Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Butcher, baker, candlestick maker: 1.5m UK companies now using TikTok

TikTok has revealed that almost 1.5 million UK firms, including family ventures, emerging side-hustles, and promising scale-ups, now use the platform to boost their business.

TikTok launched in the UK in 2018, and has quickly become home to businesses of all kinds and sizes who use the platform to reach new audiences and promote their products and services.

At the heart of TikTok’s UK business community are small and medium sized businesses such as butchers E.V Slack & Sons, bakers Ooh & Aah Cookies and Bear Burners candlestick makers.

The three firms are among dozens featured by TikTok on a new website showcasing SMEs creating the most joyful, authentic and engaging content.

Promoting goods and services on TikTok gives businesses access to a thriving community of 150 million users across Europe and many use the platform’s growing marketplace, TikTok Shop.

The 1.5m firms milestone follows research from Oxford Economics which showed that activity by small and medium sized businesses on TikTok contributed £1.63bn to UK GDP last year and supported 32,000 jobs.

Hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt have reached over 74 billion views and made TikTok a destination for people to discover the biggest trending products across beauty, fashion, food, tech and more.

TikTok provides training and support for budding entrepreneurs on the SME hub, where the 25 brilliant businesses are showcased. The new hub will be a useful resource for other small businesses and start-ups where they can go for information and inspiration about how to use TikTok to grow their business.

Rich Waterworth, General Manager, Operations Europe said: “Our TikTok business community in the UK is going from strength to strength and we’re humbled by the sheer number of businesses using our platform across the country. This ranges from household name brands like Tesco and NatWest to a huge variety of small and medium-sized businesses who are seeing phenomenal success on TikTok, telling their stories in a more creative and authentic way and finding new customers for their products. In today’s economic climate, businesses have to balance many competing priorities, but the need to reach new customers and drive growth never goes away. I’m excited to welcome even more diverse companies on to TikTok in the future.”

Rachel Spence, founder of Bear Burners, said: “Six months ago, we decided to try TikTok – and it has revolutionised our business. The ability to speak to the community about their favourite scents of our candles, and get to know customers both regular and new through TikTok LIVEs has been incredible. This has translated to queues regularly going up the street outside our physical shop, with customers visiting from all corners of the UK. We are now consistently selling out, we have expanded our team from three to seven – and we are aiming to sell £50,000 worth of products on TikTok per month by the end of the year! We are excited to continue this journey, and hope this will keep growing as our popularity continues to snowball on the platform.”

TikTok:Activate Hub is an educational on-demand platform with video content and resources to help businesses make the most of the platform. Businesses of all sizes are welcome to join and learn how to engage with audiences and translate online success to real world business success.

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