SMEs increasingly looking at TikTok to market products

Small businesses are increasingly looking to TikTok to build their sales, according to Iwoca’s ‘top online channels for small businesses’ list.

The new list compiled by the small business lender reveals the top online channels that SME owners are using for their business.

The findings reveal that one-in-ten business owners under the age of 44 now use TikTok, doubling since pre-pandemic, when just 5% used the platform. However, only 1% of small business owners over the age of 44 currently use TikTok for their business.

The growing popularity of TikTok as a channel for small businesses to market their products and services reflects the growing number of people on the platform, with over 13 million active TikTok users in the UK.

The use of social media channels by small business owners has grown over the pandemic, with a 14 percentage point increase in owners deploying Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to market their products and services.

The use of company websites remained the most popular online channel, with 40% of small business owners using them for their business. Facebook is the second most popular, having increased by three percentage points over this period, with one-in-three (37%) small business owners now using the platform.

In addition, one-in-five small business owners use Instagram (19%) compared to 15% pre-pandemic, overtaking eBay for third place. Nearly four-in-ten younger small business owners (37%) use Instagram for their business, yet just 11% of those aged 44 and over use it.

Iwoca spokesperson, Mark Di-Toro, comments: “The pandemic presented huge challenges for small businesses to get in front of their usual customers. Small business owners responded with entrepreneurialism, turning to new social media and online platforms to market their products or services. There’s no doubt that social media is now a fundamental marketing tool for many SMEs to increase revenue, whatever industry they operate in.”

The data also found the top online channels SMEs use for their business both pre and post pandemic.

The top channels pre-pandemic were:

1. Company website 38%

2. Facebook 34%

3. eBay 16%

4. Instagram 15%

5. Amazon 9%

6. Etsy 5% / Gumtree 5%

The top channels post-pandemic were:

1. Company website 40%

2. Facebook 37%

3. Instagram 19%

4. Ebay 15%

5. Amazon 8%

6. Etsy 5% / Gumtree 5%