Getting the most out of social media:

Is TikTok just dancing videos?

If you feel that TikTok is just “for kids” and not the right platform for your company, you might want to keep reading. The number of TikTok users is, in fact, constantly increasing in all age groups, and, as a result, the content of TikTok is also changing. TikTok is meant to entertain, for sure, but it can be used for much more.

An app for everyone
TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos on any topic. Since its launch, TikTok’s popularity has grown tremendously. In October 2018, it was the most-downloaded photo and video app in App Store globally. While Instagram still ranks above TikTok in 2022, the TikTok app was last year alone downloaded over 100 million more times than Instagram.

Most people associate TikTok with dance videos, and they are not wrong. Someone may remember kids being excited about the Musical.ly app just a few years ago. Musical.ly was a popular short-form video app, with over 100 million users, up until August 2018, when the Chinese company ByteDance Ltd. took over the app, and all the users were moved to TikTok.

TikTok is an especially interesting platform for targeting the younger generation.

More than dancing

As the number of people using TikTok increases in all age groups, and brands have noticed a new place for marketing, the content has changed and nowadays offers much more than just dancing videos. TikTok is an especially interesting platform for brands and campaigns targeting the younger generation. With the help of TikTok influencers, companies have managed to educate people about environmental issues, bullying problems, the Covid-19 pandemic, and similar topics.

In the fur industry, environmental issues is a frequent and relevant topic. The future of fur lies in the hands of the younger generation – a generation that has grown up with global warming and ecological disasters hanging over their heads. Those who work with fur all agree that it is much more eco-friendly than the faux alternative, but is the younger generation aware of this? One of the main goals for the fur industry on social media could well be to educate people about the sustainability of fur. The format can still be entertaining to engage the TikTok audience, though the message is sincere.

Should we market ourselves on TikTok?

The challenge with marketing yourself on TikTok is that you can’t get follower analytics in the same way as on Instagram, for example. This makes it difficult to understand who your followers are and what kind of content you should be making.

The short video format also presents its challenges, as you only have a brief moment to catch the viewer’s attention – swiping to the next video is so easy. With this in mind, you can’t publish a corporate video on TikTok and expect everyone to follow. TikTok is still an app for entertainment and the content should suit this purpose. Just look at brands such as McDonald’s or Adidas – their content is recognisable, but it still fits TikTok.

If you still feel TikTok isn’t the right channel for your brand, you can still use it to market yourself. How, you ask? With the help of TikTok influencers and celebrities. They have plenty of followers, and they know what they are doing. To find these people, browse the app or talk to kids and ask whom they follow. There are also marketing agencies specialising in TikTok. Finding the right people and collaborating with them may be highly beneficial to your company.

If you decide to work with an influencer, let them decide about the video content and trust the process. Marketing through micro-influencers is currently really cost-effective, but make sure always to do a written agreement – collaborating with a brand might be a new thing for them as well. And keep in mind that you may end up working with a minor who has no business experience.

Getting started

The best way to discover the different features that TikTok offers is to simply explore, but here’s a little guide to getting started:

Download the TikTok app on Google Play or App Store. Even if you are new and don’t follow anyone yet, you will see lots of TikToks on your Home page. Scroll down to find new TikToks and pause the videos by tapping on them. If you want to see the profile of the person or company who posted the video, just swipe to the left. Tap “Discover” in the menu bar to see what’s new or trending on TikTok. You can also search for a name, a brand, or a hashtag.

Tap the plus sign to film and create your own TikTok, and then save it or publish it for everyone to see. It works much like a phone camera, and you can add music and filters just like on an Instagram Story. The page called “Inbox” is where you can see your likes and followers. And last but not least, you have your own “Profile”, where you can see your activity. You can like, comment and share TikToks in the same way as on other social media platforms.

A word of caution to the user, however: TikTok can be very addictive, which is why it’s such an effective platform for getting your message out to the people.

Facts

More minutes

The maximum length of a video on TikTok is 3 minutes. In February 2022, the company announced that, after testing, it’s rolling out the ability for users to upload up to 10 minutes of content in a single post. By the time you read this article, this might have already been implemented.

Did you know?

TikTok maintains a separate app for the Chinese market, known as Duyin. It has over 300 million active monthly users. The new app’s logo is a combination of the Musical.ly and Duyin logos.

It’s an app for entertainment and the content should suit this purpose.