Your guide to understanding TikTok



What is TikTok?

The last thing you want to do is sign up for a new social media platform and have no idea what you’re doing or if the platform is the right one for you and your business. Take time to study and see what content works and how to interact with other users.

TikTok is derived from Musical.ly, an app where people lip-synched to audio clips and shared the videos with their friends. Essentially, it’s a video-based platform that allows you to create the content directly within the app or upload it from your smartphone. TikTok is free-form. With that freedom comes a variety of formats and memes that have sprung up on the platform — from quick sketches to DIY photography tutorials. As more and more users flock to the app, more brands are joining also, trying to market on this game-changing platform.


How does it work?

It’s straight forward as downloading the App and off you go. As soon as you open the app you will be in the ‘for you’ tab which will help you follow those posts similar to those that you have liked/followed in the past.

There is a ‘following’ tab that shows the accounts you follow. If you are brand new to the app then the ‘following’ will be empty which will lead you to the ‘search’ app. You can use this to search hashtags, accounts, and songs.


What type of content do you post on TikTok?

All the content that goes onto TikTok is video-based. There are music videos where people upload a dance video with a popular song playing over it. Then there are the challenges! So many challenges! These seem to be a huge part of the TikTok culture and language. Everything is collaborative and all users are encouraged to jump in.

Ads (another form of content) have also been recently added to the platform and there are 4 different types:

  • Infeed Native Content: This type of ad is similar to Snapchat or Instagram story ads and supports multiple features like website clicks or app downloads.

  • Brand Takeovers: This lets brands take over TikTok for the day. They can create images, GIFs, and videos with embedded links to landing pages or hashtag challenges.

  • Hashtag Challenges: Instead of trying to make a hashtag challenge go viral on your own, you can use promoted hashtags to get more engagement.

  • Branded Lenses: Branded lenses are like the Snapchat 2D and 3D lenses for faces and photos.


Should you use TikTok for your business?

Why not? This is a great platform for business and they have even created an all-in-one tool for just that. It’s called TikTok for Business (genius). The platform helps your business go through the process of creating advertisements, setting a budget, and how to reach target audiences. They are looking to help you unleash your creative side.

However, you should only really use this platform if your potential or current customers use the app. It would be a complete waste of time if your customers didn’t use TikTok. Also, you need to have plenty of ideas and time to be consistent and produce daily or weekly content which is no mean feat.

There are pros and cons to all social media platforms and Tik Tok is no exception:


Pros:

  • There is an Ads Manager that can help you expose your content to potential new customers

  • TikTok is available in 155 different countries. That is one heck of a potential audience!

  • Around 32% of users are aged between 10-19 years old and 29% are between 20-29 so if you are looking to reach a certain age range then this is for you

  • Content is cheap to make.

Cons:

  • Primary users are very young and so may not understand the need for your product or service

  • It requires niche content and so may not be in line with your brand

TikTok may not be for everyone but it’s fun and has such a wide audience so give it go.


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