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How small businesses are using TikTok to pump up their sales



Entrepreneur Robin Brackbill at her business
Brackbill from Fabby-Do Creativity Café: viral posts on TikTok helped to open doors

It is 7 AM in the UK and, as I open my TikTok and the 150,000th video featuring Lizzo’s About Damn time song pops onto my overcrowded timeline, I wonder if the short-form video hosting service has made a deal with the American rapper and songwriter to push it as much as possible. Possibly the same commercial deal that is making British singer Kate Bush’s voice repeatedly echo in all sorts of videos recently posted on the platform owned by Chinese company ByteDance.

By 7:18, I have stumbled across over a dozen pieces of content featuring Lizzo and Kate’s songs and some of that content, I easily notice, has been posted by small businesses from all over the world.

Although 37 years separate both songs – Lizzo dropped her single last April, Bush released her Running up the hill in 1985 – the reason those businesses are posting content on TikTok wrapped in pop hits is clear: promote their products and services, while growing their following on the social media network. But are small businesses on TikTok getting any results with their efforts?

A recent study by Hello Alice, an organization dedicated to supporting small businesses, featuring approximately 7,000 responses collected between three surveys, shared insights into how SMBs are leveraging TikTok to find new audiences and build a community.

The  Small Business Digital Marketing Trends report revealed that a digital renaissance is underway: ‘Small business owners understand that digital platforms are no longer a nice-to-have, they are a critical tool for reaching customers and growing their business. Moreover, there’s a shift among those already leveraging digital platforms, with SMBs increasingly turning to emerging players, like TikTok, to follow their customers and accelerate their growth. In fact, 67% of SMBs surveyed indicated that they are most optimistic about their growth potential on the platform’ – says an official communication from TikTok.

“I recently posted a video on TikTok and gained over 300 email subscribers with just this video. In addition, almost 2,000 people saved the same content. That is significant considering the video was only seen by 27k individuals. I’ve found creating valuable, educational content that reflects the heart of my business leads to the highest conversions from viewer to follower to subscriber to customer. As an average of 3-5% of email subscribers convert to customers of my digital products and events, every TikTok video does matter and make a difference.” – says Orlando-based business coach Liana Danielle.


TikTok says that they have launched a number of education programs and a Small Business Resource Center, and announced that, in the coming weeks, the platform will also reveal a new initiative that will help small businesses leverage TikTok to grow.

However, over the past few months, as small businesses try to return to pre-pandemic trading levels, entrepreneurs are finding their own way through social media to expand their horizons and revenues.

“I began to focus on building a presence on TikTok and Instagram that was a reflection of my personality and the essence of our business. The fun, positive, and encouraging tone of my posts helped me craft my message and my niche. Most importantly, it grew my reach to a broader age and geographic range through a number of viral posts and helped to open many doors I didn’t think possible.” – celebrates Robin Brackbill from Fabby-Do Creativity Café, a small business based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, specializing in creative experiences, classes, and events for children.


For Lexie Becker, a Brand Partnership Specialist at South Florida’s marketing agency Fifth & Cor, it is not only content carefully crafted by company owners that can land results on TikTok, as other strategies can have an impact on a brand’s awareness, reach and sales.

“A hair-care brand recently leveraged user-generated content on the app, and a video
made by one of its loyal customers was attributed to $15,000 in sales of the product used in the video in just 24 hours. The power of TikTok and UGC combined is to credit for this. Moving forward, the brand will use both organic and paid efforts to establish a dedicated community in order to generate more sales.” – explains Becker who also works with clients posting content on other social media platforms.

According to the report, 81% of small businesses say that TikTok is fun and 73% say it’s easy to use.

Certified eyelash artist Taylor Volk, who opened her business in 2018, is another entrepreneur making long term plans based on what she has learned from the performance of content posted on TikTok.

“We started posting tips and tricks for other lash and brow artists and it has helped us reach over 10k followers on TikTok. Our top three posts to date have all done over 500k views, with one reaching 1 million, and they all have received between 10-50k likes each”, says Volk, founder of eyelash and brow company Lashfx, who mastered her own formula for content that performs well for her business. “Our strategy moving forward is to continue posting helpful content while keeping the first 2-3 seconds of the video captivating enough for viewers to finish watching the rest of the video.”


For those businesses with extra budget and creativity to spare, exploring collaborations with influencers and content creators can pay dividends.

