Is TikTok worth my time?
Culture Is TikTok worth my time?
Do you remember the song “Tik Tok,”? The song came out in 2009—but you’re possibly still too old to know about the other TikTok, which is a social media app of the same name. Under 23’s are the primary target audience and users of the app, which can be described as a social network for amateur music videos. (Kind of)
Where did this TikTok thing come from?
Well, before it was called TikTok it was called Musical.ly which launched in 2014 and gained a dedicated following over the next few years; in November 2017 it was acquired and merged with an existing app that no one had heard of called TikTok, so TikTok absorbed Musical.ly—all user accounts and videos were moved to TikTok, and the app formerly known as Musical.ly ceased to exist.
How long are TikTok videos?
Like the old app that was called Vine, Musical.ly encouraged creativity within very specific limits. Rather than the 6 seconds that defined Vine, on what is now TikTok, 15 seconds is the magic number. That’s the limit for recording within the app, but users can join those clips together to make stories of up to 60 seconds long. Users also have the option of uploading longer videos that were not recorded within the app and can be taken from the camera rolls on their android and iPhone phones.
What do people do on TikTok? Is it all lip-synching and waving your arms about?
Lip Synch’s were the original purpose of the app’s history, but its moved into dance moves, boomerangs (images that loop backwards and forwards), and user-uploaded video since. If you have a teenager in your house you’ll be familiar with the arm based dance moves that they come at you with constantly having seen it on TikTok, or propping up their phone somewhere to record themselves.
How do you use TikTok?
Like videos from Vine and Instagram Stories and as befitting a mobile-native app, TikTok videos are portrait. That’s not the only element of the app that might ring familiar—there are filters like you get on SnapChat and Facebook Stories, and you can show appreciation through “hearts,” which are essentially the same as “likes.”
Is TikTok only for teens and young people? Will so-called olds understand it?
If you’ve used basically any other form of social media app, you should have a pretty good head start. That said, it’s true that the app’s userbase is quite young: Earlier this year, it was reported that 50 percent of those who used Musical.ly on iPhones were between the ages of 13 and 24; that number was 60 percent on Android. (Female users outnumber males on both platforms.) Anecdotally, the app is also quite popular with tweens as well, despite terms of service that state that users must be at least 13 to sign up.
Whats the point of TikTok though and how can it help you market your business?
The best way of looking at this, is that your future customers, your future employees are right now probably under 23, and if you want to be seen by them, be known by them and to get your brand recognised by them, you need to be where they are.
Facebook use amongst the under 23’s is significantly lower than it was previously as users move to newer social media platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok, as it’s where they are engaging more than what is now seen as ‘old fashioned’ Facebook. The world of social media is fast evolving and it is important to be where the users are.
As a business though, what content can you produce that will be seen by these youngsters? Just a few thoughts and ideas:
· Day in the life videos, if you work in a creative business why not make a few quick videos of your staff doing their day jobs?
· Get your staff involved in one of the TikTok dance challenges?
· It’s the perfect platform to showcase workplace culture and build a following for the future employees that you would like to attract to your business
· If you’re a larger brand, you can use videos to promote products directly using creative videos, taking inspiration from the videos that are currently popular on the platform
· Get affiliated with one of the popular influencers on TikTok and use them to promote your products to your target demographic
Is it worth my time?
If your target market is under 23’s, 100% yes, if not, then you need to look at it as a brand awareness exercise and it has a place in your overall social media strategy of creating multiple items of content per day.
And finally, creating content for TikTok means you can use that content on your other social networking platforms at the same time, just contextualise it for the audience that you are focusing on.