TikTok And Businesses: Don’t Wade In Unless You’re Ready.

Social media is densely populated with platforms that arrive with a flourish and make a play at becoming the next big thing. Few manage to break through and saturate the market. One whose profile has grown rapidly in recent years is TikTok. For businesses, TikTok represents a social media platform rich with opportunities – and pockmarked with challenges.

As a platform, TikTok allows its users to create short-form, music-focused videos and to edit them with a variety of tools, including lenses, filters and augmented reality features. The platform says that it attracts more than 1 billion users per month, making it one of the most popular social media platforms alongside goliaths such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2021, with 656 million downloads – the third year in a row that it has claimed that honor, according to HootSuite. TikTok also is unique among its peers for the demographic of its audience and the content it emphasizes.

At Fryed Egg Productions, we work with brands to navigate the social media landscape and determine whether to engage with certain platforms – and how to do it. Here are some key points about businesses and TikTok.

Reaching a younger audience

The primary appeal of TikTok for businesses is its enviable reach with a younger audience, alongside its high engagement numbers. As a social platform, TikTok particularly draws younger generations. TikTok’s reach is highest for Gen Z users, reaching 25% of female users aged 18-24 and 17.9% of males, according to HootSuite. The platform retains its popularity with teenagers, who were the first to adopt it, but also has legions of fans in their 20s, 30s and 40s. In addition, HootSuite says that TikTok has the best engagement of social media apps, boasting an average user session of 10.85 minutes that is more than twice as long as second-place Pinterest and more than three times higher than Instagram.

Staying light

TikTok users often turn to the platform to enjoy the light side of social media. In fact, the majority of respondents to a 2022 GlobalWebIndex survey said they largely use TikTok “to find funny/entertaining content,” according to HootSuite. TikTok users embrace dances, jokes of all kinds and pranks. However, it’s not just about humor. Users also enjoy content that is inspiring and visually arresting, such as travel-related scenery, or that is otherwise visually interesting, such as with do-it-yourself projects. In general, though, popular content on TikTok is laid back, casual, playful, occasionally quirky and rarely too polished. For business, that means you will want to dig into what’s fun about your brand or your organization, while staying true to your brand. If you’re going to engage successfully with TikTok’s users, it often will need to be with your tongue in your cheek or with particularly visually compelling content.

TikTok for Business

TikTok offers the TikTok For Business program to help businesses hoping to market on the social media platform. Users of TikTok for Business can work through the platform to create a variety of ad efforts, including TopView ads, in-feed ads, brand takeover ads, branded effects and branded hashtag challenges. TopView Ads appear in a user’s TikTok feed when they open the app. In-feed ads play in full screen in a user’s ForYou feed and are skippable. A brand takeover allows your brand to create images or video ads that appear at the top of the app and are not skippable. Branded effects are tools such as games, stickers, filters and special effects that a brand can offer users to take and integrate into their own videos, representing an interactive way of engaging with your audience. In a branded hashtag challenge, the brand creates a hashtag and a related challenge and offers a goal or prize for participants who accept the challenge.

Authenticity above all

Businesses hoping to have a great marketing experience on TikTok will need to embrace authenticity and avoid the social media sin of appearing to try too hard. It can be a delicate balance. No business wants to appear on the platform and stick out for the wrong reasons, posting something that does not seem native to the platform, but neither does one want to undermine one’s organization with a silly misfire that doesn’t align with the brand. A particularly appealing part of TikTok is that it has an informal vibe that also encourages and rewards a creative viewpoint. A business cannot hope to excel on the platform without first spending time learning and understanding it or working with someone closely who has put in the time. You can’t be authentic on the site if you don’t understand what authenticity looks like – and what inauthenticity does, too. As with any marketing approach, your audience will recognize inauthenticity and hold it against you.

Fryed Egg can help you build and maintain a social media presence that resonates with your audience and strengthens your brand. If you want to learn more about how Fryed Egg can help, contact us at (813) 478-0494 or [email protected] or visit www.FryedEgg.com.