TikTok for businesses: is it time you hit download?
TikTok is a social media platform getting a lot of press right now, and with good reason. It is one of the world’s most downloaded apps in recent years with more than 614 million accounts activated in 2019 alone. As a new app mainly used by teens, it’s also attracted negative coverage about online safety. There is definitely a buzz about TikTok but is it time for your business to jump on TikTok?
Here at Amplify PR, we’ve always got an eye on the latest developments in social media and what they mean for our clients. Here’s what you need to know about TikTok for businesses:
What is TikTok?
TikTok landed on the internet in 2017. So even with 1.5 billion downloads, it is still a baby in comparison to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
It’s worth mentioning that the app wasn’t totally fresh to the social media scene. In 2017 its Chinese owners bought and merged their platform with an established app doing something very similar – Musical.ly, which had been around since 2014. From here they relaunched it as TikTok internationally.
The growth it has seen in the years since is remarkable. Its infectious popularity comes down to its fresh approach to the digital social scene. TikTok is less about connecting with friends, sharing tips and exploring interests, and more about entertainment.
Users post and view amusing videos of up to 60 seconds in length. If they like what they’ve seen or think they could do better they may respond with their own video. TikTok gives users simple but effective video editing tools allowing them to create short, looping videos with special effects and musical overlays.
A lot of the content on TikTok is created around challenges. People can find these in their discovery feed or search for them using hashtags – two classic social media functions which have been adopted by TikTok.
Who is on TikTok?
TikTok has more than 500 million regular users and with its focus on entertainment, it appeals most to younger audiences.
41% of users are aged between 16 and 24 but kids as young as 13-years-old can set up an account.
What content works on TikTok?
The weirder the better. The videos that seem to work best on TikTok are humorous and sometimes quite dark. A lot has been filmed and edited quickly – they are not polished like you might expect to see on Instagram TV.
This is why, if you are a brand considering getting onto TikTok, you need to produce videos specifically for this platform. Users don’t want to see the same marketing messages they might tolerate on other social media. They want to see quirky, unusual and funny videos that say something about the human side of your brand.
And this is the challenge for businesses; staying on brand while embracing the edgy feel of TikTok content. If the videos you see on TikTok now are too far removed from your current social media marketing then maybe it’s worth holding back.
However, if your audience is on TikTok and you can embrace the wacky without a total rebrand then now is a great time to download the app and get ahead of your competitors.
If you are wondering which brands should be on TikTok, think lifestyle, food, fashion, sports and TV.
Redbull is one example of a brand hitting the right note on TikTok. Rather than selling their products, they share videos of stunts and sports that fit with their ‘Redbull gives you wings’ slogan.
Fashion brand Guess also got great exposure when its branded challenge #InMyDenim became the first to go viral on TikTok with thousands of users creating their own videos using the hashtag.
Is now the time to download TikTok?
While the excitement of a new social platform and promising initial results for some brands can make it tempting to reach for the App Store, we’d caution against it.
Consider your business’s target audience and whether you have the resources to manage another social media platform without spreading yourself too thinly.
If you want to reach a younger audience, then TikTok might be the place. But you need to make sure your social media strategy and content is carefully tailored for TikTok. Static ads and Instagram-perfect product endorsements will fall flat.
If you need help planning your social media strategy and content for TikTok or any other social media platform, we can help. Amplify PR is an award-winning PR agency based in Southampton. Get in touch to find out more about our consultancy services.