TikTok The Next Big Thing in Social Media Marketing

Praveen Prasannakumar
9 min readFeb 27, 2020


TikTok, Is it basically Musical.ly? How did this short video app suddenly become one of the biggest apps in the world, and how can a business take advantage of it? How can we leverage it for social media marketing? This rapid growth of Tik Tok has turned hundreds of questions, but there is only one thing for certain. If you are not changing your social media marketing for this next social media giant, you are going to surely regret it.

TikTok the lip-syncing mobile app is disrupting social media platforms and going viral! And if your leveraging social media for your business just like we do, pay attention. If you don’t know by now TikTok, a Chinese social media app known as Douyin (抖音) allow users to create and share 3–15-second music videos and 3–40-second looped videos has taken the world by a storm with over 1.6 billion downloads worldwide through the App Store and Google and has surpassed social media giant Instagram by 200 million downloads.

Created by BYTEdance originally named “Douyin” was launched in China in September 2016 then rebranded to the name “Tiktok” transcended cultures and borders from east to west going viral first to India then spreading to the west.

As the only app in the “Top 5 Downloaded Apps” section that isn’t owned by Facebook, it’s not surprising that TikTok is seen as both a wonder and a potential threat. But what makes TikTok different from your average social media application that fosters content and personalized profiles, such as Instagram or Pinterest?

Why should companies consider TikTok for social media marketing, and how should companies go about operating their TikTok accounts for the most coverage? Main intention of this article is to cover all these important questions extensively so you have a better grasp of TikTok’s meteoric rise and potential.

Why TikToks is a big tool in 2020?

With so many users on Tiktok and its steady climb, social media marketers are wondering if and how to use such a large audience for social media branding. While its growth is very impressive and the audience relatively small in comparison to Facebook, Instagram, most in the industry are cautious about expanding efforts.

But with so much obsession over TikTok and no end in sight how can you Leverage TikTok for Social Media Marketing?

The Big Picture of TikTok

The major difference between TikTok and other platform is the format of the content generated on these platforms — TikTok produces viral videos that feature lip-syncs and challenges, while Instagram users primarily post photos for their own profile, and Facebook is kind of messed up contents though the platform is pushing more video contents. Demographic-wise, TikTok and Instagram attract more from the 18 to 25-year-old audience whereas Instagram and Facebook is having other active age groups also.

On top of this, while every social media app requires aesthetically pleasing visuals to attract an audience, not every application is built the same marketing-wise.In comparison to Instagram and Facebook, TikTok’s main focus is short video clips up to 1-minute long. The application also provides filters and effects so users can also create their own videos as well, giving more power to the users to produce their own content with built-in features. Commonly explained as a mash-up of Snapchat and the old Vine, TikTok uses artificial intelligence to identify content users prefer to see as well as content users would rather not view.

Considering TikTok’s particular features, how does it fit into the realm of social media marketing? While TikTok has a steadily growing base of A-listers since its release in 2016, many do not have the same clout and exposure as more established content creators such as YouTubers given TikTok’s relatively young age.

Does this disqualify TikTok from becoming a potential social media marketing tool? And if companies are interested in investing in the current trends and starting their own TikTok, how should they go about doing this?

Who Uses TikTok?

It seems as just about everyone is using Tiktok now from teens to celebs to corporations to small business all the way up to corporations and its popularity is growing like wildfire and brands are capitalizing on it is a remarkable success.

How do you promote on TikTok?

Before you do anything you want to study the platform, search what competitor businesses are doing and what type of video content they are creating and what type of hashtag challenges they are doing for their engagement. Tiktok is all about fun, lively and creating visually enticing videos so take a look at the trending videos for inspiration get creative and know your audience. Make it interesting, keep it real and authentic and engage but don’t treat it as a sales pitch there are other social media platforms to use for that such as Facebook, Instagram, etc.

TikTok’s Strong Points

Despite its age, TikTok has not only many appealing features that attract a base of content creators but also has many strong points going for them when it comes to social media marketing. We list the top three points that make TikTok the next social media marketing venture to invest in:

1. Foster a Future Customer Base

While TikTok has been espoused as an app for a younger generation — millennials and those born in Generation Z — their potential consumer power shouldn’t be dismissed; given the fact that these app users will eventually grow to become the future consumer base, it would be a grievous mistake to underestimate the marketing potential of TikTok just based off its cringe compilations and meme-y materials.

2. Navigate Niches

One of TikTok’s pros is its diversity. Due to TikTok’s system of artificial intelligence that chooses what users see and don’t see, it’s very easy for a viewer of TikTok to wind up watching a variety of content for the same topic or trend. Video creators and viewers from all fandoms, lifestyles, and hobbies are gathered on this app, forming not only just their own niche communities but also actively pumping out new content as well. This is a great boon to businesses with a niche focus or who want to focus their marketing strategies on a specific audience.

