Should my brand be on TikTok?

Social media user's hands with a phone loaded up to the TikTok screen

Whenever a new social platform is launched, every marketer is inevitably asked the question, “Have you heard of [insert buzzy new social media tool]? Should we be on that?” With new tools and platforms launching and sputtering all the time (hello Fleets, Vine, Google+, Meerkat, etc., etc.), it can be hard for marketers to answer that question before it’s even clear if the platform is going to stick around.

TikTok seems to be here to stay. With more and more users flocking to the platform (TikTok reports it now has 1 billion active global users), it’s now among the top contenders among social media giants, alongside Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

So, if you’re wondering if it’s time for your brand to join the platform, you’re not alone. But before you hop on the bandwagon, here are some questions you might want to consider to determine whether TikTok is right for your brand.

Do you have the capacity to create content for the platform?

As a marketer, you’re likely already managing and creating content for three or four other digital platforms. Most brands are already on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, not to mention the brand’s website and blog. For the most part, creating content for each of these platforms can be manageable, especially if you’re re-purposing content across them.

Re-purposing content won’t really work on TikTok. You can’t use the same graphics that you do for Facebook and Twitter on TikTok. Content that is shared on TikTok should be made specifically for that platform, using the platform’s tools. This means you should be using the app to make your videos, adding your graphics (text, filters, etc.) and music. It is very obvious when you’re using video that is not made for TikTok—users will see this and dismiss your brand’s authenticity on the platform immediately.

Is your content entertaining?

TikTok is a place where memes, choreographed dances and comedy-driven content thrives. This is where people come to be entertained and inspired, and authenticity is valued. TikTok is not the place people go to do research to make purchasing decisions or inform themselves on a given topic. If your brand has a fun side, this is the place to let that shine.

What is your goal on social?

If, at the end of the day, your goals are to drive sales or website traffic, then perhaps a paid approach might be better for your brand. TikTok does offer advertising options including brand takeover ads, top view ads, hashtag ads and branded effect ads. Just like Facebook and LinkedIn, TikTok also has its own pixel that you can install on your website to help you track ad performance. The targeting options currently are not as robust as what you’d get with Facebook, but you can target by things like location, gender, age and interest.

Still, TikTok users value content that is authentic, so it’s recommended that ads should look like organic posts, mimicking content that users are accustomed to seeing in their feed.

Need more of a TikTok primer? My colleague Aidan is our resident TikTok guru and she and I teamed up for a Teaming Up episode earlier this year.

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Paulyn Ocampo

Since joining THP in 2008, Paulyn has helped execute strategic plans for clients like AMF Bowling Centers, Allianz, Tridium, Silgan and The Peterson Companies. A Norfolk native, she earned her undergraduate degree in mass communications, with a concentration in public relations from VCU.

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