What is TikTok and is it right for your brand?

What is TikTok and is it right for your brand?

Your questions answered

BY Victoria Harrison, 5 min READ

Late last year I signed up to TikTok.  After hours of scrolling – for research and definitely NOT to discover which TikTok dog wins the #eggchallenge – it became evident as to why the app has become so popular.

It’s fun, addictive and a fantastic outlet for talented creatives.

If you don’t know someone in the 14 to 24-year-old age bracket you may not know much about the app. “Isn’t TikTok the hit Kesha song from 2009?” I hear you say. Well, not quite…

TikTok is a social media platform for making and sharing short videos. Labelled as the new Vine, TikTok users (a.k.a “TikTokers”) can film 15 or 60-second videos and edit them with visual effects and music.

Talented creators and influencers are already making a decent living out of the platform. Those making it in the TikTok game know how to capture an audience and have nailed the art of storytelling to 15 seconds. They know how to create witty, relatable content and if they have a photogenic dog or a grandparent willing to get involved in the fun – chances are they’ve got the golden ticket to TikTok stardom!

In 2020, TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform. The driving force of this success is mostly led by Gen Z users who have taken to the app quicker than expected.

@girlfriendauNext level #foodhacks #lifehacks #foryou #foryoupage♬ Hands Clapping – nilsgamingfn

All the noise about TikTok has marketers and brands wondering if they should expand their social strategy to incorporate the new app. And although it may be tempting to join in on the fun, it is important to determine if it is the right platform for your brand, rather than just jumping on the trend to be “in”.

If you can answer yes to the following 2 questions, chances are there might be a place for your brand on the platform.


  • Is your target market young?
  • Does your brand’s tone of voice align with TikTok’s?


TikTok is all about creative freedom, humour, fun, and sometimes a lack of political correctness. If you want your TikTok marketing to work, you want to make sure your brand fits in seamlessly with this type of content.

A popular technique for brands to work in with this type of content is through TikTok challenges. A great example of this is by cosmetics label, Elf Cosmetics. The brand created a #eyeslipsface challenge and crafted a catchy music track to accompany the challenge.

Elf cosmetics tiktok

A still from Elf Cosmetics #EyesLipsFace challenge

They asked fans to post videos using the song showing off their “(s).e.l.f confident moves” with the hashtag #eyeslipface to win $250 worth of e.l.f Cosmetics makeup and Skincare. The challenge was an instant success, becoming the fastest-growing TikTok campaign of all time.

Aussie brands getting it right

In the Australian market, brands like Piping Hot, Hungry Jacks and Hi Smile have all created TikTok accounts and begun working with influencers including @thechainzfamily, @thejacksonjansen, @brookestyless and @theinspiredunemployed.

@hismileteethIs this what you were expecting? #foryou #viral #feature #hismile♬ original sound – hismileteeth

TikTok is also becoming a key marketing tool for musicians. Justin Bieber signed up to TikTok 24 hours before the release of his new single Yummy. Coincidence? I think not. He has since shared ten short videos showing himself dancing and singing along to the new song with encouraging captions “make a fun video or you and ur friends vibing to yummy” and “DO YOUR YUMMY VIDEO”. The influencer king himself even engaged other influencers to promote his new song, reposting popular videos from other creators. Within less than a month, Justin Bieber’s account has grown by over 4.6M followers.

Although TikTok is still in its infancy when compared to Instagram, it is certainly one to watch. For brands, it’s a cost-effective way to engage influencers, an untapped space, and an easy place to quickly establish a following.

Remember Instagram was just a small photo sharing app with cool filters? Maybe we will say the same about TikTok in a few years.

Victoria Harrison is a Business Chicks Premium member and the Director at Influencer Marketing Agency, The Exposure Co.


©2020 Business Chicks

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