We’ll rip off the band-aid without anesthesia, and say that when the digital presence of SMEs and freelancers is not worked on… Your business simply doesn’t exist. It hurts, we know. But that’s how fundamental it is to exist digitally. In the hyper-connected, digital(ized) and multi-platform society we live in, digital presence is not a matter of survival. It is a matter of existence.
And, of course, there is also a difference between working the digital presence and working it well; with brain, taking advantage of the opportunities that arise before others get to them. That is precisely the great challenge for SMEs and freelancers, isn’t it? Gaining a foothold among the big companies that are going all out… and sweeping all before them.
This article explores a breakthrough strategic decision to build a good digital presence through social networks. If you’re looking to catapult your business, you’re in the right place. Shall we get started?
Instagram: obsolete or overexploited?
In 2021, data collected by the platform indicated that, on a daily basis, there were 500 million active users on Instagram, and their average time on the social network was only increasing. Add to this the fact that more and more users are interested in keeping up to date with the news of the brands they are loyal to. With such mesmerizing numbers, every company falls at their feet. “If I’m not on Instagram, I can never be anything,” they think.
Come on, let’s rip off another band-aid, and unveil the great pantomime of recent years: when we base the digital presence of SMEs and freelancers on Instagram, we are destined to despair, frustration and disappointment. It is precisely because we want to be where everyone is, that irremediably, building a good online presence is very (but very) difficult.
The curse of Instagram
For a few years now, Instagram has been integrating more and more services on the same platform: chats, videos in the feed, video chats, reels, stores, and a long etcetera. Experts around the world attribute the collapse (potential/future/imminent depending on the professional you ask) of Instagram to this trend. To wanting to be… everything. Because you know what they say: when you want to be absolutely everything, you end up standing out for nothing. Here’s another paradox: how do we stand out on a platform that, functionally, no longer stands out for anything?
Here is the story of how Instagram has become the communicative kryptonite (dramatic but real). This homogeneous business mentality has made this social network an overexploited red ocean dominated by large companies, and consequently, an obsolete platform for growing the digital presence of smaller businesses.
We are not saying that Instagram no longer works, because in reality, Instagram still has a lot of communicative power. We are saying that it is a platform that does not fit the communicative needs and outreach capabilities of SMEs and freelancers.
But if we have learned anything in this constantly transforming digital paradigm, it is that before we realize that a platform is not useful to us, there are new social networks to discover. So what’s beyond Instagram?
The power of TikTok for the digital presence of SMEs and freelancers.
If we, as a company, have already assumed that being present on Instagram is not enough to develop a digital strategy up to par, our next question will be, “So where do we jump to next?”….
Maybe the following news will give us some hint about your answer:
As incredible as it may seem, yes, the social network that started out as a never-ending series of dances and challenges by and for teenagers has become the busiest portal in the world. Because it is no longer just people between the ages of 15 and 25 who are creating and consulting TikTok. Just as happened at the time with Instagram, people of all ages and interests now find content to their liking on the platform.
What does this mean? No business or project will be able to hide behind “I don’t have a presence on TikTok because my target audience is not there”. Yes, they are, so stop making excuses and start creating content.
That pretext of the audience is usually accompanied by his friend “and besides, I don’t have the means to create content there”. Sound familiar? We’re not going to fool you, the content on this platform is becoming more and more refined, but the essence of TikTok is spontaneity, and that’s what makes it accessible to all brands. You don’t need the nicest offices or a film set to create relevant content on the platform, you simply need people willing to communicate your product in a creative way and make it reach the right audience.
The charm of TikTok
The fact that it’s the world’s most popular digital and social platform doesn’t sound appealing enough for you? Here are some more truths about TikTok that exemplify its great charm for building a good digital presence for SMEs and freelancers, both for working with organic content and launching campaigns:
- The communication is fresh, novel, and even visionary. That is, the content on TikTok is driven by day-to-day events, both in the public and private sphere. And visionary because it is often TikTok that creates the trend, that starts the conversation about a particular topic.
- No hate, all love. Unlike other social networks, TikTok is a virtually hate-free space. It is a place to unwind and be entertained, without encountering negative messages in a meteoric way. In this sense, it is the antithesis of what Twitter has become: the home of criticism.
- Engagement, engagement, and more engagement. By far, it is the social network with most engagement; more comments, more likes, more “duets”, more shares. More, more, more.
- Generation barrier… what? When it comes to social networks, the time has come to erase the concept of “generation barriers” from our minds. Neither TikTok is for young people, nor LinkedIn for adults. Don’t believe us? Ask Rosa, the “TikTok yaya”.
The 3 guidelines for a good digital presence of SMEs and freelancers on TikTok
These principles are what we consider the 3 guidelines of TikTok, and they are the key for your digital presence to succeed. But, above all, it demonstrates how easy it is to jump into producing content on TikTok; ergo, how easy it is to build a successful digital presence.
“Don’t call me Sir.”
TikTok is a platform where communication must be informal and spontaneous for a smooth integration. Users prefer face-to-face content, and without filters (in this case, figuratively speaking), because it is human (not humanized) content. They crave and seek to connect with what you show them, whatever it is; and for this, the best thing to do is to communicate colloquially, as if it was a conversation.
“Either you entertain me or I’m leaving.”
There is nothing better to disconnect from reality than to connect to TikTok. It is a platform born for entertainment in all its forms. That doesn’t mean that, as we said before, there is only dancing and music. On the contrary: it means that, as long as the content is entertaining, what you explain is secondary. Do you want to explain a physics theory? Tell the news of the day? Teach a product? No problem, as long as you camouflage it with entertainment.
Love for the “homemade”
Yes, the content on TikTok is gradually becoming more refined, but the content that seems more homemade always prevails over any other. So that we understand each other, simple and “crappy” videos attract much more attention. An audiovisual super-production is nothing more than a barrier that formalizes the brand-user dialogue, and goes against the spontaneous nature of the platform.
To sum up…
We know that the wound left by Instagram hurts a little: developing the digital presence of SMEs and freelancers is a challenge in such a competitive and atomized market. But it’s better to heal it: let it itch, so it can heal, right?
Making the decision to bet on TikTok is not a question of capabilities or skills. We have seen that user demands on this one are minimal, so the only thing standing between TikTok and you, is the courage to step out of the comfort zone that is Instagram. A comfort zone where nothing is born anymore, is it really a zone of… comfort? I don’t know, we leave the question open and you’ll let us know.
They say that in every rule there is an exception, and that this is the one that confirms the rule. Well, maybe this is the exception to the phrase “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”. The day is coming to take Instagram down from its pedestal, to meet this new platform. TikTok, tick-tack, what are you waiting for?