The TikTok Social Media Platform is Thriving, but Boring Posts Won’t Cut It
By Bob Brady
TikTok is a happening place. It’s hip, it’s cool and anyone who is anyone is on it. Like, literally (well maybe not literally but a lot of people, mostly teens and twenty-somethings, are). It’s actually home to one billion monthly users.
It’s full of so many different personalities from influencers and celebrities to athletes and just people wanting to have fun. They share short video clips that are, let’s say, unique, but also authentic, funny, helpful and innovative pieces of content that can go viral.
As a marketing platform it can be used to raise the profile of a person, a product or to promote an advocacy campaign.
Since there are so many people on TikTok consuming video after video, with the average person spending nearly an hour a day on the platform (and that equates to a lot of videos watched), there are numerous ways organizations, marketers and PR pros can make sure their names, campaigns and messages are seen and heard.
TikTok welcomes ads and business joining its platform. In 2020, TikTok-owner ByteDance collected close to $30 billion in ad revenue.
That’s a lot of cheddar cheese.
There’s Always a ‘But’
But, and there is always a “but.” There are two key components to TikTok and that is presenting a personality within your account, campaign or paid ads that resonates with target audiences, while also maintaining an authentic or genuine feel to the content.
In many ways TikTok is like any other social media platform that has emerged over the past two decades – Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, heck even LinkedIn. And each platform may overlap with another in terms of content, but they each serve a different purpose, and convey a different personality – even if it’s the same business on each account.
Cat memes (we all love ‘em) might be great on your Instagram account, but they probably won’t get the same reaction on LinkedIn if shared with your boss.
So, what you post on one platform, may not work for another.
One also needs to consider that each platform may have different types of users. For example, the average age of a Facebook user is 40 years old, while more than 60% of TikTok users in the U.S. are between 16 and 24 years old.
This is important to know because the way teens and young adults consume information, as well as advertisements, is different than adults in their 40s or 50s.
But this doesn’t mean at the ads and campaigns don’t work on the platform. It’s quite the opposite considering 52% of TikTok users said they find new products through advertisements on the app.
By understanding the variances in demographics, it shouldn’t be surprising to know that people on TikTok are more interested in hearing personalized stories and seeing authentic content from users of a product or even a CEO of a company on TikTok. This concept should differ from something that feels like an overly produced TV commercial promoting a product.
This is why TikTok provides a great opportunity for people and organizations to focus on a market, whether big or small, and showcase their own personalities.
Take Zach King, a filmmaker and illusionist and of course, social media personality, has more than 61 million followers by sharing a host of unique and visually entertaining videos.
Charli D’Amelio, who has nearly 120 million followers on TikTok, gained her personality and influencer status by posting talented dance videos – another niche market that is completely different from King.
In terms of organizations, the KC Pet Project, a shelter for animals in Kansas City, has more than 600,000 followers and nearly 12 million likes through sharing cute dog and cat videos. The results are better than some major companies (not naming names).
It also seems like TikTok was created for a company like Bumble, which does a pretty good job of sharing views on dating, but also selfcare, that directly relates to everyday people because it feels real and sincere.
And these account personalities are developed over the course of months or even years. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Even sponsored content on the platform needs to be specially curated to appeal to the demographic the business is trying to reach and make it not feel like it’s an In-Feed Ad.
Otherwise, users are likely to swipe left (or is that a different app?).
While TikTok may not be right for every brand, social media is a core component of strategic communications. Find out more about how Xenophon can help.