The newest app on the playground – what you need to know about TikTok

Attention marketers: there’s a new social media app on the playground, and it’s taking the world by storm! Filling the void left by Vine, which was discontinued in 2016, TikTok launched in early 2018 and has already made quite an impact on how consumers are using social. Created by Chinese tech firm ByteDance, the app allows users to create 10- to 60-second looping videos with musical overlays, sound effects and image filters.

In just two short years, TikTok passed the 800 million monthly active users mark, reaching mostly Gen-Z and millennial audiences. More than half of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34 with 56% being male.

To help make informed decisions about your social media strategy, here are some interesting stats on the app:

  • TikTok was the third-most downloaded app globally as of early 2019 according to a study by Business of Apps
  • The app hit 1 billion downloads by February 2019, beating Instagram and Facebook in app stores according to Business Insider
  • As of late October 2019, TikTok was the Top Free App in the Entertainment section of the Apple App Store
  • Roughly half of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34 with 60% being between 16 and 24
  • The app has 26.5 million monthly active users in the U.S. according to Digiday
  • Average users spend 52 minutes per day on the app
  • 90% of users visit the app more than once per day
  • According to Digiday, TikTok claims the average session is nearly five minutes, which is longer than Snapchat or Instagram’s average session.

Because the app allows videos to be published instantly, it is a great platform for both branded and non-branded content. However, traditional marketing is not a fit. In order to grab users’ attention, marketers must get creative, and flex their comedy muscles. The most popular videos on the app include music, comedic shorts, duets and challenge videos. Some brands that saw early success on the platform include Guess with the #inMyDenimChallenge, Chipolte with the #ChipolteLidFlipChallenge and The Washington Post with their funny newsroom shorts.

If you’re targeting Gen-Z and operating on a limited budget, TikTok might be worth the experiment. Users can easily find company pages, follow or search for posts. Videos can also be optimized with hashtags and keywords, making the search more user friendly than other platforms like Snapchat. However, the app is not ideal for driving website traffic, yet. Because it’s in the experimental stages of development, links on videos are reserved for only certain brands, and this feature is costly. There also aren’t many public statistics on advertising and engagement, yet. As the app aims to grow its advertisement revenue, more information can be expected to become available.

As you begin brainstorming your TikTok debuts, here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Show your sense of humor
  • Take advantage of filters and music
  • Use hashtags to join conversations and respond to challenges to boost engagement
  • Consider using the app to provide an inside look at a day in the life of your office

And most importantly, HAVE FUN!

Britney Bailey

Britney Bailey

Britney Bailey is the Marketing Account Manager for Growth by Design, the marketing arm of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU).  She has a decade of experience in marketing, ... Web: www.growthbydesign.org Details

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