What in the World is TikTok, and How is it Taking the Social Media Sphere by Storm?

Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are all staples in our social media lineup, but there’s a new platform that is currently on the rise—TikTok. Currently the world’s most downloaded iPhone app, TikTok is shaking up the social media sphere and providing a well-defined corner of the Internet for creators to gain traction and consumers to engage with their favorite influencers and peers. Here, the social media mavens at Zest examine the rapid growth of TikTok, and how it can impact your company’s marketing strategy. 

So, What is TikTok? 

If you haven’t heard of this social giant, TikTok is a video sharing platform that allows users to post short, 15-second videos in various categories such as music, fashion, comedy and more. If you have a middle or high-schooler at home, you’ve probably heard all about it—about 40% of the app’s audience is teenagers. Originally founded as ‘Douyin’ in China, TikTok made its way to the United States in 2017, and has since brought major shifts in the world of social. With over 500 million active users globally, TikTok has become one of the most downloaded apps ever and is still consistently growing. 

How does TikTok Compare with Other Social Platforms? 

While other social platforms have soared in popularity among millennials, TikTok is grabbing the attention of the Gen Z crowd, who have been surrounded by technology since childhood. Within the first half of 2018, TikTok was downloaded over 100 million times—a record-breaking feat. Although TikTok is working to change the social media game, the one thing they still fall short on is engagement, which is defined as the number of monthly users who open the app every day. While Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook all sit at a whopping 95% engagement rate, TikTok falls far below at 29%. In other words, users are not necessarily opening and actively using Tik Tok on the daily compared to other social media giants. However, TikTok is taking steps to compete in other sectors, such as in-app spending and the emergence of digital ads on the platform. 

Tik Tok is also more than just sharing videos. With the current low interaction among users, companies can use this to their advantage in their marketing efforts. Using trending hashtags such as #thatmademyday or participating in a challenge started by other users can help your company gain views and attraction. Similar to Instagram, Tik Tok also has ‘like’ and ‘comment’ features on videos, but surpasses Instagram with their ‘duet’ feature. This feature allows for users to join in and respond to other videos they like with a video reply. Starting a TikTok for your business and maintaining consistent communication with your consumers can help your company reap social and financial benefits. 

How is TikTok Changing Marketing Tactics? 

Not only is TikTok gaining popularity among consumers, but among creators—such as artists, musicians, singers and influencers—as well. Because of such rapid growth, influencers have an even greater opportunity to gain followers and go viral. Similar to Instagram’s ‘Discover’ page, TikTok has ‘For You’, a page that curates content tailored to the individual through an advanced algorithm. This suggested content is often produced by a user that you may not have explicitly chosen to follow or friend, which increases your opportunity to discover new content that you may have never stumbled upon otherwise. Ultimately, this platform’s capability can keep you hooked on the app for hours.

Since almost half of all Gen Z-ers are online for more than 10 hours a day, this skyrocketing market is not one to leave unnoticed, and they are looking for companies who can break through the noise. A great example of TikTok marketing can be seen through Chipotle. Since Chipotle was the first large company to partner with TikTok, their wide customer base of Gen-Zers flocked to the app, and participated in the #GuacDance and #ChipotleLidFlip challenges the company created. With the help of TikTok, Chipotle’s digital sales have grown 99% since last year. Understanding what platforms your customer follows most, and breaking into that market will allow for stronger two-way communication, and increased social growth. 

Talk About the Latest Trends with the Zest Marketing Gurus 

Is TikTok going to take over the current social media sphere? Are other platforms such as Instagram and YouTube going to continue to lose traction? Will marketers have to shift their strategies to engage with consumers on these new sites? At Zest, we’re here to help you decide your company’s best marketing strategy, and if TikTok is right for you. 

Mavens on all things marketing, and devoted to all things digital, the social media marketers at Zest can help your company navigate the ever-changing technological landscape and develop strategies to help maximize engagement and profit. For more information on the many services provided at Zest, contact our digital marketing team today