With TikTok marketing becoming the next big thing for companies that plan to increase their brand’s visibility through social media, one of the questions that arise is what are some best practices to follow to ensure the resources invested into creating content for this new network have positive results and ROI?
To aid social media managers in understanding to what extent a business can benefit from launching a TikTok account these days and help them make data-based decisions, the team from Socialinsider recently launched a TikTok performance study that revealed a couple of noteworthy and useful insights that we’ll cover moving forward.
1. The average TikTok posting frequency for TikTok in 2022 is 20 videos posted by an account per month, and still increasing
Once some of the most visionary brands that joined TikTok gained massive popularity and success within the platform – brands such as Duolingo or RedBull, for example – more and more businesses started to wonder what they could do to match that.
First of all, every company thinking about joining TikTok must know that on this platform, authenticity and creativity matter the most.
While every brand is obviously unique, and each brand must develop a vision and concept appropriate to its personality, there are, however, some tricks that can be incorporated for an optimized TikTok marketing strategy.
With a posting frequency increasing year over year, as data has indicated, the fact that TikTok is a platform with a highly positive ROI has become undeniable.
2. When incorporating a mention, a TikTok video gets a higher view rate
Starting off like a creators’ network – just like Instagram back in the day – TikTok is a great platform on which brands can try leveraging influencer marketing.
Thanks to their more humanized approach and content, creators find connecting with the TikTok user base easier, making it the perfect reason for initiating collaborations.
And speaking of collaborations, for those brands that have joined the platform, data has also indicated this is a rather successful tactic for businesses that are investing in TikTok marketing.
With content viewership being the most important KPI in TikTok’s case, it’s important for brands investing in TikTok to remember that when mentioning someone, a video’s viewership reaches a higher value.
3. When picking the song for a TikTok video, it’s preferable to choose a trendy song instead of using an original sound
There’s no secret by now that a key element when creating a TikTok video is the music chosen. When deconstructing the most popular TikTok videos, one of the most noteworthy insights that pop up is that using popular songs increases the posts’ watch rate.
As a matter of fact, TikTok itself revealed the platform’s algorithm features videos on the “For You Page” based on a series of factors, such as – captions, hashtags, and sounds.
Normally, when offering people something they already showed an interest in – like the case of trending songs, the TikTok algorithm will reward the videos integrating those elements as that will make users stay longer on the platform and interact on it.
Needless to say, for being a platform that displays content based on topics of interest, the keywords and hashtags integrated into captions equally matter greatly.
As a final point to cover – here’s a tip for brands interested in investing in Tiktok marketing from Wave Wild – a TikTok expert:
“Start incorporating SEO into your TikTok marketing strategy — as it’s been found that more users are searching for specific content and are more likely to purchase when looking for solutions to a problem.“
A joyful spreader of marketing-related news. Currently the data geek from Socialinsider. Lately out there making use of the power of storytelling when conducting insightful social media studies. Whether it’s writing about everything social or traveling the world dancing, everything I do is out of passion.
The power of TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels to distribute videos is astonishing. But each requires a different approach and carries a different risk.
Something wild happened after I posted my seventh TikTok. My newly-active account—set up to promote Big Technology Podcast—had only a few hundred followers, but the video boomed across the network. It hit 10,000 views within hours, then 100,000, and settled above 400,000 the next day. Reaching that many people would’ve taken months with the podcast. On TikTok, it happened overnight.
In three weeks of experimentation on TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels, I’ve learned much about the way these platforms operate, far more than as an observer. The differences between them surprised me. Their power to distribute videos was something to behold. And the opportunity to capitalize on their needs seemed immense, if a bit risky.
This week, with input from some TikTok experts, I’ll share what I’ve learned:
TikTok is a traffic cannon
TikTok takes videos that resonate with its users and blasts them to thousands—if not millions—of viewers. The platform is reminiscent of mid-2010s Facebook, where anything moderately worthy could find a massive audience on the News Feed. But this time, thanks to TikTok’s algorithm, you don’t need a large following to land the traffic.
TikTok is so popular that its demand for quality videos far outpaces supply, which is why even decent videos go ballistic there. “It’s the place where people are spending the most time, but it’s the platform that’s known least,” said Nick Cicero, VP of strategy at digital analytics firm Conviva. “There’s a huge opportunity for people that are jumping in right now.”
I found similar dynamics on YouTube Shorts, but not on Instagram Reels (more on that in a bit).
