August 11, 2022

How Tik Tok Empowers Small Businesses

By Liam Helberg

When Tik Tok took over the social media world during the COVID-19 pandemic, people were not sure how long the trend would last.  While it seemed to be a typical social media platform, their algorithm turned out to be unique and transformative in the way content is targeted towards users. How is Tik Tok different from previous social media sites and how does this benefit small businesses?

How Tik Tok differentiates themselves from other social media is how the app decides what to put on your feed. Historically, social media apps show you content based on who you follow, or hashtags you like. On traditional social media sites, it is easy for content to get buried after its time on the feed has expired. Time stamps do not exist on Tik Tok and a video that was posted a year ago could start to gain traction any time. A HubSpot blog article explains how the algorithm tracks your data and targets content towards you based on your information and interest in niche communities.

Now that it is clear Tik Tok’s algorithm is different and innovative, what does this mean for small businesses? Tik Tok’s approach benefits small companies because they are able to get more traction on the platform. Since Tik Tok’s algorithm is highly personalized, people are more likely to engage with posts that align with their interests. You also don’t need to have hundreds of thousands of followers for a post to go viral like Instagram. Learning how to cater to this algorithm can have life changing effects on small businesses and their owners.

A major small business success story on Tik Tok is @rah_money1. Rahmin or “General Ock” as his fans call him, works at a bodega in Brooklyn, New York. He recently went viral for making wild sandwiches “the ocky way.” Rahim has 3.1 million followers and is nearing 50 million likes. Now that he has received notoriety, people from all over visit his bodega to get one of his sandwiches. The reach his Tik Tok has achieved would be nearly impossible on every other social platform. Tik Tok has completely changed the face of what success is on social media, and small businesses are at the forefront.

14 thoughts on “How Tik Tok Empowers Small Businesses

  1. This is such a fun and uplifting blog post! The algorithm on tik tok is something I have found so interesting… i’m glad it is being utilized (intentionally or not) to help spotlight small business owners and allow them to grow their reach and platform.

  2. This is interesting! I wasn’t really aware of how the Tik Tok algorithm worked. But it’s cool that you can go viral with few followers, which seems like it makes it more based on merit, so the shop owner that makes unique sandwiches can deservingly build an audience. I imagine there are a lot of small businesses and individuals out there that might be famous within a small community, but Tik Tok may allow those to showcase what made them famous to a very broad audience.

  3. Great read, Liam. I have found that I really enjoy the TikTok algorithm. In the past, especially on Instagram and YouTube, I wouldn’t follow influencers or other figures because I didn’t want all of their posts to clog my feed up and block my friends who I wanted to keep tabs on. Now on TikTok posts from my friends are mixed in with people who have huge followings… and other genuinely funny content. I have found so many cool companies through TikTok simply based on my previous interactions. Brands that aren’t on the app should definitely explore.

  4. Hello Liam,
    I had not looked into how then algorithm on TikTok functioned and am happy to hear it benefits small businesses. The aspect of anybody being able to go viral is great because it’ll help lessen the world of fast fashion. Small businesses can easily grow on this type of platform now! How amazing?!

  5. I loved this blog post! TikTok does such a good job at making sure anyone can go viral which is important. I always see videos on my feed of restaurants or chefs cooking food. This always grabs my attention because of how good everything looks especially if its local I make a note what restaurant it is.

  6. Tik Tok is basically the new wave of social media that almost everyone is on. I love how it has the power to help out small businesses. The algorithm is so much better than other social medias and will recommend these small businesses to people all over, that will the help of people creating tiktoks that spot lights them is such a fantastic take on social media!

  7. Tik Tok is basically the new wave of social media that almost everyone is on. I love how it has the power to help out small businesses. The algorithm is so much better than other social medias and will recommend these small businesses to people all over, that will the help of people creating tiktoks that spot lights them is such a fantastic take on social media!

  8. I really like the fact that TikTok videos can continue circulating peoples fyp’s overtime unlike other platforms that are based on chronological timestamps and keeping up with whats relevant. And it’s even more cool that it benefits small businesses, especially during the rise of the pandemic; TikTok was a great asset to those businesses during a time of need.

  9. I definitely feel it when you say TikTok’s algorithm is innovative because it has captured the attention of so many people for obvious reasons. I myself have strained away from it just because I know how addicting it can be, but credit the power of social media and what it can do for small businesses!


  10. TikTok is definitely the best new way of advertising for brands and companies. I’ve seen so many small businesses and creators blow up on TikTok from their videos. I really enjoyed reading your post, I think your research and information is super helpful for anyone wanting to capitalize on the algorithm. I also liked how you included an example, I’m definitely gonna check out the bodega’s videos!

  11. TikTok is such a great way for businesses to take off! I think it’s great that this specific platform gives people the ability to grow and thrive especially during the pandemic. I think the ability TikTok has to help others really was beneficial during the pandemic and gave a lot of people the help and exposure that they needed.

  12. Hi Liam!
    TikTok’s algorithm has been something that has always intrigued me. I think that this social media platform allows for a lot of people to become popular or have a video reach a larger audience. In my personal life, my mom runs a small business and has managed to reach a lot of people on this platform. In my opinion, I think TikTok is extremely beneficial for small businesses and their owners.

  13. Hey Liam! As a small business owner myself, I loved reading this post. I definitely agree, small businesses can gain so much traction from TikTok because the engagement and viral ability is almost too easy on the platform. I myself haven’t used it for my business much because I have been lucky to accumulate customers via other platforms but one day I would love to dedicate more time to TikTok.

  14. I love the topic you chose to write about it because it’s such a breakthrough for social media platforms when it comes to helping small businesses build their brand. It’s so amazing to me how the TikToks algorithm is so insanely spot on and customized to each user’s profile, which ultimately has helped small businesses expand. Just like the example you gave of the man who works at the New York Bodega gaining traction for his sandwich that went viral on TikTok there are so many other great accounts that post about restaurants in different cities that can make them become really popular really fast

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