“TikTok might not be the new Facebook, but what criteria should you be using to decide which social platforms are right for you?”
TikTok’s self-proclaimed mission is to “inspire creativity and bring joy” through the medium of mobile video. Whilst terms like ‘joy’ and ‘creativity’ may be reminiscent of your own company’s values, it is worth asking yourself whether TikTok is the right social platform on which to share them.
TikTok has taken the world of social media by storm in recent months, with more than two billion downloads worldwide across the Apple App Store and Google Play. Created with the purpose of allowing users to create and share their own videos, TikTok is currently available in 155 countries in over 75 different languages.
Whilst these figures may seem to present a convincing case for incorporating the social platform into your own business’ marketing, there are a few factors that are worth considering before you jump onto the trend:
Do you have the resources?
TikTok videos are famed for their humour and spontaneity. It’s a common sight to scroll through the app and find millions of ten second clips that seem to have been filmed on the spot with nothing but a catchy tune and some freestyle dance moves. Behind the scenes, however, you’re likely to find a trained film crew, a professional video editor and a choreographer; in short, spontaneity often takes preparation. If you have the financial and human resources to build and maintain an active TikTok account, the added exposure is perhaps a worthy investment for your business’ marketing department.
If your videos make their way onto users’ ‘For You’ page, your business may encounter a surprise boost in sales. After joining the TikTok train earlier this year, Little Moons quickly rose to fame with videos of their new Ice Cream Mochi Balls, sweet desserts that left TikTok users scouring the aisles of their local supermarket. Aided by the hashtag #littlemoons, the company experienced a whopping 700% rise in sales, with their videos racking up an average of 53.4 million views across the platform. Be wary though, success stories like this don’t happen without the help of a large budget and a dedicated social media team.
Is it practical?
Unlike other social platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, TikTok’s app analytics lack a certain level of sophistication. Analytical data is only available to view at monthly intervals (28 days to be precise), making it difficult for businesses to track their user engagement across each quarter. If your business relies heavily on data tracking and the ability to monitor social engagement across multiple platforms, it may be more beneficial to invest in a social platform with more complex analytical software. If you’re able to invest in a round-the-clock team to keep detailed records of your social analytics, however, then TikTok’s limited simpler app analytics may not prove to be too much of an obstacle.
Who is your target audience?
According to recent analytics, TikTok appeals largely to the younger demographic, with those aged between 18 and 25 accounting for over 25% of users. This figure drops to a mere 9.3% amongst the next age category of 25–34-year-olds. If your business specialises in family holiday packages or wedding venues and is aiming for a boost in sales, you’re therefore unlikely to benefit from investing your time and finances into the app. Alternatively, with a clever marketing strategy, your business may be able to benefit from TikTok’s narrow demographic. Life hacks and ‘How To’ videos have added a whole new dimension to the platform, with users sharing lesser-known tips on how to tackle a variety of different household problems. A recent viral hack encouraged viewers to use shampoo and a squeegee to remove streaks on a bathroom mirror, a tip that left many hair companies feeling a little bit smug. And rightfully so; if your business’ products can lend themselves to a viral life hack, you may be able to use TikTok to reach out to other age groups that you may previously have written off as unattainable.
Is the tone appropriate?
Given that the current hot topic of TikTok is a short clip of Harvey Price exhaustedly reflecting on “What a day…” it’s been, it might be worth considering whether the overall tone of the app is appropriate for the nature of your business. The majority of video clips that are uploaded onto TikTok are made specifically for comedic value, with users engaging with viral dance trends and amusing lip syncs. If you work at a funeral parlour, for example, it may not be in good taste to post a video of yourself and your colleagues doing the WAP dance in a crematorium. Alternatively, if your business has the capability to inject a sense of humour into its marketing with little risk of offending its two billion users, then TikTok may be perfect platform for boosting your digital exposure.
When debating which social platform to integrate into your business’ marketing strategy, ROI (Return on Investment) is of the utmost importance. It would be counterproductive to invest a large portion of your budget in a platform that is only likely to generate an extra ten sales per month. Asking yourself these questions will help make the task of deciding which social platforms to invest in a lot less daunting; whilst it may be tempting to hop straight onto the TikTok trend, remember to consider all of the ‘behind-the-scenes’