Beyond gags, dances: TikTok is serious biz, Filipinos find
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Filipino content creators on TikTok are earning money comparable to monthly salaries in traditional jobs, thriving on a social media platform where businesses big and small can market products to a large consumer base.
According to the report titled “The TikTok Effect: Accelerating Southeast Asia’s Businesses, Education and Community,” released on Thursday by the Chinese-owned social media app, about 40 percent of the Filipino respondents it surveyed claimed to be earning more than the minimum wage via TikTok.
Government data show that the minimum wage in the country is as high as P570 a day in Metro Manila.
TikTok public policy head Teresa Tan, at a press conference during the TikTok Southeast Asia Impact Forum, said the platform has helped entrepreneurs find new revenue channels online, which include selling via TikTok Live and paid sponsorship from companies seeking to promote their brands.
Nina Ellaine Dizon-Cabrera, chief executive of Filipino beauty brand Colourette, was among the TikTok creators who participated in the forum.
Dizon-Cabrera said she has gained 1.9 million followers by posting videos inspiring women to recognize their individual beauty with confidence.
“It (TikTok) really did help us in more ways than one,” she told reporters on the sidelines of the event, citing that the platform enabled more brand awareness for their goods.
“It translated to sales because people started becoming more curious and they would start to buy our products,” she said.
Last 3.3 (March 3) sale, in fact, Dizon-Cabrera said that they were able to receive 26,700 orders in four hours via TikTok.
“We were able to build a community on the platform and around the brand,” she added.
Accessory brand Tala By Kyla and baby care product Tiny Buds Baby Natural were also among the Filipino businesses featured in the forum.
Across Southeast Asia, more than 80 percent of TikTok creators said they were able to increase revenue generation with the aid of the platform, according to the report.
The majority of the creators agreed that the social media platform could boost their audience traffic, which is beneficial in acquiring customers and eventually sales.
The study revealed that even small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were able to improve their revenues by nearly 50 percent by promoting their brands through TikTok.
“Businesses leverage TikTok’s tools and features to equip themselves with more knowledge to grow their brands,” the report noted.
For example, about 80 percent of the respondents said they were using the social media platform’s advertisement manager feature to reach a wider audience.
TikTok chief executive Shou Chew said that the social media platform was now backing 15 million SMEs across the region and has committed to invest $12.2 million over the next few years to firm up support of the sector by boosting e-commerce.
The investment is aimed at helping more than 120,000 SMEs, including micro entrepreneurs in rural areas, transition their businesses online and participate in the digital economy in Southeast Asia through the provision of cash grants, digital skills training and advertising credits.
Helping small businesses
Over the next three years, Chew said the “Support Local” program would aim to empower SMEs, especially those who may be new to social commerce, by partnering with more than 25 government agencies and nonprofit organizations across Southeast Asia.
“Across Southeast Asia, more than 325 million people come to TikTok every month and 15 million businesses use the platform. The role we’ve played in expanding economic opportunities, education and community-building in this region and around the world is immense. We are excited to see the positive impact TikTok has had and are committed to continuing the work of helping individuals, communities and businesses grow and thrive,” said Chew.
“We continue to focus on improving our in-app experience for users, empowering local communities, businesses and creators, and looking for ways to support the safety and well-being of all our users,” Chew said.
“We look forward to continuing on our journey toward building a safe and entertaining space for more people and communities across the region and around the world,” he added.
TikTok currently has 325 million monthly active users across the globe, the majority of them in Indonesia.
TikTok, which was launched in 2016 by Chinese firm ByteDance Ltd., has become one of the world’s most popular social media apps after gaining millions of users by allowing them to create, watch and share 15-second videos using a smartphone. It joins the ranks of social media giants such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.