Should your brand use TikTok? Insights for paid and organic social media

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By , Greta Brecht

With 689 million monthly users and an ultra-unique algorithm, TikTok has truly skyrocketed in usage over the last few years.


The question for businesses remains: Is TikTok worth the investment? Check out factors to consider from our organic and paid social media experts!


Organic social media: 

First, let’s define organic social. Organic social media refers to the content that brands develop and share on their feeds.


Organic social media is a key tactic for businesses within the PESO model. Still, it is important to think strategically about which platforms your business shares content on. Ask yourself:


1. Who is your target audience?

While there is a large audience on TikTok, you need to consider if your target audience is on the platform. TikTok users primarily fall into the age range of 16-30.


While the current audience on TikTok is younger, it seems that most platforms start off that way. When Instagram was new, it had a predominantly younger audience, which has since expanded to a wider variety of ages. Gen Z audiences have grown up having access to digital technology and social media apps at their fingertips. Gen Z prefers to receive their information through short videos, which is exactly what TikTok does. If your brand is considering joining the platform, it’s a chance to get a head start against your competitors.


Another way TikTok can help you reach your target audience is through influencers. Influencers are able to build a trusted following rather quickly on the platform, and their followers are excited to see what brands and products they share.


2. Can you easily showcase your products/services in a video?

65% of people are visual learners. We’ve all heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, a TikTok is worth a million likes!


The more you are able to show about your product and the benefits of it, the more people are going to be engaged. Again, Chipotle has taken advantage of this through their platform on TikTok by showing secret menu items, hacks and employee favorites.


The amount of time it takes to successfully produce a video is also an important factor. To be successful on TikTok, the platform prefers frequent posting.


3. What is your brand’s tone?

One benefit of TikTok is that all you need to create a video is your smartphone. If your brand is known for its fun and original content, TikTok is the place for you! There are always “trends” that your brand can spin and make your own. Chipotle has proven to be an easygoing brand through their compilation videos following a trend of people saying “Chipotle” incorrectly. This unique approach puts Chipotle in the position to grow their brand while keeping a lighthearted tone.


If your brand is a bit more polished and a lighthearted, goofy tone doesn’t quite fit. Consider using other social media platforms to achieve your business goals.


Paid social media: 

Paid social media refers to advertisements that are placed on a platform like TikTok with an allocated budget and defined audiences. Before advertising on the platform, ask yourself:


1. What are your goals?

TikTok recommends setting your ad up differently depending on what your goal is. With videos spanning such a short amount of time, you may be inclined to get your message out right away. But in a study done in Japan, TikTok found that if your goal is awareness or ad recall, then product introduction should be after the first 3 seconds of the ad. If, however, your goal is purchase intent, then your product should be shown in the first 3 seconds.


2. What’s this going to cost?

TikTok came out with their self-serve ads program in 2018, but prior to that, the only way to advertise your business was collaborating with influencers who had a following matching your target audience. Although this can still be a great option, here are some basics behind the platform. Similar to other self-serve platforms, you can set the campaign or ad group budget to either a daily budget or a lifetime budget. To get an idea of how much you should budget for, the budget for campaign level both daily and lifetime must exceed $50, and ad group daily and lifetime must be $20 minimum. Budgets will be calculated based on the minimum daily budget.


There are two delivery types: standard or accelerated. With standard delivery, the budget will be spent as evenly as possible during the scheduled time. When choosing accelerated delivery, the budget will be spent based on getting as many results as quickly as possible. For example, if you had a one-day sale or event, you could set the ad to accelerated delivery during set hours the night before.


3. Does my company have the time to invest?

With most ad platforms, there is a learning curve for both the user and the platform.

For the platform side, TikTok states the key point of passing the learning phase is waiting 2 days and once there has been 50 conversions. It is recommended not to change anything during this time.


Take the time to research what works for your industry. Is your audience on the platform? Do you have the budget and resources? Gaining this knowledge will help in your decision to make the move to TikTok.


Want a deep dive into TikTok ads? Check out their business center.


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Kalyn Bergman

Kalyn is a media planner with Media46 – our centralized team of experts who design and implement strategic media plans for every generation, segment, industry, niche and modern marketing platform. Give her a budget and a goal, and she will make a plan specific to your brand that delivers the results you’re looking for. When she’s not helping grow businesses, she’s serving on the American Diabetes Association of ND Board. Fun fact: Kalyn won her wedding through a giveaway where she and her husband sent in a video that started with, “One time at diabetes camp…” – where the two actually met!

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Greta Brecht

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