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Why your small business needs to be on TikTok

A baker making a TikTok.
Sergey Bukrinski Social Media Lead
Published at | Updated:

If you’ve been anywhere on this planet in the past couple of years, you probably noticed a little phenomenon called TikTok. Launched in 2016, TikTok is still considered the new kid on the social media block. The average user spends 95 minutes a day on the app, scrolling through hyper-specific content suggestions tailored based on their personal interests. Its rising popularity, ease of use, and high virality potential make it extremely appealing to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across the nation. 

Ten years ago, businesses didn’t understand why they needed to use Instagram when they had Facebook. It took a few years for them to realize they are being left behind because they weren’t taking advantage of this super popular, mainly free, and accessible viral marketing tool. And, that’s where TikTok is today, which makes it a crucial part of any marketing plan.

As a company dedicated to keeping small business in business, we see that an active presence on TikTok helps SMBs increase exposure with very little (if any) financial investment. 

So, if you still think TikTok is a frivolous app for kids who like to fool around and is irrelevant to your business, think again.

What’s TikTok? 

TikTok is a relatively young social media network that focuses on viral video content created within its app. More and more companies, especially small businesses, are finding TikTok’s unique characteristics valuable in creating brand awareness and reaching new audiences

6 reasons your small business belongs on TikTok

If you’re on the fence about starting a TikTok account for your business, here’s why you should reconsider. 

#1 It’s huge

TikTok is the biggest, fastest growing social media network in the world with over 1 billion monthly active users. In the U.S. alone, it had 78.7 million users as of 2021 and is expected to grow by 8% year-over-year, reaching 84.9 million by the end of 2022, and 89.7 million in 2023. That’s a whole lot of potential eyeballs on your business.

#2 It’s where young people search for products 

TikTok has become one of the world’s biggest search engines for Gen Z shoppers. Young people on TikTok report they use the app to search for food, entertainment, services, and goods. So, if your business is not on it, they’ll just find your competitors instead. 

#3 It’s not just for kids anymore

We all remember the not-so-distant days when TikTok was mostly known as a place where tweens go to post and watch silly dances. While this trend is still alive and kicking, TikTok is so much more than that now.

As of April 2022, nearly 80% of American TikTok users were over 18 and around 50% were adults aged up to 34. More and more adults with money to spend—in other words, potential customers—are flocking to the platform for entertainment as well as information. Either way, they are thirsty for original and interesting content. Businesses that manage to grab their attention on TikTok, are likely to pop up in their heads the next time they’re in the market for a product or service. 

#4 It’s easy and free

The most popular videos on TikTok aren’t necessarily the most refined and highly produced. Rough footage from your phone that looks authentic, will likely be better received on the platform than a 4K video that looks like a commercial production. TikTok’s app has all the built-in tools you need to create great videos right from your phone. No additional software, hardware, training, or monetary investment are necessary.

So, as long as it’s compelling, even with no budget or technical expertise, your small business’s content will look just as good as that of a larger company with greater financial means. 

#5 It’s built for exploration

Unlike other social media channels, the default feed on TikTok doesn’t show content from accounts you follow. Instead, it offers hyper-specific recommendations for content you may like, according to your viewing history and interaction with the app. It does so using a proprietary machine learning algorithm, that pushes content people are engaging with.

This matters because even if your business doesn’t have a ton of followers it can still reach a lot of potential customers who have never heard of you but are truly interested in your product. 

#6 Creative liberties

Brands can be a little less restrained on TikTok without hurting their credibility. Even big corporations go there to play and make fun of themselves a little bit, and the public response is typically very positive

In other words, TikTok is a realm where self-humor and creativity are rewarded, so you don’t need to be afraid to jump on trends and experiment on your business’s account—no one expects you to be too serious there. 

All we are saying is give TikTok a chance

While you’re probably not looking to become a TikTok star, an active account can raise awareness of your business and eventually bring in paying customers. It’s easy to set up and super fun to engage in, so why not join millions of American consumers and businesses (including Melio) by giving it a shot?

With the new customers your TikTok account will be bringing in, you’ll probably need an easy and safe way to send and receive business payments online. All you have to do is sign up for Melio, it’s free and only takes a few minutes to set up.

Sergey Bukrinski is a senior social media manager at Melio. 

*This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice.
**Melio does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice, and you should consult with a professional advisor before making any financial decisions.