TikTok: Viral Goldmine or Fading Trend
Since its initial release in 2016, TikTok, the social media application that allows users to share short videos with the public, has exploded in popularity, with people of every age group building massive followings and consuming content of almost every variety. However, as with any social media platform experiencing a meteoric rise, TikTok has had problems with the government and spawned increasingly popular competitors who have prompted rumors of TikTok’s slowing growth.
Despite all these issues, TikTok has been hailed by many as the next frontier for marketing professionals to pursue. With some questioning the efficacy of traditional blogging or email marketing, social media is often seen as the primary area for marketing departments to reach potential customers, and if this is assumed, then it’s understandable that they’d want to use the latest tools in social media marketing to reach them.
There’s one fundamental flaw in this assumption, though: marketing is never one-size-fits-all.
Who’s On TikTok
If you were to rely on TikTok as your sole channel, then you’d be looking to reach people predominantly under the age of 34.
If your target audience is young adults, then TikTok provides a great venue to connect with potential customers as around 70 percent of the platform’s users fall into this category. If you were hoping to use TikTok to connect with older demographics, then you’d have a lot of work to do, as less than 15 percent of TikTok’s users are above the age of 35.
Going beyond the demographic breakdown, you’ll also be facing an unknown number of other organizations competing for the same pool of attention. The more competitive the market, the bigger the budget you’ll need to break through the noise.
So, If TikTok Isn’t the Answer, What Is?
TikTok is a promising new area for companies to explore and invest in, but that doesn’t mean they should forget about the fundamental tool that drives effective social media marketing efforts: a solid understanding of their goals and a clear strategy to achieve them.
Social media provides a direct line to your potential customers and can provide a good foundation for organizations to accomplish goals like:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Increasing sale quantity
- Improving ROI
- Driving in-store traffic
But every organization has different needs and choosing the right goal to pursue is the first step in understanding how to move forward.
How to Leverage Different Social Media Channels
With an unlimited budget and time scale, any company can get leads and engage with customers on the marketing channels of their choice. Realistically there are not many organizations with an endless budget and zero-time limitations. This is why it is important that marketing professionals understand how to get the best ROI by optimizing outreach through channel segmentation.
Breaking your audience into categories is a great way of segmenting your outreach, but it also guides which social media channel is best suited to your company’s needs. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all comprised of different demographics, and depending on your business, it may make more sense to focus your efforts on one (or more) of these channels rather than on TikTok.
Educating Your Audience Looks Different
Once you have segmented your audience based on platform, remember that one size still doesn’t fit all. Each audience will have unique needs and how you present your company’s posts should cater to those needs. LinkedIn posts should be industry-specific and more focused on technical ability than you would normally share on Instagram or YouTube. By contrast, you’re able to be sillier on TikTok, as the platform sets the expectation for a less somber and stoic message.
Each Platform Has Its Limits
Just like your audiences are different, so is the way you use each social media channel, and that is especially true when it comes to their limitations. One you might be familiar with is the text or character limit.
If your product requires demonstration, a primarily text-based platform like Twitter is not your best option. Instead, opt for a platform with the ability to easily access and share photos and videos like Instagram or Snapchat.
Don’t Forget About Competitor Research
There are many ways to structure a social marketing plan. A great starting point is to take notice of what has been successful for your competitors and try to adopt and expand on that.
It’s easy for company leaders to become enamored with whatever the latest trend is, in the mistaken belief that following the fad will enable them to capture more attention. While other companies are focusing on a single marketing channel, your marketing strategy can better reach customers through established social media sites. Less noise equals less competition and greater results.
Smart Strategy = Results
TikTok offers a new way of engaging with potential customers, but it would be a mistake to put all your proverbial eggs in one basket. Everyone engages with a portfolio of mediums and content throughout their lives and companies that understand this know there’s value in seeking engagement across these channels.
Your company cannot depend on any one investment to grow its bottom line, but by developing a flexible, integrated, multi-channel marketing strategy, you will be in a stronger position to reach your customer base long after TikTok’s star fades.
Does your company need guidance when it comes to social media marketing? Reach out to the Hammer Marketing team and let us help with a social strategy customized for you.