Does it make sense to advance in this social network?
Experienced marketers often reject new trending applications: the fact that a new platform appears does not mean that it will become a useful tool in the marketer's arsenal in the future.
There are many precedents for this - while Snapchat, for example, was initially considered the next trend for marketers hoping to attract a youth audience, since then many of its original followers abandoned it because of its difficult to measure return on investment, usability problems and high advertising costs.
But TikTok, a short video publishing app originally launched by Bytedance in China in September 2016 and adored by teens (and younger) around the world, may well be worth your attention. A recent New York Times report titled “How TikTok Changes the World” explores some of the differences between this application and other platforms; in particular, thanks to calls by users to become creators of content and entertainment value for a very young audience.
Home In 2019, Tick Tok is perceived in Russia as a very exotic platform: SMM promotion on social networks Instagram, Vkontakte and Facebook are much more familiar.
As already noted, TikTok has actually long been popular in China and has gained a significant audience in Asian markets. In an effort to expand, Bytedance's parent company acquired Musical.ly in November 2017 using existing Musical'ly audiences in the western regions (at the time of acquisition, Musical.ly had 60 million users, most of whom were in the United States) . ) After an almost year-long period when Musical.ly was used as its own application, Bytedance changed the branding of the application to TikTok in August 2018, which led to the emergence of a new audience.
And it is growing rapidly - now TikTok, which is known in China as Douyin, has more than 300 million active users per month and 150 daily active users in China. To this was added more than 26 million in the USA, who spend an average of 46 minutes a day in the application.
So, what content is most interested in TikTok's growing young audience? In a word: fun. For example, lip sync contests have become very popular.
Bytedance pays great attention to artificial intelligence, which means that the algorithm quickly learns and adapts to the individual tastes of each user. This allows TikTok to create an almost endless stream of interactive content every time a user logs in.
By its nature, the platform is essentially interactive. TikTok encourages users to create their own videos, and not just watch other people's videos (although this is also completely normal). Users also do not have much trouble recruiting subscribers - at least it's not as difficult as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
And as the application grows in popularity all over the world, the question arises for any SMM agency: can brands (and will) join this celebration of life?
While companies such as NBCUniversal, Viacom and Hearst initially signed agreements with Musical.ly, it might not be appropriate for other brands to get involved in a story that seems purely youthful. The TikTok audience is wary of advertisers and seems to be becoming less and less loyal to Instagram (probably because all their parents already have accounts, and the saturation of advertising on Instagram is already high).
At this early stage, the most likely path for brands on the platform is through marketing. TikTok already has a group of extremely popular "stars", many of which are grown by the company itself.
If you are already thinking about how to attract opinion leaders, make sure that the person you decide to work with knows how to entertain (and engage!) the youth audience. Interactivity and creativity should be the first thing to consider. And the “star level”, involvement and the number of subscribers on other platforms are secondary.
Who knows, maybe your freelancer who draws comics on a remote site can be your very first TikTok influence agent.
© Sophie Maerowitz