“TikTok creates program for small businesses” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

“TikTok creates program for small businesses” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Mario Tama / Staff via Getty Images

Dive Brief:

  • Joining other social platforms in releasing tools for small businesses, TikTok has created Follow Me, a six-week educational program from July 11 to Aug. 19 for small and midsize companies seeking to increase sales using the platform, according to a Monday announcement
  • The Follow Me guide will outline how businesses can set up a business account, use the Creative Center to generate content ideas and learn how to use the app’s ads manager and promotion tools for rolling out TikTok campaigns, per the announcement.
  • The company has chosen Cassie Sorensen, owner and founder of Tassel Amor and Jacob Zander, owner and founder of Feel Your Soul, to serve as its small-business ambassadors and share tips with program participants for using TikTok to increase sales. 

Dive Insight:

In its announcement, TikTok said it wanted to shepherd more small businesses onto the platform to reach more consumers and, in turn, achieve their goals. Last summer, the platform hosted its Small Biz Block Party virtual workshop series, which aimed to help small businesses reach consumers and grow their businesses. It cited a report from Hello Alice indicating that 81% of small businesses say that TikTok is fun, and 73% say it is easy to use.

TikTok is looking to prove its worth to businesses of all sizes based on its consumer data. The company cited a study from Material noting that TikTok users are twice as likely as users on other platforms to recommend a product or service they found on TikTok. They are also 1.5 times more likely to influence consumers to purchase that product or service, Material found.

“We’ve heard from countless small businesses that TikTok has helped them launch or build their business — and some have told us that TikTok helped them survive the darkest days of the pandemic,” Sujatha Mamidibathula, TikTok’s head of small and midsize businesses in North America, wrote in the company blog post. “In part, this success seems to stem from the fact that small businesses feel ‘at home’ on TikTok and are enjoying the experience.”

TikTok isn’t the only platform turning its attention to small businesses. In May 2020, Facebook introduced its Businesses Nearby feature, enabling customers to find information about local stores and communicate or place orders with them. The social media giant went on to add more small business tools in May. That same month, Snapchat debuted multiple augmented reality tools to help brands engage with users on this platform who want to visualize products before buying them.

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