Since TikTok burst onto the social media scene in 2017, its majority Gen Z user base has downloaded the app more than one billion times. TikTok has the longest visits of any social media platform, encouraged by the platform’s video stories that grow into chains of user-created and endlessly-adapted content. Marketers want to take advantage of its success, yet TikTok’s novel format and untested status require a new approach.
To get started, consider why the platform appeals to its user base. TikTok users of all ages value creativity, discovery, fun, and self-expression more than other consumers. 55% of TikTok users have uploaded their own videos and more than 40% have made one of the collaborative Duet or React videos that build on another user’s original.
TikTok users are also more likely to follow brands on social media than non-users, a finding consistent with the high social media brand engagement of Gen Z consumers. 37% of TikTok users follow brands they buy from and 33% follow brands they like even if they aren’t customers—as compared to 25% and 16% of non-TikTok users in each category.
This combination of innate creativity and brand engagement is a boon for brands willing to embrace collaboration with TikTok users. Chipotle took the leap with its #LidFlipChallenge and #GuacDance campaigns; the latter resulted in a record day for guacamole sales at Chipotle. Next on the agenda for brands is experimenting with a new breed of TikTok-launched influencers.