Since its inception nearly seven years ago, TikTok has taken the world by storm. The short-form video-sharing app has more than 1 billion active users and is widely popular among Gen Z, making it an ideal platform for marketing to younger consumers (25 and under) and recruiting potential new hires. Its influence is also spreading to other age groups.
While using the social media platform can be advantageous to users and marketers alike, it also has potential downsides. Let’s explore some of the pros and cons.
A wide reach. TikTok has a massive global following, making it a valuable platform for organizations seeking to reach a large and diverse audience.
Viral potential. The social media platform is known for its viral content, with videos often spreading quickly and reaching millions of users. This makes it an attractive medium for marketers looking to create viral campaigns.
The best way to reach Gen Z. Born between roughly 1997 and 2012, the youngest generation of workers and soon-to-be workers is currently the largest generation on Earth. They are highly active on social media, TikTok in particular. Gen Z’s preferences for short-form videos and authenticity are driving the platform’s popularity, and news outlets have confirmed this group uses TikTok as a search engine. In fact, web security company Cloudflare reported that TikTok surpassed Google as the most visited domain in 2021. (Full disclosure: Google regained its spot in 2022 due to a change in Cloudflare’s domain ranking algorithms.)
Targeted advertising. The platform offers advertising options that enable organizations to reach specific audiences based on demographics, interests and behaviors. Advanced advertising options also include CRM integrations.
Data privacy. TikTok is owned by a Chinese company. The U.S. government has expressed concerns over national security risks, citing the potential for users’ personal data to be accessed by the Chinese government.
Usage bans. Due to data privacy concerns, more than half of U.S. state governments have partially or fully banned TikTok from government networks and devices. In addition, some U.S. colleges also have banned or restricted the use of TikTok on campus wireless networks, citing concerns over potential security risks and the app's perceived negative impacts on students' well-being and academic performance. Those negative impacts include the app's addictive nature and potential to distract students from their studies. This is an ongoing development that is worth following.
Content moderation. TikTok has faced criticism over its content moderation policies, with some users reporting that the app's algorithms promote and amplify harmful or inappropriate content.
Competition. TikTok is a highly competitive platform, with businesses and marketers facing a large and diverse pool of competitors. This makes it challenging for organizations to stand out and gain a significant following.
Demographics, when to post and how to go viral!
According to Sprout Social, one of the social media management platforms we use at AOE, nearly 40 percent of Gen Z say they’re directly influenced by products they see on TikTok. Other noteworthy statistics include:
61 percent of TikTok users are female..
Users spend nearly 90 minutes per day on the platform.
On average, the best times to post on TikTok are Wednesdays and Thursdays between 1 and 3 p.m., followed closely by Tuesdays between 2 and 3 p.m. The worst day to post is Sunday.
When creating videos for TikTok, a best practice is to feature real people (i.e., employees). According to a study of viral videos by marketing software company Semrush:
One in three videos focused on a person within the first three seconds.
60 percent featured a person visible on the screen.
More than half used music as their primary background sound in the first three seconds.
Viral videos triggered either happiness, humor or surprise among viewers.
Don’t forget to have fun while creating your videos! Check out how one concrete contractor does it.
Deciding whether TikTok is the right platform for your organization boils down to your target audience(s) and marketing goals. If your audience is active on TikTok, it can be an effective platform for building brand awareness and engagement. However, if you decide the cons outweigh the pros, your resources could be better used on other channels—like Instagram Reels.
Need assistance with social media strategies and analytics? Contact AOE today!