Tik Tok: What You Need to Know

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I’m sure you’ve heard of Tik Tok by now. It’s the new platform on the scene and it’s getting a lot of pushback from adults and even some pushback from certain industries who question if they really need to be on it. Let’s talk about stats first and then we will explore what Tik Tok brings to the table as far as marketing and business go.

What It Is

Tik Tok is an app that is expressly for sharing videos anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds long. That’s it. That’s all the time you get. You can’t post 20 minutes or an hour of video. It cuts off at 60 seconds. Technically, you can post videos shorter than 15 seconds but most videos average at least 15 seconds.

Numbers Don’t Lie

What are the stats? Tik Tok has 500 million monthly active users worldwide. That’s a lot. 41% of those users are between the ages of 16 and 24. It’s been downloaded in the United States 124 million times. Users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the platform. You can compare that to Instagram at 53 minutes and Facebook at 58 minutes and see that for a new platform, that is strong. Those numbers put it in the top 9 platforms. 90% of users are using the app on a daily basis. 68% of Tik Tok users watch other’s videos and only 55% upload their own videos. Within a year it had more than 1 million videos viewed every day. These are growth stats equivalent to Pinterest, another huge platform that hit 10 million users faster than any other.

In less than 18 months, the number of US adult Tik Tok users grew 5 and a half times. They really thank Jimmy Fallon for that. He threw down the gauntlet in the fall of 2018 with a challenge. It got a lot of adults on Tik Tok making their own videos to participate in the challenge.

What Does it Mean for Your Business?

So if it’s mostly for kids and the videos are only 15 seconds long, what does that mean for your business? First, it isn’t really just for kids. Two-thirds of the worldwide users are under the age of 30 but the adult audience is the fastest-growing audience.

Tik Tok started out as musical.ly and even though many changes have been made, music is still prevalent on the platform. However, comedy is king. Most of what you’ll see on Tik Tok is funny. If you are a hilarious person, Tik Tok is the place for you.

There’s also a whole segment of informative videos. Lots of doctors and other professionals are adding their voices with videos that aren’t necessarily funny but many do mix humor in with their content. There is also a growing trend among emergency first responders such as paramedics, firefighters, and police officers to make videos that show that they are personable and approachable. Using this as a platform to teach that to younger kids is actually genius.

Tik Tok is for Ordinary People

A great thing about Tik Tok is that it’s really a “come as you are” platform for ordinary people. Tik Tok users seem to reject the highly polished posts that you’d likely see on Instagram. You’re not going to get the highly cultivated and filtered posts on Tik Tok. It’s a “this is who I am, flaws and all” space. Because it is more for ordinary people it appears to be a lot more genuine and has fewer people who troll there to make negative comments. Tik Tok users are super supportive of their tribe. You get a lot of support within your following.

Because of these factors, Tik Tok really levels the playing field. It makes creativity available for everyone because it has such an impressive suite of video editing tools. You don’t have to have video editing skills to go in there and make an excellent video. It’s built into the platform. Also, you can’t record videos then import them and edit. You have to record them within the app using the same tools as everyone else. You can record it 100 times but you still have the same tools available that the rest of the world is using. It makes it more accessible for the regular person than a platform like YouTube where you have these people who become so successful because of their editing skills.

Stay In the Know

Tik Tok is also a good way to keep up with what the “kids” are doing. It’s basically a giant focus group without the cost. If you want to see what is going to be on memes or going to be mainstream in a week, month, or year, go look at Tik Tok. A lot of what you’ll find there now will be trending on other social media platforms later. You’ll be able to look at Tik Tok and know what is going to be important down the road.

Local and Global Implications

Tik Tok promises to be one of the better platforms for global reach and local engagement because of the algorithm. It’s very similar to Netflix. Once you watch a few videos, and it figures out what you like and don’t like, it starts sending you more of what you like. It makes suggestions based on your previous views like Netflix does. This helps people really find their tribes. You have huge groups on Tik Tok that bring together people with similar interests such as gamers, cosplay, makeup artists, and more. Again, this platform is growing among adults. You’re starting to see more groups like moms on there. Not just the young moms in their 20s either. You’re seeing all the ages of moms now and they’re producing some of the funniest content.

Tik Tok Isn’t Saturated With Ads

Tik Tok is such a new platform that it isn’t saturated with ads yet. If you’ve been on Facebook, or even Instagram, for more than a minute then you know there are tons of ads there. Go on Pinterest and you see ads. On YouTube, almost every video has an ad. Fortunately, Tik Tok is still so new that you don’t get a lot of that. Most of the time when you log on, it opens with an ad that you can skip. That’s usually one of the higher dollar ads like movies that are coming out or your larger brands. The better commercials are the ones that are more native content or brand takeover suggestions or hashtag challenges. Those get tremendous engagement. You don’t have to be a huge influencer to take advantage of the ads. There was a really cool one that was hilarious and has been seen millions of times. The user answers the door and it’s the Door Dash delivery person. The guy is so excited to get his food and as he closes the door he presses his face to the door and says, ”I love you.” Then it shows the Door Dash delivery guy who is walking away from the house but he stops and says, “I love you too.” It’s so funny and it’s been seen so many times because it’s a more organic, humorous video. It’s not just an ad. It really uses the platform’s strengths to move itself forward.

Is Tik Tok Right For You?

Now you know what Tik Tok is all about. The adult audience is continuing to grow so even if your audience isn’t on there yet, they may be on there soon. Check out this app and determine if it’s right for you. You could be one of the pioneers of this newer platform.

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