Do you have a Facebook account? Are you on Instagram? Do you spend time on X? For quite some time now, these channels have evolved beyond personal communication and self-expression. They have become a vital bridge between businesses and their customers and partners. In a world where digital presence is paramount, companies can’t afford to be absent from the online landscape. To effectively connect with their target audiences, businesses need to keep up with current trends. And currently, no trend is more buzzworthy than TikTok. What’s driving its phenomenal success? What trends are emerging on the Chinese video platform? And the ultimate question: Is it imperative for every business to embrace TikTok to secure its future?
TikTok has tapped into a long-standing trend that hadn’t been fully explored until now: the video format. While Instagram centers on images, X relies on short messages, Facebook offers a mix of content, and LinkedIn is all about professional communication, TikTok is exclusively dedicated to video content. The short, mostly entertaining videos enable companies to interact with their target group in a creative and playful way. TikTok thrives on the idea of sharing and exchanging. In other words, users share their knowledge and exchange it with others instead of keeping it to themselves. This has become particularly popular among the younger generation. This is because they have grown up with the concept of “using instead of owning. In this way, informative knowledge is communicated and shared in an instructive manner.
The principle of sharing and exchanging has not only changed the way people communicate with each other. It is also influencing the business world. So much so that it has become a new value creation model – especially in industries where resources are limited.
Take, for instance, the “Duet” and “Stitch” features, which enable users to respond to or modify existing videos, fostering two-way communication and interaction between companies and their customers. This is particularly valuable when targeting audiences skeptical of traditional advertising, a crucial aspect in new customer acquisition.
TikTok trends often revolve around pop culture references and songs that users sync their videos to. Companies take advantage of this by incorporating these trends into their advertising or providing exciting behind-the-scenes glimpses using popular sounds. A prominent trend that’s caught on with TikTok is User Generated Content (UGC), where companies encourage customers to create authentic and timely content showcasing their products or services. This can be achieved through influencer marketing or by tapping into convinced customers, creating credibility and fostering brand loyalty.
The vast majority of TikTok users are under 25 years old. They are entertainment-focused and trend-oriented. They usually don’t look specifically for certain content on TikTok, but let themselves be “sprinkled” by the short, fun videos that the sophisticated algorithm feeds them.
So, which companies benefit from TikTok? It primarily depends on whether their target audience is active on the platform.
Also important: to question your own intention. What does the company want to achieve with TikTok? Recruiting? Acquiring new customers? Increase awareness? Depending on the goal, the company can adapt the content accordingly. Thus, almost any topic can be implemented spontaneously and entertainingly on TikTok according to the trend.
So, what are the ongoing trends on the platform? First and foremost: the Hashtag Challenge. Yes, that’s right. TikTok is also using hashtags. And not in short supply. With hashtag challenges, followers are asked to create their own post on the respective topic under the corresponding hashtag. This not only fosters a connection with the brand but also extends the reach through the propagation of the hashtag.
Also popular: “A day in the life of…” or “Point of View (POV)” videos. Here, users offer glimpses into their personal or professional lives, a concept that can be easily translated into a business context, for example, by documenting an employee’s daily routine. This approach builds closeness with the company and provides customers with a realistic image of the brand.
Importantly, companies should observe current trends and react to them quickly. There is no time for long planning periods; spontaneity is key. The rule here is to act in a trend-specific way rather than in a topic-specific way.
In a world where communication in the digital space is becoming more and more significant and the target audience more and more fine-grained, companies should not ignore TikTok and its trends. After all, the platform offers a unique opportunity to engage with target audiences, leverage trends to acquire new customers, and strengthen brand loyalty and credibility at the same time.
In conclusion, not every business must have a presence on TikTok to remain viable, but it’s worth examining your target audience and business objectives to assess if TikTok can be a valuable addition to your digital strategy.
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