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TikTok to Begin New Push to Court Smaller Companies That Fuel Spending on Rivals Like Facebook

Reuters
  • TikTok will host its first event for small and medium-sized businesses later this month to get smaller businesses acclimated with the platform, learn about the platform's creators and dispel "myths and misconceptions." 
  • Last summer, the company opened up its "self-serve" platform that lets companies buy and manage ad campaigns directly, a move to lure the ad dollars of small and medium-sized businesses. 
  • The event highlights the importance of the millions of small business advertisers for social media companies.

TikTok will host its first event for small and medium-sized businesses later this month to get smaller businesses acclimated with the platform, learn about the platform's creators and dispel "myths and misconceptions." 

The event should build on TikTok's efforts to court small business advertisers by teaching them how to use the app to make content that tends to resonate on the platform, which has at least 100 million users in the U.S. Last summer, the company opened up its "self-serve" platform that lets companies buy and manage ad campaigns directly, a move to lure the ad dollars of small and medium-sized businesses. 

TikTok has continued to gain traction in the past year as major advertisers including Dunkin', DSW, Pepsi, Aldo and other big-name brands have run repeat or first-time campaigns on the platform. 

But TikTok likely wants to continue building up its long tail of smaller advertisers, which could help put the platform on a more even playing field with competitors. Major online advertising platforms like Google and Facebook have allowed small businesses to buy directly for years. Facebook said in July that in the second quarter of 2020, its top 100 advertisers only represented 16% of its revenue. The bulk of its ad revenue comes from millions of other small advertisers using Facebook. The company said its growth at the time was primarily driven by small and medium-sized businesses. 

"Small businesses are the soul of our communities, and we're committed to helping them make a comeback after a challenging year," TikTok said in a statement to CNBC about the event. "We designed TikTok's first event called the Ready Set Grow summit to help small business owners across the country see the magic behind TikTok and explore opportunities to tap into our platform to reach new customers so that they can thrive."

TikTok's "Ready Set Grow Summit for Small and Medium Businesses," scheduled for later this month, promises that attendees can "go from TikTok curious to TikTok fluent in one empowering, engaging day," according to an email sent to marketers.

The event's programming features a session on how TikTok works with Shopify, one on building ad creative for TikTok, one featuring creators and more. Speakers will include creators, TikTok executives and small business leaders.

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