Pottery artist creates a video of her packing a product in a clean, brightly lit room.
Using social media platforms like TikTok in specific ways can highlight your business's unique qualities and personality to help engage with current and potential customers. — Getty Images/ blackCAT

People flock to TikTok for catchy yet imperfect videos. The raw, behind-the-scenes content pulls viewers into a story, even if only for a short time. Brand pages aren’t perfectly curated with pages of perfectly posed products and people. Instead, TikTok is all about authenticity, and that is something that small businesses can take advantage of.

After all, you already know what makes your company stand out from corporate brands. Perhaps it's the personal touch you add to every order, or how every dollar spent at your small business trickles back into your local community. Through TikTok, you can make personal connections with potential customers and show the human side of your brand.

But don't take our word for it. Check out five small business owners rocking the TikTok scene and explore the TikTok best practices that fuel their success.

ShopGirlsCrew

Girls Crew opened in 2017 and quickly caught the attention of social media users. The ShopGirlsCrew TikTok account has 114,800 followers and more than 1.9 million likes and their videos give personality to the brand, featuring products and behind-the-scenes moments.

Here's what works:

  • Video snippets that show what goes into designing new products or packaging an order.
  • Create or participate in TikTok challenges, like matching your nails to your rings.
  • Use original audio to capture sounds — one that applies to Girls Grew is the sound of paper crinkling.
  • Compare big retailer processes versus your small business methods.

[Read more: How Startups Are Tapping TikTok to Build Buzz and Drive Sales]

Simply Leighannes

Etsy seller Simply Leighannes’ TikTok posts garner thousands of views regularly, and the account has more than 98,300 followers. Unlike other brands, Simply Leighannes focuses almost entirely on its unique resin pieces. The videos bring out the products' vibrant colors, and slightly blurred backgrounds of the videos keep viewers focused on the products.

If your small business handcrafts goods, you can replicate Simply Leighannes’ TikTok practices:

  • Share 360-degree views of top-selling products.
  • Achieve the proper lighting and effects for your items.
  • Showcase how you design or make your products.
  • Offer a TikTok discount code for extra savings on your website or e-commerce store.

TailoredTulle delights its 288,600 TikTok followers with helpful tips and a behind-the-scenes look at designing bridal veils. Her TikToks help brides visualize themselves with the perfect veil and overcome worries about ordering online.

Smooth Eternity

Rayli Nicholson of Smooth Eternity has more than 275,000 followers and 3.5 million likes on her TikTok account. Many fans have followed her story from the beginning, including 137,500 views of the video showcasing her packing her very first order.

Smooth Eternity stands out because Nicholson:

  • Promotes other small businesses by inviting fans to drop their link into the comments.
  • Shares her special moments, like waking up to a large customer order.
  • Can poke fun at herself as she learns the ins and outs of TikTok marketing.
  • Shows how she makes individual beauty products.
  • Creates "day in my life" videos, highlighting the person behind the brand.

OliveLynn Designs

With more than 137,500 followers, nearly every OliveLynn Designs video earns well over 20,000 views, along with thousands of likes and comments. The account’s most popular videos generate over a million impressions. What's the secret? People love seeing the owner pick and package orders. Plus, a few lucky TikTok users get to see their own orders packed.

Here are the most popular OliveLynn Designs TikTok videos:

  • Shop small: This 10-second video captioned "This is who you support when you shop small" highlights different family members packing orders. It has had 1.6 million views.
  • Order packing: OliveLynn Designs 15-second video invites fans to "pack an OliveLynn order with me." It received 480,300 views.
  • Putting together a TikTok user's order: OliveLynn replied to a thoughtful user comment by videoing herself picking the items and packing the order, earning 1.3 million views.

[Read more: TikTok for Business? How to Make Videos that Drive Sales]

TailoredTulle

TailoredTulle delights its 288,600 TikTok followers with helpful tips and a behind-the-scenes look at designing bridal veils. Her TikToks help brides visualize themselves with the perfect veil and overcome worries about ordering online. Owner Katie Valleau even shared her own wedding images, which garnered 89,600 views.

Here's how TailoredTulle keeps social media users engaged:

  • Show what goes into making your specialty item.
  • Highlight different product lengths or sizes.
  • Explain how you personalize items and show customer images.
  • Don't be too humble. It's okay to share your "wins," like being published in a local magazine.
  • Create a series that provides tips, tutorials and best practices.
  • Team up with local businesses that complement your brand.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published January 19, 2022