Updated: Dec 1, 2021
There are many social media platforms out there to help market your business. While these platforms have similar features, they are different in several ways. As having a presence on every platform isn’t effective, business owners must look into each with care. One great way to decide which to use is by examining the advantages and disadvantages of each.
TikTok is one platform receiving a lot of attention lately. It has seen incredible growth and support since its U.S. launch in September of 2016. Yet, in recent weeks, TikTok has raised red flags relating to several serious issues.
If you’re thinking of using TikTok to market your business, here are some key things to consider:
Advantages of Using TikTok
It’s Extremely Popular
Many business owners consider using TikTok due to its fast growth rate. The app launched less than five years ago but, it currently has 800 million active users.
When developing a marketing plan, entrepreneurs must know where their audience spends time. If this is not known, entrepreneurs will waste both time and money. For example, you may spend hours and create great-looking content for Facebook. Yet, it doesn’t mean anything if your target audience isn’t on Facebook to see it.
For businesses targeting a young audience, TikTok is the place to go. As of July, 60% of users are part of Generation Z. Thus, businesses targeting a young age group will see large growth. They will also have less difficulty in marketing. This is because they are going to where their audience is, not having their audience come to them.
It Has High Engagement
The silent killer of social media platforms is inactive user accounts. Inactive accounts as a
result of several reasons. One common reason is people lose interest and forget to check into the platform. As a result, businesses can have a warped view of how well they are actually doing.
For example, you may find you never engage with more than half of your total followers. A
reason for this could be because your content doesn't resonate with your audience. Yet, it could also be because of a strong inactive following.
In 2011, it was discovered that roughly 80% of Twitter users never tweeted even once. Especially due to the fact that TikTok is so new, inactive accounts are less of a possibility and concern. In fact, engagement is high and people visit the app multiple times every day. This makes it much more likely that people will see and interact with your content. It also makes it more likely that people will seek out further information about your brand. This could include going to Google and searching for your business’ website.
It Follows Insight from Data
Platform analytics are so important in marketing because it helps identify trends. This gives creators insight to deliver content that resonates with their target audience. The way that TikTok works follows two trends that explain its popularity.
The first way TikTok aligns with an important trend is with the type of content on the platform. Recently, online users have been showing a positive reaction to video content. But, they are not interested in any video content. Specifically, 54% of consumers want to see video content from a brand or business they support.
In the beginning, TikTok users could only create videos up to 15 seconds long. Recent changes allow users to make videos up to 60 seconds long. Yet, there is an important reason to stick close to the original 15-second limit. It has been found that Generation Z can determine if the content has what information they are looking for in just eight seconds. It is also well known that short-form content is easier to consume. As a result, it makes sense why TikTok would encourage shorter length videos.
Disadvantages of Using TikTok
As noted, there are several advantages to promoting your business on TikTok. But, it is important to consider the disadvantages as well.
First of all, TikTok has gained national attention for more than its popularity. Over the last few months, there has been discussion about a potential U.S. ban. This is due to national security concerns that deal with data security and privacy. But, there are other reasons why choosing to market on TikTok isn't an easy choice.
There’s a Risk of Ruining Your Brand’s Reputation
It can take years to establish your brand’s reputation, but only seconds to ruin it. Your content and how you market your business can have serious consequences. This is particularly relevant when using TikTok.
First of all, it is important to note that one of the top trends on the platform is funny videos. In this case, some brands might risk their reputation trying to be hip. If you are trying to develop trust, TikTok would not be the best platform for your business. This is because videos that do match your brand voice will confuse your audience.
One great way to get yourself noticed on TikTok is influencer marketing. Yet, there are possible ways that this can damage your brand’s reputation. As a business owner, you should be careful before partnering with influencers. If the influencer gets in trouble, it can damage your brand’s reputation as well.
It Has Creative Limitations
Often, there are plenty of opportunities for creativity when it comes to marketing. This allows businesses to brand themselves with specific colors and fonts. When it comes to marketing via social media, the creative options are also high in supply.
As mentioned above, many social media platforms share some very similar qualities. For example, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram allow for a mix of content. There are choices to create posts that have only graphics, only text, or only video. But, posts can also include a combination of two elements. These options allow for plenty of creative freedom.
Yet, TikTok has limited the creativity of its users. TikTok does not allow for posts consisting of only text or pictures. While these options may seem nice instead of necessary, there are consequences. This can lead to more time needed to develop content that will stand out to your target audience. It could also mean trouble creating content that explains your brand. This is because it might be hard to communicate your message in a seconds-long video.
It’s Not Budget-Friendly
Years ago, social media was known for enhancing the visibility of businesses greatly for free. However, things have changed significantly. Organic reach has declined where now even followers will not see all your posts. Most know now that to raise awareness, they need to spend money and create ad campaigns. This change has particularly affected small businesses. Smaller businesses are at a disadvantage due to their smaller budgets.
While other platforms let you choose your budget, TikTok is different. TikTok ads start at $10 CPM (cost per impression). Another word for an impression is a view. Every time your ad appears in front of someone, it counts as an impression. This is very different from a click. A click is when a person engages with your ad to go to your website, for example.
There is another greater financial concern as you must spend at least $500.00 on your campaign. For some small businesses, this is beyond their budget. Alternatively, consider one of the other popular social media platforms, Facebook. Facebook is flexible to meet small budgets, with ads that can cost as much as $10 CPM or as little as 70 cents.
All social media platforms have advantages and disadvantages. This makes TikTok similarly a good fit for some businesses and not others. Ultimately, take the time to consider carefully. An improper decision can mean risking your brand or missing out on massive growth.
I am eager about helping small business owners. I am experienced in producing a variety of creative marketing materials for businesses and nonprofits in several fields across the United States.
I'm Sarah Strobel, Digital Marketing and Community Manager Intern, EMPro, Ltd
Contact me for Social Media Marketing and SEO copywriting.
LinkedIn: Sarah Strobel
EMPro, Ltd – Branding & Digital Marketing We Help Brands Grow Chicago, IL www.emproltd.com