Have you misjudged TikTok? I did... until the lockdown

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Jess Staines's picture
Jess Staines
Digital Communications Executive
Our fabulous Digital Communications Executive Jess is full of hidden talents and skills. From revitalising our marketing materials to analysing our client’s websites, she certainly has hit the ground running.

Have you misjudged TikTok? I did... until the lockdown

As someone who works in digital marketing, I am pretty clued up on any new social platforms that pop up. Therefore, I had been aware of TikTok for some time. Naively, I thought it was trying to be the new Vine and was the latest thing the ‘kids’ were using, expecting it to have its moment and then fade away. Did I underestimate it? Yes, I definitely did!

For those of you who are still not one hundred percent sure of what TikTok is, it’s essentially a platform that gives users the opportunity to create and share short-form videos with a host of effects, backing tracks, and voice-overs. You can like videos and the algorithm uses this information to suggest videos it thinks you’ll enjoy, meaning content is tailored to you. 

I downloaded TikTok on day 5 of lockdown. I’d seen clips from influencers and some friends who had made content and shared it on other social platforms. Again, I didn’t think I would be too impressed with the quality of content and expected it to be teenagers doing silly dances and cute videos of dogs. After maybe 5 minutes, I was obsessed! A total game-changer for me when it comes to how I use social media. 

The content created is brilliant. For me, as a young professional in my mid-twenties, it has a real sense of nostalgia and is so engaging. The videos I was seeing revolved around things from my childhood, relatable situations presented by my peers and hilarious voice dubs. 

Perhaps it's the uncertain and worrying times we’re all living through right now that made it more comforting. To see families dancing together in their pyjamas, to dances that they’ve been practicing all day, really made me smile. 

February 2020 was TikTok’s biggest month ever in terms of downloads, with 112.9 million users downloading the app. I have no doubt that March will have been even higher, as more and more of us jump on the bandwagon to see what it’s all about. As these numbers grow, the demographic of the platform shifts. My prediction is that the average age will go up, and it will no longer be just an app for ‘the young ones’ of gen Z.

We’re now over a month into lockdown and I have already seen, as a user, an increase in brand advertising on the app. A couple of examples of businesses using the platform really well are the restaurant chain Chipotle and The San Diego Zoo. Chipotle creates content that relates to items on their menu, celebrating their customers’ love for their guacamole for example, by pairing product video with romantic ballads. They also created the #GuacDance Challenge, which went viral in the US and became the highest-performing branded challenge on TikTok to date. It was a really effective way to get their audience engaged, by encouraging them to make their own content. 

As well as this, The San Diego Zoo spotted that content they were already creating suited the TikTok audience perfectly. Videos of their animals being cute or doing something funny, overlaid with popular songs, is engaging to their audience and sets them apart from any of their competitors. This type of content is appealing to a wide audience and perfectly suits the functionality that TikTok offers.

You don’t have to be a restaurant chain or zoo to use TikTok as one of your social media marketing channels. This type of platform can be a really fun way to showcase the personality behind your business, and the fun you have in the office, on-site, or wherever your place of work may be. Creating team challenges, introducing your team or sharing short, sharp tips on a range of topics. 

If you haven’t given it a go, I would strongly recommend it. Not only in order to experience the next biggest social media platform, but to put a smile on your face and brighten your day whilst spending a lot of time at home. Maybe you’ll even have a go at making your own videos. Trust me, it’s hard to resist not having a go yourself. 

If you’re thinking that TikTok sounds like a potentially valuable platform that you or your business could be using, we’d love to hear from you and help create content. Get in touch at [email protected] to start the conversation.