The Rise of TikTok
From the beginning of the pandemic, we saw a rise in the social media platform, TikTok. Here are some tips for mastering TikTok marketing strategies.
12 minute read
The latest figures show that there are expected to be 4.89 billion social media (from LinkedIn, to Instagram and of course, the increasingly popular app, TikTok) users worldwide in 2023 – a 6.5% increase from a year ago. It’s clear from these mere statistics that social media is extremely important to all of us currently. These platforms are a part of our daily lives, no matter who we are.
But let’s say you work in the marketing or communications department of your company, and you want to use social media to promote your brand, products and/or services effectively, you may be asking yourselves, which platforms are the best suited for you? There are so many social media platforms out there, but ones that currently stand out include TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. These seem to be the most popular and best ranked applications in 2023. In this article, you will delve into all the reasons why TikTok works for your brand’s marketing strategies. SmartCuts Creative, a Swiss-based creative agency, has all the answers for you. Before you start reading, take a look at our social media marketing showreel. If you need any help with social media campaigns, SmartCuts has the experience.
Social Media Platforms – Marketing
1. The key social media platforms
2. Instagram is changing
3. Is TikTok only for certain generations?
4. TikTok overtaking Google as a search engine
5. Why would brands want to be seen on TikTok?
6. How you can implement TikTok in your marketing strategies
The Key social media platforms
As established, Social media marketing is an extremely powerful tool. Most people, who have a phone, from all generations, use social media daily. Especially generation z. So, arguably, the best way to reach your potential clients directly is through social media. There are a mountain of social media platforms out there.
Here you will find a description of what each social media platform is, why it is potentially beneficial for your brand and some key statistics about its users.
Facebook is a platform that allows people to connect. Why is it good for your brand’s marketing strategy? Well, Facebook’s tools cater to the business that wants to form an authentic relationship with their audience. It allows marketers to create and distribute quality content that’s helpful for users. Facebook has 2.93 billion monthly active users and 70% of Internet users are active on at least one META platform.
Twitter is a way to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. The current character limit is 280 characters. Twitter is just recently testing out 4,000 character tweets. Why use Twitter for marketing your company? Twitter lets you share information quickly and start conversations directly with your target audience. In the U.S., there are 77.75 million active users.
Instagram is a photo-sharing application. That is its original purpose, but the use has since changed, with the introduction of reels in 2020. Why use Instagram? Instagram’s primary advantage over other social media platforms is its visual nature. If you have a business that benefits from the design of your product or if you have a service that has a visibly noticeable end result, Instagram is the best platform to showcase that content. Moreover, Instagram has over 1.22 billion monthly active users.
TikTok is a short-form video hosting platform, starting in 2016 and becoming increasingly popular from 2020 onwards. TikTok uses an algorithm that gives equal opportunity to each video for it to go viral. In 2023, TikTok is now the third-largest of the Big Five worldwide social networks (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter).
LinkedIn is a business and employment-focused social media platform. What’s great about LinkedIn is that it allows you to drive traffic to your website, identify quality leads and grow your network. Launching in 2003, LinkedIn has been around for 20 years now, making it the oldest popular social media platform. There are over 875 million users on LinkedIn.
Finally, there’s YouTube. The platform is a video sharing service where users can watch, like, share, comment and upload their own videos. YouTube is great for your marketing strategy because it will allow you to share original content that is accessible and easy for users to watch and share. In 2023, 2.6 billion people use YouTube, a 5.2% increase compared to 2021.
Now that you have been introduced to key social media platforms, let’s get into it! Discover which social media platforms may suit your business and brand best.
Instagram is changing
As mentioned above, Instagram is a free-online photo-sharing app. As a visual platform, Instagram originally was all about photographs. Marketers suggest that Instagram is great for brand awareness, explaining that every month, “130 million Instagram users engage with the shopping content”. This is a friendly way to promote your products and services. But more recently, Instagram has faced their own identity crisis in terms of branding.
