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TikTok Business Accounts vs. Personal Accounts: Understanding the Similarities and Differences

Unlike what traditional marketers would have you believe, bite-sized content is the entertainment of the future. This means content platforms like TikTok, YT shorts, and FB stories are the networks of the future and are here to stay in the long term. And whether you are a business, brand, content creator, or audience, getting on TikTok sooner rather than later should make your life easier. 

In many ways, TikTok was a game changer. The social media landscape and the viewership for entertainment-based content changed massively during the Covid-19 pandemic. To the regular eye, this seems like an abrupt change, but experts have predicted this change in audience tastes for many years before that. 

The creators of TikTok were ahead of the curve and realized this appetite for bite-sized content. As such, they released TikTok on the app store in 2016 to much fanfare and almost universal acclaim. Since then, the platform’s user base and content database have grown immensely, and users log in to the application an average of 8 times a day. (Source: Wallaroo Media)

Whether you are a creator or an aspiring businessman, having the right expansion strategy is essential to thriving on social media, and TikTok is no different. Strategy building varies from creator to creator, but a few basics must be noted before diving in. 

Types of TikTok Accounts 

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Even though it seems like a simple concept at first glance, TikTok’s algorithms and analytics are super complex and change constantly. Thus, user and account output can be manipulated using a multitude of tools and user modes. The first step to using these tools and accessing the world beyond is choosing an account type.

There are 2 types of TikTok accounts:

  • Personal Account/ Creator Profile 
  • Business Account/ Profile

Also Read: TikTok for Business

The TikTok Creator Profile

At its inception, TikTok used to have two types of professional accounts- business and creator. Personal accounts were a separate niche standing out from both of these account types. However, as of August 2021, TikTok converted all creator accounts to personal accounts and now the terms are used interchangeably. 

Personal profiles are personalized spaces where individuals can create content to market their skills or gain exposure. There is also scope for revenue for racking up views via content created for personal profiles. And that is exactly what the influencer culture on TikTok is all about.

The platform has the capability to catapult relatively unknown users to stardom overnight on the basis of individual pieces of information. Creators with a considerable fan following can also apply for verified accounts to maintain authenticity and collab with brands for even more financial gains. 

The TikTok Business Account 

Even though TikTok for business is still relatively in its infancy, business accounts are equipped with optimized tools to allow brands to market their brands on the platform more effectively. Business accounts can also advertise their content by dueting with influencers. But the main difference from a personal profile lies within the features.

TikTok has users in over 150 countries worldwide, making the platform an ideal space for brand growth. The TikTok development team recognizes that and is working towards creating a business module that allows brands to cook up better marketing strategies. 

But due to the newness of the app, the usability of each account type is still overlapping in certain areas, and brands are still debating over which type of account has more potential for growth. 

Also Read: Instagram vs. TikTok

The Similarities Between Personal and Business TikTok Accounts

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General Analytics

No platform is going to give you in-depth statistics in a one-click module. However, the most important statistics are always displayed in an easily accessible spot. Content generated and account data are easily visible from creator and personal TikTok profiles.

This data helps users track content performance for up to 28 days, allowing them to work towards creating more digestible content.  This makes the platform and generated content become cleaner and easily accepted by the audience. 

A Clickable Website Link

Okay, this one is a bit controversial. Personal accounts do not have access to putting up clickable website links immediately from the get go. They must meet certain requirements and get some following to access this feature.

Business accounts, however, have access to posting clickable links from the get-go. While the mode of acquisition is certainly different between the two account types, the feature is essentially the same

The Creator Portal

Both Personal and Business account users can access resources stored within the TikTok Creator Portal to get a better insight into creating growth within the platform. The portal provides users with tips to encourage discovery and engage with the audience at a personal level. 

Promote Tool

TikTok’s Promote is an advertising tool that can be maximized with the help of the right marketing strategy. At its very best, the tool can help the audience discover your content, encourage audience engagement and guide people into your clickable website link. This means that users should also see a rising trend in the follower count.

And the best part is that the tool is available to both business and personal account holders!

The Differences Between TikTok Business and Personal Accounts 

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In-Depth Analytics

With TikTok for Business, tools like the Business Creative Hub are available for free to the user right from the get go. The Hub streamlines all trending content that helps you stay updated on all of the new trends and allows your branding team to revise business strategies accordingly. With over 1 Million videos viewed every day, the extra data and the creative hub are massively helpful to stay on top. (Source: Influencer Marketing Hub)

Social Media management tools can also be linked to Business accounts, whereas account management for personal accounts is native only.

The Music Library

 Users with TikTok for Business accounts have access to the CML (Commercial Music Library), a collection of over 1000000 songs and sounds that are royalty-free and pre-cleared for commercial usage. On the other hand, personal account users have access to both sounds and the CML- giving users more soundbyte options to pick from.

This is because there are many legal loopholes platforms must go through to clear each byte for commercial use. TikTok counteracts this lack of an infinite library for business accounts by allowing users to create their own soundbyte. 

An eCommerce Storefront

Business account holders can easily establish their own TikTok stores. Followers can browse products on TikTok stores in a process called social shopping and check out immediately via Shopify. 

Which One is for You?

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If you are more than an audience on TikTok, more than a few important aspects need to be considered before opening up a new account. TikTok is pretty clear on its guidelines, and business accounts for commercial use and personal accounts for creativity. 

If you are a business that would benefit more from having an infinite and more diverse trending music library, then opening a creator account is the way to go. But is it worth risking litigation, or can your brand create its own soundbyte and catchy original content using business tools?

The answers may vary from user to user and from brand to brand. While that is good, it is good practice to stick to a specific account type for however long you use TikTok. 

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