3. Start a Trend

From hashtag challenges to duets — videos where users react to or imitate a pre-existing video — the trends of TikTok seem ever-flowing and endless. Though it may appear intimidating for the first-time user to jump in, the flexible nature of content creation in TikTok means that just as it is easy to post a video reacting to a hashtag challenge or even starting a new challenge. Given the Internet’s database on the latest TikTok challenges, Know Your Meme, even the less Internet-savvy have an abundance of resources to draw on for TikTok inspiration.

Things to Consider for Your Business’s TikTok

With the power to reach millions of teenagers and young adults, TikTok has grown exponentially as an advertising platform as companies have become more conscious of the platform. From Chipotle to Guess, many businesses have already jumped onboard to not only advertising their products/services but also to creating their own viral hashtag challenges and participating in the hottest content circulating in TikTok’s channels. However, before you jump on the bandwagon, make sure to keep these four pointers in mind when starting your business’s TikTok:

1. Choose Your Target Audience

Choosing your target audience is the basic foundation for any marketing strategy and the same applies to social media regardless of the platform. Compared to other social media apps, an overwhelming number of TikTok’s monthly users are within the 16 to 24-year-old range. On top of considering age, try to factor in the different community groups that the app is home to — which niche community do you want to specifically cater to and what type of content would work best in accomplishing your business’s end goals?

2. Type of TikTok

Just as on YouTube you have a diverse array of video content such as vlogs, reaction videos, playthroughs, compilations, DIYs, and taste tests, TikTok also has its own variety of channels — lip-syncing, hashtag challenges, react videos, duets, and dance videos. Though users don’t have to necessarily stick to any one type of content, and you shouldn’t worry about having to constantly create new hashtag challenges for the TikTok community to eat up, it’s important that whatever content you upload to your TikTok is not only just dynamic and eye-catching but also helps in building your brand’s presence in a memorable way.

3. Keep Time

While TikTok allows for the upload of videos up to 1-minute long, this doesn’t mean that you should push to create videos hitting that maximum — it’s not about the length of the video, but rather the content. Though the prime span of time for a TikTok video is 15 seconds, which is more generous when compared to former viral video powerhouse Vine’s 6-second limit, making a video that runs over this time will do more harm than good. Studies have shown that the longer a video advertisement is, the higher the chance a viewer will disengage from the video entirely.

4. Scope of Engagement

In comparison to video ads on other social media platforms such as Facebook, TikTok allows for a more casual type of engagement; instead of solely focusing on pushing a particular product/service, businesses can use TikTok for purposes outside of PR. From HR training sessions to how-to videos, the possibilities are endless. Engagement also doesn’t have to stop at the viewer level; many companies also use TikTok as a chance to feature collaborations with other companies and entities, essentially promoting two brands at once while fostering a mutual-benefit relationship. While engagement is scaled to a business’s unique situation and needs, TikTok offers various strategies that companies can use for their own marketing strategies.

How Can Brands Use TikTok?

  • Create An Account
  • Work With Influencers
  • Advertise on TikTok

You can do combinations of different methods. By doing so, you’ll be able to know what works best for your brand.

How Do Brands Market Through TikTok?

There are five popular ways on how you could level up your brand’s image:

1)Hashtag Challenge Ads

Hashtag Challenges Ads is a kind of advertising where the user gets to see a banner ad that will take the user to a page with instructions for the challenge. It is usually seen on the discover page of the app. The results of this option can be measured via clicks, views, engagement, and a lot more. It often targets specific consumers.

2) Hashtag Challenges

The hashtag has been synonymous with social media as it has been used by others like Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook. It gathers audiences and helps spread brand messages throughout the app. It is usually non-sponsored but could make brands accessible to its users and consumers with just a simple hashtag. Influencers can also be a big part of how hashtag challenges will work as they have far more audiences, and it can have an extensive reach. With the right challenges and making the hashtag challenges fun and engaging to the viewers, then this marketing strategy will be a success.

4) In-Feed Native Ad

TikTok has In-feed native ads that will help you add website links and order now buttons. It will eventually land on the page directly that tells more about the product that you are marketing. It has skippable ads and multiple options when it comes to designing the ad. It can also be traced through views, engagements, and click-through rates.

5) User Participation

User Participation is the most accessible as well as very engaging when it comes to advertising on TikTok, and you would want this as a marketing strategy. This is when users can promote brand causes, which enable them to post different content themselves.

6) Brand TakeOver Ads

A form of advertising in TikTok and is considered as one of the purest forms. It is where images, clips, or videos turn out to be the predecessor of the products that you want to make from its landing page or hashtag challenges. However, only a single brand can be involved per day as it is known to be category exclusives. This kind of strategy is more effective because of its simplicity and known for user-friendly techniques which will help in putting your brand out there.


As the first Chinese language social media platform to gain achievement overseas, TikTok’s growing fame and recognition spell a brand new age of content material creation on social media. It includes no longer best giving customers the platform however also the interface to cultivate their own personal brand through catchy, addictive videos. while the simplest time will tell how Bytedance, TikTok’s parent organization, will pass ahead with the app, like something that is new and upcoming, the excellent way to understand TikTok’s intricacies is simply to jump in for the journey and give the app a spin.