Today’s topic is all about TikTok. I’ve done a couple of episodes on all things TikTok. Still, it seems like with everything going on with COVID-19, there has been a lot more potential interest in the platform as well as just a lot of exciting press in positivity and branding, among other interesting things. I want to talk through, does this platform make sense? And if the answer is yes, I’m going to give you some tips on how you can leverage this to help grow your local business.

TikTok is an interesting platform in the sense that it allows people, companies, brands, individuals, and influencers to be themselves in a fun and unique way. TikTok is made up of lots and lots of really short videos. It tends to be the place where people are going to kind of have fun and with everyone sitting at home and mainly on social media, this platform has really started to gain some steam.

The first question that I want to answer before I really go too deep in TikTok, and how can you leverage it is to answer the question—is this an excellent platform for a small and/or growing local business? At this stage of the game, my answer is, in my opinion, is no. The reason behind that is, it’s not that easy to simply geo-target so that whatever funny videos or content you’re going to put out there get shown just to a particular local area.

You might say that’s fine if other people see it, and I’m fine with that. However, at the end of the day, I always look at the opportunity cost. If you’ve got a finite amount of resources, time and money should you go in this platform versus investing more time and money in something like Facebook Instagram, search engine optimization (SEO), direct mail, or flyers for your business. I really can’t make the case to say that, “Yes, it makes sense for you to go all-in on this platform.” Now, is it the latest and greatest platform and trend? Definitely. Are there people that are getting big influencer deals and getting paid $10,000 to post a short little 30-second video? Definitely. But, unless you’re a local influencer, for example, I really can’t make a case.

Now, the opposite could be said of well, isn’t this a good time for first-mover advantage and because the platform is really starting to continue to pick up steam. Could I then grab a lot of local people in the future? Could that happen? Definitely. But again, I continue to go back to the opportunity cost.

For most of you listening, this really isn’t the best platform to be putting your time and energy on. If you’re not executing some of the other strategies that I talked about, I want you to really look at those particular strategies first. Make sure that all of your other digital presidents and your digital authority is solid before you jump onto this platform.

Now, if you really want to try out the platform, and you just want to kind of see how things go and see if you can start to build a following, what you’re going to find right now is that it’s a really easy time to generate free organic reach. It’s really as simple as looking at some of the videos that are doing well based on specific hashtags and recreating those videos with your own unique spin. There’s a lot of different trending videos, songs, dances, and things like that. And, you get to be kind of a free spirit, so to speak of being able to kind of just be unique. You want to make sure that you’re leveraging hashtags because hashtags are definitely what is helping these videos to be found. If you were navigating on the particular app, you would go over to the “discover” tab, and just start to look at them and what are some of the trending hashtags.

So right now, there are trending hashtags, like family storytime. There’s a new thing being called electricity game where people are doing planks. There’s a lot of stuff around dinosaurs and dyno day. There’s just a lot of exciting things out there. But then, what I do like is that particular niches are starting to become a little bit more established. TikTok wellness, for example, is highly trending. And it’s a great place that if you were a doctor or a chiropractor, holistic practitioner, or a fitness trainer, you can start to leverage that particular hashtag and then with a hashtag for your local area code because there are beginning to be some new trends that are emerging of not just people posting funny videos, but rather starting to post some things that are a little bit more educational. And that is where I’m at. I’d like to see you doing some more educational stuff, but then start to look at them, and what are some of the fun ways that your personality can come out? What are some of the fun ways that your family could be integrated, for example, if that makes sense?

Like a lot of the little things that are actually trending, hashtags are really starting to matter more on this particular platform because people just want to share memories. They want to share these moments. There are people talking about their home routine, gardening, skincare routines, and how to clean. You might see some cleaning companies and cleaning people that are starting to post content.

You can start to look through those particular areas and start to see how could you add your own unique spin? How could you make it unique? How could you make it fun? The nice thing is, these videos are so easy to create. You’re using your cell phone, and you do not have to overthink things. It’s really just about being a little bit creative, but also informative on the other side. You can do some that are just kind of fun and zany. And then, on the flip side, I want you to find some ways that you could tie it back to your business to give informational content.

But if I go back to the beginning question, “Is this the best platform for local businesses?”? I still can’t in good conscience justify this for you. However, if you want to start to infuse a little bit more fun and positivity into your brand, it really could be a fun platform for you to try. Get out there. Take some action today and report back to me on your results.