The Tech Industry Can Be An Accelerator for Change. Here’s How

Instead of focusing entirely on company cultures and HR practices, we need to put our tech to better use.

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4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The marginalization, as well as inequitable and inhumane treatment of people of color, is a broken record in this country. It is baked into our nation’s systems, policies, and laws. I am inspired and encouraged by the unified uprising across the nation and around the world in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others that are leading to police reform and a commitment from companies large and small to open dialogue and have the uncomfortable conversations that could lead to a change in corporate culture.

As a Black tech founder, I believe my industry must play a role in this change as well. We also have the opportunity to go beyond simply updating company cultures and HR practices. For many communities of color, technology has been a tool of oppression — but technology can also be a solution that is used for good. It’s time to do that.

I believe we can change perspectives and help our fellow neighbors see that the tech innovations we use to automate trading on the market, build the next viral game, help track and contain COVID-19, can also be used to eradicate the historic and systemic disease of racism that lingers in our country. 

Technology can serve as an accelerator for change. In most cases, civic and community leaders will debate the needs and challenges that have afflicted communities for years, sometimes decades, with little movement towards identifying sustainable solutions. The agility of technology can help communities realize solutions more expeditiously.

Here are some recent examples of tech-driven change:

  • In Baltimore, a coalition of more than 50 companies and non-profits have joined forces to address digital inequity. They now collect, refurbish and distribute devices, and ensure that all communities have access to WiFi. A digital divide has existed for years, but COVID-19 and remote learning made it an imperative that we solve this issue immediately.
  • When California legalized marijuana, it also created a pathway for people to clear many criminal records that were once associated with marijuana possession or sale. However, a disproportionate number of Black and Latino people didn’t have access to that system — meaning their records were still a barrier to work, education, and housing. The nonprofit organization Code for America aims to fix that. A pilot program it launched in partnership with the California government uses technology to automatically clear people’s records.
  • Globally, tech companies are thinking about ways they can use technology for good. HACK Baltimore, a movement in Baltimore that brings technologists together with local stakeholders, recently created a system using the Airtable platform to track inventory, areas of need and project completions for non-profit Dent Education, which is training Baltimore City students to create PPE. A similar international program, Call for Code, is an annual competition in partnership with IBM that invites software developers to solve a specific humanitarian challenge.
  • In 2019, 16 agile digital services firms joined forces to create the Digital Services Coalition. Its mission is to bring innovation and agility to government IT contracting. The coalition aims to break through traditional barriers in the public sector and foster collaboration to implement more agility to drive transparency, efficiency and modernization of legacy systems.

Technology can help communities and leaders think differently. If that’s done collaboratively, technology can also improve the user experience to create solutions with communities — not for them. Technologists can help translate challenges into solutions, and use discovery, design thinking, automation, and other tools to improve life for marginalized communities. When all of this is built into their missions, companies can make a difference for their communities without sacrificing revenue. In fact, a greater commitment to corporate citizenship will drive talent retention and recruitment — and the more diverse a company’s talent pool is, the greater potential a company has for expanding its impact.

I’m a big believer in the power of technology. We can build applications that can scale to reach millions of people across the world. We architect self-healing systems. We’ve sent people to the moon — the moon! But we can’t figure out how to use technology to solve some of our country’s deeply-rooted challenges? It’s not a lack of intelligence or ability. It’s a lack of effort. 

It’s time for tech to have its own uprising. We need to commit to breaking down barriers that keep our industry siloed from the community. In this way we will help grow the pipeline of tech talent and entrepreneurs, and do our most important work.

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How Businesses Can Leverage the Power of TikTok

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you want your own business to grow and prosper as the world reopens and a new sense of normalcy settles in, getting to know is a good first step. The video-sharing platform has emerged from relative obscurity to become one of the leading in the world, and one of the most business friendly for entrepreneurs who know how to make it work. 

TikTok is particularly custom-made for personal- building, and many entrepreneurs are using it in just that way. By way of example, in a scant three and a half months, one top TikTok chef has amassed an army of more than a quarter million loyalists, all hungry for new content. This rising foodie star is Nadia Caterina Munno, but her quarter million TikTok fans know her simply as The Pasta Queen

The Pasta Queen’s Social Strategy

Always start with the brand backstory, and for Munno, that means being born to cook pasta. She is a true descendant of Rome, and pasta-making is in her blood. In the 1800s, her great grandparents owned a pasta factory just an hour and 20 minutes south of the Italian capital. To this day, Nadia’s family still has the nickname “The Macaronis.”

The online world, however, did not come as naturally. As Munno shares in an interview, “I’ve never been into . Honestly, I learned my video editing and uploading mastery by sheer force of will. Today, I edit all of my videos and credit the growth to a combination of drive, purpose and incentive. I truly believe that is where true talent comes from.”

Cynical entrepreneurs may say that the rapid rise of The Pasta Queen and her newfound stardom is simply a matter of luck. They may argue that she was simply in the right place at the , and that her will be difficult, or even impossible, to replicate.

