For me, when I hear TikTok, I instantly think of the 2009 classic by Kesha (that I’m proud to say I know word for word) However for teenagers nowadays, it means something completely different.

I recently downloaded TikTok for ‘research’. I’ve put off downloading it for a while but working in social media it’s important to be clued up on the latest social media channel. So since lock-down and now that more businesses are starting to use it, I’ve taken the plunge!

I always thought TikTok was a channel for teenagers doing various dance trends, but after many nights spent accidentally doing ‘research’ until 3am, I realised it’s so much more than that (sort of).

 

Who’s it for? 

 

Firstly, It’s not just for teenagers. I’m 25, the top end of the target audience, and I didn’t feel like the dinosaur I thought I would when scrolling. 60% of TikTok users are Gen Zers, but recently, the number of 25 to 34 year olds rose from 22.4% to 27.4% meaning that the user base is getting older. Although it’s still a very Gen-Z dominated platform, there are still plenty of Millennials getting involved.

 

What’s it all about?

 

You probably already know! it’s been around since 2018 and during lock-down it became one of the most talked about social apps going (even more so than the zoom quiz era of April 2020!)

As you scroll through the app, you’ll see a range of short video clips from all kinds of content creators. Comedy, challenges, life hacks, tutorials, pets, fashion, and of course, the aforementioned dance trends. 

It’s one of the fastest growing social media platforms. In June 2020 TikTok was downloaded 87 million times worldwide! As a newly converted ‘TikToker’, I can confirm it’s very addictive. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and is a genuinely fun app to use, even if you don’t create any content. Their algorithm populates your feed with personalised recommendations for viewers, without having to follow anyone first. The videos play the minute you open the app, instantly sucking you in.

 

Should your business be using it?

 

We’re used to seeing brands use Instagram Stories and IGTV and more recently Reels to reach a younger demographic through both paid and organic social media, but as TikTok gets bigger and bigger, more brands are starting to utilse it as part of their marketing strategy. 

There are a number of ads you can do: brand takeovers, influencer collaborations, sponsored hashtags and in feed video ads. Huge names like Nike, Pepsi and Fenty Beauty have all run various ad campaigns through TikTok and it’s clear to see why. 

For example, Elf Cosmetics worked with influencers to promote their hashtag #eyeslipsface with a sound they had commissioned that could be played over TikTok videos. A quick search of the #eyeslipsface and you’ll see 6.4 Billion views of videos! 

As a business, these numbers aren’t something to be ignored, but unless you have a hefty marketing budget, it may be a non starter. Currently, TikTok’s minimum campaign budget is $500 and the minimum ad group budget is $50. However, it has also been reported that the cost of advertising on TikTok can be anywhere from $50,000 to $120,000, depending on the type and duration. If this is true, it explains why there aren’t any smaller businesses advertising on TikTok yet!

However, this doesn’t stop you from creating content! After all it’s free to set up an account and as long as you’re posting good quality, authentic content that doesn’t feel ‘too salesy’, you can attract a new audience. You can also easily share your videos across other channels to your already existing audience. The algorithm is quite welcoming and given that your content is good, you should be able to grow organically.

 

So the answer to whether your business should be using TikTok is… maybe!

 

If your brand appeals to a younger audience, and you can create compelling, relevant content, then yes, set up an account and start posting! 

But in terms of ads, advertising on TikTok is still a very new feature and it’s not going to reach the advertising accessibility of Facebook and Instagram anytime soon. 

TikTok isn’t going to work for everyone and brand presence on TikTok isn’t required to be successful when targeting a young audience. If you need help with your social media strategy, get in touch!