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The Impact of TikTok's Upcoming Ban on American Businesses

The Impact of TikTok's Upcoming Ban on American Businesses

  TikTok could have an immense negative effect on small businesses who use it to reach consumers. Congress is considering banning it due to Beijing-based ByteDance's majority ownership and concerns regarding how much personal data TikTok stores. TikTok has already been banned on government networks and devices in multiple states, such as Montana where a ban will take effect on January 1. Furthermore, TikTok is being blocked at some public universities. 1. TikTok is a platform for advertising TikTok has become an invaluable platform for brands to engage with their audience in an authentic manner. Through this app, companies can produce videos themselves or collaborate with creators on community content to broaden reach and engagement - for instance by creating dance challenges or featuring their product in videos - while its well-structured algorithm ensures users find what they're searching for easily. Some marketers have raised concerns regarding TikTok's data privacy policies. Reports have surfaced alleging that its Chinese parent company ByteDance, is spying on US users; as a result, there have been calls for it to be banned on government networks, public universities and devices - something which would likely have an adverse impact on small businesses who use TikTok for advertising and promotion purposes. Even with these concerns, most marketers still intend to utilize TikTok. They recognize there are other social media platforms where they can promote their brand, and will adapt if TikTok becomes banned - perhaps providing other entertainment platforms with an opportunity for success. Ultimately, marketers believe Facebook and YouTube will benefit most from any ban of TikTok; marketer estimates suggest these platforms provide similar capabilities while being less dependent on third-party content partners; additionally these platforms could monetize ads more efficiently than TikTok. TikTok users are expanding beyond ad campaigns to produce merchandise from their videos, such as t-shirts, tote bags and hats for fans to buy branded merchandise easily through print-on-demand companies such as Printful or Teespring. Some physical stores even exist where fans can come shop their favorite products! TikTok's forthcoming ban will be devastating for many entrepreneurs, especially those who have invested time and money into producing content for TikTok. Entrepreneurs that rely heavily on TikTok for marketing purposes - particularly smaller businesses - may see their marketing budgets drastically cut back, leading to reduced revenue streams. Smaller businesses may feel this blow more severely as they rely heavily on this platform for advertising purposes and promotion. 2. TikTok is a platform for content creation Many businesses use TikTok as a content creation platform. From events and vlogs to commercials and fun commercials, this platform makes reaching their target audiences easy. TikTok's high engagement rate makes it ideal for influencer marketing; moreover, businesses can use TikTok to engage their target demographic in an authentic and engaging way. Fortune spoke with several CEOs who all concurred that TikTok has become an essential element of their businesses, citing its ability to reach younger consumers as key benefits, discover trends, and inform strategy. Furthermore, unlike Instagram which limits your reach only to your followers on TikTok has an algorithm which shares new posts across its entire platform - unlike Instagram which limits it only to your followers. TikTok remains controversial among businesses who remain skeptical of its security. These concerns include concerns that TikTok could be used by China to funnel data back into their government; although this has been denied by ByteDance. This concern has lead some countries to pass laws prohibiting government devices and public WiFi from running TikTok; states such as Montana have already banned it completely. As such, TikTok's future remains unclear; yet most marketers remain undeterred and plan to utilize this platform in their long-term marketing strategies. A recent Capterra survey indicated that over half of marketers believed it highly unlikely for any federal legislation or regulations to ban TikTok or prevent its operations in the US. TikTok remains in an uncertain position as its fate remains up for discussion, yet market conditions could shift due to potential resolutions. TikTok could be acquired by a US-based company and operated under that ownership, alleviating some US government concerns and possibly making more secure features available that reduces risks of bans altogether. Marketers should focus on creating high-quality videos using TikTok as a platform to promote brand recognition while waiting. 3. TikTok is a platform for marketing Fearing TikTok could become illegal, many marketers continue to leverage it as a marketing platform. By posting engaging content and taking part in popular TikTok trends, businesses can build strong communities while driving traffic directly to their website and driving sales or events promotion through TikTok. TikTok's unique format makes it an ideal platform for influencer marketing campaigns. Brands can create hashtag challenges, review products and participate in trends to generate user-generated content and gain more visibility - an 87% of marketers believe this channel to be viable for influencer marketing! A recent survey also showed this belief. TikTok provides businesses with an effective platform to produce and share video content, both influencer-related and otherwise. With its algorithm ensuring videos are displayed to users based on their interests, TikTok makes for the perfect way to produce engaging videos that resonate with target audiences. Furthermore, integrations with content suitability partners such as DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science help ensure ads run on TikTok are brand safe and comply with industry standards. An implementation of a ban would most negatively impact newer and smaller companies that have invested time and money into training staff to use TikTok and purchasing or leasing special equipment; they run the risk of experiencing revenue losses as a result. However, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, any attempt at banning could be challenged under First Amendment grounds and cause outrage from legislators and citizens who fear China's control of its platform. Lawmakers have expressed disquiet over TikTok's relationship with China, with some proposing legislation to restrict access in the US. ByteDance - its Chinese parent - is being closely reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment of the Treasury Department while their CEO testified before Congress recently. An upcoming hearing will focus on issues of privacy, data security and China ties - but regardless, TikTok continues to attract millions of users globally and is likely to continue its upward trajectory. 4. TikTok is a platform for socializing TikTok is more than just a video-sharing app; it is also an engaging social networking platform where users come together with their friends, share personal experiences and discover what's trending - plus an effective marketing and business tool! Many companies rely on TikTok as a way of connecting with young consumers, finding new customers, and keeping abreast of cultural developments. Many have been using the platform for years to effectively distribute their message among users using its powerful algorithms - many have even formed relationships with marketing partners - who provide services helping companies leverage TikTok in growing their businesses. TikTok remains immensely popular despite uncertainty over its future; marketers and business owners will need to find alternative means of reaching their target audiences should it become unavailable. TikTok's primary issue lies with its relationship with China. Owned by ByteDance, TikTok is run out of Beijing. There have been concerns raised that ByteDance could be spying on Americans; India and Australia have since banned TikTok on government devices; furthermore, CFIUS are currently reviewing this company for any national security implications and may block purchase by any future American governments if needed. TikTok's connections with China have raised concerns over data privacy; however, the company has pledged not to share user information with Chinese authorities. If banned in the US however, operating conditions would become difficult as it would need to reregister with Apple and Google app stores and no longer receive software updates; eventually causing its app to slow down significantly and become unusable altogether. TikTok would likely challenge any attempts to restrict it in court, as its rights under law include freedom of speech. Furthermore, any ban would violate the Berman Amendment, which states that prohibiting exportation of films, music CDs, books and other forms of entertainment is unlawful.

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