Talking TikTok: Why You Need to Pay Attention
I’ve been in social media for a long time (not MySpace long, but Facebook pre-business profile long). In that span of time, I’ve seen a lot of platforms come, go, implode and explode.
Remember Periscope? How about Vine? And who remembers when Live video was billed the next big thing? And when Instagram for business seemed crazy?
My point is—it’s a rapidly changing environment. While Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have maintained their status as the biggest networks in recent years, there are MANY more social networking platforms out there, including one that threatens to unseat those in the top spots: TikTok.
In the two short years since it launched (well, sort of, it was re-branded from musical.ly), TikTok has 500 million monthly active users and one billion downloads. To compare, Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users, and stories has 800 million monthly active users—and is 13 years old.
But that’s not what really sold me. Less than 24 hours after my client’s account went live, we had more than 1000 followers (1080 as I write this), 531 likes and 427 comments on the single video we re-posted from an influencer account.
That is a LOT of everything. It’s a ton of followers for 24 hours and for a single piece of sponsored content. It’s also a ton of engagement for that window of time—and when you compare it to Instagram, it’s insane.
The influencers we worked with (Gen-Z account @wewearcute) have ~2.5M followers on TikTok, which is impressive, but again—it’s when you compare our results to Instagram that the impact is even more evident. For example, our brand ambassador Liza Koshy has 17M followers on Instagram, and when she posts about us, we normally get about 200-400 new followers.
As of late, Instagram has felt like an uphill battle. I blame declining reach and engagement, paired with the penalization of bot automation and followers, plus the prioritization of paid advertising. In short, it takes more time and effort to get the same kind of engagement we all used to get.
But it’s not just us!
TikTok is a platform that Gen-Z loves, but it’s not just for teens and tweens. As the New York Times put it, “Arnold Schwarzenegger was on TikTok, riding a minibike and chasing a miniature pony. Drag queens were on TikTok, opera singers were on TikTok, the Washington Post was on TikTok, dogs I follow on Instagram were on TikTok.”
There are dancing grandpas, cops, celebrities, politicians, brands, and yes—even newspapers. #CopsofTikTok has 58.5 MILLION views.
So, if you’re confused about how it could work for your business, I recommend you start by downloading the app and digging in. This is guaranteed to be fun! There’s something insanely addictive about the content on the platform. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a weirdo and TikTok is basically a social network for weirdos, but it’s super entertaining.
I definitely feel like a newbie to the platform (ironically, I also feel old), and truth be told, I’m pretty clueless about how to do some of these Vine-level video tricks. But after my first experience working on TikTok, I’m convinced.
As I continue to execute and learn on TikTok, I’ll be sharing my learnings (as always). Who else is ready to join me on TikTok?