Two of the hottest social media platforms right now are TikTok and its newly released competitor, Instagram Reels. Let’s look at what these platforms are, who uses them, how they stack up, and how they can attract new customers to your business!  

TikTok Logo on a phone


What Is TikTok?  

With an estimated 500 million monthly users, TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform right now, and it’s only poised to keep growing. TikTok is a video-sharing social network showcasing short-form mobile videos, letting users upload and share 15 or 60-second clips set to music.  


IG Reel Logo on a phone

What Are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels use the same concept as TikTok – short, shareable video clips set to music. Instagram Reels are 3-15 second clips, accessed through the options at the bottom of your screen, the same way you’d use Stories or Instagram Live. You can share Reels to your Instagram feed, add them to a Story, or send them as a DM. You can also capture a wider audience by posting Reels to the Explore page.  

Reel vs Tiktok icon

What’s the Difference Between Reels and TikTok? 

The main differences lie in the ownership of the companies and minor feature differences:  

  • Reels is easier for Instagram users to start using  
  • TikTok gives you the option of longer videos (up to 60 seconds) and longer filming countdowns (3-10 seconds) 
Instagram Reels alignment feature
  • Reels has an alignment feature for time-lapse clips where lining up with your last frame is important 
TikTok voiceover


  • TikTok has voiceover, reactions, and duets features
  • Reels benefits from Facebook’s partnerships with music labels, giving wider access to officially licensed music 

Is TikTok or Reels Better? 

Both TikTok and Reels could be described as the fusion of Snapchat, Vine, Twitch, and Spotify – meaning they appeal to many different types of users. Their user-friendly interface makes it easy to film, edit, and share videos without any special software or equipment. Reels gives your established Instagram following a new way to engage without having to open a new app, adding another layer to their experience. And because TikTok is currently in legal limbo, should the platform get banned, Reels provides a comparable replacement.  


icon of 3 people smiling

Who Uses TikTok and Reels? 

TikTok has only been around since 2018, but it’s already become one of social media’s big players. TikTok’s most popular forms of content are dance videos, social challenges, tricks, and funny clips. It’s not only carved out a niche on the internet, but it’s the preferred social platform of Generation Z, skewing to a younger audience. So, if you’re looking to attract younger customers to your business, it’s important to have a presence on TikTok and Reels.  

Why Use TikTok or Reels for My Business? 

On TikTok, it’s easier to get a large following quickly, which you can then direct to your other social platforms. On Instagram, you’re offering your followers a fresh, new kind of content on a platform they’re already comfortable using. Localized challenges, contests, and hashtags make it easier to find your audience and get noticed. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of hashtags, but because TikTok and Reels are both new, it’s still possible to make an impact. By using both Reels and TikTok, you can increase your business discoverability, get noticed and attract new customers, expand your business demographics, and offer your established clients something that’s new and fun. TikTok and Reels are a win/win for your marketing plan!  

TikTok and Reels logos with money signs

How Do I Use TikTok or Reels for My Business?  

Reels and TikTok are a low-pressure way to add something new to your social marketing plan. It’s easy to blend information and entertainment together, and even easier to quickly film, edit, and share your clips. Practical, tip-based videos with targeted hashtags can get as many views as dance and humor clips – which is great for stylists, barbers, nail artists, and personal trainers!  

Here are a few ideas to get you started:  

  • Tips & Tricks – Teach people to trim their bangs or mustache, how to do a box jump, or how to mend a broken acrylic tip.  
  • Before/After Clips – Who doesn’t love to see a total transformation in less than a minute? These are a fun, shareable way to showcase your skills, tell the story of your business, or highlight a glow-up.  
  • Product Spotlights – Got a new favorite dry shampoo, gel polish, or protein powder? Do you sell it in your online shop? Let your followers in on the secret! Reels and TikToks let you spotlight products without it feeling like a sales pitch.  
  • Go Viral – Harness the energy of viral trends for your business! If there’s a trending hashtag, see if there’s a way to tailor it to your business. Get your staff to do the latest dance together, make a “Yup/Nope” clip, or create your own challenge! 

Use TikTok and Reels to turn your knowledge into something fun and see what happens when you share it! Vagaro’s easy-to-use email marketing and text marketing make it easy to share your TikToks and Reels. You know what your customers want to watch – and we know how to deliver it. Get started with email and text marketing today!

P.S. If you own or manage a business that charges rent and fees, learn more about how you can do that with Vagaro’s new Automatic Rent & Fees feature.



Images: Girogio Trovato via Vagaro and Mia Montemayor via Vagaro