No doubt about it, TikTok, which recently celebrated its first anniversary as a standalone platform, is the hottest app in social media right now. The service has seen massive growth among users under age 25 and shows no signs of slowing down. While Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have stagnated or even dropped slightly among that demographic, TikTok has exploded.
While you’re here check out our article on How to Use Instagram for B2B Marketing & Who’s Doing It Right
On June 21st 2018 alone some 40 million new users joined TikTok – their total user base is now well over half a billion people worldwide. That makes it worth paying attention to if you are marketing your business online. Especially if you are trying to reach younger consumers.
What Is TikTok?
TikTok, which was originally known as “Musical.ly” is a video app that primarily focuses on short content including music videos and karaoke clips. However, it has expanded into other areas as well since its rebranding as a standalone company about a year ago. Users can now share their own original content non woven fabric buyer, engage in interactive polls and even add special effects to their footage. It also includes popular social features such as hashtags and private messaging so users can follow each other or chat directly with one another in the app itself rather than having to use another platform to communicate – increasing user engagement with the service overall.
This means TikTok is not just a video app any more, but a broader social media platform. It is the first standalone network of its kind for this age group and it’s drawing in users by the billions. That means if you are trying to reach younger customers – it’s an interesting option.
How Should You Use TikTok?
Using TikTok works much like using other video apps or short-form networks such as Twitter or Instagram. The difference here is that most people use it to share videos rather than text posts, so your business will probably benefit from creating some music related content for this audience to spread on their own channels. Then encourage users who have followed you on social media channels to follow you on TikTok too so they see what you create. In addition, businesses can pay to boost their content or promote a hashtag on TikTok to help influence the trending topics and get more eyes on their brand.
Who’s Using It?
TikTok is currently riding high in terms of both usage and popularity among younger internet users – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t being used in some emerging markets as well. For example, in Vietnam it has overtaken Facebook as the most popular social media channel – showing just how big this platform is getting. Not only that but Snapchat is seeing massive growth among teenagers particularly in developing markets where TikTok hasn’t yet taken off . In places such as South Africa, Nigeria and Malaysia over 30% of all snapchat users are now under the age of 25. Even in Brazil a whopping 51% of all Snapchat users are under that same age group. These emerging markets represent massive growth opportunities for social media companies targeting younger demographics and one company currently taking advantage is Instagram.
In 2017, Instagram began to use TikTok as inspiration for its own “Stories” feature – which mimics the look and feel of Snapchat Stories but uses different technology underneath. In 2018 it expanded these efforts even further by cloning their popular face filters from TikTok too. These features may have been borrowed from Snapchat at first, but now they’re being used on a much bigger stage with a much larger potential audience. With a user base that has eclipsed half a billion people worldwide – TikTok represents the future of social video. It’s just a matter of time before it becomes one of the most popular social channels on earth, so companies should learn how to use TikTok now while they can still get in on the ground floor.
5 Steps to Using TikTok
1. Create an Account:
Creating a free account is easy and there are no ads associated with it either – unlike Facebook which was once filled with them. However, businesses can pay for additional features if they want to market themselves within this app, which some have found useful when creating content for this audience.
2. Add Friends:
Users can add friends on TikTok by syncing their contacts from their phone or desktop computer or they can choose to follow certain accounts directly from the app. What’s more, you can send a “Super Chat” in addition to a regular comment – which is a highlighted message that costs money for users who want their comment read.
3. Watch and Create:
Before posting anything on TikTok, users should watch some videos to get an idea of what kind of content is popular with this audience. In addition, they might try creating some similar types of videos themselves that push the boundaries of the platform in creative ways so more people notice them. For example, Vogue did something interesting by animating several videos shot with iPhones and turning them into one long video where each frame had been captured separately – basically making it look like a fashion cartoon.
4. Create a #hashtag:
If you’re posting content on TikTok that’s tied to an event or campaign, then consider organizing related videos into one big hashtag and promoting it to get more views. Then you can use that same hashtag in your other social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to drive traffic back to your profile on TikTok.
5. Post Content Often:
Given the short-form nature of videos posted on this platform (15 seconds max), brands need to post new content often if they want users to follow their account and see what they create. When possible, try uploading three videos at once so all the content shows up in the user feed while also giving people a reason to come back the next day.
Right now, it’s still early days for TikTok with several social media platforms that have huge audiences and a lot more name recognition. However, in the coming months and years we expect this app to grow rapidly as its unique user base comes of age and they look for new ways to share their lives with others.