TikTok offers more than cooking tips and videos of my coworker, Ed Balusek, in the role of small business owner.  

This social media platform can open doors for your business and help you find a whole new audience to advertise to. Creating content that resonates with your customers is great for brand awareness, and might be easier than you think. 

I’ve created over 200 TikTok videos for Thryv, and in this post, I’ll give you a list of can’t-miss ideas for creating engaging content for your business. I’ll also go over some tips for making videos on TikTok gathered from social media pros like me, Ed, and other online creators. 

But first, allow me to explain what TikTok is and why so many businesses use it.  

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What Is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media platform where users share 15-60 second short-form videos. These videos range from dance trends to educational content and everything in between. 

Gen Z dominated the app initially, but it now boasts nearly 700 million monthly active users –and, it’s the fastest-growing social media app in the world. 

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Why all the love for TikTok? People scroll Instagram and Facebook. But they watch TikTok … for hours each week. In fact, reports estimate users spend 32 to 52 minutes on TikTok every day. 

tik tok statistics for business

Source 

How many small businesses are on TikTok?  

According to Oxford Economics, over 7 million businesses have TikTok accounts, and in 2023, ads on TikTok generated over $14 billion in revenue.   

Small businesses are likely among these users — after all, their customers are using it, too. TikTok’s user base continues to grow and has increased dramatically over the last 5 years. 

But there’s more to TikTok than just being a trendy app. It’s a dynamic content creation tool that does a great job of holding a user’s attention. Videos you create for TikTok can not only help with brand awareness, but the advertising features on the app can help you make the most of this engagement. 

How does TikTok help small businesses? 

Short answer: Brand awareness and paid media.  

Brand Awareness 

Brand awareness is the number of people who are familiar with your brand. It’s the views you get on each post and the number of people who follow your account. The greater your social following is, the more people you can advertise to online – which brings us to our next point. 

Paid Media

Paid media is advertising — or sponsored videos and posts — designed to generate contacts and sales for your business. In 2023, TikTok contributed over $24 billion to the U.S. economy through advertising on its platform by small business owners. With enhanced features for business accounts, TikTok has become a lucrative platform for entrepreneurs trying to build a loyal online following. 

Now it’s time to hit “record.” Here are some ideas for TikTok videos that are perfect for small businesses.

Small Business TikTok Ideas 

We’ve gathered these TikTok ideas from experts like myself, Ed Balusek, and Nicole Philip.

1. Mundane tasks make for mesmerizing videos.

On TikTok, business owners can give viewers a peek behind the scenes of their day-to-day operations. TikTok’s video formats can transform mundane or obscure professions into viral content. 

For example, @contractormike_ has made me decide we” need to remodel our kitchen. Just look at this kitchen renovation: 

@contractormike_

Full DIY Kitchen Remodel #ContractorMike #DIY #Design #contractorsoftiktok #renovation #kitchenmakeover #FYP #tagafriend #contractor

♬ Kontrol – Maleek Berry

As you can see, videos like these allow small business owners to share parts of their world that otherwise may have remained hidden. While giving your dog a bath may be a frustrating and hairy ordeal, the 2.6 million people who watched Girl With The Dogs (@girlwiththedogs) would say otherwise. 

@girlwithedogs

You all wanted a real Husky, here she is 🤣 #husky #foryoupage #dogsoftiktok #fypシ #viral #fyp #groomersoftiktok

♬ original sound – Girl With The Dogs

2. People love FREE advice

People will always take free advice, so what better way to get them hooked on your videos than by sharing your expertise? 

Lawyer Mike Mandell (@lawbymike) offers up no-cost legal advice to his 5.1 million followers. For example, he answers common questions like, “how to deal with your mean landlord?” and “3 things your boss thinks they can do, but can’t.” 

@lawbymike

You Can Sue Your Boss For This?! #work #job #worklife #employee

♬ original sound – Law By Mike

Meanwhile, Dr. Hunter Finn (@dr.hunterfinn) eases the minds of pet parents across the web by offering advice on how to keep our furry friends happy and healthy, particularly in stressful situations. 

For instance, what do you do if your kitty is stung by a bee? 

@dr.hunterfinn

#duet with @cat.mando hope this helps

♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre

Finding ways to showcase your value can be tricky for a small business owner, especially if your business is service based. Equally important, offering guidance can help you demonstrate your value and gain the trust of your followers. 

3. How-to videos still haven’t gotten old. 

How-to videos are a timeliness content format that’s effective on most social media platforms. They explain how to do something, like changing a flat tire or how to get your business discovered on voice search. Keep these videos relevant to your products or services, and you’ll build up brand awareness. 

Any business can use this formula, even auto mechanics. Did your kid scratch up your car? No worries, Jamie at Elite (@elitemotorworks) will teach you how to remove that unsightly scratch: 

@jamiesgarage

Answer to @famoux_ronnie I hope this helps #mechanic #howto #cars #bmw #learnontiktok

♬ original sound – Jamie

4. Give Your Honest Reaction

Use the “react” feature to engage with viral videos and boost your business’s chance of being seen. This feature allows you to post side-by-side videos with other TikTok users by reacting to or engaging with their content. 

