TikTok – Trending Upwards

TikTok – Trending Upwards

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By: Mary Helen Terry, Media Assistant & Natalie Panciera, Media Supervisor

TikTok, the self-proclaimed destination for short-form mobile videos, has undoubtedly become the most popular app this summer with 87 million worldwide downloads (7.5 million in the US) in June alone, making over 800 million users worldwide and 100 million active users in the US. TikTok had 315 million downloads in Q1 2020, breaking records for the app most downloaded in the best quarter for any app, ever. And while you may assume that only Gen Z uses TikTok, new data from Comscore outlines that while the aged 18-24 users remain steady, the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups are increasing share by at least 8 points each quarter. The social networking app also sees more time spent engaging with the platform than Facebook with an average of 52 minutes per day on TikTok versus 43 minutes per day on Facebook (eMarketer). TikTok has clearly proven that it is an easy way to reach millions of consumers where they are most engaged.

Speaking of engagement, TikTok has proven to be an incredibly engaging platform for users, brands and the like. For instance, Jennifer Lopez recently posted the same video on TikTok and Twitter. She has 45 million followers on Twitter and 5 million followers on TikTok (to give you an idea of scale). Her video on Twitter was seen 2 million times, so most of her followers (out of 45 million) did not watch her video. The same video on TikTok was seen 71 million times, which clearly went well beyond just her 5 million follower base (Wallaroom Media). The level of high engagement that TikTok creates is a perfect opportunity for brands to reach millions of consumers while being creative. A current example of a brand-utilizing engagement and creativity is Dunkin Donuts using Charli D’Amelio (the most followed creator on the app) to promote their brand. Dunkin named a drink after the popular figure, and now she regularly creates videos of herself drinking her signature drink, “The Charli.”

Jennifer Lopez and her fiancé participating in a TikTok trend.

But beyond the wild popularity and statistics on usage and engagement, at its core, why is TikTok so successful? The answer lies in the psychological principle called random reinforcement. Dr. Julie Albright describes the dopamine response high you get using a platform like TikTok in the article “Digital Crack Cocaine”: The Science Behind TikTok’s Success. She explains, “When you’re scrolling, sometimes you see a photo or something that’s delightful and it catches your attention. And you get that little dopamine hit in the brain, in the pleasure center of the brain. So you want to keep scrolling.” So of course, as an agency built on psychological principles, we at Intermark Group are thoroughly enjoying the TikTok craze and guiding our clients to achieving their goals using this social media platform.

Here are Intermark’s tips for brands considering using TikTok in their future campaigns:
  • Know your target audience. While Gen Z is still the dominant generation engaging with TikTok, Millennials and Gen Y are starting to become more adept and engaged with the platform.
  • Tap into the random reinforcement psychological principle. Have the goal to make something delightful.
  • Use a TikTok creator to make your engaging video. Pushing your :15 or :30 video that you use for other video tactics will not work in this environment. Contract with a creator that will get your message across in the most genuine way possible that allows for high engagement and consideration.
  • Have a digital media team ready to plan, execute, optimize and report. TikTok is a selfservice platform, so be prepared to have media experts handle the logistics for your brand.