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How to use TikTok to grow your business


A woman with dark hair in a sweater using a smartphone in the park

If you’re among the one billion people who love watching TikTok videos, you already get the appeal. It’s a great way to be entertained, have a laugh, or learn about new things. And that’s what makes this fastest-growing social media platform a powerful tool for savvy entrepreneurs looking to build their businesses and engage new customers. 

Fun fact: 15% of online purchases were discovered through TikTok in 2022.

Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has attracted over 3.2 million1 users in Canada. And they aren’t just swiping up on funny pet videos and dance challenges. They’re curious about new products, checking out reviews, and deciding what to buy. That’s what makes the channel such a valuable marketing tool for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). You get:

  • Access to a highly engaged audience
  • Advertising opportunities that are hyper-targeted
  • Cost-effective ways to manage your marketing budget

It’s a flexible, efficient, and effective way to generate sales for businesses with interesting stories to tell and products to promote. Its role in the modern marketing mix is hard to ignore. Check out this break down of its benefits, plus great tips to help you get started.

High audience engagement

TikTok is not the most popular social media channel in Canada, lagging behind the established leaders including Facebook and Instagram2. But it’s the fastest growing and, on average, users in Canada spend 17 hours a month on the platform3. This means that you have a captive audience that is open to hearing about you and your company and learning about what you offer. 

Fun fact: 76% of TikTok users are under the age of 40.

Here are some of the best ways to engage your audience:

  • Showcase a new product
  • Demonstrate how your product or service works
  • Highlight reviews or testimonials from customers

Don’t worry if you’re not an advertising expert or creative genius. TikTok helps you create ads using things you likely already have, like video clips and images, with its Automated Creative Optimization system. You write the text and choose the call-to-action button you want to include, such as Download Now, Learn More, Contact Us, or Shop Now, and the software creates an ad for you.

Hyper-target based on users’ interest

The platform is a great way to reach new customers because it can hyper-target your marketing message to an audience based on their interests. You can build a customer profile based on demographics, location, interests, purchasing behaviours, and even the ideal customer (look-alike). If you’re not sure where to begin, the app offers insights that help you get to know various communities based on data collected. Once you know the audience you want to reach, it’s easy for your message to become part of their feeds based on what they follow and what they're interested in.

By narrowing the field, your ads actively seek out people who want to hear what you have to say.

Boost your presence

In addition to all of the free ways that you can use to connect with people who are looking for exactly what you’re selling, you can go one step beyond and boost your presence by investing in paid advertising

Optimize your advertising budget

How much you spend is up to you, and the platform provides a lot of flexibility on when, where, and how often your ads appear in users’ feeds. Or, you can choose to have the app do it for you using its automatic placement feature, which optimizes when and where it appears.

The best part is that, over time, the app learns about the kinds of people and communities who are responding to your message and it looks for similar audiences, giving you the opportunity to focus on other things while it finds new customers for you.

Partner with creators and influencers

Creators and influencers are people who have mastered the app, have large followings, and can boost your brand with their followers. A single post from a creator can reach a large audience and have a big impact on your business. The key to working successfully with creators is to set your budget and find someone who appeals to your audience and can authentically promote your business.

Go big

The better you get at TikTok marketing, the more likely your video content is to be amplified and maybe even go viral because the number of users sharing your story is virtually limitless.

Toronto’s Cannoli Crunch amplified its message with help from local foodies – read their story.

Get started

TikTok makes it easy for you to understand, explore, and use the app to promote your business. Learn more about how the platform can help you reach your audience with their guides and playbooks. Keep in mind that, with any new technology or social media platform, it’s important to understand the risks before diving in. Start small, and test different things to see what works best for you and your business.

Whether you’re looking for new ways to boost your business or want tips and tools to help manage day-to-day activities, Meridian can help. Explore further information and advice to grow your business in our resource hub.

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1Made in CA website. TikTok Statistics In Canada. Viewed August 2023.

2Media in Canada. The platforms and apps with the most reach in Canada.

3Made in CA website. TikTok Statistics In Canada. Viewed August 2023.

Meridian Credit Union communications are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice or an opinion on any issue. We would be pleased to provide additional details or advice about specific situations if desired.

For permission to republish this content, please contact the Meridian Credit Union Marketing Department at ©️ 2023 Meridian Credit Union