TikTok is becoming more and more popular around the world and is slowly emerges into one of the largest social networks. While a lot of people didn’t take TikTok all too seriously, things seem to change. Is it only the Gen Zers who are active or is TikTok actually growing into a serious alternative to Facebook & co.? Here are five reasons why it might be worthwhile to set up a TikTok account for your company today.
1. Impressive amount of users
Tiktok is definitely no longer a niche player. Since its launch in 2017, the app has been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times and has been the second most downloaded app last year – ahead of Facebook, Instagram and co. While only WhatsApp was downloaded more often in 2019 than TikTok, TikTok overtook the messenger App in 2020.
As of today, TikTok has 800 million monthly active users and this number is growing daily. While a majority of users originally lived in India, the USA and Turkey, the platform has also risen in popularity in Europe over the past year. China is left out of these calculations, where TikTok has been launched under the different name “Douyin”, where it has an additional 400 million active users.
While TikTok was originally dominated by young Gen Z users (after the takeover of the lip synch app Musical.ly by Bytedance, the parent company of TikTok), millennials have increasingly settled on the channel in the recent months. As a logical consequence more and more companies have joined TikTok since. Users numbers are increasing fast and regular usage goes up. A reason for this is the enormous organic reach on the platform.
2. Organic reach
Declining organic reach – every digital marketer has faced it either consciously or unconsciously in the recent years. With an everage post, a company page reaches a maximum of 10% of its followers on Facebook, for example. In order for a post to be shown to a broader mass, users have to pay. This is what the business model of the large social networks is build on.
The possible organic reach is derived from the offer and demand of the content and users. If a platform has proportionally less content than users, it is relatively easy to reach a high number of people with a new post. This is exactly what is currently the case with TikTok. The number of users are rising rapidly and people spend a lot of time in the app – an average of 52 minutes per day! The combination of creative videos and a cleverly thought-out algorithm is highly addictive and attract new viewers quickly.
If you publish a video on TikTok today, you can get several (hundred) thousand views, also if you have zero followers! Many TikTokers like Charli D’Amelio (@charlidamelio, 15 years, 44+ million followers) have become stars overnight.
The same effect could be observed on Instagram just a few years ago. In the beginning, a young target group moved from Facebook to Instagram, just before adults and companies followed later on. Today organic reach has become very limited on Instagram too and marketers have to pay in order to reach a larger number of people.
Professional marketer should be aware that social media channels are constantly evolving. Therefore it is important to regularly rethink your company’s presence and moving to new platforms.
3. Early mover advantage
So what is the right time to get active on a new platform? There are different approaches here.
As a marketing consultant, we tend to advise our customers to use the strategy of early adoption and testing. As the various channels are changing and new platforms are constantly appearing and disappearing (myspace and friendster, anyone?), it is important to remain open to new developments.
So why get in early? The early examination of a channel has two major advantages. The first advantage is that you understand the deeper specifications of the channel at an early stage and get a feeling for the functioning of the algorithm. This gives you a strategic advantage and it enables you to optimize your activities through small testings. Secondly, early adoption has the advantage that you benefit from the very large organic reach and can thus quickly build a large follower base. That way you have a decisive advantage when all other companies start to settle on the channel.
An interesting example is Nike (@nike). Nike has been on TikTok for a full 12 days at the time of this writing and has built up a follower base of 600,000 people during this time. One of its videos has received over 9 million views. Edeka Germany (@edekaesslinger), as an example of a somewhat less prominent brand, generated 307,000 views in one try with the very first post in November 2019. We ourselves have received over 3 million views with the first post for our video production company @super8videos!
We are convinced that TikTok will not be a short-term trend and that a time and resource investment in the platform will be worthwhile. A central argument is the next point.
4. The next logical step
Technological and cultural developments and trends are often decisive for the emergence of new social networks. While most users, for example, have initially used desktop PCs to surf online, the trend has turned to mobile consumption in recent years. On the one hand, super-fast smartphones have contributed to this trend, on the other hand, the faster and cheaper data connections have boosted this evolution. Before smartphones and 4G connectivity, apps like Instagram and Snapchat would have been unthinkable. Instagram has played its strength in displaying, editing and sharing photos and has positioned itself clearly next to Facebook.
Today we see a new trend: video! As data connections and smartphones become even faster, the demand for video content is skyrocketing. Of course, other platforms like Instagram have the possibility to play video (IGTV), but this is where TikTok’s real strength comes in: the algorithm of the “For You” page and the diverse editing functionalities!
If you start the app for the first time, you will be carried away immediately. Without even having to enter a single word, trendy and highly addictive videos are suggested to you. After creating an account and using the app for a few days, you get the feeling that you only watch videos that are of real interest to you. The algorithm is impressive and the entertainment factor is amazing!
On the other hand, the app provides relatively high-performance editing functionalities. They enable you to cut and merge videos in no time, to add music, titles and so on. TikTok enables anyone to create creative and viral content in several minutes.
But for us the most important point is the following: With TikTok, authenticity returns to social media! While Instagram suffered from a reputation of being a platform for inauthentic and “faked” content, TikTok pushes users to show their honest side. It is less about posting perfect looks and beautiful locations, but rather to entertain the audience with creative content and added value.
5. Perfect addition to existing channels
As described in the last point, the trend is clearly moving towards video content. Recently, more and more companies have been investing in video content, as it maximizes reach on social media. According to a Cisco study, video will account for over 80% of internet traffic in 2020.
TikTok can currently be named as THE social media for video. It offers an impressive entertainment factor while providing something that you haven’t seen before. With TikTok you don’t have to work on perfect texts and graphics for several hours, it’s rather the initial idea that counts. The platform enables your brand to offer new perspectives to your audiences. “Behind-the-scenes” videos or “outtakes” from everyday business work very well. Also, simple content based on a creative idea works better on TikTok than over-produced videos.
The Deutsche Tagesschau (@tagesschau), for example, does this in a very clever way. Their short videos give the viewers a glimpse behind the scenes of the Tagesschau and explain in a fresh and easy way how a telepromter works or what a typical day of a moderator looks like.
Even if your own target group is not yet present on TikTok, it is at this point worthwhile to start taking a closer look at the channel . On one hand, this offers the opportunity to benefit from the currently high organic reach and to build up a large follower base quickly. On the other hand it enables you to get used to the platform at an early stage. At the moment, everything indicates that TikTok currently undergoes the same development as Facebook, Instagram and co. in the beginning and that it will become a non-ignorable player very soon.
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