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Hey fediverse, can y'all help me make a decision?

I think it would be beneficial to my business from an advertising perspective to be on tiktok, but I have ethical and technical objections to tiktok.

When it comes to the makerspace, it's very easy for me to take the stance that the ethical and privacy concerns of the tiktok platform outweigh the dubious benefits it may provide.

But for the toys, the antique store, and the coffee shop, it's not like that. I need these things to be visible online, and earning money. I need people to *discover* us.

I dunno. I'm just trying to wrestle with the moral aspect of using these platforms.

And then there's the whole datamining thing. I don't want to have to maintain a separate device and account just so I can participate in tiktok, but that also seems like absolutely the only way to do so safely.

@ajroach42

*sigh*

I getchu.

TikTok is particularly heinous from a spying on Americans perspective... but you know your tolerances, and no one else can dictate your threat Model.

Just consider filtering the type of communications you do, and compartmentalize appropriately.

then get those eye on your businesses.

@TheGibson @ajroach42

one potential risk I could think of was if the toys become popular from TikTok videos, their designs might be pirated and sold at lower cost by Chinese companies (although they might also be too niche a market for this to happen?)

@cascode @ajroach42

I'm not going to rehash the past 4 years of evidence, but the latest is further down the thread.

and of course the others are bad too...

@ajroach42

It's worth creating an account for the makerspace on ALL of the social media platforms, so that bad actors don't create accounts and rip off your reputation by pretending to be you.

Create a sandbox machine specifically that is only used for those purposes.

@ajroach42 I guess the question is... is that your target market? Usually the answer is no, but sometimes vapid attention-deficit consumers may be.

But I jest. Sort of. It's like using instagram for photographers; pointless. But it still does get your name out there to another section of society. Brand awareness is still a thing, especially as less people listen to thr radio so those adverts are heard by less of society.

It may just extend your reach a little.

@ajroach42 a used/hand-me-down iPhone or iPad doesn't seem unreasonable to use to isolate social stuff in this way. No reason to pay for cellular on an old phone, either - just use it on wifi and leave it in the store, maybe? If it had no other purpose, you wouldn't even need to sign in with an iCloud account. Would be pretty isolated that way I'd think.

@ajroach42 I guess the question I would ask is do you NEED to be on TikTok to achieve your basic goals of keeping the doors open and having that be a worthwhile enterprise? Or would it merely be better or easier to be on TikTok?

If you can’t reasonably succeed without it, well… pragmatism seems appropriate. You live in a capitalist society, and that always means doing uncomfortable things to support yourself and others.

@calcifer @ajroach42

Perhaps TikTok uses geolocation in its algorithms to push the videos of nearby businesses (in which case it /could/ potentially be useful), although looking at where Elijay is I would have thought it will need a reach of 100+km if you are aiming to attract punters on holiday from nearby larger towns/cities..

@ajroach42 you can just get a used phone as a TikTok burner. This isn't about your data as a person since this account is just for your ventures. I would try it out and if it turns out to generate leads, good! I think it's worth trying to reach different audience segments.

@ajroach42 Is there a way to mirror to it in a way that you can link back to your site? I know Instagram makes that difficult on purpose.

@ajroach42 another way of looking at it: make, by payment or other means, peeps on tiktok make videos about it. Like companies do with influencers.

I do have to say, after saying this, that sounds a lot easier than it's going to be.

@ajroach42 @djsundog I think TikTok is a bit *too* algorithmically driven and atemporal too necessarily be good for business? I could be wrong but I think if you're not yet on Instagram that would be the morally questionable but business-wise very helpful compromise to make first.

@ajroach42 I'm seeing a lot of great advice here in the thread of answers I can see.

- consider target market
- keep the doors open and/or profit
- your personal feelings

Is your audience Tik Tok users? In the early days of the web, "YOU GOTTA HAVE A WEBSITE" was the ultimate advice for any business. However, many were not purposeful sites and so much for brand awareness. Perhaps a more targeted local ad campaign would be better?

@ajroach42 I am just not sure social media is the midas touch that people think it is anymore. There's a lot, a lot of users on these platforms. If you're not posting ever 10 min, do you get lost in the void?

Social media marketing seems to be the go-to in order save on advertising or for businesses with no ad budget. They say time is money. Perhaps the price of a billboard or bus wrap is worth it when you think of the amount of time it takes to post twice a day?

@sikkdays we run traditional marketing too, and we'd likely have the staff working on the posts themselves.

@sikkdays tiktok is pretty great at driving short bursts of traffic to online products, among other things.

It's also pretty geographically focused, apparently? So it can be useful from that perspective.

@ajroach42 Ah. Like you I have steered clear of Tik Tok so far. So I didn't kmow that. Interesting.

For me, I have noticed as an insecure people pleaser I tend to do things I otherwise wouldn't. So I think those things slowly eat at me. It is another choice to shame myself with. So I have been trying to practice what I preach more in hopes it helps my mental health. That said, we all have our biases/exceptions. I still have not completely ditched insta, for example.

@sikkdays For the makerspace, we very much try to live our values. We self host, we avoid surveillance capitalism to the extent possible. POSSE, and all that.

But if it can help drive traffic to the rest of our business, I think it makes sense to leverage that.

@ajroach42 it makes me cringe every time I think about it, but my daughter makes a significant portion of her earnings as an artist via YouTube. She also maintains a significant social presence on Instagram and Twitter. All of her social media attempts to redirect her users to her online store, but I have zero illusions that she would be as successful as she is without the social media presence.

Anyway, I would never condemn a person for advertising their own personal business.

@ajroach42 probably not helpful, but if I were in your shoes I would start by looking at running android in a virtual machine (because it would be free). Looks like there's a bunch of articles on running it inside VirtualBox. Worst case it doesn't work and you lose a couple of hours to tinkering?

@beep tiktok is a video sharing platform. Getting a Webcam to act as a real camera in an android VM is not straightforward.

@ajroach42 Ah, hadn't thought about that. Do you know if they let you upload pre-made videos like IG does?

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