TikTok Vs. other social media platforms , what are the differences?

Q&A With Jess Smith, US Senior Account Executive

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Hi Jess! Tell us about you…

Hey! My name is Jess Smith and I am a Senior Account Executive based in the New York office.

I LOVE travelling, I enjoy learning about different cultures and researching (and tasting) the best local cuisine.

I also enjoy cooking and challenging myself to try to learn new things in the kitchen, this month it’s perfecting sourdough bread from scratch!

I’m a pop culture addict and on any given Tuesday (before COVID) you can find me at a bar Trivia Night with friends.

TikTok is the social media sensation of lockdown, what is TikTok and how is it different from other social media platforms?

TikTok describes itself as “the leading destination for short-form mobile video” with a mission to “Inspire Creativity and Bring Joy.”

Anyone who remembers Vine can see the similarities. There was a clear opportunity in the market for short-form content at the time, but something was missing: shareability.

When you’re an influencer, a brand, or just someone who wants to be heavily active on social media, it’s an incredible amount of work to stay consistent when it comes to both creating content and sharing across various different channels.

TikTok is easily the most accommodating platform for cross-platform sharing and encourages users to spend more time on the app, as they can create content more efficiently.

Another major factor separating TikTok from other platforms reflects back to their mission: ‘‘Inspire Creativity and Bring Joy’’.

The investment ByteDance made to heavily moderate content is partially responsible for keeping content positive and encouraging, especially in comparison to other channels that have received backlash for promoting poor body imagery and fostering cyberbullying.

TikTok breeds creativity in a very special way. The app innately requires users to learn editing skills and how to think outside of the box to capture a big idea within the restraints of short-form video.

From filters, effects and voiceover to sound effects, there are so many features available within the app to help bring your vision to life, and exploring those various opportunities to get creative is how many videos go viral and start new trends.

What are your five top TikTok videos right now and why?

Such a tough question, because there are so many talented creators out there: painters, DIYers, singers, dancers, comedians – there is truly something for everyone on TikTok.

With so many great videos out there, here are a few of my stand-outs:

Tyler Joe −A perfect summary of how my plans are looking this week… I think we all can relate to this one right now!

Heartthrobert −Did you know IG Live usage is up 288%? Judging by our IG feeds, I think we all knew that one…

Pinkieruth −This blew my mind the first time I saw it. I can never hear ‘Torn’ the same way ever again.

Bdollhall − I’m pretty su
re this was the video that started the #LoveYou trend, but I think I watched this video 11 times in a row when I first saw it. Pure joy.

Lizzo − This intimate, acoustic session of ‘Cuz I Love You’, which will give you severe FOMO but also a front-row seat with Lizzo. Note the man bringing cocktails in the right of the shot. Cheers to that!

Why should brands start considering using TikTok and how should they be working with influencers?

TikTok is a great platform to achieve high engagement and conversion (when done correctly) and offers brands an exciting opportunity to reach younger audiences, strengthen brand affinity, and show off their fun side.

  1. Test. Test. Test. What works on your other platforms (content-wise, influencer-wise, etc) may not translate the same on TikTok, so try not to rule anything, or anyone out unless you deem it could ultimately detrimental to your brand. Lean into the trends and key functionalities (music, filters, and fun editing) of TikTok and see where they take you.
  2. Think outside of the box. Take a tip from brands like @thewashingtonpost and @harvardbusinessreview − both known for being serious sources of news, but rather than using their page to showcase the latest headlines, they’re embracing the light-hearted nature of the platform and showing off entertainment-driven content, but still with an educational lens to help bring it full circle back to the brand.
  3. While it might seem scary to loosen the reigns, the best advice I can give is to listen to your influencers. Treat them more like creative freelance directors where you’re learning what works best with the audience and finding a middle ground where your brand can still achieve the marketing goals established for your TikTok strategy.

What is a hashtag challenge? Which one has been your all-time favourite so far?

One major reason why hashtag challenges are so beneficial for brands: it’s a great way to see a ton of resulting UGC.

A hashtag challenge is when a brand or influencer creates a concept where TikTokers have some sort of task to capture within their content. Most commonly to date, these have been dancing challenges, which pick up very quickly and users around the world seek viral fame.

With TikTok still relatively in its infancy, there is still a fair chance for users to achieve fame from their content going viral. One way of doing this is to submit content that aligns with these hashtag challenges, especially if the hashtag challenge is officially promoted by TikTok.

Besides, it’s much easier to create content if you have a challenge at hand to accomplish in your video. It’s an entry-level way to get started with your first video on TikTok, so I encourage you to go to the ‘For You Page’ (#fyp) and give the first challenge you see a try!

Many celebrities and influencers are migrating to TikTok, who would you like to see on there and what content would they create?

Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino). He is just so incredibly talented, I’d love to see how his mind works and what kind of content he’d create for TikTok. I imagine he’d share short, funny songs he writes throughout the day. I’d love to hear a verse for ‘Bored In the House’ plus I can only imagine the ‘Duets’ he’d do…

What has been your favourite TikTok brand campaign and why?

Chipotle is easily one of the top brands that everyone can agree is doing TikTok right and their most recent TikTok campaign, #ChipotleSponsorMe, doesn’t disappoint.

Working with just six TikTok creators in total, Chipotle leveraged the reach and creativity of influencers to scour the app for the brand’s most creative fans in an effort to dub them a Chipotle Celeb — or in other words, the owner of a personalised Chipotle gift card valid for a full year of free food. That’s right — no paying extra for that guac for these lucky winners.

The campaign resulted in a whopping 1.6B views and an insane amount of UGC from hungry fans.

The brand had already developed a solid presence on TikTok starting off with the lid flip challenge and even have dedicated TikTok influencer ambassadors. Definitely a brand to follow if you aren’t already!