to understand what's on brand and what's not. If you have brand guidelines that you can follow, that's your guiding light.

Q. If I only really need to reach people within my state, is TikTok a useful platform?

A.I would suggest using a hashtag. For example #TorontoLife is one that I see a lot. But, funny enough, it's actually incredible to use TikTok for local small businesses because the algorithm initially will push it out to folks in your area. This is very beneficial based on that element of the algorithm, which I think differs quite dramatically for Instagram Reels.

Q. What metrics and KPIs should brands be tracking on TikTok?

A. From a high level I would say video views for sure, but also take a look at your engagements. It all depends on the goal that you have for your TikTok. So engagements is always a good one, being able to drive some good conversations in the comment section. 

Saves, shares, comments is in that bucket of engagement. And you can always have a call to action—"save this video for later"—and see how that does. Do you get more saves on those videos? That's a really good way to then figure out what kind of content your audience or your desired audience is engaging with the most.

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