How TikTok’s algorithm works
TikTok’s algorithm seems to seed all videos to a test set of users and decide whether to blast them further based on the reaction. Analyst Nathan Baschez calls this “universal basic distribution,” a fitting name. Every video I post on TikTok gets at least a few hundred views. Then it either fades or gets thousands more views almost instantly.
TikTok will distribute posts in brackets of traffic, said Zac Goodsir, co-founder of Supermix, the agency I work with on these videos. Video views on TikTok will jump from a few hundred, to a few thousand, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands in an almost step-by-step pattern. Each time, the algorithm distributes, waits, assesses, and then acts. This enables content from anyone, no matter the following, to spread widely across the platform. It ensures that users’ feeds are filled with good stuff, taking a wide universe of content into consideration for each recommendation.
Instagram does not seem to employ this “universal basic distribution” approach, relying more on your follow graph. I set up a new Instagram account and posted the same videos as I had on TikTok. They went absolutely nowhere. This may be because my account was new, or had only a few followers. But Instagram not seeding Reels from all accounts means it’s missing out on videos its users might like, limiting its ability to please. It also means people will be less inclined to create there, another liability that could lead to worse content. “We don’t push it as much,” said Goodsir of Instagram. “We haven’t seen the results.”
Sparking outrage and division are the surest ways to go viral on traditional social media. I hoped TikTok would be different. But alas, my videos that get the most distribution tend to have flame wars in the comments. “Controversial opinions drive engagement and engagement drives views,” said Goodsir. “That can also be the bad side of TikTok.”
YouTube Shorts in great shape
YouTube Shorts might have the best chance to compete with TikTok. “Their strength has been contextual, AI-based recommendations,” said Margins author Ranjan Roy, in an interview on Big Technology Podcast last week. YouTube, in other words, has been recommending videos based on your watching behavior for years, and applying that technology to Shorts is an advantage. YouTube’s long-form videos are also appealing to users who might want more content from accounts whose Shorts they like. And it’s nice for creators too. I’ve seen Shorts draw a bunch of people into my (still admittedly small) YouTube channel, including some looking for the full episode in the comments.
TikTok remains a big risk
TikTok is not guaranteed to hang around forever, which makes every bit of effort placed into it somewhat risky. “A lot of marketers are really scared to dump their budgets into TikTok because they’re afraid it’ll get shut down,” said Cicero. As established brands and content creators sit out TikTok in favor of safer bets, their hesitancy will make TikTok a solid place to for others to build an audience. But it could all fall apart in a minute.
Feature Image Credit: Photo illustration by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NurPhoto via Getty Images
TikTok and LinkedIn created room for video resumes and more personalization for applicants
When social media first came into our lives, the common practice was don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your future employer to see. However, as social media has become more ubiquitous, our personal and professional lives have blurred. Social sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn have offered ways for individuals to find new jobs using their platform of choice.
Even TikTok announced its own feature to help job seekers find opportunities. More individuals are using social media with the goal of getting employed, showcasing their interests, and creating a digital, resume-like portfolio.
For over a decade, social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram have enabled individuals to promote themselves and their personal brands while enjoying creative freedom to showcase their talents. Employers are still struggling to fill open positions and individuals searching for jobs that provide autonomy and higher levels of fulfillment. Luckily, many aspects of social media can help hiring teams reframe their talent attraction strategies to make the best talent match for their needs.
A resume is still the primary currency of hiring
No matter the job, company, or industry, resumes still largely drive the hiring process, but resume formatting and delivery have evolved. Video resumes help employers shift hiring requirements (pdf) from education and experience to skills. Although the need for a resume has remained constant, this new era of hiring calls for a more modern perspective.
The traditional resume emphasizes education and experience, typically with previous jobs and degrees at the top, taking up a significant portion of the document. Job-relevant skills are developed through many avenues, both in and outside of formal training or workplace projects. Yet hard and soft skills, certifications and credentials, general interests, outside activities and ways to express intent for continual upskilling get buried at the bottom of a resume—or left off entirely. While this has been the norm, resumes should now be revamped with candidate skills at the forefront, showcasing what they can do versus what they have done.
Recruiters and hiring teams need to adjust their approach to what a resume should entail—with an emphasis on skills as the forefront of qualifications—to better recruit and hire the right fit for the job.
