TikTok Presents New Opportunities For Brands

Written by Joseph Raguso, Content Creator

What is TikTok? 

Platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram are all a huge part of today’s mainstream media culture. Soon, you might be able to add TikTok to that list! TikTok is an app for creating and sharing short videos that are vertical rather than square, like on Snapchat or Instagram’s stories. Users can navigate through videos by scrolling up and down, like a feed. What makes TikTok unique is how important hashtags are to organizing video genres into “Like” categories to help curate your news feed. The popularity of this app is driven by the constant “what should I watch?” culture of social media that can provide an influx of content for all users. The first thing you see isn’t a feed of your friend’s posts, but a page called “For You.” It’s an algorithmic feed based on videos you’ve interacted with and watched. 

How are Brands Using It?

TikTok’s recent boom has social media teams thinking about optimizing their brands on the platform to increase engagement and awareness. Generating leads or traffic across their sites is no longer the approach for social media teams optimizing TikTok’s platform. They are using it to engage younger audiences and show off a lighter side of themselves through funny videos, challenges, and other strategies that you’d only see on the platform specifically. The large brands are recognizing that TikTok presents a prime opportunity to effectively market themselves to ‘Generation Z’ and the younger generation that is deeply invested in the new platform.

Chipotle’s Strategy

Chipotle is one of the biggest food chains in the country and its largest clientele is ‘millennials’, ranging from 20-26. Since TikTok is dominated by millennial and Generation Z usage, Chipotle has over 55,000 fans on TikTok. They publish a variety of posts that use music, memes, and other references to highlight menu items. For example, they posted a video with chips and guacamole on a table playing the popular singer, Adele’s, “Someone Like You” in the background for entertainment. For National Guacamole Day, Chipotle posted a popular meme reference by posting The Guacamole Song’s music video with the caption: “TFW guac is free #GuacDance. Online/in-app only 7/31.” The content fits for TikTok because it is musical and embraces mainstream pop culture. This is a great example of how a brand can use a beloved song or reference to promote its own products while successfully entertaining an audience.

The NBA’s Strategy

The NBA has an extreme following with over 5 million fans on TikTok. Unlike its Instagram channel, which focuses purely on basketball games and highlights, the NBA’s TikTok posts show a lighter side of the organization. They try to highlight players with engaging music and dramatic workout clips. One of the most popular clips on their TikTok is an NBA mascot doing tricks and slam dunks with music in the background. It uses the app’s musical features to lighten up the branding and make its athletes look more relatable. While the videos still promote basketball, they also fit in well with other funny or musical posts on TikTok feeds. When a brand or company shows off a more personal side, audiences might start to relate to it a bit more.  

Our Take

Anytime brands choose a marketing route that deviates from traditional marketing, it opens a door of opportunity. We have seen with blogs, podcasts, and within Instagram and other major platforms, that organic content is king. TikTok has given brands a platform to truly connect with a younger, more interactive audience who, from what we’ve seen, responds well to sponsored content when it is engaging and draws the attention back to the user, rather than focusing on selling a product. 

Our team at MSM Designz has excelled in following and keeping up with the latest trends across social media platforms. We can help your business gain valuable insights for marketing and design across all platforms. To request a complete range of Digital Marketing services, call our main office in Tarrytown at (914) 909-5900. We look forward to working with you!