When it comes to TikTok, the clock is ticking in more ways than one. With any new trendy platform comes a frenzy of questions. Is the app here to stay, or just a trend? What makes the platform so successful? Is it worth using for marketing purposes? How on earth does one market on a platform that seems like uncharted territory?
Trust us, we’re just as confused as you are. So we took these questions to our #SMTLive Twitter chat to see how everyone else is feeling about the new platform, and if we could come to some predictions or consensuses together.
But first, we wanted to give a solid definition of what TikTok is.
TikTok is a new social app for creative minds. Users create 15sec videos (which can be combined to make longer videos), using music, filters, effects, editing tools and more to put together a final product. The point of the app is to make and share creative content. #SMTLive— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) May 14, 2019
Then we shared some fun examples (let’s just say this platform has pretty light-hearted successful content thus far).
Now that we covered our bases, we asked the hard questions about TikTok, and got a wide variety of answers.
Is TikTok here to stay?
While some seemed to think the platform has staying power because of Gen Z…
… others predicted that TikTok will be a fad, referencing similar previous platforms.
Who uses TikTok?
Obviously, social media marketers try to market on platforms their audience uses most. So this begs the question: Who are TikTok’s people? And is your audience there? The short answer is: It depends.
TikTok seems like a marketing dream come true for this #SMTLive chatter.
A3. I currently do social media in the political field. It looks like the audience is quiet young. It would be interesting to see if this could help us connect with 1st time voters #SMTLive— j o a n n e (@iJoanneDorce) May 14, 2019
And maybe it has potential for those looking to get that #youthvote, too.
A3: #smtlive definitely think if Gen Z is your audience, you should look at TikTok. I know a lot of millennials who don’t even know what TikTok is ????— Amanda Shepherd (@missamander) May 14, 2019
Short answer: Gen Z is on TikTok, but millennials haven’t gotten there yet. Adjust your TikTok marketing strategy accordingly.
Why does Gen Z love TikTok?
Marketers have become a little obsessed with psychoanalyzing Gen Z lately, and honestly, we’re into it. So we asked #SMTLive why they thought the elusive Gen Z loves TikTok more than millenials and other generations do.
A4: #TikTok does well with younger generations because teens love video content. They are equally as interested in discovering information as they are sharing it and they prefer content that’s delivered in real time #SMTLive— IMI (@iMarketingInc) May 14, 2019
Classic. Video content seems key here.
A4: #smtlive that’s a great question. Just looking on the surface, it seems like gen Z really enjoys expressing themselves via video and TikTok is the only platform with in-app, editable video capabilities.— Amanda Shepherd (@missamander) May 14, 2019
We all know Twitter and Facebook can be a little too serious for the kids of the internet, but TikTok seems to provide a fun-factor that other platforms might be missing.
GenZ seems to probably just wants a social media app to have FUN and not be bombarded with all the noise on the internet. This is basically just a virtual form of goofing around with friends. #SMTLive— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) May 14, 2019
If a brand can be creative enough to make users laugh on the app, TikTok is a great place to gain respect from their target audience. #SMTLive— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) May 14, 2019
Where are the older generations?
And will they be coming to TikTok any time soon? #SMTLive users cited a few incidences from the past that might indicate older people following Gen Z to TikTok…
A5: Historically speaking, adoption of a social platform first occurs within younger generations. While #TikTok may never be a top social channel for older generations, there's no reason to believe it won't expand to older generations. #SMTLive— IMI (@iMarketingInc) May 14, 2019
A5. Why not? Selfies started as a young audience thing and now even my grandma does them! #SMTLive— Sonia Garrido (@soniagarr) May 14, 2019
It seems like people think those older than Gen Z have the potential to hop on the TikTok train, being that they’ve joined platforms popular with younger people in the past. But TikTok would have to have some industry staying power in order to give these new members time to become engaged users. Maybe once it gets big enough with Gen Z, the parents of Gen Z will follow.
A5. Anything is possible ????????♀️ I think if there was a reason for them to do it, it would be primarily to connect with their kids. Look at how many families connect over Facebook. #SMTLive— Jess (@Jess__Marchese) May 14, 2019
What do marketers need to know about TikTok?
With all the above predictions and opinions in mind, how is this platform relevant to marketers?
Perhaps influencer marketing could have some success here, too.
Ads are available and a solid option, but there are plenty of other ways to market your brand here. Ex: find influencers (as you would for any other social media app) and have them work your product/service into a video. #SMTLive— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) May 14, 2019
We’re still waiting to see how ads do on TikTok, but we'll be sure to let you know what we think of them when there's some more data on the subject.
True -- ads haven't been tested long enough for us to know how well they work here. #SMTLive— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) May 14, 2019
Product placements. But also collabo like we’ve seen on YouTube. #SMTLive— j o a n n e (@iJoanneDorce) May 14, 2019
Thanks for stopping in on this #SMTLive Twitter chat recap! We hope to see you at our next chat too.