Quick, easily digestible information is critical
Social media doesn’t show every waking minute of individuals’ lives (depending on who you follow), but instead can highlight meaningful moments, enticing viewers to learn more. In the same way, resumes don’t represent the totality of a candidate’s capabilities and potential for success. Resumes exist to garner the attention needed to advance a candidate through the hiring process. Unfortunately, traditionally formatted resumes struggle to effectively articulate skills, limiting a recruiter’s ability to evaluate whether a potential candidate has the skills to be successful.
Digital credentials can bring greater reliability and trust to the hiring process. By providing a unified language of understanding to individuals’ hard and soft skills, digital credentials signify verified, data-backed qualifications and provide greater insight into the whole picture of an applicant’s abilities rather than saddling hiring teams with the task of filling in the blanks.
Studies show us that a hiring manager spends on average 6-7 seconds reviewing a resume. In that time, hiring managers need quick, easily digestible insights to help determine if the candidate is qualified to move forward in the process. So, while watching 3-minute video resumes might not be easily scalable for most recruiters, the notion of putting one’s skills at the forefront of their resume is here to stay.
Skills-based hiring and digital credentials
There is a nearly unprecedented mismatch between the number of open jobs and the number of people applying for those positions, with over 6 million potential candidates (pdf) and more than 11 million job vacancies in today’s hiring landscape. This large gap has amplified the need for capable workers, with hiring teams shifting expectations from those who “have done” a job to those who “can do” the job because of their skills, qualifications, and interest more than their past experience alone.
Many workers who left roles as part of the great resignation have shifted their career trajectory entirely. While they may be entering new industries without a traditional background, these job candidates likely have transferable skills that match well with their ambitions for a new role. But to match talent with suitable roles and close the hiring gap, talent management teams must be willing to prioritize skills in their review practices.
Additionally, previously identified skills that were a nice-to-have for job requirements are now must-haves for hiring. For example, in this digital world, hard skills such as working with tools like Microsoft Suite are crucial for remote or hybrid work and ensuring collaboration capabilities. Similarly, in a remote-first, digital world, a soft skill companies should prioritize is a candidate’s propensity for learning and upskilling. Both of these skills can be shown through verified digital credentials, whether it is a certificate of completion for mastery of a specific tool or an individual’s many certifications and badges, demonstrating their willingness to learn and expand their skill sets.
For hiring teams, reorienting their talent management strategy is crucial to understanding this new era of skills-based hiring. Social media has provided an excellent opportunity to understand better what does and doesn’t work in this digital environment. Each individual has a chance to show their unique skills,while hiring teams will have a competitive advantage in finding and retaining the best talent.
Bailey Showalter, VP of talent solutions at Credly, a business of Pearson, where she is focused on growth initiatives that help people connect to the right opportunity at the right time on the basis of their verified skills.
Tick…Tick…Tick. Is time running out on your opportunity to effectively use TikTok? Not if you make wise investments.
From recent feature rollouts to off the chart viewership numbers, TikTok has eclipsed a number of social platforms in key engagement areas, such as retention rate and active collaboration features like duets and stitches.
Best-in-class brands leverage TikTok’s native tools, editing features, ad formats and ecommerce capabilities to maximize reach and facilitate purchase. In fact, 84% of the top 50 brands ranked in Gartner’s latest Social Media Benchmarks Digital IQ had a TikTok profile as of November 2021.
However, there are still many high-performing brands that are either underinvesting in their brand TikTok pages or ignoring the platform altogether. What does this mean for digital marketing leaders?
Lost Opportunities With Target Audience
First, those that overlook TikTok will miss connecting with key audiences. TikTok commands a large, hyper-engaged user base that demands marketers’ attention. The platform is investing in increasingly sophisticated commercial features, too, such as TikTok Ads Manager and objectives driven Promote feature. TikTok gives brands the ability to invest in a number of different ad formats and influencer partnerships that drive a specific call to action among a highly targeted audience.
Second, TikTok’s increased investment in social commerce means digital marketing leaders also risk losing out on a major monetization opportunity. According to TikTok, the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has more than 6.8 billion views and viral videos regularly translate to direct sales lift. One beauty brand saw more than a 600% increase in daily sales after their watermelon products went viral on the app, too. TikTok has capitalized on the success of viral products by introducing in-app ecommerce capabilities — for example, in-app store and link in bio — to enable a seamless buying experience for consumers.
As a result, digital marketers must track TikTok’s commerce features and gauge alignment with key marketing goals. Monitor ongoing legal concerns and remain transparent with users as personal data privacy remains a growing concern.
