Oct 28th 2019

TikTok… BOOM


With TikTok continuing to lead as one of the most downloaded apps of 2019 and rising UK interest in the platform, we take a look at why brands should get on board. 

What is TikTok? 

TikTok describes itself as ‘the destination for short-form mobile videos.’ In August 2018, lyp-syncers paradise Musical.ly was rebranded as TikTok, after being purchased by Beijing company ByteDance. We’d liken TikTok to ‘Vine’, for those of you who remember the six second twitter app – but better. 

Who uses it?

Anyone over the age of 13 can use the platform, however it has had a reputation as the place for teenage girls (probably because of its roots in lyp-syncing). The younger Gen Z demographic is definitely flocking to TikTok but we predict greater usage from the 25+ age group too, as those who started on the platform likely to remain there, in a similar pattern to how those who grew up on Facebook often maintain their presence there.

Why use it?

TikTok is easy to digest, and perfect for those with short attention spans (most of the population then!).

Currently it’s easier to get organic reach on the platform, like in the early days of Instagram, and it’s all about the hashtags. On TikTok, even with limited followers, if you align with the hashtags and create good content you can get mass reach. One of the few places brands can do this. 

We like the usability of the app, and we’d describe it as interactive, collaborative and hugely addictive. It’s memeable content. 

Another real plus is that all the music available from the TikTok music library is legal to use on your own videos. Old Town Road by Lil Nas went viral driven by TikTok, and we’re seeing lots of entertainers join because of it (and their followers).

What is a TikTok influencer?

TikTok influencers can also have large followings in the millions, and so far do not have the lifestyle/fitness bias of their Instagram counterparts. We see more entertainment based influencers and those more willing to shows flaws and comedy angles.

Any reasons not to like it?

Currently TikTok has more limited direct message capability, which still places Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp clearly above it for those one-on-one conversations. 

The other point is around engagements, 15 seconds of someone on TikTok vs 30 minutes on YouTube is less commitment, and arguably less of a deeper engagement.

Why should brands consider using TikTok? 

As we’ve highlighted, the app is experiencing phenomenal growth and it’s still in its early days really. We’ve learnt over the years it’s easier to grow a channel when joining at the start which presents a great opportunity for brands to cut through and be first in their space.  

It’s a positive environment – with rarely any negativity. Less judgemental and scope for lots of content.

Commercialisation of the platform is in the plans which bodes well for long-term stability of the app. TikTok is starting to place ads in-between videos and considering how creators can make money. 

How do I start?

Download the app and take a look around (search for On The Tools to find out what we’re up to). Have a look to see if your competition are on there, what they are doing, and when. Think about your objectives and what you want to achieve, asses your resources and any expert support needed. 

To find out more about how we can help with your social media get in touch and let the sparks fly.