Last year was very difficult for everyone; we went through a pandemic that changed our lives and interactions. Suddenly, we found ourselves closed in our houses, with few chances to socialize and a lot of extra time. I tried everything to keep myself happy and cheerful while helping my family to navigate a new normal. We did many outdoor activities, played table games, subscribed to more content platforms, watched movies, read books, and engaged actively on Facebook, Twitter, etc. However, after some weeks, those activities became tedious. Just when I was closed to dying of boredom, a notification sound gave me a perfect way out. It was a text message from my sister that contains a link to a video on TikTok.
What is TikTok? I asked myself while opened the App. It was a video of a dog complaining about its owner. I found it funny, so I kept scrolling up and down, falling on a pool of endless entertainment for hours.
Who, what is TikTok?
ByteDance launched TikTok in Beijing, China, in September 2016. However, The App was not established in the international market until September 2017. The App has been named as the fastest growing social media platform of all time, making the shortlist as one of the most downloaded apps globally for the past two years.
TikTok is a social media platform of personalized video feed based on what you watch, like, or share. It contains short videos (between 15s. to 3 minutes) from different genres like dance, comedy, politics. Lately, it has become a perfect place for businesses to showcase their products and interact with customers more genuinely.
But what makes TikTok so popular?
The answer is that the platform uses all the characteristics of social media for its own benefit:
- Social interactivity
- Openness and flexibility
- The fast pace of flow of information
- Constant innovation and evolution
The App encourages its users to engage with others, giving them traditional tools as likes, shares, and comments, and hashtags. The most important thing is how TikTok lets creators use the content already published to make new videos through hashtags, duets, or challengeshashtags, duets, or challenges.
Anyone can join for free and create any content as long as the video doesn’t violate the terms of services of the social media channel. TikTok is simple to use, videos are easy to edit and upload, and anyone with a smartphone can create and post content. The platform also gives users access to popular songs, filters, voices, a creative center etc. The App’s most impressive setting is the endless feed of personalized videos based on an AI algorithm that interprets the user preferences and then provides customized video choices picked for them.
What is TikTok doing differently?
To be successful on any social media channel, users should develop a strategy to generate awareness of their content or brand to engage consumers. Content should be elaborate and exciting, not only resembling the characteristics of a brand, but also directed towards a target audience according to marketing goals and ideally with a planned schedule. Interaction with other brands and content creators as well as offline networks is essential to grow an audience and gain credibility.
In contrast, TikTok doesn’t want its creators to have a clearly defined brand voice. The platform wants the users to create exciting and genuine content, fresh and always different. The App allows for access to everyone interacting with the platform, not only the user’s friends or fans. Tiktok also encourages creators to jump from audience to audience, trend to trend, creating a temporary group of friends. Feedback is always instant and abundant, given the user immediate feedback regarding the audience’s preferences and which content has better engagement.
Tiktok and Social Media Marketing
We learn how Tiktok, as a social media channel, behaves differently from its successful competitors. Can a presence in Tiktok represent a presence can create any value to a business? The answer is yes.
TikTok is a very flexible social media environment, with a fast pace flows of information.
Imagine that any company, small or big, can showcase its product to thousands or millions of people without creating a loyal audience. Imagine that any business can create video ads from their phones, investing little money, time, and without significant knowledge of video production. Lastly, imagine if you could use content already trendy on the App to link your product and generate instant engagement.
So, what is the catch? The catch is that it is not easy to create viral content all the time. However, Tiktok is an excellent opportunity to generate awareness of your brand, increase your audience, and show other aspects of yourself or your business.
TikTok is a social media platform that allows brands to inspire their fans in authentic and entertaining ways. The App rewards content above all else, and its marketing strategy contrasts with other social media channels. TikTok has definitely changed the pace for generating brand awareness and the path to develop your network.
But, we can’t forget that TikTok is just one of the many available social media channels, and a business or a brand should not focus every effort to succeed in this platform.
Creating viral content, even with the help of the App, is not always possible. So, TikTok should be seen as one of many tools that we have in our reach when we plan a social marketing strategy.