How to Leverage TikTok to Improve the Customer Journey Experience
Brands that effectively use TikTok — and other major social media channels for that matter — throughout the customer journey outperform competitors by lifting word of mouth, engaging more prospects and driving more valuable engagement with customers.
Digital marketing leaders have traditionally focused their social media efforts on brand posts, advertising and influencer marketing to improve brand awareness and consideration. However, they often fail to develop and invest in social strategies that lift customer satisfaction, loyalty and brand advocacy, missing out on opportunities to deepen customer relationships.
In order to drive value through social media successfully, brands should focus on the greater context of consumer needs and understanding how and why customers use social channels, not just what channels they use.
TikTok doesn’t have as many trackers out there as Google and Facebook, but its ad platform is young
A hot potato: Data collection has become so ubiquitous that most people just assume that any website or app they use is tracking them. Indeed, even after Apple’s recent privacy crackdown, Meta has been caught in the act of scraping personal data via a loophole. However, even the savviest users might be surprised that TikTok is tracking them even though they have never used the company’s website or app.
According to a Consumer Reports (CR) investigation published last week, TikTok has been planting trackers called “pixels” on hundreds of websites. Partnering with security firm Disconnect, CR looked into about 20,000 websites searching for TikTok’s pixels specifically. The pool included the top 1,000 most visited websites and many of the biggest, .org, .edu, and .gov domains since those tend to have more sensitive user data.
The study found that hundreds of companies share data with TikTok. Some prime examples of websites allowing TikTok to embed pixels include the United Methodist Church, Weight Watchers, and Planned Parenthood. Perhaps most disturbing is the Arizona Department of Economic Security’s sharing of user data regarding visits to its domestic violence and food assistance pages. By the way, none of these groups would respond to CR’s requests for comment. Big surprise.
“I was genuinely surprised that TikTok’s trackers are already this widespread,” said Disconnect’s Chief Technology Officer Patrick Jackson. “I think people are conditioned to think, ‘Facebook is everywhere, and whatever, they’re going to get my data.’ I don’t think people connect that with TikTok yet.”
“The only reason this works is because it’s a secret operation. It shouldn’t be happening in the shadows.” — Disconnect
Consumer Reports says that the number of Meta and Google pixels it found dwarfs TikTok’s by a long shot. However, it pointed out that TikTok’s advertising platform is just getting started, whereas Google and Facebook/Meta have been at it for years.
Consumer Reports was mainly concerned with personal data from organizations with which users would likely have an issue, like hospitals or advocacy groups. Analysts looked closely at the identified TikTok pixels to see what information they shared. TikTok pixels regularly transmit visitor IP addresses, unique ID numbers, pages users view, and what they click and type. It also has access to search requests. All of this is regardless of whether or not the user has a TikTok account.
When asked for comment, TikTok spokeswoman Melanie Bosselait said, “Like other platforms, the data we receive from advertisers is used to improve the effectiveness of our advertising services.”
Bosselait added that her company does not create profiles to sell to advertisers. She also claims that data from non-TikTok users is only used for “aggregated reports that they send to advertisers about their websites.”
“We continuously work with our partners to avoid inadvertent transmission of [certain sensitive] data,” TikTok claims. This type of information would include anything about health conditions, personal finances, or children.
However, CR states that previous investigations have shown that even though sites like Meta and Goole have policies barring transmitting sensitive data, trackers often send it regardless. TikTok’s pixels are no different.
For example, CR looked at the national Girl Scouts domain and found that TikTok has a pixel on every page of the website that can transmit personal information if a child is visiting. The analysts also found that searching for “erectile dysfunction” on WebMD resulted in the tracker reporting the query back to TikTok.
Those are just a couple of examples that returned sensitive information to the company despite its privacy statements and rules. If users knew a website they do not even visit had access to this data, they’d likely be outraged.
“The only reason this works is because it’s a secret operation,” said Jackson. “Some people might not care, but people should have a choice. It shouldn’t be happening in the shadows.”
Some company executives were unaware of what data their firm was sharing or to whom. Consumer Reports informed the Mayo Clinic that its public website (not the patient portal) was sharing data with TikTok. Disconnect checked later to find that the clinic had removed the TikTok tracker but that the site still used a “considerable number” of other pixels, including those from Microsoft, Google, and others.
Currently, there is not much that consumers can do about this situation. However, CR notes that switching to more privacy-friendly browsers such as Firefox or Brave and strengthening security settings can reduce a lot of tracking. Privacy-protecting extensions are helpful too.
