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In the News: How would a TikTok ban affect your business?

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Hey Newsies,

 

Today we’re looking at an article from Forbes reporting on how the passing of a bill banning the use of TikTok in the United States can affect small business owners. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this!

 

Forbes: How the TikTok Ban Leaves Small Businesses ‘Devastated’

 

The article explains that Congress has passed a new bill to essentially ban the social media app TikTok in the US, which can have a massive impact on small businesses. The bill says that within 6 months, the parent company ByteDance must either sell TikTok to a US entity, or shut it down in the US. This is due to security concerns about the app data potentially being used by China. 

 

Some small businesses exist only on TikTok, making their money directly through ads, views, and sponsorships (influencers and affiliates absolutely count as businesses). Even more traditional businesses use it as a platform for marketing and visibility, as well as making a majority of their sales directly through the app. Some hold live sales events, others just link out to their ecommerce page for customers to quickly and easily buy their offerings.

 

Getting rid of the platform in the US has the potential to completely destroy some of these businesses, and severely limit sales for many more. They are trying to appeal the bill, calling it unconstitutional. So we have to wait and see if it goes through or not.


Some other countries that have fully banned TikTok are Afghanistan, China, India, and Nepal, with others only banning use of it on government issued devices for federal employees. 

 

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We didn’t use TikTok for my ice cream shop, but we relied extremely heavily on social media like Instagram and Facebook. I posted at least once every single day that we were open, both standard posts as well as stories. It really made a difference and brought in more new customers and kept our current customers coming back, since our posts with new flavors and offerings kept us top of mind and social feed. If one of those apps were banned, I’m not really sure what we would have done. I might have searched for the next big app and moved my posts there, or I might not have wanted to put in the effort to learn something new, since I didn’t start to go on TikTok even when it was getting big. 

 

What’s your perspective:

  • How do you use TikTok for your business?
  • How would a TikTok ban affect things for you?
  • What would you do if the ban goes through and TikTok shuts down?

 

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
Pesso



This article is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. For guidance or advice specific to your business, you should consult with a qualified legal professional.

 

️ Aylon Pesso, he/him
Small Business Evangelist, Square

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I've been thinking about this topic a lot! While I am not on TikTok, very curious to see how this will effect businesses that utilize the platform.

 

@DLRosenberg I know that you use TikTok a lot to grow your business, would love to hear your thoughts!

Max Pete
Community Engagement Program Manager, Square
Seller Community
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We use TikTok heavily when we are working a fair, then make casual postings in between fairs.   If it was shutdown I don't think it would have a huge impact on our business, because we use so many social media outlets.  It’s like the old saying don’t put all your eggs in one basket. 

I figure there is some form of TikTok waiting in the wings to jump in if TikTok does get shut down.  Everyone will jump on it when and if it happens.  

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Agreed with what you said! Glad that you have diversified a bit with your social platforms. A smart move!

Max Pete
Community Engagement Program Manager, Square
Seller Community
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We haven’t gotten into TikTok yet, but we are starting in June. That’s where the eyeballs are, so I guess we gotta be there. 

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Similar situation to my wife's business too. But we haven't made the move yet, and will wait and see how this all plays out. 

Max Pete
Community Engagement Program Manager, Square
Seller Community
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Who's going to be running the account?! Def share here once its launched 

️ Hailey
Seller Community Marketing Manager
Square Seller Community
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Might need to hire you for it!

Max Pete
Community Engagement Program Manager, Square
Seller Community
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Why the June start? (specific) 

️ Hailey
Seller Community Marketing Manager
Square Seller Community
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It's a pivot in strategy. We set a deadline for our previous social media campaign. It failed miserably. 

Now we are trying a new strategy with TikTok. 

Have to start sometime... June 1 sounded best. Also makes it easier to pay our employee who is creating the content. 

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Ah i see! That makes sense. GOOD LUCK! 

If you don't mind me asking, what was the failed strategy you tried before on social? What categorized it as a "miserably" failing grade ?

️ Hailey
Seller Community Marketing Manager
Square Seller Community
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I feel like TikTok is gonna be great for your business @TCSlaguna!! I'm just imagining a short video clip from when you were featured on Christina on the Coast -- the dogs and all. priceless! 😍

 

 

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Great idea @LeahK! I think what we struggle with a lot is balancing between new content and focusing on the high margin items. I guess we need both. 

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A lot of social is throwing pasta at the wall and seeing what sticks. Authenticity is always best when mixed with creative experimentation. When in doubt, create content that answers your most frequently asked questions in a creative way 😊 

️ Hailey
Seller Community Marketing Manager
Square Seller Community
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I love this plan, @TCSlaguna ! Absolutely rooting for y'all so hard and hope it works out and helps!

️ Aylon Pesso, he/him
Small Business Evangelist, Square

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Tiktok is used very differently in my business that Instagram. Instagram is for the entirety of our salon, directly to clients to promote services. Tiktok I have skewed toward business owners, other tanners, and so people can get to know me as a person. People buy from people and that has translated on Tiktok very well.

UV-Free Tanning Salon Owner, Northern California (Campbell)
Square Champion - Expert
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Cool to see how you use the two platforms for different audiences. Are you worried about the possible ban?

Max Pete
Community Engagement Program Manager, Square
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I love this approach - even if it happened more organically. I see this with accounts i follow on both, where one platform is more editorial/sales and the other is educational/behind the scenes etc. 

️ Hailey
Seller Community Marketing Manager
Square Seller Community
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Funny you describe the two this way.  It is the same way I engage with IG vs TT.  I follow a bunch of other business owners who are sharing their failure & success stories.  It's a crash course in business ownership from the pandemic to current with real-time results. If it were banned I wouldn't lose money but I would lose access to that information.  

Doran

Esthetician
Haute Beauty Guide
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Ooooh, thanks for sharing this perspective @Doran & @Bronze_Palms ! I didn't even think about the benefits to business owners as a teaching & learning platform! So much great things happening there-

️ Aylon Pesso, he/him
Small Business Evangelist, Square

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We have dabbled with Tik Toc with minimal impact on the business, so its loss will have minimal impact to us.

 

I'm feeling heebie-jeebies. The reliance on one channel to drive up to 45% of a businesses revenue would leave me sleepless at night, I wouldn't recommended this for any business from a risk management point, as is demonstrated by the current matter in hand. I would always recommend spreading the risk over multiple sales channels.

Coco Chemistry Ltd
Artisan Chocolatier
www.cocochemistry.co.uk
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