These storeowners, who are just beginning to explore the potential of TikTok for their businesses, like what they see.
Looking for inspiration and practical advice as you dip your toes into TikTok marketing? Three storeowners share what they’ve learned about using the platform to create buzz for their businesses and connect with their young customers.
Forest and Roanoke, VA
TikTok tip: “We started using TikTok when we were shut down during the pandemic as a way to stay relevant with customers,” says owner Tammi Sas. “Most of the feedback we get is on the silly stuff we post. With TikTok I have to ask what my intent is, to promote product or stay relevant? My goal is to stay connected, and this gives us a base where we are not always pushing something.”
TikTok inspiration: When Sas received an order of trash-bag shorts, she immediately thought of MC Hammer’s famous pants. Her staff filmed her dancing in the shorts to “U Can’t Touch This.” It’s these silly moments that Sas says make up the store’s presence on TikTok. “You have to put yourself out there,” she says. “They see you in the dance store, why not on social media? It’s kind of funny. The kids all say, ‘Did you see Miss Tammi on TikTok?’”
New Mexico Dancewear
TikTok tip: Be sure to post consistently, says Fiona-Maria Hernandez, general manager of the store. “When followers and customers go to your TikTok and see that you haven’t posted for a week or longer, it gives off an outdated vibe,” she says. “Try to create several videos at the same time, so you have a stockpile to post on the days you don’t have time to make new content.”
TikTok inspiration: Two of the store’s most popular videos received over 10,000 views (compared to an average around 200 to 500.) In them, Kandace Montoya, who creates most of New Mexico Dancewear’s TikTok content, takes one item (a leotard) and places it with other merchandise to create outfits in various genres: cheer, ballet, hip hop, modern, jazz, etc. “They have both been really popular, and we saw interest in-store after we posted these items,” Hernandez says. “And I noticed that helping Kandace create these videos gave my staff inspiration to help customers create outfits to go along with items they are purchasing, increasing sales.”
TikTok tip: Don’t just promote products. Create content that teaches customers about what your business really stands for in order to make a deeper connection. “Show them what makes your business special, show them your passion, show them your knowledge,” says the marketing team’s Amanda Gaskin. “At the end of the day you want your audience to come back to you, so create something that will spark their interest.”
TikTok inspiration: The store shows off its COVID-19 precautions with entertaining videos. In one, a staff member cleans the outside door handle in a perfect arabesque penchée. Another introduces the store’s new (at the time) hand-sanitizing station with a fitting and upbeat song called “Pump.”
The Bottom Line
Above all, keep your TikTok presence authentic. While you need to stay current with trends and platform updates, being true to yourself is most important. If you are making videos that you enjoy and reflect the culture of your store, chances are your followers will enjoy them too—and shop with you more often.
See “Why It’s Time to Add TikTok to Your Dance Retail Marketing Kit” for more on how to get started.
Libby Basile is a former editor in chief of Dance Retailer News. She reports regularly on visual merchandising, retail strategy and store design.