With numbers approaching 1 billion active users, the potential of TikTok as a social media platform is quite clear. What makes it so interesting is the number of iterations it has gone through and how it comes to sit, at the current moment, as one of the most high potential platforms and the most engaging of all the social platforms on the market. This growth has brought with it numerous news coverage, blogs, and articles delving deep into the platform and trying to understand what makes it so attractive to the younger part of the population that gravitates towards it.
Whether or not you subscribe to the hype, TikTok could become the next Instagram or Snapchat. And while as a social media platform that is and will be quite impressive, the true value of TikTok as a social media platform in the marketplace is the advertising potential which currently is in its nascent stage.
Understanding TikTok as a Social Media Platform
A social platform brings together vast numbers of peoples to congregate in one place. And generally in order to do this the platform should have various engaging tenets that propel and motivate people to engage with the platform and stay with it for periods at a time. TikTok does this very well and offers some of the most engaging features on the market in addition, people spend a longer amount of time on it.
As a platform it enables users to create, distribute, and discover videos and viral videos that are entertaining and engaging created by other video producers. Now this sounds very much like a number of the other social platforms on the market, and particularly one that was famed in its time, Vine. However now TikTok has taken the helm and added on to what Vine provided through a focus on keeping people on the platform as long as possible through its engagement focused interface. The app is mainly utilized by the largest demographic that companies hope to reach, adolescents to early stage adulthood, as a means of expressing themselves through some fun activities such as dancing, singing, lip-syncing, comedy, etc.
Many of the elements featured in the TikTok application includes music discovery, hashtags, communities, and trending issues. The posts shared on the platform are centered around hashtags, and this element acts as the primary way of discovering and tagging content. These and more are a few of the engagement elements mostly appreciated by users of the platform.
Who is using TikTok?
The TikTok application has more than 500 million global users across over 150 countries of the world. In the first half of the year 2018, TikTok came into the limelight while also becoming the world’s most downloaded application on Apple’s app store. The app boasts an estimated 140 million downloads surpassing downloads of other social media platforms such as YouTube, Whatsapp, and Instagram within that same period.
As reported by Iresearch Index in October 2018, TikTok recorded a total of 51.76% males and 48.24% females in the demographic breakdown And this is further corroborated by research from eMarketer. Furthermore, this report also revealed the age distribution of users. Statistics showed that globally users under the age of 35 accounted for 26.3%, users between age 31-35 accounted for 28.8%, and users between the age of 25 and 30 accounted for 27.91%.
If the research is correct then we can assume that a wide strata of age demographics are engaging actively with the platform. This is quite surprising, because generally with the type of platform that TikTok is, we would assume that it would appeal more towards the younger subset of the population. However with the engagement optimized focus inherent within the platform, the result is a platform attractive and engaging for a wider population.
Is TikTok Good for Business Advertising?
Tick-tock is great for business advertising however it currently lacks a self-serve ad platform, consequently advertising through it requires working with influencers and creating videos that have the potential for virality. The upside of this lack of a self-serve ad-platform is that users can enjoy a more relaxed experience absent of a lot advertisements.However, this doesn’t mean that the platform won’t navigate to that direction, because it may not be free for a very long time. Its certainly not sustainable as a business in that form longterm.
For many brands and advertisers, this could be an opportunity to build a user base and benefit greatly from organic advertising techniques that showcase your product and services directly to a prospective audience. For instance, you may begin by issuing a hashtag challenge directly targeted at your followers to showcase your products. Guess Denim did a very good job of this with their ad campaign
TikTok remains an early phase platform where the really big brands in the market are exploring ways to promote themselves. Make use of this avenue to advertise and promote because even if you just rely on the current nascent marketing infrastructure, utilized well within the platform, it could result in returns not possible with the other social platforms on the market.