The NEXT Generation of Social Media

March 17, 2020
The NEXT Generation of Social Media

Jonathan Harrison

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TikTok Will Be Part Of Your Marketing Strategy

  • In 2019, we saw Instagram hit 1 billion monthly active users, cementing it as the 5th largest social media channel.
  • TikTok is catching up, with 500 million monthly active users in June 2018, now believed to be closer to 750 million.

New social media platforms manipulate the media landscape, with marketers having to adapt to the fluctuations of popularity. Do new channels offer greater ROI or a more suitable audience? That’s what marketers will be investigating next year. The increase of social mentions for TikTok tells a story. In January 2019, Talkwalker found 1.6M mentions of the app, growing 62.5% to 2.6M mentions by June. This is especially important for the younger generations, as 66% of TikTok’s users are under 30. Why the change for 2020? Barely anyone in the industry is discussing new channels in relation to social media marketing opportunities. Only 1% of mentions related to new social media platforms also mentioned social media marketing. The trend is bucking though, signifying that it will be important for 2020 onwards. For 2019 trends, 0.01% of mentions discussed the rising importance of the new social media platforms. For 2020, that number is already at 0.27%.

What does this mean for marketers?

The rise of unique and niche networks shouldn’t come as a surprise. People are no longer looking for large communities, but the relevant ones. Less noise, more genuine engagement. Yes, it’s still untested ground with limited opportunities for marketers. TikTok only started testing ads in January 2019. And of course, marketers love tried and tested methods. But fortune favours the bold. With trends, you can’t wait for others to mark the road first - you have to be a pioneer. Big brands like Pepsi, Nike and Sony Music are building communities on TikTok, aligning with new influencers to create content and a dedicated brand following. Pepsi India is driving great user-generated content through their #SwagStepChallenge, with zero marketing spend on the platform. The diffusion of innovations means that early adopters will benefit more from new technology. This has been proven when it comes to brands engaging with social channels first. It’s a risk, but one that can pay off in the long run.

Your journey on TickTock

1. Create an account and start posting!

The easiest way to market your brand on the platform is to create an account and to start posting. Keep in mind the history of the app, the user base, and accessible content on the app, and start peddling your own videos and content.

It might help to look at what other brands are doing on the app to gain their following. There are things you can do to create trends around your account, but you need at least a small audience for them to be successful. 

As we've mentioned before, Chipotle has a significant following on the app, in the tens of thousands. And it fosters this following by posting regularly. The way the content is tailored is to add humour over their feature products. Whether it’s the Adele song “Someone like You” playing over the guacamole to create a fun, yet emotional response; or a #ChipotleLidFlip challenge, they want to appeal to the teen variety of humour to progress their brand



2. Let other people create for you

Another prevalent trend for brands is to encourage users to post about your products online with a hashtag or QR Code. If you have a shop, make sure your TikTok username is visible, and it's quite probable that your customers will end up posting about their experience there. Keep in mind whether they post positively or negatively is up to you, though!

Hashtag challenges are also a huge trend within the app! You could, for example, paste the hashtag on the packaging of your products or the menus at your restaurant and ask your customers to follow the #yourbrandchallenge, which includes dancing around to a chosen song with your product in their hand in a clear view.

When executed correctly, this is an excellent method of marketing. It requires very little curation on your part and is sure to fit the sense of humour of the Gen Z market perfectly.

3. Let influencers help you

If you're really struggling to create exciting content for the Gen Z user base of TikTok, it might be time to start reaching out to users who are doing well on the platform. This is a marketing technique that has been tried and tested millions of times on every social media platform, and it works the same way with TikTok.

Asking someone with has a large follower base, to review your product on TikTok allows them to say some beautiful things about you, get more people to follow you, or just boost sales in an old-fashioned way.

4. Start running TikTok ads

TikTok offers advertising opportunities to brands in the United States and select parts of Europe. The feature is still in beta, thus the setup isn't as automated and smooth as you might be expecting.

You'll have to submit a form requesting details to set up your account, then a representative will get in touch and will set up your TikTok Ads account from there. In other words, self-service biddable ads are not available yet.

If you do get lucky, you'll be able to run your ads on various platforms, not just TikTok, for example, Vigo Video, BuzzVideo, News Republic, and others. You can also build custom audiences by uploading the IDs of existing TikTok users.

There are four available formats for ads on TikTok:

  • Brand Takeovers;
  • Native Video Ads;
  • Video Challenges;
  • Branded Filters and Lenses.

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