Using TikTok to Keep Customers Coming Back

Store manager Sara Hankins likes to keep her work environment fun – for customers as well as employees. So when a customer asked Hankins to be in a TikTok video with her, Hankins said yes. Now, Hankins – who manages Full-O-Pep Appliances Inc., dba American Rental’s store #5, located in Seymour, Indiana – incorporates TikTok videos into her store’s social media efforts.

Store manager Sara Hankins and employee Dylan Quick show off the store’s new products.

“The first [TikTok video] we did was a viral dance challenge,” Hankins remembers. “This customer was just wanting to do something fun, and I said Sure, let’s do it. We don’t use TikTok every day; we don’t even have a dedicated TikTok page for the store. But we’re like a family here at American Rental, so we try to create a positive and caring atmosphere for our customers.”

TikTok is a social media app that lets users watch, create, and share super-short videos. Videos may be a maximum of 15 seconds, with the option to combine videos into a 60-second compilation. The app is known for its charming, sometimes challenge-oriented, and often hilarious content featuring real people and their real smartphone-shot videos.

Hankins’ store is extremely active on social media via Facebook Live videos – typically focused on sales and specials – which are also shared through its Instagram account. Hankins shares TikTok videos made with customers or employees over on the store’s Facebook and Instagram pages, too – and team members tend to share them on their own personal social media pages, as well.

Hankins (left) and an American Rental customer Nikki Booker (right) learn and record a popular dance challenge on TikTok.

“We don’t get any big following from it per se,” Hankins notes. “But it opens up a space for us to connect with our community. It lets them know that we’re real people and that they can be themselves around us. We like to joke around and try to get to know people on a personal level, so that whenever they do have something come up in their lives, they can feel like they can talk to us about it.”

Other activities 26-year-old Hankins does to help create a fun and familiar environment in her store include karaoke sessions (with rentable karaoke systems, of course), store-window painting for the holidays, and line-dancing socials.

“We want to have really great relationships with all of our customers,” concludes Hankins. “So we’re always searching for new ways to help them feel at-home, like they’re hanging out with friends whenever they’re here. It’s just more inviting when you can have fun and let loose a little; it makes people want to come back and stick around – and the longer they hang out, the more products they see. So it works out well for everyone!”

American Rentals store #5 can be found on Facebook here and on Instagram here.