In the world of business growth, TikTok isn’t really a tool that gets much attention, at least that’s what I thought.
That was until I met entrepreneur, TikTok specialist and author of multiple books, Matt Stait.
This blog is based on a conversation Matt and I had recently about how businesses can start to leverage the power of this rapidly growing social media platform.
To listen to the full conversation, feel free to check out episode 43 of my podcast “Interviews With Experts”.
TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform in history
TikTok isn’t very common in my business world, yet we all know it’s there. With that being said, I asked Matt why any business would choose to use it. Here’s what he had to say:
Matt: “The rapid growth of TikTok, the sheer popularity of it and the scope of people using it, all means it’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to ignore.
One of the fundamental points to any conversation around TikTok is that an awful lot of people haven’t noticed it creeping up in the background.
Right now, it’s way bigger than LinkedIn, it’s bigger than Snapchat, and it’s about on par with Instagram too!
It’s the fastest growing social media platform ever, and it’s only four years old. As we move forwards, I think a lot of businesses may regret not taking steps to have some face on the platform.”
TikTok isn’t just for kids any more
Matt: “The misconception that many people have is that TikTok is essentially just for kids, but the stats show us that it’s maturing as it ages. TikTok is pushing for more educational content and more authority-driven content, and that means it’s opening its doors and welcoming a more mature community of users.
When you look at business and the world at large, decision-makers are getting younger.
You couple that with the fact that TikTok is maturing, and you’ve got this wonderful place where they’re meeting in the middle. You’re getting very professional people on the platform, people that can write cheques and make decisions, so it’s not just for kids any more, that’s for sure.
And this is a great opportunity for business owners.”
I can honestly say I never knew how big TikTok was until I learnt this from Matt. It certainly got me thinking! I think the hesitation business owners have when it comes to using the platform is that they assume it only works for a certain type of business.
So, I wanted to learn more from Matt about the type of businesses out there benefiting from TikTok today:
TikTok is a platform for expert content
Matt: “There are so many different ways businesses can use TikTok that almost any business can benefit from it if they know how.
At the moment, there is such an easy opportunity for growth if you do it correctly that you don’t have to throw a great deal of money at it at all! You just have to put in a little bit of groundwork at the start, but after that, there are a lot of different ways you can use it to grow your business.
There will always be the community who just want to use it for fun, but what I’ve seen happen over the last year is that lots of experts in their particular niches have started coming onto the platform and using it to amplify their voice.
The Washington Post is a great example of a company that is using TikTok to expand its business reach.
The emergence of this new community, which is interested in expert content, means a huge amount of opportunity within the platform.
TikTok is just another tool, and like any tool, you need to understand how to use it correctly.”
Knowing that there is a vast, practically untouched platform for businesses is an intriguing prospect. However, does that mean we will have to learn to do some awkward dance routine? I hoped Matt would tell me I’m wrong!
Matt: “Trust me, the last thing you want to see me do is twerking! If that’s what TikTok was all about, I can safely say I wouldn’t be doing very well off it.
The reality is that there is a growing need and a hunger for interesting, educational content that isn’t based around those sort of cringe-worthy things.”
Well, that’s a relief! During our chat, Matt kept referencing this idea of community, so I was curious to find out who our audience needs to be in order for us to benefit from TikTok:
Building a community
Matt: “I don’t have a product or service specifically for TikTok; I have products and services and I use TikTok to speak my message. Building an audience on TikTok is like anywhere else – you have to know who your ideal client is first.
But one of the great things about TikTok is that its people don’t only like you to be real and raw, they actually prefer it!
And it’s also an interactive platform that likes to have a conversation.
I find it extraordinary that people go onto places like TikTok and they ignore the community! If somebody takes the time to stop what they’re doing and leave a comment or say something or show interest in any way, shape or form, you have to respond to them. Otherwise, that’s a wasted opportunity.”
At Write Business Results, we talk a lot about personal branding for entrepreneurs, and that includes fostering a sense of community around your message. It’s not just about what you do or how you do it, but sharing the reason WHY you do it is equally important.
Seeing as most business owners thinking about TikTok will be total beginners, I asked Matt how TikTok actually works for business growth. He gave me a great example:
Part of a wider ecosystem
Matt: “The easiest way to think about it is to consider it part of a wider ecosystem.
If we imagine a very basic funnel: let’s say I’ve got 1000 people interested in what I do, and they’ve made a distinct choice to follow me and participate in my TikTok community.
If that 15-second clip they watched was interesting, I will point them over to my YouTube channel for a 20-minute version. From there, they can go to my website where they can purchase any number of products or subscribe to my membership area!”
Now, this is really interesting. What Matt is talking about here is repurposing content for all your different platforms. This is something we help all of our clients to do at Write Business Results.
You can take short snippets of your longer videos and use those clips on TikTok without spending any time or money to create extra content! Just like you can repurpose a book into a blog, a blog into a podcast, etc.
But is that the only way to make money from TikTok? Matt gave me a few more ideas on how to monetise it:
Matt: “Interestingly, TikTok has its own currency. It’s all quite bizarre, and they’ve got peculiar terminology, but once you have gathered enough of it, you can check it out for real cash. Then, there is a creative fund that TikTok pays you for creating content.
These two methods won’t make you a lot of money, but it’s money for nothing.
Next, once you have a large following, you can look for sponsorship and influencer deals, or link your content to your website or shop and drive people through like that.
I don’t recommend doing any hard selling into the videos themselves, but there is nothing wrong with seeding the next steps and pointing your viewers in the right direction.
Also, TikTok recently agreed to a deal with Shopify, so it’s not going to be too long before we can have direct clickable links in the videos for people that have Shopify stores, and that’s going to be a big game-changer.”
So, it seems that for most business owners, TikTok may well be worth considering! I asked Matt for some final advice for anyone looking to get involved:
Matt: “Firstly, make sure that whatever content you put out is interesting and you are interested in it. If you are bored or the content is boring, you’re going to get nowhere.
Secondly, don’t second guess yourself. If you want to do it and you think you can do it, go and do it! Don’t listen to the people who say you can’t, I certainly didn’t!”
I hope you found that useful!
If you want to learn more about Matt, you can find the amusing version of his details on Facebook. For the more grown-up version, head over to LinkedIn.
More to come next week