As the world plunged into lockdown, downloads of the TikTok app were surpassing that of social media giants Facebook and Instagram, reaching 315 million installs in Q1 of 2020. People love it, people hate it, and lots of us just don’t get it – so why is it so popular? And could it be the platform your business is crying out for?
Created back in 2017 (remember those carefree times, when corona was nothing but a pale lager typically served in Mexican restaurants?) TikTok is now the go-to app for short-form video content. Since the worldwide quarantine began, doctors, nurses, supermarket workers and even the family dog have all tried their hand at creating a viral video – you name it, someone has filmed it and put it on TikTok.
But how can businesses leverage this hugely popular app to create content that is engaging and relevant to their audience? How does it translate into sales, website traffic or new leads? Well, much like other platforms, TikTok is ALL about the trends – be it dance challenges, recipe videos or soundbites of infamous reality TV moments (Gemma Collins, we’re looking at you) this app is saturated with viral trends that spawn hundreds of videos from creators making it their own.
The biggest pro of TikTok by far is the organic discoverability of the content you produce. The platform’s ‘For You’ page shows users content from accounts they do and don’t follow, based on videos they’ve liked and engaged with before, so you can potentially reach a huge audience without spending a penny on paid sponsorships. The possibilities are endless here – it’s all about harnessing the huge library of existing content and making it work for you and your brand.
Here’s a few tips to help you get the most out of a TikTok account (besides losing an hour of your life to cute pet videos):
- Have a very clear idea of how your brand will look and feel on this new platform. Who are you trying to reach? What brand values do you want to promote? TikTok really exposes the ‘personality’ of your brand and your team – embrace it.
- Take time to explore and learn. The content that you see will be dictated by the accounts and videos you like and comment on, and that content will often form the basis of what you create within the app.
- Think about your goals. Are you aiming to increase website traffic or sales, or improve brand awareness? What do you want to get out of the platform?
- Follow the trends. Use the ‘Discover’ page to find the highest ranking hashtags, join in on other brand campaigns and experiment – you’ll get the most out of the app by essentially testing stuff out.
- Finally, don’t be afraid to show a fun, creative side to your organisation. TikTok is designed to entertain, and in this difficult period, it has become a positive distraction for many. Don’t forget to loosen up and have fun with what you’re creating.
YES, it’s frivolous, whimsical and a bit silly. But it could also be the key to tapping into a market that you haven’t even thought of yet. As the saying goes…if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.