Is It Time for You to TikTok?

I grew up in North Jersey, and there was a famous diner there – called Tick Tock – that I used to go to in my youth. My friends and I used to joke and chant, “Tick Tock, you don’t stop,” because it was open 24/7. The old place is as popular as ever (and they actually just added a second floor), but when most people hear “tick-tock” today, they think of TikTok, the social media platform. And here you may be starting to ask, “Another social media site? Do I have to care about TikTok now too?” And the answer is a resounding maybe. 

If Gen Z is your target market today, or your target market tomorrow, you’ll need to get hip with TikTok (which is how people from the Baby Boomer generation might say it. Being a Generation X-er, myself, I’d probably say, you need to “get a clue.”) But I digress. This is about Gen Z—people who were born in or after 1996. They’re the group born after the current spotlight-stealing generation, the Millennials. And for Gen Z (and honestly some younger Millennials too), TikTok is a highly relevant platform, and your brand should be on it. 

First, let’s talk about what TikTok is. Formerly known as Musical.ly, it’s one of the most disruptive video-driven social media platforms that’s come out in the last two years. Think of Vine, but bigger and better. TikTok is primarily for mobile devices and calls itself “THE destination for short-form mobile videos.” Gen Z loves it because it’s an anti-marketing platform, and because it’s an anti-marketing platform, you’ll have to think outside the box to use it effectively for your brand. 

So, what’s the best way to get your brand recognized on TikTok? 

  1. Be real – Gen Z grew up in the tech age and they consume online content differently than other generations. They don’t want prerecorded overly-directed videos; they want content that shows the real you and your real brand. (Being authentic is so important, it’s actually some of the first words on the TikTok website, “Real people. Real videos.”)
  2. Be relatable – People in this age group want to watch things they can relate to and things that are in sync with their values. Community is very important to them. I know this may sound like the opposite of your experience with Gen Zs (since they always seem to have their face stuck in a phone), but Gen Z communities are built in new ways. They want to be able to do a duet with your brand, hear you talk about your brand, and then respond, answering your questions side by side within TikTok.
  3. Be full of personality – Watching TikTok is like watching a bunch of skits or mini-shows. Many of them are funny, full of life, and big on personality. Posting a video of a serious monotoned talk about your brand is not the way to engage with the TikTok audience. Since so many different things trend on a daily basis, bring your brand into the trends by seeing which trends overlap with your brand. Think of how you can highlight that connection without overtly marketing it.  
  4. Use Influencers  – TikTok is full of nano-influencers. Explore them. If you feel like you aren’t the best person to represent your brand on TikTok, team up with a nano-influencer who has the same target market as you. Nano-influencers come with a built-in audience that loves and trusts them. That’s a powerful boost that can help you get your brand on TikTok in a short amount of time.

If you’re interested in learning more about marketing in TikTok, or marketing effectively to any specific generation, get in touch with me. In just 30 minutes we can get your clock running and your marketing pointed in the right direction.  

Schedule your FREE 30-minute clarity call with me here.

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