Questions you need to ask before joining TikTok

Note: This post is based on a webinar hosted by Jay Baer with our friends Visit California and ICUC Social. You can watch it if needed too.

Maybe you’ve been waiting TikTok fade and run its course as the next “it” app. You expected it to go to Vine, Meerkat and its predecessor, Musical.ly. Caution about the “next big thing” is understandable for social media marketers who are likely to already take advantage of Facebook live content strategies, tweets, stories, and clicks – but you may want to join TikTok now because it won’t go anywhere anytime soon. Here’s why:

TikTok is now the most downloaded application

Since 2018, TikTok has released one of the world’s most downloaded applications. In 2020, TikTok finally surpassed Facebook as the most downloaded app globally and in the United States. While it has a reputation as a “Gen Z” mode, now 53% of TikTok users In America, they are 30 years of age or older, which is similar to Twitter users.

Not only is the popularity of the app noteworthy. TikTok users spend more time on the platform each month than Facebook users on Facebook. For TikTok users, the app is the primary source of information and entertainment. It’s as sticky, if not even stickier, than Facebook is today. It’s pretty remarkable.

Why users want to join TikTok

TikTok bridges the gap between the social network and the television network. Offering very short video clips in an endless stream, TikTok became a more social version of video streaming, replacing other entertainment sources such as TV time.

Users are actively involved in the videos they see in feeds and on the For You Page (FYP) 92% of users say they will take action by watching videos from TikTok. It’s impressive that a quarter of users buy or research products right after seeing TikTok videos – and that immediacy is something new for marketers accustomed to the challenge of targeting social content attribution.

TikTok users find ads on the platform more compelling than other social networks, and are more likely to engage or follow it.

What makes TikTok different?

We can refer to TikTok as a kaleidoscope of social media.

While it looks, feels, and functions as a social network, the user experience differs significantly from other social channels. These differences differentiate TikTok, but these differences also pose challenges for social media content producers and brand marketers, who need to understand a completely different way to create and produce video content.

Brand accounts are allowed in TikTok, but they work differently than individual users. The content made and published for TikTok was completely different from how it was created than creating it for other social networks (until Instagram copied it with Reels). Commitment to fans happens, but in a different way. Measuring and monitoring TikTok’s success also looks different.

One of the biggest differences that marketers need to know is reachability. TikTok is based on an algorithm, however TikTok algorithm itself is programmed differently than the creators are traditionally accustomed to. Content is democratized in a way that Facebook, Twitter, and other channels have never created an opportunity for. At TikTok, this happens primarily in FYP.

The authors have a real opportunity for hyper-acceleration through the algorithm and how it allows the virus to appear. Many TikTok users have a similar story of a few thousand followers literally overnight or in a single video. Brands and creators can take advantage of many niche communities to grow their presence.

Here’s how to get started in TikTok

Before you decide to join TikTok, your team should answer these 8 questions:

1. Should your brand even be at TikTok?

Increasingly, the answer is “yes” if you are looking for audiences that are A) the most global, B) not just Gen-Z, and C) resources for creating and testing content.

2. How do you measure the success of TikTok?

TikTok Views are played automatically and focus on more common video views. Other key metrics on the TikTok dashboard include Retention, Commitment, and Followers. Pro Tip: The desktop dashboard is much richer than the mobile app.

3. How much time and effort can you spend managing TikTok?

Think about how much time you need to spend creating, publishing, and engaging a vertical video. Consistency is the key to TikTok’s success, and it can be a heavy lift for marketers. This chart shows the four content levels that Visit California has planned to include on its channel.

ICUC TikTok Management Chart

4. What kind of content strategy should you have at TikTok?

Cook it for this – well great video visualizations paired with strong voice choices. Because TikTok is such a unique channel, it definitely requires its own content. Reuse of Kela or other videos cannot be played to TikTok audiences. A strong content plan must include branded products, hashtags, brand effects, author utilization, experimentation and testing.

5. How often should you publish on TikTok?

Sending a message to content producers 1-3 times a day at TikTok is not only normal, it is to be expected. This elevator is probably out of range at the start of most signs. It’s good to get up a few times a week every day, but be sure to test how consistent publishing affects success data.

6. What community should TikTok have?

No matter how often you publish, daily engagement is key to keeping up to date with trends and taking advantage of the hot – including hashtag challenges, character effects and viral music. It is best for someone to log in daily to stay up to date on what is happening.

7. Should you use paid TikTok ads?

The first app that opens when an app opens is always a sponsored video called from above. Sponsored ads also appear through a news feed. Brand tags and brand effects are other ways brands can increase reach and engagement. We recommend that you use good, consistent organic content before enhancing your videos or layering your brand content.

8. How often should you review your TikTok strategy?

Stay close to strategy as the brand channel launches and content grows. Know that your channel is evolving as fast as communities and content providers. Keeping a quarterly review is a good step to look at content pillars, micro-influencers, hashtags, and content choices.

Are you ready to join TikTok?

No matter when you join TikTok and implement the TikTok brand strategy, give room to try and try new things. While this social network isn’t entirely new, it’s certainly new and different for most social media marketers and creators. While it can be nerve-wracking, it’s also quite exciting.

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