It looks like nobody can stop talking about TikTok for five minutes. There are countless articles that discuss subcultures on TikTok, the marketing opportunities on the platform, or how it was able to affect popular culture.
By now, brands and celebrities have picked up on how successful and easy TikTok is to work with. Still, you might not have tried it out yourself, or you don’t know much about it. Hopefully by the end of the article, you’ll see why it’s worth investing your time and effort into it. We’ll go over some basic as well as more interesting facts about the platform and how it’s currently being used by both users and professionals.
Let’s start from the beginning!
1.TikTok is a combination of different social media platforms
It’s hard to categorize the platform as any “one” thing. When you ask someone about it, they have to mention a few other platforms to paint a picture. It’s a bit like Vine, Instagram Stories, as well as a combination of its predecessor “Musical.ly”. The general idea is that you record and edit videos that are under a minute long.
A big part of the appeal is how you can edit your videos. Unlike Instagram, you don’t need to use another program to edit your videos so they’re perfect. Instead, you can use the audio recordings or effects directly in the app.
Now we’ll take a look at how users themselves use the app. Here’s how your screen will look as you scroll through each video.
You can see hashtags and captions on the bottom of the screen, which means viewers will always have them in their field of vision. On the right side of the screen, you can choose how to interact with the user or content. It’s worth mentioning that some of these hashtags are related to specific challenges or memes.
As far as the content itself, there is a wide variety of entertainment for everyone. You can find karaoke, reaction, skits, pranks, and music videos throughout the platform. You’ll notice that many of these TikToks use the same audio. For example, many of the videos showing off adorable animals feature the “touch this little floofster” song.
@reagantheretrieverwe‘re working on kisses instead of bites ##floofster ##wheniwakeupinthemorning ##touchhislittleboopster ##goldenpup ##goldenretrieverlife ##goldenretriever♬ original sound – mainecoonskye
Another great example would be the memable “Minushka”. This TikTok is really all the explanation this trend needs.
@tinaf78Still no comment. 🤐😹 ##foryoupage ##fyp ##cat ##catsoftiktok ##animalsoftiktok ##petsoftiktok ##petlife♬ original sound – newwavetrash
There are plenty of trends just like this, but then there are more serious videos as well. Since Gen Z is predominantly active on this platform, there’s more political and social justice content. We’ll go over those in the next few sections, so hang tight!
2.You need a pro account to access TikTok analytics
This is a common theme across just about all social media platforms. If you want to see beyond just how many likes and comments you got, you need to have a pro account. To do that, you just need to go onto your profile page, manage your account, and confirm that you want to switch to a “Pro Account”. Now you should be able to access your analytics. It’s basically the same thing that you have to do with Instagram to access Insights.
The first thing you’re going to see is the dashboard and the overview. On the left-hand side, you’ll be able to check the content and followers tabs for more metrics. Unfortunately, you can only analyze a period of 7 or 28 days, so custom date ranges are off the table for now.
What kind of analytics can you check in TikTok? For now, you can check:
- total number of video views
- views per day
- Sounds your followers listened to
- followers over time
- traffic sources
- average watch time
There are more metrics that you can check, this was just a brief summary of what you can expect. 🙂
One of the unfortunate things is that you won’t be able to access TikTok analytics from any other external analytics tool. That’s because TikTok doesn’t provide access to their API, but don’t worry about it. We’re keeping an eye on the issue!
At Sotrender, we emphasize how important it is for you to regularly keep up with your performance on social media. Even if we’re mostly focused on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, we encourage you to check in on your analytics so you can keep track of your goals or KPIs. You might find that your followers engaged more when you posted videos using a certain audio file, or related to a specific challenge. You’ll only find that out by looking at your metrics.
3.TikTok is growing at an extremely fast pace
From what we know now, every month, there are around 800 million monthly users on the platform since July of 2020. Even in the Google Play and Apple Store, you’re going to see that it’s one of the most popular apps on the market. It even became more popular during the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown while users were trying to fill their time with different activities.
These users spend around 52 minutes a day (on average). Considering that you have exactly 60 seconds for a full video (but many TikToks are much shorter than that), you can scroll through a gigantic amount of content.
So who is on this platform that likes to go through so much content in that span of time? If it’s not obvious already, the platform mostly consists of Gen Z users. The next in line would be millennials.
Distribution of TikTok users in the United States as of June 2020, by age group
According to Statista, US American teens and young adults are the primary users. Many of these users are following influencers who are also brand ambassadors or regularly mention a specific product or service. The younger users don’t start off immediately searching for specific people or celebrities. Instead, the TikTok influencers are those that became popular through the app in a relatively short amount of time.
But most users don’t just passively scroll through the app, Wallaroo’s research shows that 83% of users went on to make a video. It should be clear by now that TikTok is fairly engaging for its user base.
4.It helps brands and influencers connect
Since so many users have the potential to become well known, there’s an ample amount of influencers in each niche to go around. As usual, marketers and PR specialists are always on the lookout for influencers and brand ambassadors. However, they usually have to pay for a service to help connect them with the right influencers that are right for their audience. Luckily, you can skip the middle-man with TikTok’s Creator Marketplace. 🙂
So if you can’t choose between some influencers that you already have in mind, you can check both of them to weigh your options. Here’s a quick summary of what you’ll find out which influencer:
- Posts about a specific topic
- Has the highest number of average views
- Their audience’s demographics (country, age, gender)
- Has the highest reach
However, if you have the cash to spend, you can use tools like Upfluence to track an influencer’s engagement rate, learn about their follower demographics, and get a suggested price for your collaboration.
But remember, users don’t use the app to be bombarded with advertisements. One of the recent trends on Instagram is for companies to repost the same image in their Story ad so you have to tap multiple times to avoid seeing it.
