Embracing social media for business
Firstly, a bit about myself. It all started when I launched my own business, an app for crowdsourced photography at endurance sport events. This led me to analysing data stored within photos, uncovering trends and helping with marketing.
It was on this journey that I was then approached to take over as CEO of a social media community called Birmingham Updates, which now boasts over 700,000 followers.
This is where my introduction to the power of social media, as well as social media for business, really began.
Nonsensical started during lockdown, around the same time that social media app TikTok really started to gain traction.
This piqued our interest, particularly how we could utilise TikTok for business use. The app has really turned marketing on its head, with raw and authentic content that is far removed from what brands are used to creating.
I knew that Nonsensical had to become a specialist in this area. We began focusing on producing raw, authentic and meaningful content, getting major impact for brands on the platform.
Since then, Nonsensical has focused on becoming a specialised TikTok agency, achieving some amazing things:
- We joined TikTok’s creator exchange programme, where we’re now an agency of choice for companies looking to create TikTok content
- Worked with global brands such as Uber Eats, Go.Compare and The Works
- Won an award at the UK Content Awards for our collaboration with Drayton Manor theme park.
So, how does TikTok work?
If I had £1 for every time someone said “TikTok is an app for kids dancing”, I’d be on a yacht in Barbados. The understanding of TikTok and the value it can provide to businesses is scarily low.
Let’s break down some of the stats to convince you further:
- TikTok boasts 23 million monthly active users
- 44 percent of those are over the age of 25, so the audience is more diverse than you may think
- 40 percent of TikTok users aren’t on Facebook, so this is a huge audience that you’re missing out on
- It’s the only social media platform today where the views on your content can far outweigh your number of followers. With 1,000 followers, you could potentially achieve one million views!
Entrepreneurs and professionals don’t utilise TikTok for business purposes because, to be blunt, they find it scary.
The content is raw and the production quality is low. This goes against everything a business is used to when it comes to creating content.
You also need to dive in with both feet. If you half-heartedly repurpose content from YouTube and Facebook, it won’t work.
Believe me when I say that there is a niche on TikTok for businesses and for individuals…you just need to find it.
If you don’t believe me, download the app, pop in some keywords related to your business and see how many videos appear.
The importance of a social media strategy
TikTok, as we’ve just discussed, is about finding that niche and building content around that. However, it’s so easy to become disillusioned with social media and give up too early.
Why does this happen? Namely, because businesses do not have a social media strategy. It’s an absolutely fundamental part of building your brand.
You can’t decide what social media platform to use or the type of content you’re going to create without a strategy. You will then need to commit to your strategy and test new themes, topics and styles until you find some traction.
When it comes to social media for business, you really have to nail exactly who your audience is and where they spend their time.
Remember that, often, they really don’t care about you or your brand. However, they do care about causes, hobbies and interests that make their life more fulfilled.
Once you know your customer and target community, focus on creating content that provides them with absolute value.
Every time they see a post from your company, you want them to feel something – whether that be knowledge, emotion or inspiration.
What does 2023 hold for social media?
Whether you’re looking to embrace TikTok for business or any other social media platform, 2023 is going to be even more fast-paced than usual.
There are some major challenges at the moment. Twitter is changing every day under the leadership of Elon Musk. Meta isn’t focusing on solving the underlying issues of Facebook and Instagram.
The new kid on the block, BeReal, is still trying to work out how to make a sustainable business model from the incredible number of users they have.
The one thing that will always stay consistent is that good content works and gets genuine impact.
If your engagement rates are low, it’s because your content just isn’t resonating or speaking to the community you’ve built or are looking to build.
Test new content ideas and don’t stop until you find that thing that your audience really starts to engage with!
If you’re looking for support from students or graduates, I would recommend Birmingham City University’s Higher Level Skills Match (HLSM) project (part-funded by the European Social Fund).
We recruited a number of BCU students for placements and it really helped us to expand and innovate. They brought new research techniques and a great understanding of how their peers use social media.
Still asking ‘how does TikTok work?’ Reach out to Nonsensical for further advice by completing an enquiry.