Written by on . Pegasus.

What you need to know about TikTok

TikTok is fast becoming the biggest player in social media, following a surge in downloads over the past few months. And it’s popularity isn’t looking set to slow down as we tentatively emerge from lockdown.  So what do we need to know about this platform?

We spoke to some of our digital and influencer experts to better understand what TikTok is all about.

So what is it?

Simone Stevens, Associate Director, Influencer Strategy

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“Some of the questions I get asked the most about TikTok are; ‘what is it?’, ‘isn’t it just for teens?’, and ‘isn’t YouTube a better option when we want to work with influencers?’.  

 “I tell our clients that TikTok is video-sharing social platform, it is used to create short music, lip-sync, dance, comedy and talent videos. While 60 per cent of the platform’s users are under 30, that means 40 per cent are older, and this older demographic is growing all the time, so we can’t afford to ignore this platform.  

“If you’ve taken a peek, you’ll see there are a lot of dancing videos on TikTok, but you will also find handy how-to videos, passionate monologues, impressive magic tricks and talented lip synching.

 “This format offers so many opportunities for content creation. And while YouTube is an effective video platform, what makes TikTok distinctive is that it is built to react quickly, it can jump on to trends instantly and can grow ideas and movements in real time, all perfect for strong influencer campaigns.”

So why is it good for brands?

Eleanor Bishop, Account Director, Social Media Specialist

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Brands can have profiles on TikTok just like they would on any other social media channel. But is it right for all of our clients? Let’s see…

“TikTok is all about having fun, and it’s the perfect social media channel to show a brand’s personality in a creative and unfiltered way. It allows brands to tell a story by addressing their audience’s emotions and providing them with the answer in a raw, more authentic way.

“Trending hashtags and hashtag challenges allow audiences to get more involved, while branded lenses allow brands to tap into users who are after a more interactive experience.

“As TikTok grows, it’s releasing lots of updates for brands, so if you’d like to connect with your audience in a fun, interactive and authentic way, then TikTok is for you!”

 

So, how are influencers defined on the platform?

 Beth Heard, Account Manager, Consumer Health Influencer Expert

BethAs a market, the UK is almost playing catch-up to other countries, such as America and China, when it comes to the TikTok ‘boom’. But many established Instagram influencers have now made the move over to the newer platform, and have naturally amassed a similar following here. These include the likes of Lydia Millen (skincare, beauty), Stef Fit (Fitness, food), and FashionInflux (fashion).

However, TikTok showcases some of the most sophisticated videography than any other platform, meaning influencers who are making the jump are having to quickly develop new and exciting ways to stay visually engaging, with slick transitions and clever music choices, to be in with a chance of landing on more ‘for you’ pages.

“‘On top of this, ‘influence’ in general on the app is much more controlled than platforms such as Instagram, because the opportunity for discovery is less apparent. Users’ homepages are serve up content based on what you have previously engaged with, and so who you see follows suit.

“Whilst it may seem like a less monetised influencer platform, brands are still utilising influencers and users to communicate their messaging. Brands are moving away from simply music, gaming or toy-focused content to more impactful brand-led and awareness campaigns.”

So what can brands do with the paid functions?

Tom Roberts, Paid Media Analyst  

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“With more than 500 million active users worldwide, TikTok presents an enormous opportunity to clients to utilise their paid platform. Not only has TikTok surpassed Twitter and Snapchat in popularity but it’s also less saturated with ads than its older counterparts. The visual app—which allows users to edit and share 15-second videos with built-in filters, effects, and music—has truly shaken up the marketing world with its unprecedented virality.

“As things stand, success on TikTok comes from product placement, branding, viral content, influencers and soft-selling techniques. Paid advertising is new on the network and brands are still finding out what they can achieve. One of its latest updates has been branded lenses, which allow users to add interactive visual effects from advertisers into their own videos. The clickable augmented reality brand effect allows viewers to see more ads from the brand.”

is a Senior Influencer Strategist at Pegasus. Simone has over 10 years’ experience in consumer, health and beauty comms, influencer marketing and digital communications. Simone oversees a pan-agency team who specialise in influencer marketing.