TikTok. The App of 2020.

Posted 15.09.20

If you’re not sold on TikTok, here’s why you really should be:

By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard of TikTok, and whilst it is the leading app in terms of downloads and amongst users aged 16-24, many millennials have given it a bad name and are reluctant to test it out. But the older-generation numbers are quickly on the rise. 

In a nutshell, it’s the world’s leading app for short-form mobile video, and TikTok’s mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. With TikTok, anyone can become a creator and share short videos from their mobiles, which means it is easy for anyone to express their creativity, whatever their interests or ideas. With their in-app editing tools, effects, and sounds, creating content is both simple and fun.

After being the most downloaded app in 2019, this record-breaking platform is only just getting started. As of 2020, 18% of Internet users outside of China are using the app, and TikTok saw its biggest month in March 2020 thanks to lockdown, with 115M global downloads – 745k of which were from the UK.

More recently, brands have been taking the leap and exploring the world of TikTok through brand campaigns, advertisements, organic creation, and community management.

Personally, I love TikTok and my usage has skyrocketed through lockdown (I’d go as far as to say I use it more than Instagram now) and so, here are 7 reasons as to why I think you should also give it a go:

  • The Personalised Algorithm 

As well as creating content, you can discover a wealth of amazing content made by other Creators on the “For You Page” – where people spend most of their time on the app. TikTok’s algorithm differs from what we’re used to on Instagram and Facebook. It is personally tailored so users are served content that fits within their interests. It really is the ‘For You’ page.

The more you use it and engage with videos, the more it understands what you like. The system recommends content by ranking videos based on a combination of factors – starting from interests you express as a user and adjusting for things you indicate you’re not interested in, too. Each of these factors is individually weighted by the TikTok’s For You recommendation system, meaning that each For You page will be completely unique to a user and their level of interest.

  • The Easiest App to go Viral on

Anyone can become “TikTok famous” because they use a content graph, not a social graph, prioritising the content you create and not the size of your following. This means you can go viral on TikTok without a single follower. Again, this differs massively from Instagram where they favour influencers with larger followings.

And of course, I had to put this to the test. After putting out one topical video using a popular sound bite, my video soon took off receiving a whopping 665.2K views! I then wanted to see if I could do this again, and low and behold, I’ve since had another video using relevant hashtags blow up, receiving 78.9K views.

Whilst I will never use my account for any big promotions or become a big TikTok influencer, it is great to see how easy it could be for brands to engage with users on the platform.

  • Wholesome Community

There is a real sense of community on the app, with many users being extremely supportive, friendly, and quite frankly, extremely witty.  The comment section is soon becoming one of the most important parts of the app, so much so that it is kick-starting trends and memes. This isn’t something that is seen often on other platforms and can help brands staying up to date with the latest trends amongst young people.

  • Creativity

TikTok is so accessible for everyone, anyone has the chance to create innovative and authentic content. Creators are just getting started on TikTok, and with the app being so new, it opens up a brand new opportunity to get pretty creative. There’s not a singular recipe for success as of yet, which means brands can test & learn a wide variety of content. The key is to not overthink it. 

TikTok’s algorithm means that frequency has no effect on your performance, so technically you could be posting 10 videos a day to see what makes the audience tick (although we wouldn’t suggest doing that).

And if you don’t want to create anything, why not use the platform to source content for your other social media channels? Chances are someone has created a video that’s relevant for your brand, and TikTok makes it super easy to save any video which you can repurpose and post on Facebook or Instagram for your current followers to see. The best part, giving credit is right there on the video as saved videos show each users username.

  • Advertisement

TikTok is just at the beginning stages of everything, including its ad offerings! They recently launched TikTok for Business which offers auction ads to any brand. What’s great about this is not many brands have begun spending on the channel, which means competition is lower than the likes of Instagram or Facebook, and with the huge user base, TikTok is making it easier than ever to connect with your target audience.

The bonus about feed ads is that TikTok themselves promote it in a way so that brands don’t end up making boring videos as just ‘ads’. They feel authentic, and just like any other TikTok you’d see in your feed. Rest assured the algorithm will punish the brands who ‘make ads and not TikTok’s’

  • Community Management

As a brand, if you’re too scared to start creating content just yet, another great way to get involved, grow brand awareness, and build a community is through community management. It’s clear that many brands have already started to do this, and the reaction from users has been positive! 

By simply browsing through relevant hashtags or sounds, you will be able to find videos that connect with your brand where you can begin commenting or liking videos.

  • Be Ahead of the Curve

TikTok is all the talk right now, and by the looks of things (as long as no more privacy issues pop up), it is only going to expand. You may not feel as though the app is right for your brand, but there may soon be a time where it is, so why not download it and have a play about. That means when the time does come you’ll know exactly what you’re talking about.

Nikki Rayner, Paid Social Media Manager

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