Do you remember Vine? That video-sharing platform where people made six-second videos and uploaded them online. Well, Vine is no more. Now, the hottest video-sharing app on the market is TikTok. Not to be confused with Musical.ly (a similar video sharing platform), TikTok began life as a platform for people to record themselves lip-syncing and dancing to music, using fifteen second clips which can run in succession for up to a minute long. This new social media platform has quickly grown in popularity – in fact, it was the most downloaded app in 2018; with nearly two billon downloads, from both Apple and Google app stores and 800 million users, it is fair to say that TikTok has captured people’s attention. Influencers, celebrities and even politicians, have all been quick to jump onto the TikTok bandwagon.
As we have seen, social media platforms have evolved over the years to not just be about keeping in touch with long lost school friends and showing off your cooking skills – businesses have realised how effective social media can be, as a form of marketing. Facebook and Instagram have already become valuable tools for marketing in recent years – can TikTok be used the same way, and can it help your business? Well, the answer is – it really depends on what your brand and business is all about.
So, what are the pros and cons of using TikTok for your business:
- Over 800 million users.
Yes, Tiktok has become extremely popular – and with that many users, just think of the potential customer base you could reach.
- Allows for more creativity.
Tiktok can be brilliant for stretching those creativity muscles and give you the chance to experiment. It can also allow you to show a more playful side your company.
- Be Personal
The informal nature of TikTok, can give the opportunity to be more personal. This could be ideal for showing the world the people behind your business.
- Hashtag Challenges.
This has proven to be an effective tool – especially regarding customer engagement. Guess invited customers to show them how they wore their jeans using #inmydenim; Chipotle developed #guacdance for National Avocado Day, where customers were asked to show off their choreography talents all in the name of guacamole. These challenges were not only fun, but both Guess and Chipotle saw a significant increase in their sales.
- If your brand is aimed at the more mature individual, then Tiktok may not be useful, as the app tends to be more popular with a younger generation.
One thing that is noticeable about TikTok is its demographic. Data has shown that users of TikTok tend to be of the Gen Z age group (16-25); however, that does not mean that the app is not viewed by those of a slightly older e.g the Millenials – it is now estimated that over 40% of TikTok users in the States are over 30. So, it may be worth examining whether your business or brand will be appealing to Tiktok’s main age group: is your product affordable? Could your brand be something that will trend with the younger people?
- Technological challenges.
One issue that has been reported is that TikTok videos can not be easily linked to your website. For any long-term analytical data, you will need to make your own spreadsheets to keep track; TikTok only holds data 28 days.
So, TikTok may not be perfect, but if you believe that your business is compatible with this method of marketing, then it may be an asset for reaching out to potential new customers.