What I mean by that is that Instagram has introduced video as a part of their services. In 2020, reels were introduced. Reels are short-form videos launched in competition to TikTok’s short-form videos. Marcus Bösch, a TikTok researcher and fellow at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences argues that Instagram is facing an identity crisis between at least three generations of the app: its first iteration was largely photo-based and feed-based, its second iteration introduced stories, and its third iteration introduced reels (similar to TikTok).
Notably though, most influencers today post reels on Instagram and short-form videos on TikTok. Maybe the answer is to post via both platforms. If you continue to use Instagram as part of your marketing strategy, remember to determine your target market and build a consistent brand on the platform.
TikTok: Does it only appeal to Generation Z?
As you’re reading all of this information, you may be wondering, doesn’t TikTok mainly appeal to Gen Z’s? If you’re a brand whose clients and potential customers are of a different demographic, you may be thinking, why do I need to use TikTok then? Why does my brand have to have a presence on TikTok?
TikTok is still used by 10% of Gen Xers, and 5% of baby boomers. Additionally, 40% of baby boomers view social media as an essential part of their lives.
There are several reasons as to why your brand must focus on TikTok. Firstly, TikTok is an interest-based algorithm. Content can easily go viral on TikTok, not your social analytics when it comes to brand discoverability. Additionally, so many individuals engage on TikTok. It’s an entertainment-based platform. So, you will be able to easily engage with your audiences and convey your brand messages to them.
TikTok vs. Google: The best search engines
Google is a search engine that has been around for a while now. Not only is it successful, but it’s also the most prominent search engine, in comparison to FireFox and Bing. This is so much the case, that you’ll find older generations searching for Google via search engines like FireFox and Bing.
When you think of TikTok, the first things that come to mind may be viral dance videos and pop music, but increasingly, Gen Z are using the app as a search engine too. They use TikTok to search for products and businesses, but also to ask questions about how to do things or explanations more generally. The point here is that TikTok is clearly a prominent social media platform. It’s worth your time.
Why use TikTok to promote your brand?
By now, you should understand that TikTok is a relevant social media platform in our society. But why use TikTok to promote your brand? Most importantly, TikTok uses an algorithm that means that every video has the chance to go viral, no matter how many followers an account has. What this means is that brands can have a larger social media presence.
Additionally, TikTok’s interface is ideal. It’s designed to keep users on the app for as long as possible. With TikTok, you can also add a “link in bio,” which makes the platform great for marketing.
You can take a look at this quick video, where Rimi from Hubspot breaks down which platform is better for your business: TikTok vs. Youtube.
Implementing TikTok into your marketing strategies: a how-to
So how do you implement TikTok into your marketing strategies? Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Use influencers. TikTok has the power to get your brand, products and services in front of a large audience. Influencers follow the trends and so pick your influencer partner carefully. Make sure they target the audiences with similar qualities to your own target audience.
- Be consistent. Just like any other social media platform, to see growth and success, post constantly throughout the week. Create content that is for your target audiences. A key question to ask is what kind of videos does your ideal audience enjoy creating?
- Involve the audience. You can create challenges or competitions to engage your audiences. The TikTok community loves challenges. And challenges have a higher chance to go viral.
As established, there are several social media platforms out there that companies can benefit from using. Sometimes, or in most cases, it’s ideal to use multiple platforms to really reach your target market and beyond. Just like how influencers use a combination of apps, like Instagram and TikTok, to promote their own content, businesses should also use these platforms, along with Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to sell their brand, products and/or services. As we’ve seen, there are still billions of users across each of the biggest social media platforms. Instagram may feel like a copy of TikTok, in its own identity crisis, but that doesn’t mean it’s totally unsuccessful. If you take-away anything from this article, it should be that TikTok is an extremely successful platform at the moment, and your videos will have an equal chance of going viral compared to any other content creators’ videos. Growing an audience on TikTok, if you stay at it and consistently publish quality and original content, with trending music and sounds, will seem more achievable.
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