- Hey everyone, I'm George, and in today's article we are going to talk about TikTok for businesses. I'm really gonna like shed some light and some advice to business owners on how you guys can use TikTok to enhance your business strategy. So before I begin, Sidewalker Daily, our agency, we work with tons of influencers and content creators on their business strategy, so helping them monetize and become independent and to have sustainable businesses. We also work with travel brands and different brands on their influencer marketing campaigns. So I understand, you know, I guess, the social media landscape quite well, and I also understand that a lot of times businesses are a little but apprehensive when joining a new platform, especially with the market nowadays, there's just, feels like there's so many different platforms and it's like, where do I invest my time? Hopefully by the end of this article you'll have a clear understanding of TikTok and what it can do for your business. We've also created an audio seminar, which I will link below, that goes into like tons more TikTok strategies and business advice.
So I'll make sure to link that. So first let me start by talking a little bit about what TikTok is, especially to those that are not familiar with the platform. So TikTok is a article sharing mobile app. It can be used on IOS or on Android, and TikTok has already amassed 1.5 billion downloads. And they have over 500 million monthly users. So to put it into perspective, Instagram has about a billion monthly users, so they are halfway there, and relatively new to the market. So they're definitely creeping up speed into the marketplace, and a lot of people are really excited about TikTok.
Another important thing to know is that TikTok is a Chinese company. They're owned by ByteDance, so it is a non-North American, it's not owned by a North American, which makes it the only social media platform that is not from North America. Which is really interesting, I think, just for you guys to kind of understand the background. So what I would advise to business owners, and things to consider about just TikTok in general and some overall business advice, is to start by this.
Y'know, people are slow to move. And I've noticed that, y'know, there's so many creators and businesses that I know that are not on TikTok even though marketers are gonna be telling them join TikTok. Y'know, that's what everyone is kinda talking about. And I think knowing that people are slow to move is something that you can use to your advantage. Y'know it's really important to get on a social media platform while the iron is hot, so to speak. You wanna be part of that wave before it hits mass. And I'll tell you why. I think my experience joining Instagram before the influencer market was fully developed allowed our agency to really understand the ins and outs of Instagram.
All these behind the scene like little tricks that you only learn when you're on a platform for a while. So joining in the beginning is such an important move because it guarantees your spot in the market before it floods. And from a marketing perspective, it still has not, it's not even close to reaching it's, like, critical point. So you're entering at a time that is really advantageous. Now I know you may be thinking, "Well isn't TikTok for like really young people? "My business doesn't cater to Gen Z." Or like, "I don't wanna be around 12- or 14-year-olds." Well, just like every other platform, it won't stay young forever. I'll tell you a fun fact: my university, Boston College, was one of the first on Facebook, and now look at Facebook.
I mean, everyone is on it, right? It used to just be college students, and then it, y'know the gates opened. And that happens with every social media platform, and it's kinda sad because the old people and the brands, they come in and they kinda ruin the fun, but it is what it is. So just know that TikTok is not gonna stay young forever. You're gonna start seeing way more, y'know, I guess people that are older joining the platform, and I've already seen it.
And you're gonna see different content as well. So I think TikTok has a reputation for only showing funny content or entertaining content, but what it really is doing is showing human content. Like the human side of people. So don't get fazed by like, oh I don't wanna make funny articles, because that's not the only thing that's existing. Again, the platform is so new, it's gonna evolve. And I'll give you an example. The way the TikTok algorithm kinda works is that it basically can tell the content that you like to engage with and it will start feeding you more of that content. So if you don't like like those funny, silly types of things, then just skip them on the "For You" page, or don't engage with it, and TikTok will cater your feed to things that you like. It's really a smart algorithm. I started to see tons of different industries pop up on TikTok.
Like doctors and nurses and self-help gurus. Y'know, I don't follow, like the 12-year-old dancer. People do, and sometimes our animals, our pets, or whatever it is. But there's like, there's something for everyone. So if you're a business owner and you're considering like, "Well my niche isn't on there," even better of a reason to join, because one day they will be and you'll be the first. But also know that it's an opportunity to show a different side of your content, a different side of your business.
I'll give you another example that really stuck to me. Y'know Mark Cuban is a super well-known entrepreneur, millionaire ten times over. And he does TikToks with his daughter and with his kids, and they're doing fun dances. I mean, ten years ago would you have seen an entrepreneur on TikTok doing fun hip-hop dances with their kids? Absolutely not. But TikTok is taking business owners, CEOs, thought leaders, and humanizing them.