What the cynics are missing is that there really is a TikTok formula, one that smart entrepreneurs can adapt to fit their own brands and promote their own products. Those entrepreneurs may not have cooking skills or clever recipes, but they can still learn from others who have found success on the platform and shape the same strategy around their brands.

Related: 3 Reasons TikTok Is Here To Stay

In the internet age, viewers want real actionable information in exchange for their time. Communicating with the larger TikTok world is also critical on the platform. Successful TikTok content can generate thousands of comments and direct messages every single day. The Pasta Queen hears everything from home chefs trying out variations on their recipes to pleas for help from the less culinary talented. Here are several of the ingredients to her success.

Posting Regularly

If you post at least once a day, the TikTok algorithm starts to favor you as a creator and you have an increased likelihood of getting featured on the sought-after “For You” page.

Not Worrying About Your Niche 

Over-analyzing your niche can stifle your content distribution. Munno says to be your authentic self — and let it shine.  

Engaging Your followers 

Engaging your early followers helps build a loyal foundation, which is a critical first step you have to take. 

Going “Live” At Least Once a Week 

By going live, even if you have a small following, you can be discovered on the “For You” page.

Grabbing Immediate Attention 

You have to engage someone from the start and grab them within half a second. People scroll, scroll and scroll almost on automatic — but if they immediately see something impactful or shocking, they’re likely to stick around. 

Incorporating How-Tos

Any time you can teach, educate or inform an audience, the likelihood of traction is significantly increased (views, comments, shares, etc.).

Studying Analytics

You should frequently review your post analytics to see what is working or what can be adjusted. It also helps you understand your audience better to cater content accordingly. 

Keeping it (Relatively) Short 

Munno says 20-30 seconds has been her sweet spot, adding, “It never hurts to leverage a topic which is universally accepted, such as food. I see lawyers giving rapid public-awareness tips, realtors touring homes and accountants giving tips on taxes. You can do anything, as long as it is fast and digestible.”

A Business, Not a Hobby

Overnight growth is not easy, and it can have a dark side for the unprepared. Entrepreneurs and individuals who suddenly find themselves going viral can feel a bit overwhelmed, but they need to stay professional and learn to treat the opportunity with the appreciation it deserves.

That can mean spending half the day shooting, perfecting and uploading videos to the platform, and additional hours answering social media inquiries, responding to questions and engaging with the wider community. The most famous TikTok users are the ones who take the platform seriously and understand its true potential.

Related: The Rise of Social Media as a Career (Infographic)

Leveraging TikTok into a successful brand building operation is no easy task, and there are a lot of roadblocks along the way. There are still misconceptions about what the platform is, who it is designed for, and how it works. Entrepreneurs who hope to achieve the same success they would growing a business should treat it with the same level of respect.

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The Complete Guide to TikTok Analytics: How to Measure Your Success

Social media is abuzz with TikTok’s explosive growth. And that’s why understanding TikTok analytics so important. Track the right metrics, and you’ll be able to tell hype from reality.

If your brand is new to TikTok, analytics can take some of the guesswork out of content strategy. Insights available to TikTok pro accounts can inform everything from when you post to what you post.

Learn which TikTok metrics you should be tracking, where to find them, and how you can use them to your advantage.

What is a TikTok pro account?

The main difference between a TikTok pro account and a regular account boils down to TikTok analytics. Pro accounts offer them, while regular accounts don’t.

Much like Instagram Creator profiles, TikTok Pro accounts allow creators to measure audience and performance insights. From the TikTok analytics dashboard, Pro account holders can learn about their followers, monitor views and engagement, and more.

How to switch to a TikTok Pro account:

  1. From your profile page, click the three dots in the upper right corner.
  2. Choose Manage My Account.

  1. Tap Switch to Pro Account.

"Switch to Pro Account" option under Manage my account

  1. Choose an appropriate category and gender.
  2. If you did not sign up with your phone number, you’ll be asked to add one followed by the confirmation code you receive.

How to check your TikTok analytics

Wondering where to find TikTok analytics? From your profile on mobile, click the ellipsis in the top right. Under Account, you should see an Analytics tab.

"Analytics" option in the TikTok Privacy and safety menu

Here’s how to see TikTok analytics on desktop. Login to TikTok, click your profile picture, then select View Analytics. If you plan to download data you can only do this from the desktop dashboard.

View TikTok analytics on desktop

TikTok followers analytics

Your TikTok followers analytics first appear in a graph format from the Overview tab. Toggle between the 7-day or 28-day view to chart your account’s short and long-term growth patterns.

TikTok analytics overview tab

For deeper audience insights, click the Followers tab in the upper right corner. This section includes gender and location demographics as well as follower activity, videos your followers watched, and songs your followers listened to.

TikTok profile analytics

Get a snapshot of your TikTok profile analytics from the Overview tab. Scroll past the Followers graph to see your Profile Views. Switch between a longer 28-day view or a 7-day close up to pinpoint spikes in traffic.

