Now, I know what you are thinking. Everybody and their mother is telling you that right now you should be on TikTok maximising its insane organic reach.
Been struggling on IG lately? Well, the Caribbean just got reels and all the experts are saying you should be using it to experience explosive growth!
So how on earth are you asking a question like – can short-form content on TikTok or Reels hurt your business?
Let’s talk about it.
Here are three ways that doubling down on TikTok can hurt your business if you aren’t mindful.
Surface level content
The vast majority of the content I see on TikTok and Reels is super-surface-level.
However, business owners who have never seen growth on any other social media platform ever are there taking advantage as best as they can. It’s become a land grab, trying to get as many followers as possible before TikTok does what every other social media platform before it has done – change its algorithm and limit organic reach.
What many people forget is that so many of the big accounts on Instagram built their followings during a time when the platforms weren’t so limited.
So now that there is a new kid on the block, business owners are there and trying to post three times per day and sacrificing quality content for quantity in a race to grab as many followers as possible.
The question they need to start looking at is, if all of these followers are converting, and don’t just say yes, am I getting sales? Have you installed any mechanisms within your brand to track where your sales and leads are coming from?
Sacrificing long-form content
Business owners are sacrificing long-form content for short-form content. This is critical, because change doesn’t happen via one-minute videos.
To help your clients achieve results, you need long-form content that will allow you to explore a topic in various depths, and you need a curriculum to bring people through a process.
By simply jumping onto the TikTok and Reels wagon and no longer working on long-form content, sure, you might grab followers, but you are not diving into anything with depth and showcasing your expertise.
Business owners need to find a happy marriage between short-form and long-form content and position their products/services as the solutions to solve customer problems or achieve their desires.
Business owners, you have a business. This means that you need to keep that at the forefront of your content strategy and your overall digital strategy.
The goal should be not to only have short-form content, since there is only so much you can pack into it, but to have it as a complement to your long-form content.
No overall digital strategy
Short-form content is being favoured because it is perceived as quick and easy to put together. But it does not replace an overall strategy.
Building your brand on one social media platform hurts your business overall because you throw everything out the window with respect to a holistic digital strategy.
Most business owners doubling down on short-form content are throwing out things like their website, e-mail list, notification list, retargeting, WhatsApp Business, PPC, SEM, SMS, Messenger campaigns, data collection and much more.
Now, you might be thinking, "Well, the reason we focus on social media is that social media is free," but it’s not. Access might be free, but it still costs you time and money to create the content you post on free social media platforms. Think about all the tools, software, and equipment you use to create content. Social media costs.
It’s better that you sacrifice time and energy learning the different mechanisms of a digital strategy than just going all-in on one platform, especially as a business owner.
Sure, you might get leads and sales but the goal isn’t to only be relevant on one platform, but learn how to become omnipresent. Your business needs to be an ecosystem and not a one-trick pony standing on flimsy ground.
Business owners, stop sacrificing your overall digital and business strategies to gain a big following on TikTok, IG or LinkedIn.
Every single channel has its purposes: to build the longevity of your business – but also collect your data, drive your leads, and sales and help real transformation among your audience.
I love the fact that short-form content is on the rise among many of the top digital platforms. but, as a business owner, remember that short-form content needs to be a part of an overall digital strategy.
While TikTok is being very generous with its traffic, you should be making sure it’s feeding into your digital strategy and not just focusing on building followers there.
So can TikTok hurt your business? Yes, but only if you aren’t mindful and ditch your overall digital strategy.
Keron Rose is a digital strategist who works with Caribbean entrepreneurs on building their digital presence and monetising their platforms. To learn more, visit KeronRose.com or check out the Digipreneur FM podcast on Apple Podcast/Spotify/Google Podcast.