The TikTok Takeover


Does Your Store Need A Tik Tok Account? 

Tik Tok is the newest social media behemoth. Seemingly overnight, Tik Tok amassed over 1 billion users. By comparison, Twitter has about 290 million users.

Needless to say, Tik Tok is a massive platform, ripe with marketing and business opportunities. But is it worth the time for your online store? What is the engagement and conversion like on Tik Tok?

These are a few of the questions we’ll attempt to answer below.

The Numbers Behind Tik Tok

Tik Tok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, features short videos with jokes, dances, lip sync, and other forms of entertainment. The format is 15 seconds to 3 minutes long, and most videos fall under the 30 seconds mark.

The service has actually been around since 2016 in China. But it only gained mainstream popularity after its merger with in 2018.

Tik Tok has a rowdy past. US President Donald Trump was once threatening to ban the app, citing Chinese ownership as an issue of privacy for Americans. India and Pakistan also banned the app temporarily citing “morality issues”.

So regardless of the reason, Tik Tok could be seen as a risky investment. If the plug is pulled in your country, you lose any audience you garnered there. However, we’ll show you how to overcome that later.

So what’s important to note about the platform itself?

● It has over 1 billion active users each month.

● About 60% of users on the app are under 29.

● Tik Tok users spend about 50 minutes on the app each day. Younger users can get to as much as 80 minutes each day.

● Tik Tok had a booming 2020. And it became mainstream ever since.

 What Do People Share On Tik Tok?

Like most social platforms, the variety of content on Tik Tok is immeasurable. From simple daily vlogs, short docuseries and jokes, all the way to interviews and the classics: dances and lip sync.

A key mechanic of Tik Tok is that anyone can use the audio of other people’s videos. Users can even browse videos based on the sound they’re using. That’s how lip sync, dancing, and reactions became a huge thing on Tik Tok.

For example, Addison Rae is one of the most popular influencers on Tik Tok. With over 85 million followers, her platform is huge. And her content is mostly lip sync, dances, and daily vlogs.

But Tik Tok isn’t just about the big influencers. When any person opens the app, they’ll be taken to a feed of videos from a large variety of users. This is also called the “For You” or “FY” Page.

Based on how users interact with videos on this page (scrolling down, stopping to listen, liking, commenting, etc), the Tik Tok algorithm will start displaying videos similar to the ones users enjoy.

Regardless of the niches inside Tik Tok, there are few key characteristics that most videos appreciated on the platform have:

● They’re personal. Even the accounts of big publications like The Washington Post feature one or two people in front of the screen. Without exception.

● They get to the point fast. The rare videos that are 3 minutes long get smaller engagement numbers, and they’re usually just snippets from other, larger media like TV show episodes. Other than that, good videos keep it short.

● They understand the Zeitgeist. Good videos often use platform “inside” jokes, they duet popular sounds on the platform, or they subvert expectations about Tik Tok trends.

Making It Big On Tik Tok

Tik Tok is very complicated to monetize. And it’s even harder to break down for newcomers so that they find success on the platform, like you would on YouTube or on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

But one reason so many people turn to Tik Tok is unpredictability, and its special algorithm. Compared to platforms like YouTube or Instagram, Tik Tok videos will never be lost to complete obscurity.

Someone’s content might have as little as 20 views and 1 like. If it fits the content the algorithm thinks someone else will like, it’ll show that video to a complete stranger. This makes it very easy for content to find its target audience.

It’s not a foolproof system, of course. Not all good videos will go viral. But with consistent uploads and a clear audience, Tik Tok videos tend to find their way to an audience a bit easier than they would on other platforms.

Limited Monetization Options

An issue some companies have with Tik Tok is its limited monetization options. Even accounts that garner a huge following have a hard time implementing their campaigns. At least harder than they would on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or their own site.

So Tik Tok can be hard to utilize. Both because of that, and because it’s sometimes at risk of being banned. So a good idea for any Tik Tok account that finds some success is to start sending people to other accounts of its owner on other platforms.

Does Your Store Need A Tik Tok Account?

The short answer will always be yes. Tik Tok is no longer a fringe platform. It’s one of the largest social media platforms in the world. If you’re serious about your company’s long-term prospects, a good omnichannel marketing strategy will include a Tik Tok presence.

But at this point in time, it’s a bit more complicated. Tik Tok is not very profitable if you’re selling power tools and you’re targeting 40-45 year old men. So if that describes your store, Tik Tok is still something important to keep in mind, but for further down the line.

If you’re a small ecommerce platform that’s still up and coming, Tik Tok might not be the first investment you want to make. There are avenues of promotion with more measurable results and returns on investment, like SEO, paid ads, or Facebook promotion. Your products might do extremely well on TIk Tok, but it’s just not the right time for it.

And lastly, if you don’t know how Tik Tok works, don’t create a store account right off the bat. Our suggestion is to first create a personal account, and spend a few months on the app. It’ll give the algorithm time to serve you the videos you want to see, and it’ll help you get in tune with Tik Tok trends and mechanics.

A Word Of Caution

Younger audiences don’t respond well to faceless brands. That’s part of the reason getting Tik Tok famous usually requires a familiar face over the account handle. They’re also much more internet-savvy. They understand product placements and affiliate campaigns, and they’ll read right through a cash grab attempt.

For mass Tik Tok success, content needs to be honest and in tune with the Zeitgeist. If that isn’t possible for your store, take some time to study other brands and their TIk Tok presence. You’ll be surprised by the possibilities.

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