Staying on top of social media trends is the key to keeping your online presence strong and your business alive. You cannot work hard to gain followers, achieve engagement, see what works, see what doesn’t, and then sit back, relax, and rehash your formula to success. The formula is ever-changing, and you need to change with it if you want to carry on:
- Engaging with your online audience
- Reaching new customers
- Increasing brand awareness
One sure way to keep on top of the social media game is to embrace the latest crazes of today’s youth. While you may have spent the last five years focusing on what millennials want, it’s time to turn your beady marketing eye to Generation Z.
The purchasing power of Gen Z is increasing, currently valued at around $153 billion per year, and it’s estimated that 2020 is the year they become 40% of the consumer base. This generation now makes up the 18-24 year olds with disposable income and helping them to fall in love with your brand should be one of your marketing priorities this year.
Right now, it’s TikTok. The most installed app of Q1 2019 most installed app of Q1 2019, with 800 million monthly users who spend an average of 46 minutes a day watching amateur video content. TikTok was originally built for sharing short lip-syncing videos – presumably often generating quite comedic content – but it has since evolved into young people creating and discovering short videos of any creative expression around music, singing and dancing.
One of the beauties of the platform is that you don’t need to stage expensive, time-consuming productions to meet your TikTok video content targets. The point of the platform is to share amateur footage of your skills, so the most you would need is a bit of editing with easy free software to create some animation effects. The question you might have, however, is why would your business want to do such a thing?
Well, being a part of the fun-loving TikTok community has many benefits. Here are 5 reasons why 2020 is the year your brand signs up.
1. YOU CAN BUILD TRUST
There’s no greater way to be real than showing the human, fun side of your business. Broadcasting videos of your CEO singing in the car on the way to work, your staff surprising customers with a dance or behind-the-scenes footage of a party at the office is a sure way to help the younger generation see that your brand is open, transparent and not afraid of maybe being a little bit embarrassed. Younger generations have grown up as internet users from an early age, and have been bombarded for too long with heavily produced advertising and carefully choreographed content. A glimpse into the reality behind brands is refreshing for them, and showing that you can be genuine will help you earn their trust.
2.YOU CAN BUILD PARTNERSHIPS
A popular trend on TikTok is collaboration duets, where two people come together to perform a short video. As a brand, this is an opportunity for you to announce business partnerships in a fun creative way, showing off the products, events or services that you are joining up to provide your customers. A 15-second clip, or 60-second series of clips, gives viewers a teaser to pique their interest in your collaboration while also helping to introduce yourself to new audiences. This also works well if you are teaming up with any influencers – a great marketing strategy, especially if you are a fairly new business or working in a niche industry – or even if you are using user-generated content. Partnering up with existing fans of your brand is an easy way to sing your own praises while demonstrating a community-driven nature and giving shout-outs to your customers that they will appreciate.
3. YOU CAN BUILD COMMUNITY
Using community for social media marketing and talking with your audience, rather than pushing products and slogans in their faces, is fast becoming one of the most effective ways for brands to grow their business online. Interacting with your followers, other industry leaders and even your competitors on social media shows everyone that you are authentically driven by what you do, not simply crafting content to boost your sales. While on platforms such as Facebook it is the Groups tool which allows you to bring like-minded people together, open up and discussions and share ideas, on TikTok this is pretty much the whole point of the app. It is motivated by trends – people creating videos in response to other videos they’ve seen, taking part in hashtag challenges and joining together to coproduce entertaining or educational material.
4. YOU CAN BUILD AWARENESS
Probably because of this underlying sense of community on TikTok, videos and hashtag challenges which encourage users to post content for a cause have proven incredibly successful. Jimmy Fallon’s #sharpiechallenge on The Tonight Show to raise awareness for prostate cancer charity Movember – which encouraged TikTokkers to create videos of themselves flipping and catching a sharpie with one hand, opening the cap and drawing a moustache on their face as quickly as possible – has seen thousands of posts with a total of 34.6 million views. Along a similar vein, Alan Walker’s #differentworld challenge asked users to create videos of themselves doing something environmentally friendly, and the trend has seen 121.3 million views so far. If your brand is centred around a socially responsible cause, TikTok is a powerful place to build awareness with a creative campaign. And even if it’s not, any socially responsible aspects of your business – be it recyclable packaging, local sourcing, fair-trade certification – is an opportunity to bring people together over a shared belief in being conscious.
5. YOU CAN BUILD EXCITEMENT
The short, snapshot nature of TikTok videos is very similar to Instagram Stories, only with less emphasis on posting unedited videos in real-time. This format of 15-second clips, with the ability to create a story up to 60-seconds long with those clips, provides you with a great space to create sneak peeks and generate a build-up of excitement. You could do this around a new product that you are launching, an upcoming event that you are hosting or a new collaborative partnership with another brand. Create teasers which only give your audience a glimpse of what’s to come, and encourage them to make videos in response of their guesses. Gamifying your campaigns in this way works perfectly with TikTok’s concept and allows you to create a buzz that spreads word-of-mouth.