And that only can do positive effects for your brand. So absolutely, y'know, consider that as part of your long-term strategy. You don't wanna make polished TikTok content. That's not what TikTok is known for. As I said, it's the more human side of you. Now if every social media platform had a personality, y'know LinkedIn would be your corporate side, right? And Facebook would be your family side. And Instagram is like where you show the world everything that you have. It's your status side. Well TikTok is the talent side. And this is not only entertainment, but like content can go viral in a kitchen, in your, I don't know, bathroom. It could go anywhere. You don't no longer need like huge marketing budgets to make content go viral. What you need is a good ol' dose of creativity and imagination.
And I think it's really actually fostering a good space for imagination and for creativity. Because TikTok is reinventing the term "creator". It's making it easy to be a creator. Kind of like Instagram made it really easy to be a photographer. Everyone and their mom became a photographer on Instagram, right? Well TikTok is gonna let everyone become a creator. Because of its toolkit, it makes it so easy to upload and to edit and to like put music on it, and to put fun fonts, all without leaving the app. So as a business owner, you don't have to have expensive equipment to join TikTok. You don't have to have like sets and productions and big marketing commercial budgets. You can go viral with the drop of a hat, truly, if your content is good enough and creative enough. If you're a business that's looking to, y'know, get your TikTok training wheels on, the first thing you need to do is obviously download the app, right? The more time you spend on the app, the more you're gonna like get familiarized with it, and you're gonna see what I'm talking about with that algorithm and how it just picks up on what you like.
But what I think you guys should do is take it a step further. Start researching relevant hashtags. Check and see, are your competitors on TikTok? What are other hashtags that you can like get into to find people that you can collaborate with? That's super important way to use hashtags. Not only to see your competition, but to see who you can collaborate with. It can also give you content ideas and inspiration. So make sure that if you're a business owner and you're looking to incorporate TikTok into your business strategy, just start at the hashtags. Now a lot of brands that we work with have an influencer marketing strategy already in place. I think that you guys can tweak that to incorporate like a TikTok influencer strategy.
You can look up, y'know, TikTok influencers, or you can look at the influencers that you already work with on other platforms and see if they're on TikTok. If they're not, y'know it may be something that you wanna approach one of your favorite influencers and see if they'd like to, y'know, guinea pig or get, y'know with your brand and work with you guys on creating some fun content. Y'know, it doesn't hurt to ask, and it may be something that they're looking to experiment on as well. So if you're a business that's looking to do some sort of paid advertising on TikTok, they have that as well.
The first option is the in-feed native content. So this is very similar to like when you're scrolling on Instagram stories and all of a sudden you see an ad pop up on your feed, that's basically the same thing. So TikTok has a website that you can sign up, and it'll tell you more about how to get started on ads. I'll include that link below for you guys, so if you are a business looking to run ads on TikTok, especially the in-feed ones, you can sign up there. So two others types of ways that you can run ads on TikTok is through brand takeovers and hashtag challenges.
So brand takeovers is when a brand can take over the TikTok app for a day. They let you take it over, create custom articles and embed links and all that good stuff. And then the hashtag challenge, which I'm sure, again, once you're on TikTok, it may sound like, y'know, a little confusing, but you have to go onto the app. You'll see TikTok is all about challenges. There are so, so many different types of challenges, and lots of brands will pay to have like featured hashtag challenges. And these challenges get like everyday people to participate in them and do funny little things or stunts or whatever it is. I know Chipotle had a very successful hashtag challenge that just took over, y'know, took over TikTok. So brands are getting really creative on how they are engaging their community. And then lastly another type of way that you can advertise on TikTok is through like branded filters and branded content. So like TikTok is allowing, the same way that you could have like a filter on Instagram, TikTok is allowing you to do the same thing.
So really cool ways, again, as a brand, if you're looking to spend a little to get, you know, more visibility for your brand and increase awareness. So hopefully this article helped all the business owners out there kind of introduce you to TikTok, give you some overall tips to consider joining. Again, if you're looking for a make more comprehensive review, the audio seminar covers way more than this article just did. If you liked this article, make sure to give it a like, comment, subscribe to our channel, and I will see you in the next article.