TikTok offers free training to court small businesses

TikTok is rolling out a new program aimed at bringing more small and medium-sized businesses to the platform.

The six-week program, called “Follow Me,” includes step-by-step guides teaching businesses how to use TikTok to grow their business, including how to advertise on the app. The courses are free and will include lessons on running campaigns on TikTok and tips from businesses using the platform.

Virtually unknown companies or products going viral is one of the hallmarks of TikTok, where a visit to a restaurant and a video of a kitchen sponge have an equal chance of being viewed by millions. Many small business owners have turned to TikTok to promote their businesses, and individual customers have in turn built huge platforms themselves through product reviews, recommendations, and tutorials. TikTok’s new courses could onboard more businesses seeking viral success and turn them into advertisers.

Over the past few months, TikTok has introduced more ways for creators to make money through advertising on the platform. In May, the company announced it would start splitting ad revenue with select creators, who would get 50% when ads ran alongside top-performing videos. Shortly after, TikTok announced Branded Mission, a feature that allows advertisers to solicit videos from creators – who essentially create content to specification – with selected posts used as advertisements.

TikTok’s revenue last year was nearly $4 billion and came largely from ads, according to Bloomberg. And it’s expected to grow this year as the company continues to build out its advertising apparatus in hopes of competing with Google and Meta, which dominate digital advertising.

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