Whether you are an avid TikTok user, you have heard of it but not seen it, or this is your first-time hearing about it, the time has come to embrace this social media platform and the audience that comes with it. In this 3-part blog series, we will be introducing you to this app, showing you how to use it, informing you of the marketing reach it provides, and explaining why and how it works.
What is TikTok?
When TikTok debuted in 2016, most of the general adult public was unaware of it. It was launched by ByteDance, a Chinese startup, but the usage didn’t really begin to increase until late 2017. At that point, TikTok acquired the app Misical.ly and was able to transfer the then 200 million account list into the TikTok platform, boosting its awareness and growth.
A social media platform appealing to younger audiences, TikTok is to videos what Instagram is to pictures. Users create and upload short videos that are up to 15 seconds long (with the capability to string together 4 different segments to create 60-second videos) and have the capacity to incorporate filters, sound, and music to reach a wide audience of viewers. It started with mostly dance challenges and lip-synching but has since evolved into a destination where users can explore hacks, How-To’s, campaign for change, and discuss various subjects.
The growth and reach are astounding, and the statistics are hard to ignore:
- TikTok has 1 billion active users worldwide
- Perspective: it took Instagram 6 years from launch to gain the same number of monthly active users, TikTok achieved this in under 3 years
- TikTok is ahead of LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat in terms of social network apps
- 90% of TikTok users access the app every day and are extremely active
- Users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app
- TikTok appeals to younger generations but seems to be retaining those audiences as they grow in age
- TikTok is projected to attract 1 billion more users by the end of 2022
Just For You
When users log into the app, they have an individually curated home feed called the “for you” page. This is where users go to discover the latest content and choose whom to follow and what to engage in. The algorithm TikTok uses gives content a good chance of going viral within the platform. The platform selects content that is interesting and highly engaging for each unique user and moves that content to the “for you” page. If you are using a popular hashtag or a trending sound (music, meme), it is easy to gain visibility.
New users to TikTok will be asked to choose various categories of interest to help get their “for you” page started. Once that is determined, you can customize your feed by liking content or by marking “not interested” on videos you do not wish to see again. At the bottom of your screen, there is also a button to “discover.” This is where you can find hashtags and creators appealing to you and begin to follow them within your profile. The beauty and simplicity of TikTok is that it keeps your feed interesting and engaging by making sure the content is varied. The app will look at what you already love and watch and make recommendations on things you have not seen that you may also like. This means – the end user will see not only videos from those they know and follow, but also people they may be interested in following—furthering the reach for creators.
The absolute best way to get started using TikTok is by downloading the app and exploring. Before we get into the nitty gritty of creating videos, video features, and marketing with TikTok, take a moment to really get to know and use the app. Create your profile, customize your “for you” page, and start watching. Check out the “discover” button and see what you can find. Follow hashtags, individuals, influencers, and brands. However, take this as your official warning: IT IS HARD TO STOP ONCE YOU START!
Stay tuned to our social media and website to read the rest of our upcoming series on TikTok. We will be sharing why this may just be the marketing tool that is perfect for your business or personal use. We’ll also share a step-by-step on how to make videos using all that the app has to offer.