To begin answering that question, you should be asking yourself “What are you trying to do?”

  • Drive LOADS of traffic, of all ages to your site? ❌ Possibly not
  • Engage with a target audience aged 18-24? 🤔 Definitely, maybe…
  • Lose hours, possibly days, watching TikTok videos convincing you that Britney, does indeed, need freeing? 👍 100000% download now without hesitation
@factsceoIs ##Britney a hostage? ##britneyspears ##entertainment ##freebritney ##psych♬ original sound – factsceo

TikTok is a platform that offers creators and brands alike an opportunity to captivate and engage with short-form videos capped only by creativity and the 60-second video limit. From the app, you can record and edit your videos – you can dub them with songs, trending audio and even use its impressive library of reality augmenting filters.

Like other platforms, you can follow specific users, creators or brands. However, the algorithm serves you what it thinks you’ll like. This clever algorithm is what makes TikTok so popular and so addictive because it learns from your behaviour and pairs you up with content based on what you’ve been enjoying on the platform.

So for example, if you’re interested in skincare, you’re likely to see videos from popular creators like Hyram, and not too much of one of TikTok’s more unusual subgenres, Frogtok.

@famphibianmy mom would kill me if she knew I put frogs in her dollhouse ##frog ##frogtiktok ##frogtok ##frogtime ##froggo ##frog ##life ##alttiktok ##cute ##fyp ##froggo♬ Stumbled out of bed jamesowen1999 – jamesowen1999


Are brands on TikTok?

They are indeed. There was no way a new shiny social media platform would have gone unnoticed by savvy brands (or a budding social giant wouldn’t want to monetise themselves, but more on this later).

Cosmetic empire KylieCosmetics, for example, understood that this is exactly where its young audience hangs out. With aesthetic promo shots and resharing user-generated content, it’s capitalised on the platform with over a million followers. NBAWWELush and San Diego Zoo are just a handful of other brands who are also killing it on the platform.

But you could argue it is small businesses who have been able to really make the platform work for them; perhaps you’ve heard of #SmallBusinessCheck?

TikTok’s interest-based algorithm naturally creates communities, offering a peek behind the curtain to potential supporters of your brand.

For example, if your business makes organic soy candles and is active on the platform, the algorithm will serve your content to what they consider to be your target audience based on their engagement history.

Check out the hashtag #SmallBusiness where you can see this in action.

@ivyandtwineSmall business check ✅🌿 ##candles ##candlemaking ##fyp ##foryou ##smallbusiness ##scottish ##fy♬ Freak by Doja Cat. On soundcloud – coenbeauty

Pay to play

It’s 2020, and it’s no secret that to maximise success on social media, there is an expectation to pay to boost your reach. You can advertise on the platform using video ads with a minimum budget of $500 (£382) at $10 per CPM (cost per 1000 views). Is that expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? Well, that depends on the brand.

An alternative is teaming up with influencers, which is arguably not only a more cost-effective way of reaching a large number of users, but a collaboration could offer credibility.

@zachkingWas that a catch? We’re gonna need instant replay… @chipotle delivers a touchdown ##TikTokTimeout ##ad♬ Yummy – Justin Bieber

So, should your brand be on TikTok?

After pitching TikTok as a great social platform, here is where we blow all that by saying well actually… maybe not.

If you have a brand or product that makes for interesting, enticing videos that would appeal to a young crowd hanging out on TikTok, then this platform is perfect for you. If you have a large marketing budget, and a creative team at hand to build an advertising strategy and video campaign, then, again, this could be the platform for you.

If this doesn’t sound like your brand, all is not lost. You’ll no doubt have heard that TikTok has a whopping two billion downloads, but that doesn’t translate to two billion monthly users. The platform has 800 million monthly users, although only 3.7m are currently active users in the UK with over 400 million in China. It’s not a channel to be overlooked, but you certainly won’t be missing out if you stick to other platforms like Facebook (over 2.4bn active users) or Instagram (1bn active users).

Find out how Cobb Digital can develop your brand’s approach to social media by contacting us at hello@cobbdigital.com.