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pros and cons of tiktok for business webheads

The Pros and Cons of TikTok for Business

The latest social media trend is of an app that specialises in short form video content generated by users (UGC). But just what are the pros and cons of TikTok for business? Here we take a look at the potential and pitfalls of this currently trending platform.

Pros of TikTok for Business
The most obvious pro with something that is ‘trending’ is that your brand and business can be a part of something that (in this case an app) is being used and interacted with by large volumes of traffic. With this, your business name has the potential to be seen by more people – therefore gaining more exposure in the process.

The nature of the app itself lends itself well to more informal and behind-the-scenes content, good for showcasing a playful and less sales-focused angle to your content. This gives you scope to introduce your team members in a more personal way for example and to give a glimpse into the people behind the brand and the more fun aspects of their personality.

Due to the current ‘trending’ nature of the app, it can be seen as a ready-made vehicle for which to take part in the many viral videos and challenges that are well underway. For those brands and businesses looking for that somewhat elusive viral content, this is a shortcut way for them to take part by proxy as the viral challenges are already established for them to become a part of.

As you can apply for a verified account, your business can have another channel online that shows that your brand has grown and reached a point that it is recognised as a verified brand by bigger entities like TikTok itself. This can add a weight to your offering as it shows that yours is a business deemed important enough to receive verification in this way.

A bit of a weak pro point for the app itself, but increased usage of it by staff can lead to them developing a good habit for recording more video content. The positive knock-on effect of this is that your brand is empowered with more video content to use across your marketing channels. So in this sense, it can foster better business behaviour by acknowledging the need to capture content.


Cons of TikTok for Business
As a business, you should know what is the best practice for your brand and what is the best fit for your brand. So knowing the type of content that TikTok encourages and is known for, does this align with your brand vision and business goals? Just because something is popular and trending does not mean you have to jump on the bandwagon. This is exactly why Apple does not use Twitter for example. Does your brand have goals or FOMO (fear of missing out)?

It began as an app called musical.ly and was aimed at a younger target market (children) as a way to lip-sync to songs from their favourite artists and share these videos with friends on the app. While of course anything can change and grow from its initial conception, it does show that the roots of TikTok (and indeed it’s current offering) are more in the vein of ‘fun’ and not sales conversions.

This is not the first app or social media platform to gain ‘trending’ status. It makes sense to remember other ‘trending’ apps and social media platforms of recent years that have severely declined in usage and in some regards can argubaly be seen as a ‘fad’ of the time. These would include the likes of Snapchat, Vero and Vine. Time will tell if TikTok will not get blown away by the winds of change like other ‘trending’ things have.

For those looking to receive verification on the app, is there enough merit to prioritise the time and effort this will take over the other proven apps and social media platforms that have stood the test of time and continue to draw audiences and conversions? Examples of these would include Facebook, Instagram and YouTube – not to mention the other more traditional digital marketing tools that are still proven to be successful, but are often neglected (such as blogs, Google posts and newsletters).

Perhaps the biggest pitfall is put perfectly by John Herrman in his New York Times article as he articulates the essentially random free-for-all nature of the app. Will you be able to cut through the noise when, as he puts it: “On most social networks the first step to showing your content to a lot of people is grinding to build an audience . . . or getting lucky or striking viral gold. TikTok instead encourages users to jump from audience to audience, trend to trend, creating something like simulated temporary friend groups, who get together to do friend-group things: to share an inside joke; to riff on a song; to talk idly and aimlessly about whatever is in front of you. . . . The pool of content is enormous. Most of it is meaningless.”


Summary
As you can see from above, when it comes to the pros and cons of TikTok for business; for every pro there is also a con – both holding their own respective weights and applications for particular businesses and brands. Everything has to be remembered in the sense that this is essentially a new and emerging app in many ways and while it very well may stand the test of time, only time itself will tell if that is the case . . .