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24 Comments

Tiktok is basically a search engine now and why it's a huge deal for your startup

Tiktok/IG are neither social media apps nor video apps, they’ve evolved into search engines! And it's a HUGE DEAL for your company!

Let’s run an experiment, ask a GenZ to search up travel recommendations, or how to fix on oven, or what is css flexbox, etc. Guess what?

Unlike us, they’re not going to Google it, they’re going straight to Tiktok or IG 📱

And it makes all the sense.
First, Google search result is plagued by Ads and SEO driven content so basically the company with deepest pocket is likely to win your click.

Second, it takes forever to get to what’re looking for. Either, you’ll either visit the website, close a million pop-ups and then try to look for information or you will skim through a blog post while dodging ads left, right and center.

A 15 second video is just a lot more engaging and the likes/comments on the video builds the social trust.

Tiktok’s recent increase in character limit in the caption is just another evidence of how the platform is evolving.

In the search world, we’re finally moving from pictures to motion pictures as we’ve always been better visual learners!

Take away → If you haven’t taken Tiktok seriously yet, you should.

Just as your company has blog posts to add value and be searchable. The least you can do is turn each blog post into a Tiktok so your business stays relevant

I’ve made 400+ videos in the past 1.5 years as @digitalSamaritan and worked with over 50 companies including Google, Notion, Zapier and Wix.

If you’re interested in learning how to leverage Tiktok for your brand, I am starting a weekly newsletter where I will talk about all things Tiktok for Business :)

https://kushank.substack.com/p/coming-soon

  1. 3

    Alright, guess it's time for my old, almost 30 year old ass to start learning this "Clock" search engine that you speak of.

  2. 2

    How would I create a tiktok promotional video for fabform.io ?

    1. 1

      The lovely product you have there. Good luck!

    2. 1

      I'd say don't think about it as a promotional video, think about it as an informational video. Just speak to the problem you're solving, whom you're solving for and show the solution.
      In my experience, if you're not selling and just solving the problem, you will actually end up selling

  3. 2

    This is so interesting and as you said, makes so much sense.

    I hadn't realized it before but I don't like googling things either. I don't feel like I'll get genuine information, it will just be ads and people trying to sell to me.

    1. 1

      And this isn't what you get on social media?

  4. 2

    This looks very promising, Subscribed!

  5. 2

    An interesting take Kushank. It's incredible how TikTok has evolved in recent months only. I just got started distributing my YouTube channel on it with small teasers.

    I am, however, looking for an angle for my product Planzer.io to get on TikTok. I just haven't found it yet.

    I signed up for your newsletter, looking forward to getting better at TikTok 🙋‍♂️

    1. 2

      Tiktok is a funny platform. It could take a while to get it right. I'd say keep putting the reps in and yes, in my newsletter I will be sharing tons of tips. There's so much info I want to share haha

      For your product, this video could be an 1 video idea:
      https://www.tiktok.com/@teal_hq/video/7121094063431994666?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=6913664499056838150

      Essentially, they've shown how they're solving a common pain-point and created the anticipation by not revealing what how they're doing. (not revealing sometimes work, something don't)

      1. 1

        Thank you for the inspiration Kushank. You just have to get started, right? I'll try it out.

    2. 1

      Btw, I didn't see your sign-up come through

      1. 1

        I forgot to confirm my email, it's done now 🎉

  6. 1

    Loved reading your newsletter. We started doing daily videos on TikTok a few months ago. We've now posted 150 videos and can tell you that this tactic is what we've also stumbled upon. It's a great way to test hypotheses and new content ideas

  7. 1

    Hi Kushank, I signed up to your newsletter. I am seriously considering tiktok for our SaaS (we are close to Beta testing) and I created a user and added a couple of quick videos just for testing purpose. However I am located in Spain and unfortunately, it is only showing it to Spanish audience, but I would like to show it to English speaking countries like US, UK etc. So after my research it seems at the time of opening the account, you should be using a sim card for the target country and ensure that you are using an IP (VPN) for the same country. Wondering however if in my case, it is a better idea to create a new account from scratch with a US sim card on US VPN, instead of trying to create new posts with the new sim card/ VPN as I am not sure if it will update the audience or still will show to Spanish audience. Thank you :)

  8. 1

    Not surprisingly, I noticed the same. Yet my discovery didn't necessarily go through TikTok, but StackOverflow. It seemed that Google has optimized everything to maximize ad revenue and stopped providing relevant recommendations for many queries.
    As a result, we are feeling that the web is getting boring.
    Amazon, btw, has the same problem.

    Therefore we implemented on the finclout.io app main page a search engine that helps you find relevant posts on the platform quickly and effortlessly.

  9. 1

    Huh. Never thought of it that way, but it makes absolute sense! Google has become an ad nightmare. Whilst reading an article there’re so many ads that I tend to lose track of what I was reading from all the distracting ads, which I pay 0.001 percent of attention lol.

    Anyhow, thank you very much for this insightful information!

  10. 1

    Hi dude, I was just thinking about tiktok, but immediately wrote off again, because... I just don't want to;-) And then I click on this post, and I guess have to reconsider.

    Thank you for this;-)

    Would you have any suggestions on how to use TikTok for a site that I am developing that is actually mainly build towards good-old Google search?

    The site is called www.coolvillages.com to explore .. cool villages. As you might see it is generic content, and I do see the purpose of sharing villages on Instagram. Would love your 10 cents on how TikTok could be leveraged here?

    1. 1

      What's your goal here with the website?
      First thing that came to my mind was cross-posting existing UGC about these villages on your Tiktok account (with due credit of course).
      And write the details about the village in the caption.

      You channel can have the theme of virtual walk-through these cool villages through the lens of people who've been there

      1. 1

        Thx for your reply @imkushank!

        The goal is for users to discover villages they didn't knew existed; hidden gems, villages nearby, villages near mountains, etc. We want the discovery to be "playful". The site is still very rough and being build, but we really want to explore the "playful" side of things. We also wish to tell a "story" through data about all the villages eventually.

        I definitely see a potential use case for TikTok. I also like your idea of showcasing the village through the lense of people who have visited the site already.

        My main issue is the time requirement for doing this as it seems time consuming. But I guess it is worth a try...

        1. 1

          Just start interacting with similar content on your Tiktok then let the algorithm bring that content to you haha

  11. 1

    It blew my mind when my gf used instagram to search for restaurants when we were on holiday. Not google, not google maps, INSTAGRAM. Age gap was apparent.

    Love the name TikTalk!

    1. 1

      hahaha yea exactly! I would be super curious about google search traffic over the past year

      Thanks man

  12. 1

    I never really looked at TikTok this way. But now that you're saying it, it makes a whole lot of sense, sometimes I also catch myself going straight to TikTok to search for apps or services, even though I normally use Google.

    It is actually easier to get straight to the content and you don't have to scan through multiple websites.

    Might have to look into TikTok more now, you made me realise that the potential as a search engine is really big!

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