Every few years, a new app enters the market and redefines the way we use social media. In 2020, it looks like TikTok is taking over. As one of the fastest growing social platforms in the world, with over 1.5 billion downloads of the app and 800 million users worldwide, TikTok is fast becoming a popular platform with all age ranges as opposed to its previously teenager-dominated audience. But, is it here to stay?
For those who are unfamiliar with the app, TikTok is a video-sharing social platform, where users share videos that can range from lip syncing to comedic skits, to viral challenges. The app is owned by major Chinese company, ByteDance, and has been around since 2016. Originally under the name of ‘Douyin’, it was only available in China, until 2017 when it was launched to international markets under the name TikTok. A year later, it was merged with the very similar app Musical.ly and all users were moved to the TikTok platform. Since this merger, TikTok’s popularity has skyrocketed.
As with all trends in the market, as a business, it can be easy to feel that initial panic of ‘should we be doing this too?’, and with good reason. Whilst Snapchat was initially hailed as the next big thing for businesses hoping to reach young audiences, a couple of years on and the app is losing daily active users after facing backlash from its users following a poor re-design. It can be all too easy to be tempted to jump on a trend, without considering your business’s marketing strategy.
With all that being said, can TikTok be used for your business? Here’s some facts about the app that are worth considering:
- Sound – unlike most social media platforms, where the majority of content is consumed without sound, sound is a must with TikTok and is often the sole focus. This opens up another tool for your advertising.
- Followers aren’t the focus – when you first load up the app, you’re immediately consuming content. Users will spend most of their time on the ‘for you page’ rather than engaging with users they already follow. The ‘for you page’ is similar to the discover page on Instagram in that it offers content you may be interested in. Not only this, but a lot of the content that appears will not necessarily be viral.
- More than 40% of users are aged 16-24 – it’s a popular assumption that TikTok is a ‘generation Z’ platform, with the number of TikTok influencers growing across the world. If your target audience falls within this demographic, then TikTok could be a targeted way of reaching your consumers. Just recently, the World Health Organisation joined the app in order to provide reliable information on COVID-19.
- Effortless content creation – you don’t need to be a professional video editor to create engaging content on TikTok. With a range of video editing tools and the benefit of the shortness of the videos, it’s easy to create something that looks good and grabs attention.
With that in mind, here are some ways your business could use TikTok:
In 2019, TikTok began introducing advertisements to its users. The adverts can last between 10-15 seconds and are similar to YouTube in that they can be skipped after a certain amount of time has passed. These ads can either appear immediately after the app loads, or between videos on the ‘for you’ page.
A big part of the app is creating and taking on challenges. This could be a dance routine, fitness challenge or anything you like. As a brand, TikTok gives you the option to create a promoted hashtag to try and encourage users to create content around the theme and share it on the platform.
As with a lot of social media platforms, influencers are starting to dominate TikTok. One way to promote your products could be to experiment with sponsored influencer collaborations.
With its growing popularity and emphasis on creativity, it’s safe to say that TikTok is certainly one to watch. Ultimately, if your target audience are engaging with the app, it could be worth experimenting with the platform.