American Express partners with Tiktok for small business accelerator

    Dive Brief:

    • American Express and TikTok partnered to launch the #ShopSmall Accelerator ahead of Small Business Saturday Nov. 26, per a company release.
    • The program yields a series of tools and resources designed to help small businesses better understand how to market themselves on the ByteDance-owned platform. The tie-up also includes an $100 TikTok advertising credit offer. 
    • The program will also see a heavy influencer activation, enlisting lifestyle creators Anna Sitar and Sofia Bella and small business owner Brandon Blackwood to share additional resources. American Express also partnered with music artist Chlöe Bailey to create a “Shop Small Soundtrack” that can be used for content creation.

    American Express often works to support small businesses, having spearheaded numerous initiatives like its year-round Shop Small Resource Hub and new dedicated Small Business Saturday page. Its latest move sees the company working to ensure small business owners aren’t left behind as TikTok grows in popularity, especially among the Gen Z consumers businesses may hope to reach. 

    The #ShopSmall Accelerator comes following research by Econsult Solutions for American Express that revealed if every Gen Z and millennial shopper spent $10 at a small business, it would support $2 billion in local economic activity in the United States. Findings also revealed that 63% of small businesses want to grow their Gen Z and millennial customer base this holiday season and that 67% of Gen Z consumers shopped at a small business displayed on their TikTok “For You” page, per additional research cited in the release.

    “The real world impact is undeniable, with 44% of TikTok users saying that they discovered something on the platform and immediately went out to buy it, according to our Global Retail Path to Purchase Study,” said Sofia Hernandez, global head of business marketing at TikTok, in the release.

    Central to the accelerator is the influencer tie-up to help small businesses learn how to use TikTok from those who have become quite successful on the platform themselves. Creators Sitar, Bella and Blackwood, who uses the platform to market his own business, will cover topics including how to leverage communities, hashtags, sounds and trends on TikTok and how to use the platform as a search engine and to drive engagement. American Express is also joining in on the interest in original audio through a partnership with Bailey, whose “Shop Small Soundtrack” can be utilized as small businesses begin marketing themselves ahead of Small Business Saturday. 

    To encourage small businesses to participate, new platform advertisers who enroll before December 24 can receive a $100 TikTok promotional ad credit after purchasing $50 in TikTok ads. The move, meant to help American Express reach its goal to drive $100 billion in consumer spending at small business between 2021 and 2025, could very likely lend continued momentum to TikTok’s already successful ads biz.


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