Post here. Post there. Post this. How about that? Also be sure to post it to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok …
But stop right there! Have you thought about WHY you should post to certain platforms? Or are you even posting to the right platforms to capture the attention of your target audience?
Over the next several weeks, we’re bringing you a new series to help you make better decisions about what platforms to use and why you should use them. We’ll even talk about why you might not want to use them.
This week, we are diving in on what’s currently the hottest social media platform: TikTok.
The Basics About TikTok
TikTok found its beginnings in China in 2016, but did not reach worldwide acclaim until 2018 when it merged with popular lip-syncing video platform, Musical.ly. Now, it boasts approximately 1 billion monthly active users (MAU’s), with some reports predicting the platform to surpass 1.5 billion MAU’s by the end of 2022.
At its start, TikTok became best known for short-form 15-second video content. Later expanding into 60-second and more recently, 3-minute video options.
TikTok’s Platform Features
The platform offers a wide range of features allowing creators to edit their own videos with the app’s built-in tools, or upload their own pre-edited content. Below are some of the most-popular features available to users:
- Create – original short videos up to 3 minutes long, featuring background music and can be sped up, slowed down, or edited with a filter.
- Users can also add their own sounds and make those sounds available to others for use
- Duet – a side-by-side that follows along with another creator’s video and both play at the same time. If you don’t want duets on your video, you can turn this feature off.
- Stitch – this feature allows you to take a part of someone else’s video and use it in your own video. This is also a feature that can be turned off.
- Video reply – create a video based off of another user’s comments
- For You Page – This is the main feed for the platform. As a new user, TikTok will show you top trending content until it gets a sense of what you like. As you watch, Like and Comment on videos, you will begin to experience a feed catered specifically for you.
- Follow – If you stumble across a creator whose content you love, follow them! This will increase the likelihood that you will see their content again. There is even a separate “Following” feed to limit videos just to those from creators you currently follow.
- Direct message – easily send your friends and followers in-app messages or TikTok videos you loved and want them to see.
- Go LIVE – Just like on Facebook, Instagram and etc. you can also broadcast live video on the platform.
Why You Should Should Consider Using It
These features are great, but is it really worth your time to join another social platform? Here are a few reasons TikTok might be right for you:
- Sharing your story – Do you have an interesting story, struggle, business idea, cause that makes you unique? Do you want to spread the word? Share it on TikTok! This platform is a great way to share your journey with others so they can show their support, offer insight, and more. You might be surprised by how many people relate to your experiences.
- Capturing Attention – This platform has a high engagement rate with 28% of users opening the platform at least once per day. It draws people in so much that on average, fans spend approximately 1 hr at a time within the platform.
- No video team, no problem – According to TikTok’s recent Culture Driver study, 56% of users and 67% of creators said they feel closer to brands they see on TikTok – particularly when they publish human, unpolished content.
- Trends – The hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit now has over 8.1B views on the platform, while #smallbusinesstiktok has 3.2B and growing. Hopping on trends in creative ways that make sense for your brand gives heightened visibility to your content. Check out this list of top trends to keep an eye on in 2022.
- Finding Your Community – If you are looking to build out your target audience, TikTok is a great way to do it. Specific content categories allow users to better reach content that is relevant to them.
- Going viral – Short-form video tends to hold our attention longer. Additionally, most users stick to scrolling their “For You Page,” making your chances of going viral increase exponentially for “brands that act like creators.”
- Generating Revenue – There are several options available to earn money from your creative talent
- Join the TikTok Creator Fund! Once you are eligible, you can make a profit off of your successful video content.
- Run ads! Joining a new platform will often cost you money to be seen. Brands have a wide variety of advertising options available to help drive sales and traffic. When creating ad content, just keep in mind that TikTok values “brands that look like creators.”
TikTok Success Stories
TikTok aims to empower their community of creators, artists, and brands to bring their authentic selves to the platform. A favorite motto of theirs? “Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks.” Here are some brands and small business that inspired the community this past year:
- Izola’s Country Cooking, Hinesville, GA – Owned by Glenn and Lori Poole, this southern comfort food restaurant turned to TikTok when pandemic-related financial struggles nearly closed their doors for good.
- The Blind Woodsman, Washougal, WA – John Furnace is completely blind but he didn’t let that stop him from following his passion for woodworking.
- Duolingo – This language lesson app skyrocketed to popularity on the platform by hopping on trends and making cheeky videos featuring their mascot, Duo the Owl.
Why You Might Not Benefit From It
While hopping on the TikTok bandwagon seems great in theory, it might not be the best move for every brand. Make sure you consider these factors:
- Time – TikTok rewards consistency, but creating any kind of regular video content is time consuming. Especially if you have no experience editing. If you can’t commit to posting at least once per week, it likely will not generate the desired value for your brand.
- Supply vs. Demand – If you are going to promote your business on TikTok, you need to be prepared to meet the demand. If you do not have enough product or manpower to fulfill a potential influx in business, you may want to hold off until you can.
- Hate/Bullying – Exposing yourself and your business to a new audience opens up an avenue for criticism, constructive or otherwise. Many creators have stated they experienced this negativity on TikTok more than any other platform. TikTok is aware and does try to take an active stance against it through their community guidelines.
- Community Guideline Violations – This platform adheres to a strict list of community guidelines and will not hesitate to ban creators and remove videos that violate them. However, there is much controversy between creators over the hows and whys of some creator violations versus others that seem to slip through the cracks. Check out this successful creator who was banned for talking about their non-profit cloth menstrual pad business.
More From This Series
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