TikTok 101: Breaking Down America’s Hottest Social App
February 01, 2022
Oh, my beloved TikTok. You soak up so much of my time, yet I can’t seem to get away from you.
You’ve heard of TikTok, but what you might not know is how to launch yourself and your brand on the hottest social media platform, as well as the third most popular channel behind Facebook and Instagram. I’m here to help you get started. Insider Intelligence predicts that TikTok will reach 755 million monthly users in 2022. That’s some big-time influence!
What exactly is TikTok? It’s a social media app where users create short-form videos to share with their followers and the public. There are three video options to choose from—15 seconds, 60 seconds, or 3 minutes. The 15- and 60-second options are the most popular and often receive the best engagement.
TikTok launched in 2016 but became a U.S. sensation in 2020 when 2.6 billion users downloaded the app—an incredible leap from 1.5 billion downloads in 2019. According to an App Annie representative, TikTok was the number one grossing app on iOS App Store globally in the second quarter of 2020— primarily from consumers turning to mobile apps during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- It’s more than dancing! Trust me—I had the same preconceived notion that TikTok was an app for teenagers to show off their dance moves, but I could not have been more wrong. From social media strategy tips and recipes to home ownership tricks and travel hacks, TikTok truly has something for every age. I am constantly learning and challenged by new ways of thinking.
- It’s not just for kids. While the app’s largest group of users is Gen Z, all ages frequent the platform. Statista shared the following breakdown of who’s who on TikTok:
10-19 years old: 37.2%
20-29 years old: 26.3%
30-39 years old: 16.7%
40-49 years old: 13.8%
50+ years old: 5.6%
IS TIKTOK FOR ME?
Brands? Yes! One of my favorite examples of this is @BakedbyMelissa. Known for her bite-size treats, owner Melissa Ben-Ishay took TikTok by storm in 2021 when she introduced a viral salad recipe that received over 34.4 million views. It showcased that she and her brand are more than desserts and gave an inside look at recipe creation, home life, and business ownership. A rule of thumb for TikTok is do what you know, and the views will come. TikTok users recognize authenticity, and they relate to the truth.
I MADE A VIDEO. WHO’S GOING TO WATCH IT?
Find Your Niche. The most “famous” TikTok profiles are popular because they found what they are good at and ran with it! @Lauren.Jumps picked up jumping rope during the pandemic, showcased her journey, offered ideas and tips to get started, and now she has 406K followers. Try to shift your mindset from “what do people want to see?” to “what am I incredibly great at?” and the followers will flow.
Daily Fun. Experts recommend that profiles post a minimum of 1-3 times a day. YES, you read that correctly…EACH DAY! The more frequently you publish videos, the more users will find your content and have an opportunity to learn about and connect with you.
Aesthetically unpleasing? Unlike Instagram, where profiles are judged by their aesthetic and vibe, TikTok is raw and organic. It’s often not polished or professional but it’s real. If you stick to the 1-3 times per day posting guideline, offer niche content, and give viewers an inside look or scoop, your profile will grow.
Pay to play. A viral sensation is a viral sensation, but if you publish a video and you believe it could “do better,” throwing a few dollars behind the video could greatly benefit your content. TikTok is no exception to the social media “pay to play” algorithm.
FIND YOUR TRIBE
There are currently more than 689 million active TikTok users and with that comes an infinite amount of content to consume. The app is designed to tailor to your likes and dislikes and in time will showcase the videos you find most beneficial. Whether it is entertainment, education, or enrichment, I invite you to take some time to dive into the app, offer authentic content, and watch your tribe flock to your profile.
To get started, check out a few of my favorite TikTok profiles:
Have questions? I’ll do my best to answer them at MBishop@DeeterGallaherGroup.com.
Media Social Media Strategy Digital Strategy