Big and small, should every brand be on TikTok in 2021?

Jordan Joshua Lewis
3 min readJan 5, 2021

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No media platform has managed to engage, uplift and win over the masses during our current crisis and there is absolutely no doubt that TikTok will rule the social landscape in 2021 and beyond.

Like so many others, I downloaded the app during lockdown 1 but in my (very late) 20s, I wasn’t quite sure it was for me. I really asked myself, “Hun, are you really doing this? Do you want to learn choreographed dances? When will this end? You’ll never be as popular as you were on Myspace.”

But I quickly went from being an anxious TikTok abstainer to understanding why TikTok was on everyone’s lips, TikTok is like a greatest hits playlist of everything in life; the humour, the music, the education — but where were the brands? Admittingly I’d seen branded content from the giants such as Coke and Asos etc. but I’d seen more TikToks about witchcraft than I had seen TikToks made by smaller brands.

A bit of research told me there is some big brand players out there on TikTok but in the UK, the % of TikTok accounts belonging to SME brands was… very minimal. I could only find one account which was run by a ‘competing’ company to the one I work for. Why was this?

A few months ago, in a meeting where I work at Stockport Homes Group, we knew that the social reach of our brands could benefit from reaching more young people and we wanted to work on this. At the time, stats said over 25% of TikTok’s users were 20–29 — experimenting with the channel was a no brainier, even if we could find no similar businesses to take inspiration from.

Results of Stockport Homes Group

Within 3 months of being on TikTok, we had racked up 4 million views, 3K+ followers and 30K+ likes. All of this from simply putting a light-hearted and more engaging ‘behind-the-scenes’ slant on our content and best of all, this took £0 investment — all content was created by the Marketing team as they went about their working days.

Numbers aren’t everything but we were able to make tangible connections to people in the communities we serve and spread messages about equality and positive working to new people. It was a win!

You don’t need to be an entertainment brand to be entertaining

TikTok visitors are there for one thing, to be entertained. Unlike LinkedIn, your visitors are less likely to want to hear about your latest business stats, but I bet most other things your company does can be entertaining. Construction, recruitment, office banter — everything has an entertaining or emotional slant you can utilise. If you don’t have capacity, then why not piggy back on user generated content? Encourage your colleagues from across the business to contribute.

Get started!

One thing for sure, TikTok is still dominating social media right now. Coronavirus or not, it’s likely that TikTok’s popularity is here to stay, so whatever the size or your business — why not capitalise on it? Just like LinkedIn was a couple of years ago, it’s in a golden era — the algorithm is there for you to own and build up a base of followers for your brand. This opportunity might not be there in 2022.

TikTok infographic

Don’t take one man’s word for it, there’s lots more you can learn and know about TikTok. These Orbelo infographics were helpful to me, hopefully they’ll be to you too.

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Jordan Joshua Lewis

Marketing & Comms guy. Freelance writer.