Not only are these videos fun and entertaining, but they are also a subtle way to showcase your knowledge of your industry. 

For instance, a fun example of this type of content is Brad Mondo (@bradmondonyc) reacting to drastic hair transformations. 

@bradmondonyc

#duet with @causecommotions wowwww I was not expecting that drastic of a change 😍 #hairdresserreacts

♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

Meanwhile, Dr. Shah (@dermdoctor) is reviewing skincare videos and debunking myths around dermatology. 

@dermdoctor

Pores When it comes to sebaceous filaments, you know my go to is gonna be @Remedy Science for Pore Size but all black dots on the nose are equal Tiny vellus hairs need to be tweezed or use pore strips / wax the nose once a month

♬ original sound – DermDoctor | Dr. Shah

5. Use a trending sound. 

TikTok has a feature that lets you clip audio from one video and play it over another. It’s great for creating timely content that jumps on existing trends.  

When you see a video you like, click the “original sound” link at the bottom of the description – or click the circular icon in the bottom right corner of your mobile device. You’ll be directed to a list of videos that use that same audio, along with the original video that the audio came from. From there, choose the “Use sound” option and create a video using that audio. 

tik tok small business exampletiktok for business examples

Here’s an example from Highlands Of the Heartland (@highlandsoftheheartland_), a cattle farm that used the trending sound that features the Kardashians.

@highlandsoftheheartland_

Tell me you don’t want a #minicow for Valentines Day….. said no one ever. These precious two will be available Feb. 3 & 4🥰 #fyp #foryou #babycow #viralvideo #trending #minicowsoftiktok #trending #minihighland #cutecows #minicowsforsale #bottlecalf #highlandcow #scottishhighland #highlandsoftheheartland

♬ original sound – kardashianshulu

6. Try stitches.

Stitches are pieces of video that overlap with a new video you created. For this one, it’s better to show than tell, so here’s a stitch from a dermatologist reviewing a skincare procedure.  

@mikemuellnermd

Doctor Reacts to this skin care procedure. Duet with @shave_jane #skin #skincare #skincareroutine #beauty #dermaplaning #asmr

♬ original sound – Mike Muellner, MD

As you can see, stitching is a great way to repurpose content that’s already viral. Like anything with social media, timeliness is key, so be sure to stitch videos with trending content to maximize the performance of your post. 

While these ideas should give you a good place to start making content, our panel of experts also has some tips for making your TikTok’s more successful. 

The Guide to Winning More Business Online

The Guide to Winning
More Business Online

Want customers to find you online? A website is not enough.

TikTok Small Business Tips 

Before you start posting, here are a few things to remember when posting on TikTok.

1. Hook your audience in the first 3 seconds.

Attention spans are getting shorter, meaning you must grab your audience’s attention within the first three seconds of your video. If not, people will quickly scroll to the next one in their endless waterfall of content.  

You can get people’s attention by making a big, bold statement at the beginning of your video. Try posing a thought-provoking question that encourages debate in the comments. It’s okay to stir the pot a bit, so long as the topic is lighthearted and fun. 

2. Reply to comments.

Once your video is live, your work isn’t done yet. Be sure to respond to comments because it engages followers in a meaningful way. It also adds personality to your brand, making you look more authentic and genuine.

3. Be authentic.

Speaking of authenticity, post videos that represent your brand’s identity. Some videos will fail, and others will be successful, so you might as well have fun with it — within reason — and don’t try to be something you’re not. Your audience is looking for transparency, so if you don’t buy what you’re putting out, your followers won’t, either. 

4. Get the right username.

Believe it or not, your username can significantly impact the performance of your content. It lets people know who you are and gives your audience a channel to communicate directly with you. 

Be sure to pick a name that limits confusion and matches your brand. Expert, Ed Balusek, recommends:  

“Secure a username that aligns with your business and is easy to read and understand.” – Ed Balusek

5. Test new tools.

New tools like stitches and duets aren’t just good for creating content, they actually perform better than other videos.  

 Social media expert, Nicole Philip, notes that “new tools are often given priority in the algorithm,” because TikTok wants other users to try them. 

Take advantage of these new features early on, and you’ll not only be trendy, but also see higher engagement rates on your TikTok account.

6. Be patient.

The last piece of advice our experts offered was to be patient. Not everything will be successful. In fact, much of your content might fail. 

That’s okay. It’s going to take some time to get the hang of it. Keep pushing out videos and trying new things. Double down on what works and stick to topics you know will resonate with your audience. 

Don’t Stop Creating

If there’s one piece of advice I hope you leave with today, it’s this: Don’t stop creating. By continually developing content that resonates with your following or piggybacks on popular trends and challenges, you’re setting yourself up to connect and grow your audience. 

If TikTok is still a bit scary or you aren’t sure where to start, immerse yourself in the app. Create an account and simply explore. 

Scroll through your “For You” page, follow creators in your industry, peruse the trending sounds, and get inspired. 

Follow relevant hashtags in your industry, such as #cleaningtiktok, #poolcleaning, #constructiontiktok, #petsoftiktok … you get the picture. There’s really something for everyone. 

The Guide to Winning More Business Online

The Guide to Winning
More Business Online

Want customers to find you online? A website is not enough.