TikTok is a social media platform where users can watch, like, and create short video clips. As of January 2022, TikTok is the sixth most popular social media network.
Content on TikTok takes the form of video clips ranging from 15 seconds to 3 minutes in length.
Users can record and edit videos in the app, adding music and special effects. Users can also add to other creators’ content. In comparison to YouTube, where about 13 million users are content creators, 55% of TikTok users upload their own videos each month.
TikTok lends itself to a wide variety of topics. Like other social media platforms, TikTok groups content using hashtags. The most popular hashtags on TikTok include Entertainment, Dance, and Pranks. Lifestyle content–on topics such as fashion, fitness, beauty, and DIY– is also very popular.
Sound is a differentiator for the platform.
Best practices for sounds include using one that aligns with your video and timing your actions or images to match the tempo of the sound you choose. To select a sound, use the TikTok Sounds Library, click on and save a song that another creator has used, use the natural sound in your video or create your own TikTok Sound.
New content is easy to find on TikTok. The app shows targeted content to users on the “For You” page. For You is a unique, scrollable feed of content that matches with the user’s profile characteristics. Fortunately for creators who are just getting started, this algorithm does not just hinge on the existing popularity of a video clip. Instead, the For You page uses user location and interactions the user has had in the app, among other criteria. Users can also search for hashtags on the “Discover” page and can see content produced by users they follow on the “Following” page.
Who uses TikTok?
Some countries, including the United States, have tried to ban TikTok, and have had varying degrees of success. As of March 2022, TikTok is banned in both India and Pakistan, and this limits the app’s global reach somewhat. Despite the bans, TikTok has 689 million monthly active users worldwide, 100 million of whom are in the United States. In 2021, TikTok was installed for the first time 740 million times.
In comparison to other social media platforms, TikTok users tend to be younger. Nearly half of all TikTok users– 47.4%– are under the age of 30, and 25% of users are under the age of 20. The app appears to be more popular with female users, as women and girls make up 49% of monthly active users. The largest age and gender group on TikTok is girls between the ages of 10 and 19, making up 16.4% of the monthly active user base.
How can TikTok be used for business?
Given its large user base and young demographic, TikTok is an excellent way for brands to connect with new audiences. Even so, only 9% of marketers use TikTok for advertising, so the advertising field as of early 2022 is not yet saturated.
TikTok offers Pro accounts for both businesses and content creators. TikTok Pro gives users access to metrics, like which of the user’s posted videos are most popular, and how their following is growing. Pro users also get special perks, like unique sounds to use in their videos. Business users can use these perks to put together engaging videos that audiences enjoy.
Businesses can also use paid ads on TikTok. These ads take the form of a clip that appears on users’ For You pages. TikTok also offers special ad types to Managed Brands, which have engaged a TikTok sales representative. These special ad types, like hashtag challenges, can boost engagement.
Shopping on TikTok
A 2022 report from the platform outlined the “infinite loop on the path to purchase” via this platform. They suggest that rather than the traditional funnel, users are moving from discovery > considering > purchasing > reviewing > participation > purchase – and back through the loop again. In addition to increased spending when TikTok is part of the marketing plan, “TikTokers are 1.5x more likely to immediately go out and buy something they discovered on the platform compared to other platforms’ users.”
As a nascent social media network, TikTok is taking the world by storm. It presents an excellent opportunity to market toward Gen Z women while building a fun and engaging brand presence.