With 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok has quickly grown into a social media giant. Another interesting statistic is that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park sees 14 million visitors annually. As a company in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, or Gatlinburg, those two figures should have you wondering: is TikTok right for your business?
TikTok Business Accounts for Beginners
If you already have a personal TikTok account, then you may be familiar with the platform’s functionality. However, you will need to make a new account for your company. A company should be represented with a business account, while personal accounts are for individuals.
Facebook has been around for quite a while and it’s still a superstar with many segments of the demographics that travel to the Smoky Mountains. Instagram and Pinterest are also still great social media platforms for marketing to our guests. The new kid on the block, TikTok, is a different animal. If you use it correctly, it has proven effective at reaching a younger audience.
TikTok has become a trend setter for other platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are all following the trends, like short-form videos, that TikTok has set. To perform well, short-form video has basically become mandatory for companies to post. The good news is that TikTok is a casual app, so the videos don’t need to be overly edited or polished.
“The businesses that are not afraid to evolve and to try new things are the ones that do well. I have seen several businesses join TikTok and gain tremendous success over several months to a year. Those businesses are adopting this new social media platform early and posting content that their target audience wants to see,” explained Hannah Glover, Social Media Strategist for Kellum Creek Business Solutions.
Like other social media sites, your posts are at the mercy of an algorithm when trying to reach your TikTok audience. It is constantly evolving but don’t be dismayed. TikTok is fun! It’s a different world but if you can speak the language and maintain your account with authenticity, consistency, and quality content, your business may see a big impact.
Reach a Younger Audience
This social media platform is extremely popular with teenagers. Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg are popular destinations for families. Often, children determine much of a family’s vacation itinerary. Parents choose restaurants, attractions, and other vacation hotspots with their children in mind. If your business is relevant to a younger audience, then TikTok might be right for you.
TikTok is also popular with Generation Z. Also known as “Gen Z” or “Zoomers”, this group consists of recent high school and college grads as well as young newlyweds and couples. The oldest age within Gen Z is currently 26. Members of this generation are highly collaborative and social, and they never knew the world before the Internet. Still, Stanford University uncovered a unique trait about this young generation. When asked what their favorite form of communication is, “in person” was the majority’s response.
This tells us that as a tourist destination, we have an up-and-coming generation of guests who are extremely social, enjoy interacting with others, and value in-person moments. This generation is all about making memories with others and sharing them on social media. These Zoomers have entered the workforce and are making money and decisions. As they travel to the Smoky Mountains, how will they find your business if it’s not on TikTok? Search engines, other social media platforms, and traditional marketing streams may work. However, TikTok is an exciting and clever way to reach this generation. Furthermore, it’s unchartered territory for many local businesses. Now may be your time to establish your business before your competitors join!
Is TikTok Right for Your Company?
If you’re curious about TikTok for your business, start investigating with your personal account. Follow your competitors and other local businesses to see how TikTok works for them. Ask your employees, especially your younger team members, for ideas on how your brand can be represented on TikTok. They might have some helpful ideas. Plus, they speak the TikTok language.
Businesses use TikTok for different things. Some businesses focus on trends or being funny because that gets the most views. Other businesses will focus on education, sharing information, selling products, or simply entertaining.
“I recommend mixing entertainment and education, if possible, because entertainment will get you views while education will get followers,” Glover said.
TikTok can drive traffic to your website, increase app installations, and inspire new customers to visit your property. Like other social media platforms, TikTok ads are measurable with campaign analytics. These paid ads are not necessary, although investing will enhance your efforts. Spending some of your marketing budget here will help grow your new account, and you’ll see those quantitative results more quickly.
“Success does not happen overnight, but with a consistent presence on the app, you will see your audience grow over time. It’s exciting when a client does well on TikTok and begins to see the fruits of their labor all because of a 15 second video,” Glover stated.
TikTok and Your Business
Review these social media trends and consider your company’s marketing budget. Hiring a social media specialist and increasing your social media budget are two important changes many small businesses should make to keep up with competitors. That move will help your business compete, and you’ll see the difference in your bottom line. If that’s not the right path for your company, consider hiring us to help! Social media marketing has changed over the last decade and while it can be time-consuming and demanding, it continuously proves to be effective.
If you need help growing your business on social media, we can help! Learn more about our marketing services here. We specialize in working with local businesses right here in Sevier County. Our team at Kellum Creek Business Solutions understands the market and we love helping our neighbors reach goals and break records. Let’s work together to find success for your business! Getting started is easy; click here to schedule your free consultation.
Authored in Appalachia || Amy Morton