What the US TikTok Ban Means for UK Businesses

A marketing influencer accessing TikTok on their smartphone

Every social media marketing manager should be well aware of this development on TikTok. In less than 9 months, TikTok will likely be banned in the US. Many news articles have spoken of the devastation this could bring to content creators and businesses alike, but will it really be the end times for UK Businesses?

Are you a small business using TikTok shop? A tourism business that relies on social media to find new visitors from abroad? Our social media agency experts have put together the following guide to help you understand where you are, and what the ban could mean for UK-based businesses. If you need more advice, we’re always available for a chat or consultation.


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What We Know So Far

TikTok’s owner ByteDance has been given until January 2025 to sell their app to an American company, or it will be banned. Here is everything you need to know about it:


What Countries Will the TikTok Ban Affect?

The TikTok ban is only for the United States of America, including the Hawai’i islands and Alaska. Other North American countries like Canada will not be affected.   


How Will the TikTok Ban Work?

Essentially, all US users would not be allowed to use the app if it detects they’re trying to access it from inside the US. This includes;

  • No registration of new US users
  • Current users will be prevented from interacting with the app
  • Delivery of ads to US users will cease
  • Sales on the TikTok shop to US addresses would be prevented


Will the TikTok Ban Actually Happen?

We’re UK digital marketing experts, not lawyers, but we expect the ban to be delayed or cancelled. ByteDance intends to challenge the bill in court. Historically, challenges and appeals have extended legal deadlines by months to years. It all depends on how long and how hard both sides are willing to fight on the issue.


How Will a TikTok Ban Affect UK Businesses?

If you don’t do business in the United States of America, or solely rely on TikTok for advertising or sales to US customers, then this turn of events is nothing to worry about. At most, this may change the kind of influencers you work with.

Remember, you still have a healthy TikTok audience based at home in the UK that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. There’s no need to abandon your account because of what is happening in the United States.

Assuming the ban does take place, and assuming you heavily rely on TikTok to attract a US audience, this won’t decimate your leads and profits with careful forethought and preparation. Social media is just one of many strategies businesses use to spread brand awareness. Start looking into PPC ads, lead ads, SEO, or Google My Business if you haven’t already.


What About US Influencers?

You can still consider US-based influencers to promote your products and services. TikTok isn’t the only platform these influencers will have a loyal following on, and there’s no guarantee that a ban will hurt their reach.


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Explore Your Options with a Social Marketing Expert

If engagement and discovery from US based consumers form a significant part of your sales or lead strategy, you’ll most likely be thinking your only option is following your US audience to their new platform and pray it works. It’s not.

TikTok has been invaluable for helping small businesses get off the ground thanks to the ads and publicity delivered from the platform, but it’s just one of many ways to market your products or service to your audience.

The best way to explore your options right now is to book a free 1-2-1 with one of our experts. We’ve helped many businesses from e-commerce to hospitality find new routes to take that grow their business when they’ve come across roadblocks. 


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