Tick tock, tick tock, time is ticking down to create a presence on the new, (but not so new now) iconic social media platform.

But, your Shopify business already has Meta advertising, Pinterest boards and an engaged Twitter community. So why bother with TikTok as well? It’s just younger people lip syncing and dancing…right?

It certainly used to be. However, the platform’s exponential growth over the last few years has seen it develop into one of the leading social media apps in the world today.

young person using social media on phone

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TikTok Key Stats

TikTok has been downloaded over 3 billion times, and, despite being launched in 2017, it’s the 7th most downloaded app of the 2010s, and it was the most downloaded app of 2021.

The monthly active user base has been increasing steadily from 85 million in Q1 2018 to over 1.7 billion in Q3 2023.

It is still more frequently used by younger consumers, however the age demographic of TikTok users has been expanding quickly over the last few years. Currently 25% of users are aged 10-19, however 20-29 year olds account for 22.4% of users, 30-39 year olds 21.7%, 40-49 year olds 20.3% and 50+ year olds account for 11% in total.

Despite the fact that the view ‘TikTok is for teenagers’ is still prevalent for many people, the above demographic split showcases that the key audience demographics for most B2C businesses are already present, and regularly and actively engaging with the platform. It’s definitely a good time for Shopify merchants to establish and grow their presence on TikTok.

But it’s not just consumers. TikTok’s ad revenue in 2021 was $3.88 billion, rising exponentially to $11.64 billion in 2022. So other advertisers are all saturating the platform already? Not quite. The projected ad spend for TikTok for 2023 is $18.04 billion in 2023, rising to an expected $23.58 billion in 2024.

tiktok ad revenue stats Image credit: Oberlo.

You know what they say: the best time to get into TikTok marketing would have been early 2022. But the second best time is right now.

Then let’s get started.


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How Do I Set Up A TikTok Account For My Shopify Business?

It’s simple.

  1. Download TikTok from Google Play or the App Store.
  2. Open the app.
  3. Tap Profile in the bottom right.
  4. Choose a method to sign up.

Once you’ve set up your profile, you need to choose a username - normally your business name will suffice here, and a profile picture that represents what you do. We would recommend either using your business’ logo, or a well crafted picture of your products, and to keep this the same as your Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter profile pictures to deliver continuity across your accounts and ensure you maintain an easily recognisable presence across social media as a whole.

You can also enhance this social media presence by linking your other social accounts to your TikTok account, so people can easily access all your social platforms.

The next step is optimising your bio.

A quick yet compelling mention of who you are, what you do, or what your brand’s purpose is, is ideal here. You only have 80 characters to convey your message, so using emoji’s to support your text is usually helpful at conveying key information aspects across to the viewer quickly.

You should also include a CTA to show your viewers how best to interact with you, this will usually be a link to the homepage of your website, but can easily be a link to value adding content, such as a blog post or downloadable guide.

Once you’ve set up your account in a way that represents your Shopify business well, you need to switch your profile to a business account to take advantage of business account features such as the Web Business Suite, the opportunity to add an email address to your profile, Workspace for your promotional activity, and the Creative Hub for access to tips on content strategy. See more at TikTok’s support portal.


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How To Switch To A Business Account

To switch your account type:

  1. In the TikTok app, tap Profile at the bottom
  2. Tap the Menu button at the top
  3. Tap Settings and privacy
  4. Tap Manage account
  5. Tap Switch to Business Account and follow the instructions provided to finish

Once you’re happy with your set up - it’s time to start posting!


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What Do I Post On TikTok?

Deciding what type of content to post on TikTok should always be aligned with your ecommerce business goals. So what do you want to achieve?

A) Increased awareness B) Drive more traffic to your site C) Educate your consumers on a specific aspect of your products/industry D) Showcase your fun and creative side E) Create a community F) Give your audience a behind the scenes look into what you do G) Increase sales

Or H) All of the above

For most Shopify businesses, option H, and ‘most’ or ‘all of the above’ usually applies. Therefore, working to produce different and varied content types designed to touch upon and support development of your different goals is key.

Focusing content creation around three different segments or ‘TOC’ is the best way to create variety in your TikTok posting schedule and support key goals such as creating a community, driving awareness, and driving interest and sales to your Shopify store.

  • Trends - hopping on trending content types
  • Original - content specific to your business
  • Community - content designed to engage your community and answer questions

Recently the platform has expressed a planned shift from a focus on short term trend content to a bigger focus on more long term and meaningful original and community focused content - it doesn’t want consumers and businesses to be trend followers but trendsetters instead, and algorithm delivery style will likely begin to reflect this.

The different types of content you produce for each of the TOC content segments can be very varied, (TikTok of all the social platforms is the best place to be creative, unique, silly and unconventional of course), however there are some particular themes that have long term worked well on the platform and typically gain high levels of engagement and views.

Testing some of these long term concepts with your own unique business twist should give you a strong starting point when planning your content strategy.

  • GRWM or ‘Get ready with me’
  • A day/week in the life of
  • Restocks/organisations
  • How to
  • Fun facts/myths debunked
  • Subvert expectations/humour
  • Transformations
  • ASMR
  • Shopping hauls

The main takeaway for content planning across all social platforms would be a recommendation to adapt a hybrid approach to showing customers results, informative and educational content, expert advice, fun and relatable pieces, and influencer driven content.

Is that it?

In short, no. But there’s just one more major thing to be aware of when you start posting.

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Hashtagging

We’ve all of course been exposed to hashtags for many years now, from businesses using hashtags to drive awareness, to friends and family using hashtags to express a certain feeling (think #livingmybestlife, #feelinghappy etc etc). And we’re all accustomed to hashtagging our own Instagram and Facebook posts.

Did you know that due to the way the platform works, TikTok hashtagging can be slightly different to Meta platforms?

It’s still largely similar, so for yourShopify business you’d want to use your business hashtag for posts, as well as testing specific industry related hashtags for additional awareness.

However the difference with TikTok, is the platform operates a lot using specific niches for different industries and communities are built very heavily by searching for hashtags that are tailored to the platform. Hashtags like #cleantok, #healthtok, #allotmentsoftiktok, #parentsoftiktok and even #chickentok have hundreds of thousands, millions or even billions of views.

Doing some research before you start posting, and discovering if there are any #tok or #oftiktok related hashtags for your specific industry is key to discoverability and reaching the already established community in your specific industry.

If you can’t find one? Create one yourself!

As we mentioned, TikTok as a platform has long been based on trends - for both content and sounds, but the platform is now looking to encourage creators to be trendsetters rather than trend followers. An industry specific hashtag created by you would be a great place to start.

So what are you waiting for? Create your profile, start posting today and track the impact it has on your Shopify store’s metrics. And if you need help with your social strategy, we have a team of experts who can take care of your organic or paid social media, so drop us a line.