Have you found yourself in the wormhole of swiping through hundreds of 15-second videos for hours at a time? The addictive nature of TikTok is exactly the reason why so many people love it. The short bursts of content stimulate our brains so much, that many find it difficult to put their phone down.
Not only is TikTok such a huge hit with your Gen Z social media user and content creators, but it is also a revolutionary app for many businesses. So many businesses head to TikTok to showcase the ‘personality’ and ‘face’ behind the brand. Business owners can show behind-the-scenes of the company, join in viral trends and also go LIVE.
TikTok LIVE allows creators and viewers to interact in real-time. Creators over the age of 16, and with over 1,000 followers can opt-in for the TikTok LIVE opportunity. Many creators use this opportunity to do Q&A sessions, share tips & tricks or show behind-the-scenes of their business or content creation.
TikTok still holds the crown for the most downloaded social media app in 2022, but with the live-streaming feature added, it makes it a much stronger competitor for Instagram and Facebook. Live streaming has always been a great feature for community building, something that image and video posting does not achieve.
Some of the TikTok LIVE features include:
- Q&A- Viewers have access to a Q&A question box so they can ask questions directly to the creator, without it getting lost in the comments.
- Multi-user streams- Creators can ‘Go Live Together’ with up to two other people, which is a way to virtually ‘collab’ with others.
- Live events- TikTok LIVES can be scheduled ahead of time and promoted on a creator’s TikTok feed to build anticipation and so followers know when to expect you to start live-streaming.
- Gifts- TikTok has its own currency- TikTok Coins. These coins can be used in multiple ways, but the main way is through buying virtual ‘gifts’ for creators. These ‘gifts’ look like badges that hold monetary value, from under £1 to upwards of £300. Business accounts on TikTok are unable to receive gifts from viewers.
- Shopping- A relatively recent addition was TikTok shopping, in which creators can sell other companies’ products in exchange for a commission, or business owners can even sign up to sell their own products in the TikTok app.
How small businesses find success on TikTok LIVEs
With the rise in popularity of TikTok LIVE, businesses have started to use the feature to interact with their audience and build a community. Specifically, small businesses have found TikTok lives extremely useful, and many have found a high level of success from it.
Some examples of the creative small businesses thriving on TikTok LIVE include baking, chocolate making, cake decorating and arts & crafts. People find it enjoyable to see the creative process behind a product, rather than just seeing the finished item on a static image.
Tiffany Nicholls, owner of ChunkyDunkChocs, has built a TikTok community by making her homemade chocolate with her employees on TikTok LIVE. She said, “I feel like without [TikTok LIVE] I would have found it difficult to build a community and really express who we are as people.” Since starting on TikTok, she has built a community “of around 60 people that join [her] lives religiously”. She even said that she sees her loyal viewers as “friends” rather than viewers or fans. In terms of business, “The lives also really push sales- they spark interest and lead to questions about what we are making etc.” In a matter of months, ChunkyDunkChocs has reached over 20K followers, with hundreds of people tuning into their lives every day. Their viewers love being able to see their chocolate being made and packaged. TikTok LIVE provides a level of interaction and personability that is such a unique aspect for consumers.
Hayley Tulley, owner of Hayley Bops Cakes, is a self-taught cake maker/baker. She says that it is rewarding being about to “reach people in their own environment and provide an escape”.
How large businesses find success with TikTok LIVE
Although it is evident that smaller businesses are finding TikTok LIVES extremely useful to be able to engage with their audience, even larger brands seem to be joining the bandwagon. Albeit, in quite different ways. The larger brands seem to be taking advantage of TikTok’s shopping feature. For example, make-up brand Too Faced have adopted TikTok live streaming as a core omnichannel opportunity. Too Faced hosts multiple TikTok LIVES per week, running for an average of two hours each.
Somer Tejwani, VP of Global Marketing for Too Faced said “The key is to educate, entertain and inspire.” Too Faced’s aim is to ‘build that authentic connection’ with its consumers, and it seems to be working. Often, TikTok LIVE viewers will be offered incentives such as promo codes.
TikTok seems to be a great platform for both large and small businesses, allowing them to gain a wider reach and successful engagement with new and regular consumers.
TikTok LIVES can assist business owners in gaining a strong community with their consumers. Not only is this good for sales and business, but it is also a therapeutic escape for many. The personability and authenticity of seeing the products being made encourage consumers to purchase them for many reasons, such as:
- They can see how it is made and if it is an edible product and can see the hygiene standards of the making process.
- Seeing the person behind the products. If they are a likeable person and even build a form of relationship with the person, they feel like they are buying products from a friend and are more likely to support them.
- Being able to hold a product in your hand that you witnessed being made and packaged is such a unique insight and encourages many to get involved with it.
With you be incorporating TikTok LIVES into your social media content plans?