SME Featured Southeast Asia

TikTok unveils new multi-channel programme for SMBs in Asia

Singapore TikTok has introduced Follow Me, a multi-channel global programme aimed at driving awareness and helping small-and-medium businesses (SMBs) in Asia leverage the power of TikTok to drive business success. With Follow Me, brands will be able to integrate the diverse and creative formats available on TikTok into their marketing strategies to involve, connect, and engage with the massive audience base available on the platform.

The 6-week program will run from end-June to early August and provide SMBs with guidance on how to get started on TikTok as well as tips and insights from existing users on the platform. In other words, Follow Me will serve as a guide for SMBs looking to translate their stories into creative videos and build their own community on the platform.

Esme Lean, head of small and medium businesses at TikTok APAC, shared, “SMB owners wear an endless number of hats ‒ from CEO to head of marketing to being a friendly neighbour and pillar of support to their peers. We recognise that many of them have a lot to juggle, and Follow Me will provide SMBs with the knowledge and understanding they need of TikTok to effectively utilise it as a launch pad to supercharge their growth.” 

With the platform’s large, multi-layered ecosystem of creators and communities, this programme will help SMBs get acquainted with newfound consumers as they discover new brands and share these fresh finds with others.

To help SMBs access the resources to kickstart their journey on TikTok, TikTok is creating a dedicated splash page on July 7 that includes tutorials from other small businesses from the region – namely beauty, health, and wellness company Fondokmai, sauce producer Purefoods, learning centre Step Up English, cosmetic brand Alive Lab, bakery Goldelucks, and handbag brand Oktaviana Tas Grosir – where they will be charting their personal journeys on TikTok, on top of providing tips on how to best tap into the power of community and entertainment to win the hearts of consumers online.

The splash page will curate different learning roadmaps based on visitors’ goals, in addition to directing SMBs to a 6-week email series that will outline the best practices for running their first-ever TikTok campaign as well as integrating their brand’s story into their videos. This will include directions to set up a free Business Account, access to the Creative Centre for content inspiration, and insights into how TikTok’s Ads Manager and Promotion features can be leveraged to further reinforce campaign outcomes.

Nitchakran N., VP of Purefoods, shared, “TikTok has definitely been a strategic partner for us at Purefoods. This powerful platform has supported us in creating authentic connections with our customers – acting as a key communication tool, in addition to a future sales channel. The support from TikTok has enabled SMBs like us to be stronger and we are truly grateful to have this partnership in place.”

Regina, owner and founder of Oktaviana Tas Grosir, commented, “TikTok is definitely the best marketplace for small businesses like mine. I’m grateful and overwhelmed with this growth opportunity as well as the huge number of orders coming in from TikTok every day, so much so that we’ve had to open three additional warehouses, on top of expanding our team.”

SME Featured APAC

APAC SMEs are catching up the digital transformation wave: report

Singapore—Small-medium enterprises (SME) in Asia Pacific are slowly making their way into being adoptive to today’s business changes across the digital transformation sphere, according to a report from IT and networking company Cisco and market intelligence firm IDC.

With more than 1,400 respondents across APAC SMEs, the report found out that there is a significant increase for digital adoption, showing a 16% growth for SMEs willing to integrate more digital transformation strategies, compared to the 11% growth last year.

On the other hand, 53% of SMEs showed initial willingness to be ‘observant’ at first for their small modern digital changes, while 31% of SMEs showed reactiveness to move into the digital market and are slow in their own transition.

The current COVID-19 pandemic proved to be one of the major reasons for digital transition of SMEs, as statistics showed that 94% of SMEs showed reliance on technological measures for their businesses. In regards to using digital business measures as a way to make roundabout on disruptive events i.e. the pandemic, 55% percent said that such measures are important and are crucial for the business framework.

Some of the leading goals for digitalization of SMEs include market expansion, improved customer experience (CX), prototype kickstart/startup, supply chain, among others.

Cisco estimates that with willingness from SMEs to conduct business presence online, such enterprises are forecasted to   bring $2.6–$3.1 trillion in GDP across Asia Pacific, suggesting faster economic recovery by 2024.