Also, it’s extremely easy to manipulate your photos, so users have lost some of their trust in their favorite content creators (thanks to apps like FaceTune). There were even scandals involving Instagram influencers recommending products that they themselves haven’t tried as nearly as long as they said they did, and those products contained cyanide.
With TikTok, it’s easier to see where someone cut off or edited the video, unlike an image. That’s why it’s important that TikTok influencers prepare content that incorporates the product in a genuine way. Otherwise, it’s too invasive.
Here are a few examples of how some users will review products. In the first video, the creator, @abbeyyung, explains how you can use a range of products by the brand “The Ordinary”. This brand has garnered a cult following over time, and part of the reason why it’s blown up recently is TikTok. These types of videos help showcase products and the audience can get a more honest review that isn’t as invasive as the typical ad.
@abbeyyungSo many TO requests! 💓 ##theordinary ##theordinaryskincare ##skincareproducts ##skinroutine ##acne ##acnetreatment ##ratethings ##clearskin ##fyp ##foryou♬ Say So (Instrumental Version) [Originally Performed by Doja Cat] – Elliot Van Coup
Eventually, you’ll come across honest reviews of products that aren’t doing as well, like this one by @terrythecreatorr.
@terrythecreatorrReply to @jenniferstier5 there is no PASSION in this Starbucks club ##yessirrrr ##xyzbca ##foryou ##foryoupage♬ original sound – terrythecreatorr
Still, one of the benefits of that is that you will know what you can work on to improve your product so that more of your customers will enjoy it. These creators also end up being more trustworthy, so if you send them a good enough product, their review can help you out.
5.TikTokers made headlines when they disrupted President Trump’s rally in Tulsa
Apart from the challenges and music videos, you’ll eventually come across some political and social commentary profiles. Of course, these creators post more than just political commentary and calls to action, but they’ve been successful at pulling off different movements.
Have you heard of what happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma? Long story short, Gen Z and K-pop TikTokers found out that anyone could register for a ticket for the Trump Tulsa rally. Their plan was just to take the spots and not attend. The impact was rather significant according to a variety of news outlets. You can see that almost half of the bleachers up on top are empty, as more than 10,000 tickets were reserved without the attendees showing up.
And here’s an example of how one TikToker managed to pull it off. It’s heavily implied (in a comedic way) that the TikToker wants their followers to do the same thing. Basically, enough of them caught on to the trend and reserved the tickets. This might have had some bigger consequences, though.
Recently, Trump announced that he wants to ban TikTok due to security concerns. Unless of course, they’re bought out by Microsoft, a US American company. Even prof. Scott Galloway of the Pivot podcast said he himself doesn’t like the idea of platforms that have a domain outside of the US interfering with elections in the US. However, the only company that’s really able to pull off the deal is Microsoft, but whether Microsoft is a good company to do that is debatable considering their track record (remember Nokia?). He doesn’t think the Chinese government is abusing its position with TikTok, but the problem is the potential of abuse.
This led to a number of theories and suspicions that the US president was so embarrassed about the event and the influence the youth can have, therefore he wants to ban the platform. There’s no way of knowing for sure, but it’s a pretty interesting theory about how much social power influencers have on the platform! 😉
6.Their biggest influencers are making serious bank
And since we know that so many users are teens, we would expect that some of them would achieve stardom relatively young. For example, there’s Charli D’Amelio, who isn’t even 18 years old.
@charlidamelioget ready with me♬ MOLLY ROCKS x BEST INTEREST – fylertunke
D’Amelio currently has the most followers on the platform (76 million users according to Social Blade) and over 5 billion likes. She’s a teenager from the US and has become popular within a year. Currently, she has collaborated with James Charles and is preparing a makeup line for Morphe.
It’s unlikely that someone who has only recently become famous would be able to collaborate with a brand like Morphe, but the sheer amount of exposure she can provide means it’s worth it. Morphe has been known to collaborate with macro influencers like Manny MUA, James Charles, and Jaclyn Hill, so this was definitely out of the ordinary.
But it’s not only US Americans that manage to get into the spotlight. Burak Özdemir has more than 23 million followers, and he makes food related content – specifically, he records himself making Turkish food. He’s also seen constantly smiling or having exaggerated facial expressions, which seems to add to the charm.
Even when people were making fun of his smile, he responded with a joke on Twitter, looking grumpy while cutting up lettuce. He asked in the tweet, “Do you think this is more beautiful?” Luckily, people got the point pretty quickly, and he went back to his patent smile. So even without speaking much in his videos, he is still able to get a lot of attention for his content.
Sizce böyle daha mı güzel??😒😒😐😐 pic.twitter.com/Y6jpn4e0ja
— Burak Özdemir (@CznBurak) July 28, 2019
If you want to check out who are the top influencers within the Gen Z age range, we suggest you take a look at Business Insider’s article on it.
TikTok has managed to do a lot in the short amount of time it’s been up. It was able to give many users a headstart on their career, as early as in their teenage years. It offered an alternative to picture-perfect Instagram, and built on what Vine did years ago. All in all, it’s an app that offers a diverse demographic of users a platform, so there is a genre or niche that will appeal to everyone.
Even if TikTok doesn’t stick around for US users, there are many lessons they can take away from the app. They’ve learned by now that:
- consumers value reviews over extremely obvious sponsorships,
- it’s important to keep your content entertaining and engaging,
- and keep up with the latest trends or popular themes in your niche.
Whether you’re on TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook, these tips are always helpful to marketers and content creators on these platforms.
We hope you’ve taken something new out of our article or understand the purposes of TikTok a little better! Got any other facts that marketers should know about TikTok? Leave us a comment down below! 😉