TikTok is one of the most rapidly growing social media platforms of this decade gaining 635 million followers in 4 years.
Due to the amount of engagement this app has with its followers, huge companies across multiple sectors have already started advertising on the platform. This includes Emirates, Levi’s, Marvel, as well as charities like the British Red Cross.
It originally launched as a short video sharing platform, primarily used for lip-syncing and dance videos. However, this has grown into a multipurpose platform where people promote various types of content from cooking to activism to soundbites of the daily news.
Engagement with this platform is high, with 29% of TikTok users visiting the app every day. Research has also shown that due to the app’s highly specific algorithm that tailors content to the specific viewer, it becomes more enticing, encouraging the user to spend more.
But how has this impacted consumer spending habits?
A new report found that consumer spending reached $2.3bn in 2021, a 71% increase from the previous year. With TikTok stating that 25% of their users have purchased something after seeing it advertised. However, another study found that 41% had purchased products specifically from promotional advertisements on the platform in 2021.
These statistics highlight the influential power of platforms on consumer spending. Whilst we already knew social media platforms are a useful tool for marketing in general, TikTok’s rapid pace videos and algorithm methodology means that the user is frequently bombarded with funny and engaging videos that promote the most relevant products.
Is TikTok right for your business?
The platforms main target audience is people under 35, capturing primarily Gen Z and Millennials. The short videos provide the opportunity for companies to advertise the product or experience within 3 minutes meaning that the viewer is more likely to watch and engage with the post.
The platforms advertisement works best for products that are visually appealing that captures the audience’s attention with humour and vibrant colours. Due to the audience, brands that are fun and trendy tend to be more successful on the app, and need to connect to these generations in a way that they feel represents them and their lifestyles and ambitions.
A critical decision that companies should consider before engaging and promoting their products on the app, is whether they have the resources to post regular TikToks.
Companies do this by creating a free business account and employing or giving an employee control of the account and its content, such as a social media manager.
For smaller companies, in order to save money, they can ask a younger employees to take control of the account as they tend to have more experience with using the platform and know how to increase engagement though post interaction.
An example of how a smaller company became successful through TikTok is the Natural Annie Essentials, a company that makes soy candles from Jamaican roots. After their first viral TikTok the profile has gained 15.2K followers, regularly posting about the success of the thriving business.
Overall, TikTok can be an incredibly useful tool for companies if their products are aimed for the platform’s audience. If the company is committed to regularly posting and engaging with their followers, the platform can boost and promote their products and reach a vaster audience on a global scale for free.
Making this a key marketing tool that will continue to grow over the next few years.