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  • Diana Sparacio

Ok, I’ll Budge: What’s TikTok and Why Should I Care?

Do you know what TikTok is? No, not a Kesha song. To put it simply, it’s a social media platform taking the world by storm - it’s time you stop avoiding it and learn how it’s influencing consumer buying decisions. Here’s a guide to Tik Tok for the folks who’ve so far been uninterested.



What is TikTok?


On TikTok, creators can watch, like, comment on, and share 15 second - 3 minute videos about any topic, thought, or opinion they have in mind. Topics range from dance trends, ASMR videos, cooking recipes, cute animal videos, pleasing aesthetics, finance tips, the list goes on and on. Tik Tok’s algorithm chooses what videos show up on your For You Page based on what other videos you’ve watched, liked, or interacted with. In a way, it uses this information to accurately predict the videos you’d like to see. This is almost like a Explore page that you’d find on Instagram.


Who uses TikTok?


Anyone over 13 years old can use TikTok (that’s the minimum age to join), and the app is indeed most popular - by percentage of overall users - among those in younger generations. That said, at total audience volumes this large, the app is reaching pretty much everyone these days.


Here’s are some stats about TikTok’s Audience: (WallarooMedia)

  • 80 million monthly active users in the United States

  • 60% of users are female, 40% are male

  • Ages 10-19 – 32.5%,

  • Ages 20-29 – 29.5%,

  • Ages 30-39 – 16.4%,

  • Ages 40-49 – 13.9%

  • Ages 50+ – 7.1%


Why should my business use TikTok?


Now, you may be thinking, how could my business benefit from TikTok? TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms out there. In fact, the app has been downloaded 2.6 billion times worldwide and it’s only 5 years old (Influencer Marketing Hub). As it grows in size, the platform continues to expand its already massive influence on consumers. In fact, according to Wallaroo Media, the average TikTok user opens the app a whopping 8 times per day. With numbers like these, the opportunity is clear.


How powerful is TikTok?


If you’re questioning the influence TikTok has, let me share a couple of examples that explain how big an influence this app actually has.


Next time you’re driving in the car, turn on the radio and tune in to your local pop station, I’d wager the song playing gained its popularity via use on TikTok first. Take Doja Cat, a famous pop singer for example. Her music career has seen impressive growth due to TikTok. When TikTok star Haley Sharpe used Doja Cat’s song “Say So” for a dance video - it immediately became a trend influencing millions to partake in the dance and listen to Doja Cat’s song.


As all these people participated in the dance trend, the song got stuck in TikTok enthusiasts' heads. So stuck, in fact, that people began playing it off the app too - they played it on Spotify, Apple Music, and other music services - and played it so often, that “Say So” by Doja Cat received 562.4 million on-demand streams since its release.


If you’re surprised by the way TikTok is disrupting the music industry, wait until you hear about Emily Mariko and her impact on mayonnaise. That’s right, mayonnaise. Emily Mariko, a food and fashion influencer, has taken the TikTok world by storm. Even if you aren’t into cooking, I’m sure you’ve seen the salmon icecube dish on your For You Page. When her salmon recipe showed up on my For You Page - I had to try it. I noticed she recommended a specific mayo I didn’t own. Naturally, I went straight to Amazon to order it. My order, which was originally supposed to arrive in 3 days, ended up taking 2.5 weeks due to the increase in demand. If she isn’t sponsored by Kewpie, she sure should be because the amount of business her TikTok video brought to Kewpie is phenomenal.


So there you have it! The trends are clear. We can’t underestimate the power of TikTok or the opportunity for influence it has on consumers. Especially if you’re a business marketing your product to consumers, there’s great potential to gain exposure if you know what you’re doing.


If you’d like to get started with TikTok, but don’t know where to begin or how it could work for your business - Let’s talk strategy.