TikTok has absolutely taken the world by storm since 2020. And it’s not just for the kids — with over 1 billion users, it’s popular across all demographics.
User behaviour on TikTok has been evolving as its popularity grows. We’ve seen the app go from dancing teenagers to influencing shopping behaviour across the world.
Now the next step for TikTok seems to be turning into the next big search engine.
Is TikTok the new Google?
Short answer: no.
TikTok is an internal search engine for TikTok content. It’s dedicated to a particular area of focus and a particular format: video.
There are a few different factors at play in how we choose the search engine to solve our need in the moment, but at the end of the day, TikTok and Google satisfy very different search intents.
Why do users search on TikTok?
We’re seeing TikTok take market share from Google in verticals such as food, gardening, and travel. These are low stakes searches where the outcome is unlikely to cause you harm. Since you don’t need a perfect or factual answer, you can use TikTok to find it.
TikTok’s video format makes a lot more sense if you’re looking for answers where the visual matters. Date spots in your city or a gardening tutorial are perfect searches for the platform.
Another reason users choose TikTok is that the answer will always be provided by a subject matter expert, not a niche blogger. Social proof abounds, as you can assess the expertise of your source by looking at the comments and number of views, likes, and followers.
A few concerns have been raised about the spread of misinformation on TikTok, as they have in most other content platforms. However, these are slightly more worrying on TikTok because it has an unprecedented potential for virality, and a large, young user base, who are more easily influenced during content discovery than during active search.
Users are even searching for TikTok content on Google, with queries such as “TikTok pasta”, amassing 1,778 searches per month in the US:
Branded queries on Google for TikTok content have a combined monthly search volume of 30.1 million in the US alone. But in the spirit of transparency, I’ll share that most of those are not PG (or even PG-13).
Active search vs. content discovery
There are two key behaviours on TikTok we must differentiate: active search and content discovery.
Content discovery is the main behaviour on TikTok and it’s the one we’re most familiar with. It’s when the user is scrolling through the app, passively hoping to find entertainment, financial advice, recipe ideas, or a new favourite beauty product.
Users have been enjoying a positive content discovery experience on TikTok for years. They have found new restaurants or a selfie angle that makes them look like Kylie Jenner.
This is the key to understanding TikTok’s rise as a search engine: This positive content discovery experience has earned the users’ trust. They know that the content they want to consume is on TikTok. So when the need arises, they turn to the video platform first.
This leads us into active search. Active search is when a user types a specific question into TikTok’s search box.
On TikTok, users can seamlessly scroll through all of the content that answers their query, without having to open multiple tabs on their browser. This improves user satisfaction, reduces friction and, most importantly, teaches TikTok the best answer. More on that later.
Let’s talk about psychology
Persuasion resistance is a natural psychological defense when we feel like someone is trying to manipulate us into buying, doing, or thinking something. We perceive persuasion as a threat and we try to move away from it or oppose it.
Over a decade ago, the online advertising industry started to worry about a decrease in the CTR of their display ads. Pop-ups got dismissed, banners went ignored. Users had caught onto advertisers: we were trying to sell them something.
This triggered a phenomenon known to psychologists as persuasion resistance. Advertisers called this response “banner blindness”. As an industry, we developed four different strategies to counter this resistance to persuasion.
First, we started making our ads look like they were part of the content. We called these “native ads”.
Then, we started placing the ads in unexpected places, where users were less likely to be bracing themselves to be sold to.
We started making ads a little bit more relevant to the context, so that they felt less intrusive.
Finally, we moved into social proof, and we started leveraging the power of trust. Thus influencer marketing was born.
TikTok leverages these four strategies to counter resistance to persuasion by design. How do they do it?
Creators are paid for their content through the Creator Fund, based on how many views or engagement their videos get. They are incentivized to make quality, engaging content that users will enjoy, not just by making deals with brands.
They regularly showcase their beauty routines, fashion, or home products, with or without a brand sponsorship. This makes affiliate or sponsored content look just like regular content.
Their ads are served in exactly the same format as their regular content, with a small tag letting you know that it’s promoted content.
All the videos have an identified creator, visible like and view counts, and open comments. Social proof abounds!
But SEO is not paid social or influencer marketing. So why should we care?
SEO is now omnichannel
Putting the right content in front of users at the right time is at the core of what we do. If we want to keep achieving this goal, we must provide content where the user is looking for it.
