TikTok has gained momentum and just as we predicted at the start of the year, it is taking the social media world by storm.
As one of the newer platforms, we wanted to get to know TikTok a little better and share with you our thoughts on this all-singing, all-dancing social network!
What is TikTok?
In short, it’s a video sharing social network. TikTok allows users to create short snippets using a variety of sound and visual content. Users range from celebrities young and old to politicians, the general public, businesses and brands.
It’s fun! And actually, it’s quite addictive
Unlike Instagram whose focus is more lifestyle content, TikTok is definitely more entertainment-based. We have found ourselves watching endless videos and have to admit that it is difficult to put down! From miming along to lyrics, recreating dance routines and filming practical jokes, users have developed its unique flavour. Its appealing that practically anyone can create entertaining content due to the simplicity of the platform and its features.
What else do we like about it?
- Firstly, we like that you only view one post or video at a time. You’re not scrolling through a feed full of numerous posts at once and are therefore more engaged in what you’re seeing.
- The content that you view is from everyone and anyone (within your ‘interests’ that you define on setup) who happens to be on TikTok. Unlike other platforms, you will be shown posts from everyone in your main feed and not just people you are following (although you can switch to the ‘following’ feed and just view those as well). This may be a reason while it’s more likely your post will go viral on TikTok than other platforms.
- It’s easy to use. The main feed is a simple swipe format where you flick between each post and a simple toolbar leads you to the other sections such as profile, inbox and discover/search. As a new social media platform, it’s far from daunting in terms of finding your way around its layout.
- Creating a video is also much simpler than we first thought. There is an abundance of filters, sounds and features to jazz up your video so that it is exciting without too much effort. You edit as you go so there’s no need to worry about being an expert video editor!
- There’s plenty to inspire you. Not only can you view the top trending posts, hashtags and categories but your feed is full of such a mix of videos that it’s easy to get inspired by seeing what others are doing. You’ll soon see that lots of users are creating the same style or themed videos. If something is proving popular, why not jump on the bandwagon?
- Creativity isn’t that important. While there are of course plenty of carefully thought-out videos on TikTok, posts that are random do just as well as posts that have clearly had more time spent on them. This means you don’t need to spend too much time refining.
- Challenges – who doesn’t love a challenge? Well TikTok is full of them. From stair dance challenges through to exercise ones, there’s always plenty to take part in. Whether you choose to share your attempts or not, it’s fun to try!
- You can save and share – the platform is a fantastic place to create video content but what we like the most if that anything you create is not limited to TikTok. You can save anything you make directly to your phone, download videos created by others or share to platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat. If you don’t want to share you don’t have to as you can just save anything on your own profile for your private viewing.
How could you use it for business?
As an entertainment-led platform, it’s a great place to share with the world an insight into your workplace culture, your staff or your ethos. You can really show the fun side of your team and business. The more you can feature real people from your business, the better.
Perhaps you could create a video to showcase your products or brand. Place your product centre stage in a hilarious sketch or style how-to. Alternatively, use a more subtle approach where it simply features in an existing challenge or trend. A word of warning with this though: TikTok users are wise to ways of advertisers. A blatant sell will not go down well.
Who could you reach?
TikTok offers a new and fun way to engage with a very large audience. With 800 million users worldwide, your videos could reach many of your ideal customers. Whilst the market is mainly younger at the moment, more and more kinds of people are flocking the platform. As an example, many parents are now joining their children’s dance challenges. You could win their awareness by making a mark on TikTok before your competitors.
It’s home to a whole world of potential influencers. With many users creating regular content, they have rapidly grown large followings or become a TikTok celebrity! There is no doubt that this is one of the places you’re most likely to find someone influential for the younger market.
Are there paid advertising opportunities?
There are of course paid advertising opportunities. The most familiar is the ‘native in feed advert’, where your video features website links and order now buttons. It’s most similar to Instagram’s Stories but plays within a user’s feed.
What is a TikTok challenge?
A more creative way to build brand awareness could be to create your own challenge. Many businesses have opted for creating a TikTok challenge that actively encourages users to take part via their own branded hashtag. Using this option means you get to set the rules for the challenge and you’ll win exposure as potential customers see the hashtag trend.
What do you need to know about the format?
As we mentioned before, anything you create isn’t limited to TikTok. You can save what you make, so if you want to share your videos on another platform you can. We’ve seen TikTok content work well on Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn.
As we’re sure you are aware, video continues to be one of the most popular forms of content across all platforms. Getting on board with the platform where video creation is at the forefront and the means of doing simple and full of opportunity certainly seems to make sense for many businesses.
Things to note
While we have found it a fun and entertaining platform with potential, there are still some things to bear in mind if you are thinking of using it for business.
Sound is important. TikTok is all about the music or sounds on the video. If you do try to reuse anything you create on another platform where users watch videos muted, you’ll be missing the all-important subtitles. With TikTok, the sound is part of the experience.
Create for TikTok first. If you’re thinking of reusing content you’ve posted on Facebook or LinkedIn, be careful. The extremely unique personality of TikTok means it needs content designed with its unqiue, light-hearted audience in mind.
Act natural, have fun and don’t be too ‘salesy’ or make your video a blatant advert. Entertainment and people (or animals) are the name of the game, so be sure to feature individuals and make it watchable. Remember that a simple swipe takes people away from a video they don’t want to watch.
What do you think?
We’d love to hear your thoughts or be happy to discuss them or the platform with you. If you’re already using TikTok we’d love to know how you’re finding it and take a look at your posts.