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Do I Need to Be on TikTok?

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

I am asked all the time, “Should I be on TikTok?” And in the past week, that question has evolved to “What about Threads?” In the vast landscape of social media platforms, it's only natural to wonder why small businesses should stick with Meta's Facebook and Instagram instead of venturing into the realms of emerging platforms like TikTok or Threads. While these platforms certainly have their merits, there are strong reasons why small businesses should continue to prioritize Meta's established platforms. Let's explore some key considerations:

Established User Base and Reach:

One of the primary advantages of Meta's Facebook and Instagram is their long-established user base and unmatched reach. According to HootSuite, 2.9 billion users, or nearly 37% of the world’s population, is active on Facebook monthly – and 67% of those monthly users are active EVERY day. U.S. adults report spending 40% of their time on social media between Facebook and Instagram alone. And amazingly, Meta’s platforms account for more than 70% of website traffic referrals from all social media. In comparison another giant (still? I don’t know.) social platform, Twitter, only generates 9% of website referral traffic. By focusing on Meta's platforms, small businesses can tap into a broader audience and maximize their brand's exposure.

Age demographics make a major impact in platform advertising decisions as well, and Meta’s platforms deliver on a solid user base of adult households. People 50-69 make up 29% of Facebook’s user base, followed by 28% percent age 30-39 and 22% age 40-49 and only 20% are 18-30 years old. Instagram skew slightly younger, with more than 60% of the platform’s audience under the age of 40 (not including those under the age of 18). Comparatively, ate least 25% of users on TikTok are 10-19 years old.

Diverse Targeting and Advertising Capabilities:

Speaking of demographics, Meta's platforms have developed sophisticated targeting capabilities over the years, allowing small businesses to reach their ideal audience with precision. Facebook's robust advertising tools, such as Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences, enable businesses to target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. Instagram's integration with Facebook's ad platform further enhances targeting capabilities. While emerging platforms like TikTok offer some targeting options and continue to expand, they do not today provide the same level of granularity and customization as Meta's platforms. Additionally, TikTok’s success has been weighted heavily on influencer positioning and organic (unpaid) content. It simply does not favor paid business placements within its feed.

Importantly, even when it is possible to target users under the age of 18, it is important to consider your business’s ethical position on advertising to teens, your purpose in doing so, and to understand the regulations that do exist on Meta’s platforms when you do select an age range of 13-17 for targeting.

Versatility of Ad Formats:

Meta's Facebook and Instagram offer a wide range of ad formats that cater to different business objectives and creative needs. Whether it's photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, or immersive Stories, these platforms provide diverse options for businesses to showcase their products or services. TikTok, with its focus on short-form video content, may be suitable for certain businesses that can frequently produce eye-catching and compelling video content, and who want to target a younger demographic. However, it may not be as versatile in accommodating various ad formats that cater to diverse audience preferences as Meta's platforms.

Robust Analytics and Insights:

Meta's platforms provide robust analytics and insights that allow businesses to measure the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns. Facebook Ads Manager and Instagram Insights offer in-depth data on audience engagement, ad performance, and conversion rates. This data-driven approach enables small businesses to make informed decisions and optimize their strategies with great flexibility. While emerging platforms may provide analytics, they may not offer the same level of granularity or depth of insights as Meta's well-established platforms.

Staying Power and Stability:

The ever-changing landscape of social media platforms brings a level of uncertainty. Emerging platforms may experience rapid growth, but their long-term stability and staying power are not always guaranteed. Meta's Facebook and Instagram have proven their resilience over the years and have continued to evolve to meet the needs of businesses, despite coming under significant scrutiny. They remain a stable advertising ecosystem for small businesses.

It's fun and smart business to stay on top new and hot social media trends, but that doesn’t mean the trend is what YOUR business needs to grow. No, I do not think TikTok is going away. Yes, I think Threads will continue to grow. But your success is not dependent on a new platform. It's dependent on finding your audience where they are and helping that audience find you. By leveraging the strengths of Meta’s established platforms, small businesses can establish a strong online presence, engage with their target audience effectively, and drive meaningful results.

Want to know what I can do to elevate your brand on social? Email me at!

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