As technology integrates further into our lives, we’ve seen the rise of multisearch. Google created the term as a way to integrate their Google Lens functionality into the way we speak about search and SEO.
We now search by asking our home assistant devices questions or taking a picture of a tree we don’t recognize. We search on Google Maps, on Youtube, on Instagram and even on Amazon.
The days when SEO was about responding to a query in a search box are long gone.
By putting our content out on TikTok and optimizing it for search, we are helping users find our content when they need it, where they want it, and in the format they chose to consume it.
TikTok on the SERPs
An omnichannel SEO strategy will let you interact with your users beyond your own domain, and it can help your brand take up more real estate in the SERPs.
Google is trying to diversify the domains they show on search, so if you want to feature in the SERPs multiple times, you’ll have to distribute your brand’s content across different domains.
TikTok’s website has over 31 million pages built programmatically around topics, hashtags, and sounds:
Topic pages make up the most of their URLs and traffic, and seem to be built based on hashtags used, along with some form of machine learning consolidation of their variations. These include related videos, topics, users, hashtags, and sounds.
Based on the numbers alone, the benefit of having your content feature in these pages is obvious.
Industries that should be on TikTok
TikTok serves you content based on what the algorithm has determined you’ll enjoy, not based on who you follow. So users constantly discover new creators.
The TikTok algorithm does a genuinely good job at finding your interests or helping you discover stuff that you like. These topics of interest become small niches with their own name.
Much like a subreddit, TikTok has unofficial “toks”. You can find niches such as book-tok, finance-tok, food-tok, and many others.
Based on the data, case studies, and some expert opinions, there are industries that can truly benefit from being on the platform and surfacing content tagged for these various “toks”:
Streaming services and entertainers
Fashion and beauty brands
Restaurants and food bloggers
Travel brands and influencers
Home and DIY content creators and brands
If you think this list reminds you of the top industries on Pinterest, you are right.
TikTok and Pinterest have a lot in common. Both platforms prioritize content discovery based on your interests and serve mainly visual content.
When looking at suggested searches, the value becomes clear when I start typing keywords typically associated with an informational or commercial intent:
While these are personalized for each user, you can see that others are searching for content that brands or publishers have typically kept on their blogs and find valuable for their businesses.
Brands looking to increase their brand awareness can benefit from being on TikTok regardless of their industry. After all, nobody expected the success Duolingo has had on the platform.
Is TikTok threatening Google? No. Is it worth the attention of SEOs? Yes.
Over the next few months, keep an eye out for more pieces on how to make the most of this upstart and unlikely content discovery search engine. I will be writing about the TikTok algorithm, what the search experience looks like on TikTok, and how to make sure your videos rank.
TikTok announced today the launch of video shopping ads, catalogue listing ads, and live shopping ads—a trio of moves that show the platform is doubling down on its personalized, algorithm-driven commerce offerings.
The ad-driven experience expands on TikTok’s debut last year of a suite of commerce tools and solutions to help brands and creators deploy shoppable content and experiences in their feeds. Now, TikTok will also feature:
Video shopping ads: Deploying globally, this tool gives brands the power to place shoppable videos on TikTok users’ For You Pages.
Catalogue listing ads: A new ad content type available to both U.S. users and advertisers targeting U.S. consumers, these catalogue (product) placements aren’t required to be in video format.
Live shopping ads: Debuting first in the U.K., Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and with select partners and accounts in the United States, these shoppable livestreams surface in users’ For You Pages.
TikTok’s announcement cites the versatility of these new ad formats, which create an easier click-to-buy customer journey, and optimize discovery through the hyper-personalized TikTok algorithm. The social media platform’s own marketing data show that 70% of users surveyed say it seems easy to make purchases through its shopping-related ads, 56% of respondents say TikTok ads have helped them discover new products and brands, and 48% of users expressed interest in making a purchase via TikTok in the next quarter.
TikTok has partnered with Smartly.io as its first-to-market ads-and-campaigns partner for campaign management, bulk optimizations, reporting, and creative automation.
Follow Me serves as a guide for SMBs looking to translate their stories into creative videos
TikTok has launched Follow Me, a multi-channel global program to help and drive awareness of small-and-medium businesses (SMBs) in Australia by using the platform.
SMB owners wear an endless number of hats and TikTok recognises that many of them have many role to juggle. Follow Me will provide SMBs with the knowledge and understanding they need of the platform to effectively utilise it as a launch pad to supercharge their growth.