“We worked with TikTok creator Mary Burchill @soneedley to help her grow her small business through the popular social media platform and increase sales on her website. Mary uses our blank apparel options to embroider clothing and accessories to sell for her small business, titled So Needley. While currently still in law school, she was able to turn her hobby into a side hustle business, and in the process allow us to grow as a brand.” – says Kathryn Hutchison, Senior Director of U.S.-based online e-commerce company Threadsy, a retailer for small-quantity customizable apparel founded in Texas in 2021.


Entrepreneur Oliver Zak

Zak, from Mad Rabbit: small businesses investing in TikTok content need bandwidth and patience to experiment

“Small businesses are thriving on TikTok if they’re willing to experiment to find what works in connecting with potential customers. Our company caters to those with tattoos, so we invested in content that we thought would be enjoyed by this niche and have built our following to almost 400K. We found that the videos that surpassed one million views were the ones that we teased a reveal in the opening seconds to grab our viewers’ attention.”, shares Oliver Zak, co-founder of Mad Rabbit, a company offering natural and organic tattoo skincare products formulated in Los Angeles, CA. “These results taught us exactly what tattoo lovers desire in their content, so we were then able to organically work our products into the content without interfering with what our viewers want to see. There is tremendous upside in small businesses investing in TikTok, so long as they have the bandwidth and patience to experiment.”, acknowledges Zak.

Consistency and alignment with other departments of your business may also be crucial for your content, and can make or break it when it comes to TikTok, as marketing expert Fulya Uygun, CEO & Head of Digital Strategy at Bowery Boost, points out:

“If you are planning to get on TikTok, get ready to post 2-3 times minimum each day. And if you plan to add money behind your TikTok strategy, let everyone on your marketing team participate in your content process. Brainstorm with anyone who is doing paid campaigns for your brand to make sure some of the content you build can be pushed as Spark Ads, which run through your brand account or an influencer account. This generates higher engagement and, eventually, conversions.”, explains Uygun, a New York-based professional with 15 years of experience leading digital marketing departments of various brands in the beauty, fashion, and wellness industries.

“We launched on TikTok three months ago and went viral several times, which was recently picked up by media outlets such as The Sun and NY Post. Our most viewed TikTok video has over 7 million views with over 830,000 likes and 2,800+ comments. This one video generated over $30k in sales.”, reveals entrepreneur Alice Kim, founder of PerfectDD, a small business that launched in December of 2020 focusing on providing clothing options for women who wear a DD+ bra size and up.

With other posts also surpassing 1 million views, Kim is happy with the online attention her business’ videos are getting, but her content strategy goes beyond fast revenue.

“We aim to normalize the conversation around (big) boobs but boobs in general. To destigmatize the stereotypes of over-sexualizing and body shaming breasts. We will continue to share the struggles of having a fuller chest and provide solutions for women to feel confident with their DD+s.” vows Alice who spent almost two decades in the fashion industry.


Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, Producer and Influencer Marketing Manager working with brands and publications in Europe, America and Asia.


The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project announces 50 nominees



Kim Rihal, founder of social enterprise Equal Education, is one of the 50 women shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project
Kim Rihal, founder of social enterprise Equal Education, is one of the 50 women shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project

Earlier this year, on International Women’s Day 2023, Häagen-Dazs launched ‘The Rose Project’, a global initiative with a $100,000 (USD) bursary grant inviting nominations to recognise unsung trailblazing women in honour of the brand’s female co-founder Rose Mattus. Yesterday, 23 November, on what would have been Rose Mattus’ birthday, Häagen-Dazs announced the top 50 #WomenWhoDontHoldBack nominees being shortlisted for their achievements and its five globally accomplished Häagen-Dazs Rose Project judges.

Over 2,500 applications were received for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project putting forward pioneering efforts and societal contributions made by women across the globe. From these, 50 talented and inspirational women have been shortlisted and will be put forward to win one of five monetary grants of $20,000 (USD), which will be announced on International Women’s Day 2024, to continue their exceptional work, unleash their potential or give to a cause they are passionate about. The top 50 shortlist includes women from 17 countries hailing from across Europe, Asia, Africa & Middle East, Australia and the Americas.

