Small businesses are exploding on TikTok just because they ask

  • Two companies went viral with their first videos posted on TikTok, and their content is quite similar.
  • Both videos were posted by social media execs who claimed they needed views to avoid trouble with their boss.
  • The videos have been viewed millions of times and garnered a lot of support, but a marketing expert says it’s likely a business tactic.

If you’re a social media manager wondering how to grow your brand’s online audience, recent posts suggest that all it takes is a plea of ​​desperation for your TikTok video to go viral.

Clancy’s Auto Body Shop in the Fort Lauderdale area has amassed 224,000 followers since posting its first TikTok video in February. The clip was created by the company’s social media manager, Joel Velazquez, and has over 24 million views as of Friday.

The viral sensation’s premise was a simple video of the outside of Clancy’s Auto Body Shop with a fun cat filter, but the caption prompted millions to create #ClancysCult in support of the company and Velazquez.

Velazquez’s caption read: “Guys I lied on my resume and got a job on social media at this body shop. Please blow this up so I don’t get fired.” And the internet obliges.

TikTok users took action with comments, likes, follows, and even Google reviews despite never having done business with the body shop.

“I guess I drive 12 hours to get my car fixed, wish me luck,” wrote one commenter on the video.

“Give that person a raise STAT,” said another.

Velazquez’s plea has apparently paid off with internet fame as Clancy’s Auto Body Shop capitalizes on the craze with more online content and merchandise sales.

The Florida body shop isn’t the only small business that’s leaning on the support of its TikTok viewers. On Wednesday, Kansas-based company Dobbins & Letourneau Eye Care shot a similar video that also went viral on the video-sharing app.

This time, Claire – the person who runs the doctor’s office’s TikTok account – used a popular meme of actors Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal to explain her predicament at work. According to the clip, her boss asked to see the metrics of the TikTok work account at an upcoming meeting, but Claire had only created the account 12 hours earlier.

Although Claire didn’t specifically ask followers to help her save face in the first post, the video had over four million views and almost a million likes as of Friday afternoon. In the following videos, she thanked the now 27,000 followers for their help, which earned her a “wow” from her boss.

“We made it!!!!!! Now it’s time for visual content…or is it,” read a TikTok caption.

Though neither company immediately responded to Insider’s request for comment, 24-year-old Jasmen Perry, an account manager associate with a background in marketing, commented on the clips.

Perry told Insider that she felt the videos were tactics rather than genuine requests because they came directly from each company’s official accounts rather than employees’ personal accounts. The strategy is a way for companies to avoid “being too linear or boring like a TV ad,” she said.

“While they’re fun and great engagement, it’s an easy way to grab the consumer’s attention,” Perry said. “On an app like TikTok, people are looking for more light-hearted content, and businesses need to conform to that.”

She continued, “It’s a good marketing tactic because they understand their consumers and know how to interact with them.”

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