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A TikTok Ban Could Threaten the Livelihood of Many Entrepreneurs — Here's How Businesses Can Protect Themselves It's time to pivot – not panic. Here's your go-to guide through the TikTok ban or sale saga.

By Andrea Casanova

Key Takeaways

  • As we await further developments regarding the TikTok ban or sale, it's essential to remain innovative and connected.
  • Don't panic. Instead, use your existing customer relationships and data to harness future social media success.
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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

By now, you've likely heard about the recent bill passed by the House of Representatives that can potentially enforce a ban on social media platform TikTok within the United States.

Such news has left 170 million American TikTok users in a state of uncertainty as they grapple with the possibility of losing access to their go-to platform and the vibrant community it fosters.

Moreover, it has sparked significant concerns for creators, small businesses, brands and entrepreneurs who have successfully monetized their presence on the platform, with some depending on it as their main source of income.

I'm right in the mix as one of those creatorpreneurs who've nurtured an awesome online community and used the platform as a launchpad for building and growing my own business. Thanks to TikTok, I've been able to take bold career steps and explore new income streams that I never would've dreamed possible.

The thought of this possibility being taken from me and my fellow creators and small business owners, whose livelihoods hinge on the platform, is nerve-wracking, but alas, it's a reality we might need to prepare for.

Related: TikTok CEO Testifies in House Hearing: We Are Building 'Firewall' Around U.S. Data

It's tempting to rush towards alternative platforms like YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels and Snapchat, but before you scramble to make the switch, it's crucial to pause and strategize carefully. Here are some actionable tips for creators, small businesses and marketing teams to consider while we await further updates:

Creators

Creators should shift their focus from short-term platform growth to long-term brand development.

  • You are the brand: Rather than solely prioritizing the next social platform for growth, think about your next step as a brand. Many celebrities and mega-influencers venture into creating their own brands and products because they recognize that social buzz can be fleeting and seek to establish a lasting legacy beyond their image.
  • Forge long-term partnerships: Communicate with trusted brand partners and discuss long-term multi-platform packages. Ensure brand partners can still effectively reach their target audience through your content.
  • Monetize your knowledge: To provide additional value beyond traditional platform-specific campaigns, consider offering value-added services such as content creation workshops, influencer marketing consulting, or social media strategy sessions.
  • Team up for growth: Consider collaborating with other creators to boost each other's reach on alternative platforms. By leveraging each other's audiences and expertise, you can expand your presence and navigate uncertain times more effectively.

Related: I Made Over $250,000 in One Year as a Content Creator — Here's Why I'll Never Rely on It as My Main Income

Business owners

It's time to assess your current database and leverage existing customer data to inform your next steps.

  • Identify your superfans: Take a moment to recognize and prioritize high-value customers who contribute the most to your revenue and brand loyalty. Show appreciation for their loyalty with exclusive perks, personalized experiences, or special offers.
  • Re-engage dormant customers: Identify inactive or dormant customers in your database and develop targeted re-engagement campaigns.
  • Implement referral programs: Incentivize existing customers to refer friends and family through referral programs.

Marketing teams

Don't just throw spaghetti at the wall on a new platform.

  • Migrate strategically: Conduct comprehensive research to understand where your target audience is active online and how their behavior may shift in response to platform changes.
  • Creative adaptation: Tailor creative assets and messaging to resonate with audiences across different platforms. Adapt storytelling techniques and engagement tactics to align with each platform's unique characteristics.
  • Digital optimization: Optimize online presence, including websites, bios and social media profiles, to ensure consistency and accessibility. Make it easy for consumers to find relevant information and engage with your brand.

Related: TikTok's Growth Rate Has Collapsed. 'Life' May Be Getting in the Way for Its Younger Users.

General recommendations for all

  • Content backup: Ensure the safety of your digital assets by downloading all of your content, including user-generated content related to your brand.
  • Social sentiment analysis: Your comment section contains invaluable insights from your audience. Analyze feedback and adapt your strategies accordingly to optimize growth and sustainability.
  • Be vulnerable: Feeling uneasy about such a massive industry shift is natural. Don't hesitate to share your journey and emotions with your audience.
  • Don't go dark: Maintain an active presence on social media. Consistently share updates, engage with your audience and show them where to find you next.

As we await further developments regarding the TikTok ban or sale, it's essential to remain innovative and connected. As a creator, my heart hurts, but as a viral marketer, I understand it's not the time to panic. Instead, it's an opportunity to adapt proactively and recognize the value of truly owning your audience.

Andrea Casanova

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Viral Marketer, Entrepreneur & Public Speaker

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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