The six-week program runs until early August and provides SMBs with resources on how to get started on TikTok as well as tips and insights from existing users on the platform. Follow Me will serve as a guide for SMBs looking to translate their stories into creative videos and build their own community on the platform.
With the platform’s large, multi-layered ecosystem of creators and communities, this program will help SMBs get acquainted with newfound consumers as they discover new brands and share these fresh finds with others.
Resources and Guides made available to SMBs to get started on TikTok
To help SMBs access the resources to kickstart their journey on TikTok, the platform has created a dedicated page that curates different learning roadmaps based on visitors’ goals, in addition to directing SMBs to a six-week email series that will outline the best practices for running their first-ever TikTok campaign as well as integrating their brand’s story into their videos.
This includes directions to set up a free Business Account, access to the Creative Centre for content inspiration, and insights into how TikTok’s Ads Manager and Promotion features can be leveraged to further reinforce campaign outcomes.
SMBs can also go to tutorials from Melbourne-based bakery Goldelucks, where they will be charting their personal journeys on TikTok, on top of providing tips on how to best tap into the power of community and entertainment to win the hearts of consumers online.
Phillip Kuoch, owner and founder of Goldelucks said: “I posted my first video on TikTok about 12 months ago and took me less than 10 minutes to record and edit using the TikTok editing tools.
“The video ended up reaching over 500,000 people and sent through thousands of clicks to our website. TikTok has been a game-changer for my business and can for yours too,” he added.
With Follow Me, businesses can integrate the diverse and creative formats available on TikTok into their marketing strategies to involve, connect, and engage with the massive audience base available on the platform.
There is no law that says you have to use Twitter.
Almost everyone agrees that large swaths of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Reddit are terrible, each in their own way. But these monolithic social media platforms are so ubiquitous, it’s easy to forget that you don’t have to use them. Which isn’t to say that you have to swear off of social media forever: There are less odious alternatives that will still let you participate in online life.
These smaller, scrappier social media platforms aim to either correct the most egregious mistakes their big brothers and sisters make, or to provide niche experiences that the larger social media companies can’t/won’t. Below are alternatives to five of the most popular social media platforms. None of them are perfect, but they’re at least different, and probably less terrible. Plus, if any of them really catch on, you can be first to complain about how they used to be so much better.
Ditch Facebook for MeWe: Freedom from advertising and tracking
My suggested Facebook alternative, MeWe, offers a lot of features that will be familiar to Facebook-users—groups, private chats, tagging, content permissions—and boasts a Facebook-like look and feel, but WeMe is less evil. It’s completely advertising free and doesn’t track or sell its users’ data, staying afloat by offering for-pay premium services. On the downside: There are reportedly 16 million users of WeMe, which might sound like a lot, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to Facebook’s nearly 3 billion users.
Switch from Twitter to WT.Social: News with less misinformation and hysteria
I’ve had a Twitter account since 2010, but I can’t anymore. I just want links to interesting news stories and the occasional cute cat pic, but Twitter seems intent on serving up maddening, toxic nonsense. The site is awash in hysteria, misinformation, manipulation, and bitterness. If you’re just sick of it like I am, check out WT.Social.
Launched in 2019 by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, WT.social is completely ad-free and dedicated to combating misinformation by allowing users to flag and edit any post, like a certain famous online encyclopedia. There are no advertisers to appease, since the service is paid for through voluntary donations, and WT.social says its mission is to “foster an environment where bad actors are removed because it is right, not because it suddenly affects our bottom-line.”
Switch from Instagram to 500px: Better photos, less psychological trauma
Instagram has long been known to be devastating to the mental health of young people. The photo-sharing platform has been associated with depression, self-esteem issues, social anxiety, and other issues. It’s run by the same people who run Facebook, who seem bent on making social media experiences as addictive as possible. If you’re a photographer and you don’t want to support any of that just to show off your pics, you should switch to 500px.
The platform’s philosophy is built around quality pictures, so you can view and post pics in high resolution. The algorithm that determines which photographs are widely shared is based less on your number of followers and more on “likes” from people who don’t follow you. There are even opportunities to monetize your work.
While 500px is geared toward photographers, if you just like looking at pretty pictures, it might be the service for you too. Unlike Instagram’s mix of pictures, ads, and videos, 500px’s feeds feature only photographs, and it feeds aren’t based on Zuckerberg-style algorithms, so you’ll see only what you want to see.
