It’s the social media platform that seems to be everywhere you look in pop culture. Since it exploded onto the scene, TikTok has become a household name and been almost exclusively the domain of Gen Z and even younger users. But all that may be changing. As more and varied audiences flock to TikTok which now boasts over 1 billion users, what does it mean for the platform and for your brand?
Who’s Using TikTok
At its initial launch, TikTok with its short video format and creative-in app features and music was ardently embraced by young users and, in 2019, the majority of its active users were in their teens. These young users are still a core presence on TikTok, however with its explosion in popularity has come an increasing diversity in its user demographics that is continuing to evolve. More recent reporting shows that while teenagers still represent a healthy 32.5% of TikTok users in the U.S., there’s been steady growth in other age groups. Now, a full 45% of U.S. TikTok users are between the ages of 20 and 40 and 21% are aged 40 and older. Certainly, that leaves room to grow but all signs point to a significant adoption trend, particularly among Millennials. And it’s not only TikTok’s user numbers that are growing. Engagement with the platform is extremely high with 90% of all users accessing the app on a daily basis.
What Does That Mean for Brands
If your brand has strong appeal for Gen Z and younger users, TikTok is already a major player in the social media landscape that should not be ignored. If you’ve been skipping TikTok in your social media planning because of the young audience age, then it might be time to sit up and take notice. While TikTok is still a young platform overall, the growth in older adults who are active users is at the very least a trend to watch as you evaluate your strategy to connect with target audiences. When it comes to developing a new platform strategy, you want to stay ahead of the curve, not behind it.
What Does It Take to Succeed on TikTok
TikTok may be of increasing interest to a wider variety of brands but, like any other platform, success depends on a strategic approach based on the unique character of its particular ecosystem and user preferences. As you consider a TikTok strategy, there are a few important things to keep in mind. First and foremost, authenticity is key for the TikTok audience. Content that inspires, entertains or educates while also keeping the approach real and relatable is the goal. That being the case, TikTok is generally more a place to generate brand awareness rather than direct leads or sales.
It’s also important to remember that TikTok is all about creativity. Standard stock content pulled in from other platforms likely won’t cut it here. TikTok is a place to showcase creativity for an audience with a real and proven appreciation for truly unique content. There’s also a huge trend culture on TikTok so creative spin-offs of existing trends or concepts that are easily replicated by the masses can carry a brand far and wide. And of course, using trending hashtags and sounds can boost the deliverability of your content on TikTok. In addition to creating their own unique content, many brands are also partnering with content creators and influencers on TikTok to expand their brand’s reach. Like any platform, consistency is key and it make take some testing and time to find the right voice for your brand on TikTok.
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