What Every Brand and Business Should Know About TikTok

18 November 2019

‘I’m gonna take my horse to that Old Town Road,

I’m gonna ride till I can’t no more..”


You’re probably wondering what this song has to do with TikTok?

As you have already heard on the radio, the Old Town Road was popularised by Lil Nas X and the legendary Billy Ray Cyrus. But did you know that the song originally started as a meme in TikTok?

Lil Nas X was a TikTok user back then known as Montero Hill. He has been trying to promote his song on different social media platforms but it was through TikTok that the song was able to gain popularity. Under the hashtags #cowboygang and #yeeyeejuice, the song went viral, garnered a huge following, and the rest as you know is history.

It goes without saying that TikTok is more than just a lip synching and video engagement app. But what is it with TikTok really that makes it so popular, Lil Nas X aside?

That’s what you’re about to find out below. So, take that horse to the Old Town Road and read till you can’t no more:

1/ Everyone can be a creator.


With an already popular predecessor in the form of Musical.ly, TikTok makes it possible for everyone to create content without the pressure of high-quality forms of videos and gifs. TikTok gives people variety of tools such as filters, control over video speed, professional audio and a lot more. Through these tools, users can easily create content that they would otherwise find challenging to make on their own. Even with absence of polished lip synching and technical skills, you can still come up with an interesting content using a music background. Thanks to its framework that removes barriers of self-expression, TikTok allows users to play and become even more creative.


2/ Tiktok is no longer a ‘teens only’ app.


Back in the day when Musical.ly was still active, the app was successful with younger generation and understandably so. Generally speaking, the younger generation is always the first to embrace new technology. Hence, even after the merger of Musical.ly and ByteDance and the eventual birth of TikTok, its reputation has endured. But there is already a notable demographic shift with the arrival of adult creators. TikTok has already paved way for a bigger and larger demographic, which means an opportunity for brands and marketers to explore and use the platform.


3/ It has a penchant for humour and comedy.


TikTok has an endless video display ranging from hair-raising parkour moves, meme remixes, stand-up comedy, dance challenges, and makeup and cooking tutorials. No matter how different the messages are, there’s one trait similar in each video – it’s penchant for humour and comedy. If you’re a brand hoping to establish a presence on TikTok, humour can be your key to get discovered. With TikTok, being funny and going viral are strongly correlated, evident by the videos that are most viewed, liked and commented.  So think about showing your brand’s fun side; doing this will help you build consumer trust and cultural relevance, plus a potential of going viral.


4/ It has a promising global reach and local engagement.


Boasting with 1.2 billion installs globally and 500 million active users, TikTok has already surpassed Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat. It’s global appeal offers an incredible opportunity for you to crack new markets and penetrate the impossible. Take for example the Liverpool F.C. soccer club; in just a span of three months the team has amassed 500,000 fans already. TikTok paved the way for them to get in the sometimes impenetrable Chinese market. In addition, TikTok is home to many local tribes – gamers, cosplayers, fitness enthusiasts, make up aficionados, singers and non-singers alike, and so much more. To find a tribe that matches your brand, you can use the designated ‘For You’ section of the app. As obvious as it already is, TikTok’s tribal nature is an encouraging sign for brands and businesses to specifically target audiences based on attitudes, passion points, and shared interests.



Final Thoughts

We can’t all be like Lil Nas X that’s for sure but we can all take our shot in using TikTok for our marketing campaigns. It’s still not as saturated as the other social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so now is still a good time to experiment on the app. While the targeting and measurement tools are still on a limited range, the platform can offer brands and businesses a window to capture the attention of the Gen Z, the highly sought-after demographic and the world’s biggest consumer cohorts.


Social media is constantly evolving. Are your strategies evolving too? Make sure to keep up with the latest trends so you don’t get left in the dust. Team up with Elephant in the Boardroom and contact us for a free consultation.