TikTok is a free social media app you use on your phone that lets you watch, create, and share videos, often to a soundtrack of the top music hits. It’s been growing in popularity since 2018 when it merged with Musica.ly. In a nutshell, it could be called a social network for amateur music videos. Lip-synching, dancing and challenges are the most common forms of content you can find on the app. It has evolved from a video-creation app solely meant for users to express their creativity to a marketing and advertising opportunity.
Videos last up to 15 seconds, but users can string clips together to create stories of up to 60 seconds long. The app also permits uploading longer videos that were not recorded within it.
Apart from generating your content, you can browse and interact with other users' content, which covers a wide range of topics, songs and styles. You can like and comment on the posts you enjoyed and interact with your audience and potential customers. If there’s a trend in your niche, for example, a snapshot of a morning routine, share your own. Your unique brand story and personality will make you memorable and inspire brand loyalty.
Videos are grouped using hashtags, just like in most social media. Once signed up, you can search popular creators and categories (comedy, dance, gymnastics), to find videos.
When you sign up for TikTok, your account is public by default, meaning anyone can see your videos, send you direct messages, and use your location information. You can, however, opt for a private account or change the settings for comments, reactions, and messages to "Friends" only instead of "Everyone." As a business you want to increase your visibility, it is therefore a good idea to keep your profile public. By taking part in hashtag challenges, you can increase your brand awareness.
The app helps you connect with your followers with the duet feature, which allows users who aren't in the same place to perform together. For this feature to work, both users must follow each other. One user creates and posts a video, and then the other has to select the "..." icon at the bottom right of the video and press "start duet now!" The second user can then lip-sync along with the first person, either swapping back and forth or in a split-screen.
Like Instagram, TikTok allows anyone to send a message to anyone else or to comment on a video. This can be restricted through the account settings, but by default, every account is public when it's set up.
You do not need expensive equipment to create content on TikTok, most videos are recorded using a phone camera. This makes it authentic and relatable. This is great news if you want to raise your brand awareness on this app, as you won’t need a big budget at all. Take the same approach with your own content as the rest of the users to build trust and relationships.
Just like Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms, TikTok is also being used for brand advertising.
In short, if you’ve used any other form of social media, you should have a pretty good head start and quickly come to grips with how the platform works. In theory, TikTok users are supposed to be 13 or older. Despite there being so many teenagers, there are also tonnes of sportsman, entrepreneurs, artists and creatives who are displaying their talents through short videos. The incentive for creativity is endless. Therefore, it makes sense that not just Gen Z become so hooked to this platform.