Should Your B2B Company Be on TikTok? Maybe!

TikTok is insanely popular, and it will only continue to grow as its audience expands beyond its original demographics (read: young folks) and its original content themes (highly choreographed dances). With the promise of such a huge audience, getting your company on TikTok seems like a no brainer, right? Well, maybe.

As with any social media platform, before your B2B (or B2C) company makes the jump to include it in your content plan, you have to get really clear on three things: Your capacity, your goals, and your audience.

#1 Your Capacity

Content creation seems easy. It isn’t. It takes agility, thoughtfulness, creativity, and energy to make something people truly want to engage with.

Everything about TikTok moves fast. The videos are short (usually less than one minute), people consume them quickly via the app’s infinite scroll, and millions of new ideas are uploaded each day.

With that speed of dissemination and consumption, new trends emerge, blow up, and die out in a matter of days or weeks.

That means that you need someone on your team who consistently spends time on the app, cataloging trends and recognizing their potential connection to your brand and culture. Is it essential to capitalize on those trends for your video? Not necessarily. But if a particular trend is gaining a lot of traction, it makes sense to strike while the iron is hot and increase your potential visbility.

Plus, TikTok’s algorithm prioritizes creators who post frequently. The traditional lengthy process of writing scripts->approval->shooting video->editing video->feedback->editing video->approval->posting translates to more time between video posts, which means less visibility and engagement.

Think long and hard about this question: does your team have the time and personnel to devote to this niche type of content creation?

#2 Your Goals

As with any piece of content, you should think about the strategy first, and then the tactic. TikTok can be a wonderful tool for letting your creativity loose and expressing your personality as a company. Beyond goofy dances, there are plenty other trends that can be customized to your people and products. Production values don’t need to be high, and the medium lends itself to on-the-fly recording. In short, if your goals are visibility and communication of company culture for employee morale and retention, then TikTok is a great place to showcase it.

However, if your goals around visibility are, for example, to reach key decision makers in the B2B space…it might not be the most effective use of your resources at this time. TikTok is an app people use for fun, and upper-level professional usage for business purposes is still in the very early stages.

#3 Your Audience

If a TikTok video plays in the forest, does it make a sound? If you make a TikTok video but your target audience isn’t using the app, will it have an impact?

One of the best ways to get a strong ROI on your efforts in social media is to go where your clients and prospects are already spending their time. Knowing where they are and what they interact with can make it that much easier to tailor your message to meet their needs, and to boost visibility and website referrals

Is your target audience on TikTok? Are your potential employees? If the answer to both of these questions is no, TikTok should come after you’ve mastered content creation for the platforms where those groups are. Once that piece of your strategy is running smoothly, and you determine your capacity (see point #1), you can start to experiment with other apps like TikTok.

(On the other hand, there’s also something to be said for the mastery of a platform early on. That way, when it does become important for your key demographic down the road, you’ve already built a presence there and have mastered the techniques to reach people and be successful. Your mileage may vary, of course.)

It’s easy to get distracted by the headlines constantly trumpeting TikTok as the Next Big Thing. At the same time, it’s important to keep in mind what is going to work for your organization, not what’s making headlines.

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Last edited: 7/22/2022

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