8 July 2020
Should I be paying attention to TikTok?
Have you had a look at TikTok? I am low key obsessed.
Not as a creator, but as a consumer.
I have actually noticed a shift in how I use social media personally and professionally.
I tend to be a “lurker” on my personal profiles, but really enjoy creating on my business profiles.
TikTok is another one of these channels, where I like to lurk and consume content.
What is TikTok
Essentially it is a social media platform that allows users to share short videos. Around 15 – 60 seconds.
Not as short as Vines, which were only 6 seconds. But still much shorter than videos you would upload to YouTube.
It is sometimes referred to as a lipsyncing app, but it has become so much more.
People act out memes backed by music and other sound bites.
You may have just heard about TikTok but it’s not even that new.
In 2018 it was the worlds fourth most downloaded app beating Instagram and Snapchat.
Did you ever hear of Musical.ly? You may notice some similarities. It was acquired by TikTok in 2017 and they eventually merged the user bases which grew TikToks personality in Western markets.
Users create fun content, often following trends and creating their own version of another users video. This is half the fun and you are not seen as a copy cat as you are adding your own personal spin.
You can also duet with other people, and show your videos side by side. Allowing you to pretend you are doing something together or allowing you to be a commentator on their creation.
It is a window into the lives of ordinary people, where they can share personal stories or just have some fun.
It can be totally wholesome, educational, funny and quite frankly, sometimes cringy.
There are TikTok dances that are performed to a specific song, and there is a strong feeling of unity when you are watching a diverse global group of people all doing the same dance.
It has made editing very simple, which means its users can easily create fun and engaging content with cool effects.
TikTik has also become home to political movements. With users creating content around important issues like #BlackLivesMatter and transgender rights.
People can inform and educate in a fun and easily digestible way. Often reaching people who they wouldn’t normally be able to in their social circle.
TikTok and Coronavirus
Before lockdown, the main demographic of TikTok was Gen Z and Millennials. (and those of you who know me well know how I hate to term millennials, and how people in marketing talk about us like we are unicorns. I usually refuse to say it on principle, and yet, here it is.)
Since lockdown, we have seen a shift in the demographics.
According to mobile industry analysts, Sensor Tower, the week before Boris Jonson announced lockdown 278,000 UK users downloaded TikTok.
When the lockdown was enforced UK installations increased by 34%!
Since this surge, we have seen a rise in “older” creators.
Lots of parents are creating fun content, which is a big shift but still totally entertaining.
Being bored, stuck at home, potentially not working, and really wanting something fun to distract us – we have turned to TikTok.
It has given us space, and permission, to be creative and silly.
Should I be on TikTok?
First, I would ask, do you like it?
You need to understand the culture and the memes if you want to take part. You can’t just create and not consume, which is different from other social media platforms.
If you don’t like it, that is fine. It’s just not the place for you.
But if you enjoy this irreverent sense of humour and mass inside jokes, then go for it!
I would recommend consuming and engaging before making the step to creating.
Advertising on TikTok
I know I shouldn’t say this, but advertising is often the death of a social media platform.
Remember when Facebook didn’t have ads? Joyous.
Or when content felt organic and not agenda-driven?
Most of the content on TikTok is just for fun… at the moment.
Some businesses are making fun, engaging content for TikTok that isn’t overly salesy.
It is a delicate balance to get right.
For example, I have seen lawyers give you some high-level advice on there using popular formats. I have also seen dietitians share healthy eating tips.
The TikTok for business page says Don’t make ads. Make ads, make a trend, make someone’s day.
Which I love – hopefully, they will encourage advertisers to focus on making engaging content and not just go after the big bucks.
So, if your brand has is brimming with creativity and personality – give it a go!
If you want to talk through the potential business benefits of being on TikTok, get in touch.