Three things your brand needs to know about TikTok
Let's talk about TikTok.
If you haven't heard of TikTok, then ask anyone under 16 years of age, and they'll be able to give you the low down. Essentially, it's a short video creation and sharing app that allows users to get creative with a range of musical and visual effects.
Formerly known as musical.ly, TikTok bills itself as the "leading destination for short-form mobile videos," and boasts over 800 million monthly active users globally (excluding China). Currently, it's sitting at the top of App Store charts in Australia, as it has globally for the past 18 months since its relaunch, surpassing Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
Key message: it's becoming a big deal. In Australian and New Zealand, the app boasts 1.4 million users, with over 1.6 billion monthly video views. Its audience is skewed to younger users; 66% of users worldwide are under 30 years old, and 41% are aged between 16 - 24. It's the hot new place to be for Gen Z.
Why should I care?
You might hear weary social managers refer to the 'good old days' of Facebook before their paid media machine kicked in. Whilst we can only dream of those golden days of Facebook's organic reach, TikTok's filling the void and delivering impressive organic reach. And if you're producing great content - this can be a lot of free eyeballs.
At We The People we encourage adopting an '80/20 approach' to content creation; meaning, applying what's working today 80% of the time and spending 20% figuring out what's going to work tomorrow. For us, TikTok is sitting in that 20 'try it out' percent, but quickly proving its place as a channel to be taken seriously in any social media strategy.
For Gen Z brands, it's a must. If the prospect of free eyeballs isn't winning you over, then the fact that an audience of empowered creators are living on the platform, should make you take notice.
So, you want to jump headfirst into TikTok? What should you focus on to get started?
1. Be Entertaining
TikTok is a platform based on unique and original creators entertaining their audience. The impact of paid media and algorithms on Facebook and Instagram have obscured this principle on those platforms; however, it's still alive and well on TikTok.
As highlighted by Hootsuite, "TikTok revolves less around people you follow, and more around introducing users to new content." This is great news as it means that you're more likely to be rewarded with eyeballs for your excellent, entertaining content.
Therefore, the trick for brands is to create entertaining content for a broader audience. Be real. Be funny. Be unique. Take risks. Think about how could you activate your key brand message or platform on TikTok?
2. Participate in the community
Alongside your own TikTok videos, the platform still heavily revolves around hashtags, challenges and reactions. TikTok wants its users to create together, so promotes 'challenges', by prompting users to make videos that feature a particular song or idea aligned with a trending theme.
An example of this is the 'Yee-Yee Haw' challenge. (See below)
Connected by hashtags, TikTok actively promotes these hashtags on their search page to inspire users to take part. The 'Yee-Yee Haw' challenge, as seen above, on TikTok was the main driver of Lil Nas X's song 'Old Town Road' shooting to the top of music charts worldwide.
This is a great opportunity for brands to join popular challenges on the platform and directly engage with key users. Engaging responses to 'challenges' are more likely to be widely seen, create a sense of community with your customers and drive further engagement to your brand's other videos.
3. Try different things, constantly.
Try, try and try some more is the way to go with TikTok. The beauty of TikTok being in its infancy stage is that there's really no downside to jumping in headfirst to the platform. TikTok offers a sizeable organic audience to those genuine creators who can entertain audiences, so why not go chase some of those free eyeballs?
Continually trialling different types and styles of content will position you well when the platform really hits the mainstream. Most brands will want to sit on the fence and wait before jumping into TikTok, so why not take up the challenge and capitalise on the early mover advantage that's on offer?
So, go forth and get TikTok-ing!
Want to give TikTok a try, but need some help? Let us know. We’ve got an expert team ready to help!
[Photo: Toutiao/Wikimedia Commons] |  https://blog.hootsuite.com/what-is-tiktok/