What’s Tik Tok and should I be using it?

By Jack Renshaw, placement

As the social media landscape continues to evolve and it becomes more important than ever to ensure your brand reaches its audience through the right channels, social savvy marketeers are working hard to stay on top of the latest app developments.

Introducing Tik Tok – the latest app to break the internet.

Tik Tok is a social video app that allows users to record and share short videos. With over 500 million active monthly users, it’s been one of the most popular social media apps of the last twelve months. Tik Tok’s growth has continued throughout the year and it was crowned the most downloaded app in September 2019.

With 41% of users aged between 16-24, the app is mainly targeted towards teens, filling a Vine-shaped hole in many people’s lives. Tik Tok has firmly become the social platform of choice when it comes to sharing short-form video content, taking inspiration from the increasingly popular Instagram Story.

Tik Tok videos frequently go ‘viral’, as the app hosts challenges that users recreate with their own twist. Some of the most popular challenges are:

  • The Old Town Road Challenge – Tik Tok’s challenge popularised the song ‘Old Town Road’ and turned it into a multi-platinum record, topping both the UK and US charts for several weeks.
  • The Beautiful People Challenge – Ed Sheeran started this challenge which required users to tell people that they are beautiful and resulted in a huge increase in the number of streams on Ed’s new song ‘Beautiful People’.

How can you use Tik Tok as a brand?

Surprisingly, Tik Tok remains relatively untouched by a lot of big brands, quite possibly because many are unsure how to use the app to reach out to their target audience.

That isn’t to say that some brands haven’t selected Tik Tok as a viable marketing platform. American restaurant chain, Chipotle, uses the app to host competitions and giveaways, and in doing so they have become one of the most popular brands on the app. Their challenge, known as ‘#guacdance’ generated hundreds of millions of views, with the campaign seeing a huge 300% increase in digital impressions.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is another brand marketing itself on Tik Tok. The digital team post videos from behind the scenes on game days, quick game highlights and fan submissions. Their approach has proven hugely successful, gaining NBA almost six million followers on the platform.

If you want to inject some fun and humour into your brand, then using the Tik Tok platform could be game-changing for your business, particularly if your target audience sits within the 16-24 age range.

Following and engaging with Tik Tok users in your target audience is important, as just like any other social platform, Tik Tok is all about engagement. The technology available allows users to create immersive content and encourages creativity with features such as augmented reality, 3D filters, stickers and hashtag challenges.

Like most social platforms these days, there is of course a paid-for advertising option too!

As we head into a new decade, Tik Tok looks to be taking the reins when it comes to commanding online engagement and shareability. Taking full advantage of the huge rise in video and visual content, its simple and effective concept helps to position brands in a refreshing light – and brings a whole new meaning to the word viral!

So, should you sign your brand up to Tik Tok as we speak? If your target demographic is Generation Z, then the answer is probably yes. But even if your brand targets a different demographic, teenagers and Gen Z play a huge part in making online content viral, and that’s when you know you’ve hit the jackpot.

The most important thing to consider before signing up though is, do you have the time and resource to invest in populating a new channel with brand new content? We find so many brands are quick off the mark to sign up to the latest app or social channel, but a very small percentage of those brands actually follow it through with a well-thought-out content strategy and plan.

Will that be you?

Alex Whiteside

Alex Whiteside

I have been working in digital marketing for the last four years, originally beginning in-house at an independent estate agent whilst completing my post graduate diploma in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics. I’ve worked with brands like Checkatrade, Eureka! and MBNA. Specialising in social media and influencer marketing, I love working collaboratively with clients on brand marketing – and I’m always nose deep in the latest social updates!

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