Written by: Grace Carlos
Over the last year or so, TikTok has amassed millions of followers and has made a huge impact on a number of industries. This short-form video entertainment platform grew at an exponential rate. It’s already amassed one billion users as of June 2021. So, why is TikTok so popular? And should your restaurant be on the app?
One of TikTok’s main attractions is its ease of use. The platform is unique from other social media sites in that it’s not necessary to build a following in order to go viral. Instead, their algorithm does the work for you.
Essentially, TikTok will place videos on your “For You” page based on criteria like which videos you’ve “liked”, how much time you spend on each post, your specific location, what you’ve chosen to comment on, and more. This means that the more you scroll, the more data the algorithm will collect from you, the more your unique interests will appear specifically For You.
Another reason TikTok is so popular is that it has a tremendous range of content. Small businesses, entrepreneurs, musicians, influencers, bloggers, fitness gurus, artists – you name it – there’s probably a corner of TikTok that caters to it. This is great news for anybody looking to market a product, brand, or service. If you know how to use it, TikTok can be a great place for you to target a larger audience and gain attention.
Let’s look at a couple of examples from our area of expertise here at Social High Rise: The restaurant industry.
If you’re a restaurant owner, TikTok can allow you to connect with new customers, build your brand voice, and showcase the humanity behind your business. Our approach to social media is about building relationships – TikTok creates another avenue for this.
Take a look at Liberty Hall Pizza in Lambertville, New Jersey. This local business decided to put up a video featuring kitchen manager Brandon Murphy back in February 2019 demonstrating the step-by-step process of their pizza making. Since then, the page @pizzamanbran has more than 200,000 followers and 3.7 million likes. This is one of many examples of smaller restaurants gaining attention on TikTok. Plus, your local customers will love to see their community staple go viral. Look ma’ – we made it!
Big Businesses Are Cashing In On The Perks of TikTok Too
Small businesses aren’t the only ones gaining traction on TikTok. Big chains such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Chipotle have also taken to the platform and have been reaping the benefits. In September 2020, Dunkin’ Donuts collaborated with TikTok star Charli D’Amelio to create The Charli drink. This move caused their sales to skyrocket and app downloads to increase exponentially. Since then, they’ve released a Charli Cold Foam drink and even some Charli-endorsed Dunkin’ merch, all amassing millions of TikTok views and thousands of Dunkin’ sales.
Similarly, Chipotle took advantage of National Avocado Day in July 2019 to create a #GuacDance Challenge, leading to over 250,000 video submissions and a 68% increase in guacamole sales alone. Any small business owner could get crafty with a goofy video that goes viral. The tricky part is coming up with something that stops people in their scrolling tracks. Suggestions in the comments are welcomed!
TikTok is only the latest of social media trends, and its rise to popularity is reminiscent of other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and MySpace (you remember Myspace, right?). If you’re worried you missed the boat on the TikTok trend, it’s only ranked 7th as the most used social platform. So if you’re using Facebook and Instagram, you’re still doing great! Although TikTok might fade to the background when the next social media platform emerges, it’s still wildly popular and the current impact on businesses cannot be ignored. It is a huge source of information to its millions of users and is an unchecked marketing resource for many business owners.
You Don’t Need To Film a TikTok Dance To Be Successful On The App…
Even if you don’t want to produce content, merely existing on the platform can help build your brand in many ways. Similar to Instagram and Facebook, TikTok can strengthen your presence in your community, create a greater awareness of your business, help you increase customer engagement. It can also allow you to reach a younger audience if that’s part of your marketing goals.
Regardless of whether you’re a smaller, family-owned business or a chain restaurant manager, you might want to consider making a TikTok! The platform could be a source of free marketing and brand building for your business.
Did you know?
We've been managing social media accounts for restaurants since 2012. For almost a decade, we've partnered with restauranteurs who are serious about using social media to generate business. Whether you're a good fit for our service or not, let's schedule a call and we'll give you free personalized advice on how to improve your social media presence. Either way, you'll walk away from the call more confident about your ability to promote yourself online - completely for free.