Switch from TikTok to, well, something
TikTok is the nearly universal choice of young people eager to watch and share shorter videos. TikTok is so huge at the moment, it has no realistic challengers (other than old-school YouTube), and none on the horizon—but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any alternatives. Here are a few video sharing apps that offer things TikTok does not.
Triller. This app makes the already easy process of posting videos online even easier. Triller uses AI to edit videos in time to pre-selected music.
Clapper. If you’re worried that your important political views are being censored by TikTok, this moderation-light platform will let you spout off whatever dumb nonsense you’d like.
Clash. Created by one of the co-founders of Vine, Clash focuses on short form videos, and isn’t designed as a challenger to TikTok as much as a sidecar: It allows creators with existing followings to interact with and monetize their audience in exciting new ways. But that also means users can interact with their faves more easily, too.
Switch from Reddit to Discourse: Less dumbness, more smartness
It’s hard to believe now, but for a couple years after Reddit launched in 2005, it was a discussion forum for smart people. Unfortunately, popularity and an aversion to curation and moderation lead to a dumbing down of content and a proliferation of hateful and boring users. For a smaller, more focused discussion-based community, try Discourse. This open-source forum platform’s stated goal is to “raise the standard of civilized discourse on the internet through seeding it with better discussion software.” In practice, that means trusted, frequent users have a say in how communities are managed; it’s easy to flag bad content; and there exists robust and user-customizable curation. Plus, fewer people use it, so it hasn’t been ruined…yet.
Feature Image Credit: Chernousov family (Shutterstock)
Facebook is openly copying TikTok, and calling it out as a significant competitor.
But Blake Chandlee, TikTok’s head of global business solutions, says his company specializes is entertainment, not social media.
TikTok hasn’t seen an advertising slowdown despite what other companies are saying, Chandlee said.
TikTok is fully aware that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is retooling the Facebook and Instagram apps to be more like its own popular short video service. But TikTok has no interest in mimicking Facebook.
“Facebook is a social platform,” Blake Chandlee, TikTok’s president of global business solutions, told CNBC in an interview on Thursday. “They’ve built all their algorithms based on the social graph. That is their core competency. Ours is not.”
Chandlee, who spent 12 years at Facebook before joining TikTok in 2019, said his former employer will likely run into trouble if it tries to copy TikTok, and will end up offering an inferior experience to users and brands.
“We are an entertainment platform,” Chandlee said. “The difference is significant. It’s a massive difference.”
Facebook app chief Tom Alison told The Verge this week he sees TikTok increasingly stealing share from the world’s largest social network. Facebook plans to modify its primary feed to look more like TikTok by recommending more content regardless of whether it’s shared by friends.
“I think the thing we probably didn’t fully embrace or see is how social this format could be,” Alison told The Verge.
Facebook’s recent performance backs that up. Meta’s stock price is down 52% this year, underperforming the Nasdaq, which has dropped 32%. In April, the company said revenue in the second quarter could drop from a year earlier for the first time ever.
Earlier in the year, Zuckerberg acknowledged the increased competitive pressure from TikTok and said, “This is why our focus on Reels is so important over the long term.”
TikTok is owned by China’s ByteDance, which is privately held.
Chandlee said history is not on Zuckerberg’s side, and compares its current problem to the challenge that Google faced when it was trying to take on Facebook at its own game.
“You remember when Google was creating Google+,” Chandlee said. At Facebook, “We had war rooms at the time. It was a big deal. Everyone was worried about it,” he said.
But no matter how much money Google poured into its social-networking efforts, it couldn’t compete with Facebook, which had become the default place for people to connect with friends and share photos and updates.
“It became clear Google’s value was search and Facebook was really good at social,” Chandlee said.
“I see the same thing now,” he added. “We’re really good at what we do. We bring out these cultural trends and this unique experience people have on TikTok. They’re just not going to have that on Facebook unless Facebook entirely walks away from its social values, which I just don’t think it will do.”
Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Chandlee added that he has deep respect for Zuckerberg and views both Facebook and Google as strong competition. However, he noted that TikTok has an array of competitors across the world, including businesses in e-commerce and live streaming.
Chandlee said he hasn’t seen a slowdown in ad spending on TikTok, despite what’s being reported by companies such as Snap, which told investors that ad revenue is being hurt by inflation and the threat of recession. Snap’s stock has lost almost three-quarters of its value this year.
“I’ve heard there’s going to be a slowdown in the ad market, anywhere from 2% to 6%, but we have not seen it,” Chandlee said. “We’re not seeing the headwinds that some others are seeing.”