The all-female judging panel from across the world has been handpicked for the final selection stage of The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project includes. UK-based author, broadcaster and philanthropist Katie Piper, fashion entrepreneur and advocate for women’s fertility issues, Velda Tan from Singapore and Spanish entrepreneur and creative director Inés Arroyo, are amongst the judges.

“International Women’s Day 2023 marked the launch of The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project to honour the legacy of our co-founder, Rose Mattus, and create a fund platform to provide opportunities to women across all fields around the world who are truly deserving of support and recognition. We were thrilled to receive thousands of nominations across countries and our #WomenWhoDontHoldBack Top 50 shortlist is a compelling and diverse mosaic of trailblazing female narratives that moved us and serve as an inspiration to women everywhere”, says Aurélie Lory, Häagen-Dazs spokesperson.

To find out more about the story of each entrepreneur shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project, visit:

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47% of women feel their workplace is not combatting inequality



Katherine Maher, CEO, Web Summit, on Centre Stage during day one of Web Summit 2023 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal
Katherine Maher, CEO, Web Summit, on Centre Stage during day one of Web Summit 2023 | Photo: Eóin Noonan/Web Summit

The proportion of women who feel that their workplace is not taking appropriate measures to combat gender inequality has nearly doubled in a year, a new survey has revealed.

Web Summit, the world’s largest technology event taking place in Lisbon this week, has released its third annual State of Gender Equity in Tech report, which is based on a survey distributed among its women in tech community.

76.1 percent of respondents feel empowered to pursue and/or hold a leadership position; fewer respondents (41.8 %) feel the need to choose between family and career when compared to 2022 (50.4 %); and there is at least one woman in a senior management position in 80.4 percent of respondents’ companies, a similar proportion to last year (81.3%).

The survey found that 70.5 percent of respondents feel pressure to prove their worth compared to male counterparts, while 77.2 percent feel they need to work harder to prove themselves because of their gender.

Over three quarters of respondents (76.1 %) feel empowered to pursue and/or hold a leadership position. And almost half of respondents think that their workplace is not taking appropriate measures to combat gender inequality, increasing from 26 percent in 2022 to 47
percent in 2023.

“While it is encouraging to see progress in some areas, such as those feeling the need to choose between their family and career, there are also some deeply concerning trends within this report. Seeing an increase in those who report having experienced sexism in the workplace in the last year is disheartening in 2023. We hope that this kind of research can breed some positives, and that it will push workplaces – and women within these workplaces – to broach these topics and make progress in these areas,” said Carolyn Quinlan, VP of community at Web Summit.

Last year, 42 percent of attendees at Web Summit were women and 33 percent of speakers were women. In 2023 these numbers have slightly improved with 43 percent of attendees and 38 percent of speakers on stage being women this year.

The women in tech programme at this year’s Web Summit is at capacity, and the women in tech programme at Web Summit Rio 2023 reached capacity in record time.

The WebSummit 2023 is running from November 13th to 16th in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Krispy Kreme to give away free donuts on World Kindness Day



A box of Krispy Kreme donuts opened and with donuts inside
The company, founded in 1937, is giving away 60,000 free doughnuts around the world today | Photo: Clément Proust

American multinational doughnut company and coffeehouse chain, Krispy Kreme, is celebrating “World Kindness Day” today by distributing free donuts in the US and the UK.

The chain is giving away a box of a dozen glazed donuts for free with no purchase necessary. But only the first 500 guests that visit each participating Krispy Kreme US stores on “World Kindness Day”, Monday November 13th, will be able to get a free box of donuts.

Krispy Kreme often gives away free or discounted donuts to generate buzz on special occasions. The company, founded in 1937, traditionally gives out free donuts to customers on National Donut Day, celebrated on the first Friday of June of each year. And in July, a dozen of glazed donuts were sold for 86 cents to celebrate its 86th birthday.

Thousands of free donuts are also expected to be given away today across Krispy Kreme stores in the United Kingdom, with customers being encouraged to ask for the World Kindness Day offer. No purchase necessary.

The company, which operates in over 30 countries around the world, said it wants the brand associated with World Kindness Day to make “meaningful connections” with customers.

“World Kindness Day is an opportunity to make a positive difference by being generous,” Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme’s global chief brand officer, said in a release. “Simple gestures of caring and thanks, including sharing a sweet treat, is a great way to do that.”

Krispy Kreme said that it’s considering expanding a limited partnership it has with McDonald’s to sell more of its donuts at the latter’s location.

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