Is now the time to get your brand involved on TikTok?
Consumers in the U.S. are stuck in their homes to wait out the COVID-19 crisis, and brand managers are looking for ways to connect with new audiences. TikTok has had a meteoric rise in recent months, with some celebrities and brands finding success with the short video format.
Brian Mandler and Brian Nelson saw an opportunity and created The Network Effect, a digital agency primarily focused on TikTok as a marketing platform.
Here’s what they say are some of the opportunities that exist for organizations that want to take a risk:
PR Daily: Why should brands consider TikTok? What are the advantages?
Mandler and Nelson: It hits Gen-Z right on the bullseye and growth/engagement is massive both domestically and internationally. It’s also addictive, interactive and an easily consumable short form video.
One major advantage to TikTok is that it is a copycat platform. Individual videos don’t just go viral, actions do. So given the right programmatic strategy, brands can have a considerable impact integrating their message in the everyday content mix. This audience is the most robust that we have ever seen in social media. Given the right plan, the immediate impact is brand awareness, astronomic engagement, organic growth of audience and overall brand affinity.
PR Daily: Any reason TikTok is particularly effective right now (during COVID-19)?
Mandler and Nelson: Everyone is home, with time on their hands and with that, new downloads and overall use is exploding. People who were thinking of jumping on are now coming on.
Creating on TikTok is so turnkey that all you need is a phone camera and in 15 seconds you are a creator. It also allows you to scroll through “For You” and quickly be connected to the fabric of daily dialogue and trends. It’s a bold statement, but Gen-Z would rather watch their TikTok feed than anything else!
PR Daily: Any tips on using social media during this crisis?
Mandler and Nelson: It is very important to stay connected during this crisis. Social media is truly the only scalable way to do that. Spread the message to stay home. Reach out to friends. Tag a friend. Join a challenge. Start a live-stream. Make sure you are connected to the outside world.
Lastly, there is no better time to explore, explore, explore. Social media at-large moves very quickly, and this is a unique time to grasp it all. For TikTok specifically, if you don’t have an account yet, start one. Go to “For You” and just cruise.
PR Daily: What’s the biggest mistake you see brands make on TikTok?
Mandler and Nelson: In our view, if you have not been on TikTok (once musical.ly) for multiple years studying the habits, movements and interests of the users, it is impossible to build an effective strategy or campaign. Without having years of experience, it is not possible to see trends early, and most important, identify creators who are starting to trend themselves.
PR Daily: Do you think TikTok is here to stay? Why?
Mandler and Nelson: A resounding YES! It’s addictive…it’s fun…your friends & family are on it…your favorite celebrities are engaging (and showing an unfiltered view into their lives) and the brands you interact with everyday are creating their voice. It’s for everyone and all ages. It has content for all interests.
And, short form video is definitely here to stay. TikTok has solved the riddle on how to convert their audience into both viewers and creators.
PR Daily: What’s the risk for a brand that doesn’t embrace TikTok?
Mandler and Nelson: First and foremost, if a brand does not launch on the platform immediately, they are missing out on actively engaging with a global audience.
We have also seen TikTok to be an extremely effective tool in converting views into sales (specifically e-commerce). The early brand adopters with the right strategy/plan are enjoying a robust lift in sales and brand awareness. Most viral global trends are starting on TikTok in real-time and those that have not embraced it could be left behind.
Are you using TikTok to engage audiences right now? Share your thoughts in the comments.