So you’ve heard of the latest huge social media platform, TikTok.
Wondering what all the fuss is about?
Want to learn how to connect with TikTok’s audience?
Is TikTok even the right platform for your brand?
Well, let’s discuss.
If you haven’t heard of TikTok, allow us to fill you in. TikTok is effectively the 2020 revival of the wildly popular short-form video site, Vine.
After Vine was sold to Twitter and subsequently closed down at the end of 2017, there appeared to be a gap in the market for short-form but addictive video content.
Despite at first being shunned by anyone over the age of eighteen, TikTok has become one of the most effective ways of creating engaging content for a brand audience.
If you’re still not convinced you should be using TikTok, The Drum says that ‘while all major social media platforms start with a younger user base, usually in the age bracket of 16-25… those demographics change and new social platforms, like TikTok, steal the younger audiences because of their creativity and innovation.”
If you’re looking to get the attention of a new generation of consumers, TikTok is the place to be.
However, brands should tread lightly.
Just like any other social media content created for marketing purposes, potential customers are savvy at spotting when the content is inauthentic or forced.
While TikTok may be beneficial for a company like Chipotle (who has already been the springboard for multiple memes), it could actually do more harm than good for a brand such as Chanel or Hermes, who have a luxury client base and a reputation for conducting themselves in a more professional manner.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at three brands that are using the social media platform to interact with Gen Z.
Although TikTok has over 800 million users worldwide, brands are still relatively new to the platform. Therefore, their follower counts are not as high as some social influencers. However, with 4.7 million followers, this brand is a perfect example of the type of company that can succeed with TikTok.
Nickelodeon is a children’s TV channel that has been producing award-winning shows for decades. Their target audience is already inline with TikTok’s average user, and their channel successfully combines new content with nostalgic clips from old TV shows to appeal to a broader audience.
With past programs such as the nineties sketch show All That, and absurd comedies like Drake and Josh and iCarly, TikTok feels like an authentic step for the channel to take in 2020.
With so many brands now flocking to TikTok, marketing teams need to get creative with their content. Fitness tycoons Gymshark realized this quickly and began creating original content that was unique to their target market.
Rather than trying to sell people their clothes directly, Gymshark is producing educational content, motivational videos, and inspiring messages that speak to their target audience: fitness enthusiasts.
By producing exciting and engaging content, the brand is indirectly promoting its product and also showing off its brand ethos and company culture.
With 1.5 million followers, it’d be hard to argue that they’re not organically elevating their brand awareness in the process.
The Brit Awards
This year, in an apparent effort to capitalize on the increasing number of people choosing to watch the ceremony online, The Brit Awards launched the hashtag #livefromthebrits on TikTok.
The hashtag encouraged potential viewers to create their own Brits-related content while also making it easy for users to find clips from the show.
In addition to this, The Brits invited the UK’s biggest TikTok influencers Holly H and Tessa Bear to the ceremony as ‘TikTok ambassadors’ to help establish credibility with a younger audience.
While the hashtag worked well to direct viewers to content from the actual award ceremony, it appears to have been misused by TikTok users hoping to gain views from a popular hashtag.
Overall it seems to have been a successful collaboration, with a live stream of the event presented by the influencers at Piccadilly Circus.
As it’s still in its infant phase, it’s clear that TikTok isn’t going to be the go-to social network for all brands. After all, its user-base is predominantly Gen Z, which means that while it may be effective for B2C brands and those with a younger target demographic, it may not be the place for B2B brands to push their content… yet.
As is the way with all social media platforms, the user demographics will change over time as the platform continues its meteoric rise. Not to mention the fact that competitors are already popping up, such as Instagram Reels.
We’re keeping a close eye on TikTok, but will it stand the test of time?
Senior Marketing Manager and Employee Advocacy Program Manager at DSMN8. Lewis specialises in content strategy, growing brand visibility and generating inbound leads. His background in Sales lends itself well to demand generation in the B2B niche.