22. June 2024

Your Essential Guide to TikTok – Social Media meets eCommerce

TikTok Essential Guide

What is TikTok & Why Does it Matter?

TikTok has become the fastest-growing app with over 2 billion downloads worldwide. Plus, it has grown to become the seventh-most popular social platform just in the last two years. Formerly known as Musical.ly, TikTok is a video-sharing app that allows users to upload and share 60-second videos. The platform has, however, recently increased its time limit to three minutes for the vast majority of users. In addition, users can also upload videos recorded outside of the app. Most users of TikTok are young adults and teenagers. In the United States, 32.5% of users are 10 to 19 years old, 29.5% are 20 to 29 years old, 16.4% are 30 to 39 years old and 13.9% are 40 to 49 years old.

Simply put, this platform is a social video app for creating and sharing videos. It is common for creators to use these features to record short clips of themselves. You can often find them lip-syncing or dancing, leveraging the app’s many sound effects, snippets, and filters. In essence, users can discover countless videos on popular themes include styling, DIY, make-up tutorials, and even live shopping. Over time, older millennials and Gen X users have found TikTok to be a great source of information. Users say they consume content on everything from cooking, parenting, vehicle maintenance, mental health, and so on.

How Does It Work & How Can You Make It Work for You?

Like other social media platforms, TikTok has its own algorithm. Video content that is geared towards humor or entertainment generally performs the best. Even informational videos tend to use the now-ubiquitous TikTok style. Especially on this platform, there are certain rules you must follow in order to succeed. Additionally, it is important to remember that the younger audiences on this platform do not respond well to content that looks like advertisements.

TikTok success requires both active participation and authenticity. The content you produce should represent your brand identity, while also serving your marketing goals. In addition, brands can run several types of effective ads such as Brand Takeovers, Brand Lenses, and Hashtag Challenges. The platform also offers user-generated ads that are displayed on full screen. Just like regular videos, it is skippable and it lasts only 9-15 seconds. 

You can reach millions of users on the platform by:

  • Creating unique and relevant content
  • Leveraging the most popular sounds on the platform
  • Using hashtags
  • Staying active and engaging your audience on a daily basis
  • Sharing user-generated content
  • Creating TikTok challenges
  • Collaborating with influencers

The key takeaway here is speaking the platform’s language. No matter what kind of content you create for TikTok, make sure it is something that suits the platform and the style that has evolved there over time. Do not reuse content created for Facebook or your website as-is.

TikTok Community Guidelines

TikTok has updated its community guidelines to provide everyone on the platform with a safe and healthy environment. These guidelines could prove to be a great help to users, and content creators. It will dramatically affect how users express themselves without being inappropriate. However, it also means that brands have to create content with a lot of care in order to avoid going against guidelines.

What Makes TikTok Special?

TikTok draws a large number of young users and is also unique compared to other platforms. Rather than a mix of links, videos, photos, and stories, TikTok only offers 100% video-based content. With the platform’s clever scrolling and easy usage, the audience naturally seeks out dynamic and easy-to-digest content. Creating content for TikTok presents a new challenge for brands, including creativity and storytelling. However, it offers an opportunity for high organic reach even without having a huge number of followers. 

TikTok is now where people look for information on skincare, the latest products to buy and the latest trends to watch. This is also in response to the hashtag trend “TikTok made me buy it”. TikTok trends, hashtags, and challenges play a big role in reaching a high audience due to the platform’s unique algorithm. The algorithm is focused on building engagement and discovery of new content.

Due to its impact, other social giants like Meta have followed adapted to hosting more video, shorter content, and a more interactive and visual approach overall. Further, TikTok plays an interesting role in the proliferation of eCommerce. This has been seen especially in the beauty sector.

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Social Commerce (TikTok)

As to be expected TikTok is one of the pioneers of social commerce. The platform expanded its shopping capabilities, including live shopping, tags, stories, storefronts, and more. By giving brands and merchants more control, and by finding new ways to reach consumers, TikTok believes these updates will empower brands and merchants.

As mentioned earlier #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has been going viral. With 5 million views and counting.  In addition, compared to other platforms, TikTok users are also two times more likely to buy products they discover through the app. Additionally, Tiktok’s Ad revenues tripled in 2021 and now are larger than Snapchat + Twitter together. The prognosis is that it will equal Youtube in 2024.

Brands can enjoy full-service commerce with TikTok shopping, where the platform manages everything from product upload to shipping and fulfillment.

The platform also offers the opportunity to connect your catalog with third-party partners through its partnerships with Shopify, Square, Ecwid, and PrestaShop. Further integrations with Wix and other providers are expected soon.

TikTok Ads
TikTok Ads

What Does This Mean for You?

Determine your goals. This is where it begins. Does TikTok fit into your marketing goals and your target segment’s media mix? If the answer is yes, spend time understanding what works on the platform. Focus on examples in your industry or similar sectors.

It may not be necessary for you to launch the channel immediately. However, this may change in the near future. Launching a channel when you have the resources to interact with your audience weekly, as well as creating original content that will resonate with your audience, is the best choice.

What To Do Next?

You may be wondering whether or not this platform belongs in your Digital Marketing Strategy. At the end of the day TikTok Marketing isn’t much different than regular marketing: know your audience, engage them, and provide value. Yet do rely on some specific tactics such as hashtags and challenges. We hope this blog post helped you make a decision.

Interested in strengthening your organization’s knowledge of social commerce? Then, talk to us: moin@watersky.digital