TikTok video analytics

The most extensive insights TikTok offers are for videos. From the Overview, you’ll find a bar chart that displays video views over the past week or month. To drill down on specific TikTok video analytics, go to the Content tab.

TikTok analytics "Content" tab

In this tab you’ll be able to see recent and trending posts from the last seven days. You can click on any video to see total likes, comments, shares, play time, traffic source, audience demographics, and more.

Tiktok analytics for an individual video

You can also check out TikTok video analytics from your profile page. Open the video, tap More (…) and then select Analytics.

individual tiktok video analytics from profile

Understanding TikTok metrics

“Viral” is a word that comes up often in relation to TikTok. But the buzzword doesn’t mean much unless it’s backed up with the right data. Here’s a rundown of the TikTok analytics you should keep your eye on, and why you should track them.

TikTok Analytics Overview

The Overview tab offers a summary of the following metrics.

Video views: The total number of times your account’s videos were viewed over a given period.

video views tiktok analytics

Followers: The total tally of TikTok users that follow your account

tiktok analytics followers over the last 7 day

Profile views: The number of times your profile was viewed over the selected period. This TikTok metrics is a good indication of brand interest. It measures the number of people who liked your video enough to check out your profile, or people who are curious to see what your brand is up to on the platform.

Follower Tab

Visit the Follower Tab to learn about your audience. In addition to key demographic stats, you can also see what your followers are interested in, making this section a good source for content inspiration.

Gender: Here you will find the distribution of your followers by gender. If you’re happy with your niche, keep playing to your crowd.

If you’re looking to grow your audience, consider creating content with more universal appeal. Or partner with a relevant influencer to gain exposure with different crowds. For example, a cosmetics brand may wish to team up with a TikTok influencer like Tyler Brown to reach his audience.

@tylerbrownThe Grinch ##makeup tutorial!! ##fypage ##tiktok ????✨♬ I’m booked – How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Top territories: Where your followers are from, ranked by country. Keep these places in mind incase it makes sense to localize content and promotions. A maximum of five countries are listed here.

Follower activity: This shows you the times and days that your followers are most active on TikTok. Look for when activity is consistently high, and post regularly in that time slot.

Videos your followers watched: This section allows you to get a sense of the content that is most popular with your followers. Have a look at this section often to see if it sparks any ideas for content. It’s also a good place to scope out potential collaborators.

Sounds your followers listened to: TikTok trends are underscored by tracks, so check the top sounds your followers have listened to see what’s popular. Trends move fast on TikTok, so if you use these results for ideas, plan for a quick turnaround.

Content Tab

From the Content tab you can measure the performance of your content.

Trending videos: Shows you your top nine videos with the fastest growth in viewership over the past seven days.

Individual Post Stats

individual post stats

Total like count of post: How many likes a post has received.

Total number of comments: How many comments a post has received.

Total shares: The number of times the post has been shared.

Total play time: A cumulative total of the time people have spent watching your video. This stat does not reveal much on its own, but can be compared with other posts to determine your account’s average total play time.

Total video views: The number of times a post has been viewed.

Average watch time: The average amount of time people spent watching your video. This will give you a good indication of how successful you were at maintaining attention.

Traffic source types: Where traffic for your post comes from. Traffic sources include the For You feed, your profile, Following feed, sounds, searches, and hashtags. If you’re using hashtags or sounds to boost exposure, here’s where you’ll see how well that worked.

traffic source types

Audience territories: This section displays your reached audience (total number of users who watched your video) and the top locations of viewers for the post. If you created a post or campaign for a specific location, here’s where you’ll see if it reached them.

Other TikTok Analytics

Hashtag views: The number of times posts with a given hashtag have been watched.

tiktok analytics hashtag views

To see how many views a hashtag has received, search for the hashtag in the Discover tab. An overview of the search results will appear in the Top tab. From there you’ll be able to see the number of views, related hashtags, and some of the top videos that use the tag.

top hashtag analytics

Total likes: From your TikTok profile, you can see a grand total of the number of likes you’ve seen on all your content. This TikTok metric could be used for a rough estimate of average engagement.

TikTok engagement rates: There are different ways to calculate social media engagement rates, and TikTok is no different. These are the two primary formulas marketers use:

((Number of likes + Number of comments) / Number of Followers) * 100

((Number of likes + Number of comments + Number of shares) / Number of Followers) * 100

Since like and comment metrics are visible on the platform, you can easily see how your TikTok metrics compare with other accounts. Or scope out the engagement rates of influencers before teaming up with them.

Average engagement estimate: For a back-of-the-envelope estimate of an accounts’ average engagement, try the following.

  1. From a profile, click Likes to see the full total.
  2. Count the number of videos posted.
  3. Divide likes by the number of videos.
  4. Divide this number by the accounts total number of followers.
  5. Multiply by 100.

Keep in mind that most engagement rate formulas include comments in addition to likes, so you shouldn’t compare these results with those calculations. But since it’s time consuming to count overall comment totals, this formula can be used as a quick way to compare accounts in-house.

Ready to start advertising on TikTok? Learn how here.


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