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Ways that Local Businesses can use TikTok Nearby

TikTok is known for constantly testing and rolling out exciting new features bringing benefits to creators and businesses alike. One of such features is TikTok Nearby, which is currently in the testing phase, but could be rolled out pretty soon. 

What is TikTok Nearby? 

A feature that is well underway, TikTok Nearby adds a special feed called “Nearby” right next to the familiar “Following” and “For You” feeds. In this feed, once the feature rolls out, users will be able to discover content posted in locations close to them. This is only the latest of the efforts TikTok makes to serve even more personalized content to its users. 

The feature comes in conjunction with another new feature – the ability to add a location tag to your posts. 

Thanks to this, all posts with a tagged location close to the user will be displayed in this particular feed. For businesses, our GrowMojo performance marketers believe this can be a gamechanger, especially for those that only have a physical location, or have a number of stores in various locations that they want to boost.

For users, the benefit is obvious – TikTokers already use the platform instead of Google in so many ways. The TikTok Search feature allows users to search for a TikTok of a specific interest. The Search Ads feature provides a way for businesses to target those searches with TikTok ads. In the same way that TikTok search made TikTok content and advertising more personalized for TikTok users, the new TikTok Nearby could do wonders for local search on TikTok. 

And if this feature sounds familiar, that’s because it was already done – albeit not very successfully – by Snapchat and its Snap Map. Instagram also launched a similar feature earlier this year, with its searchable map that can be accessed by tapping on the location tag in stories or posts. 

There’s a solid reason why platforms keep developing these features – younger audiences, Gen Z in particular, tend to use TikTok and Instagram to search for just about anything. Local businesses (and businesses with a lot of physical locations across the map) need to leverage this and turn the social search into a means to boost visibility and revenue. 

Boosting Brand Visibility with TikTok Nearby 

Convenience is one of the biggest contributors to purchase intent. And, other than ordering online, what’s more convenient than having a store in your vicinity? Still, brands with physical retail locations and physical-only businesses often struggle with drawing big crowds, oftentimes precisely because of the location. 

With TikTok Nearby, such businesses finally have an opportunity to leverage the viral nature of TikTok to their favor. 

Let’s say you click on the Nearby feed just to see what’s up. You see a mouthwatering video of someone eating a burrito, and the place they’re having it is five minutes away from your home. What are you going to do? Start craving that exact burrito and visit the place as soon as you get a chance. 

Or, you’re visiting a new city and need to have your nails done. You remember that earlier that day you saw a TikTok of a nail bar that did an awesome job on a girl’s nails. The place is nearby, and they are good, so there’s really no debate over what you’re going to do. 

Now, industries like food, entertainment, beauty and fashion are already leveraging the power of TikTok as is, since their content is already searched a lot. But, with TikTok Nearby, other industries and businesses can finally get a chance to jump the bandwagon and harness the power of TikTok.

How to use TikTok Nearby as a local business? 

First of all, you’ll have to wait for the feature to roll out to you. So far, it has been limited to testers and select users exclusively, but a wider rollout is expected any day now. Once you get the new feature, there’s a number of ways to use it to promote your brand, expand your audience and boost your business. 

Like we said, it’s not only restaurants and nail bars that really need help gaining visibility through search. It’s businesses like healthcare, education, property management, car shops, dealerships, grocery stores, pet shops etc. that need to start appearing in TikTok search. With local search, they will finally gain visibility. 

Here’s an example. 

Let’s say you have a small organic food store. Each holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving, you’re offering special deals on select products (candy, pumpkins, cranberries, etc). Your local shoppers know that, but of course you want to reach wider customer pools, too. 

Start by creating a TikTok business account (if you don’t have one yet, which is a shame, considering the many advantages of TikTok marketing).

Now, when you’re about to have your promotion, start posting engaging, fun content to your TikTok, with the location tag, of course. Showcase the products on sale and create fun little pieces of narrative about them, that will draw the visitor using the combined power of convenience (the proximity of your physical store) and virality. 

Here’s another example. 

Let’s say you’re a general practitioner or a family doctor looking to expand the clients list. Your content, with the location tag, could involve health tips and advice, virtual tours of the office to show people there’s nothing to be anxious about when seeing a doctor, fun, cheerful videos of your staff, and so on. By showing people that there’s a competent, helpful and pleasant doctor in the neighborhood, you’re bound to get both more followers (who will follow you for advice) and more clients from your area. Plus, there’s a good chance that TikTok will favor the content that has both the value and the location tag, and display it in the Nearby feed. 

Finally, don’t forget to reach out to your local influencers. Have them come over to your brick-and-mortar location and post content with the location tag on. This is a fail-safe recipe, and your only job is to work out a deal with the influencer.

One last thing – all this is not to say that TikTok Nearby is only for small local businesses. Even big brands can leverage this tool by posting engaging content (contests, giveaways, quizzes) related to one of their physical locations and then target the local audience via the local tag. 

If you need any guidance in your journey of using TikTok as a marketing tool, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of GrowMojo marketers are experts at local and we can create the TikTok videos for you. Getting started is the single most difficult step and we realize how intimidating it can appear, which is precisely why our team of experts is here to share their knowledge and help you along the way.  

GrowMojo Corp
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