What is TikTok and Should Your Business Join the Platform?
What is TikTok and Should Your Business Join the Platform? The Modern Connection

Video clips have played a significant role in the social media sphere, and TikTok is currently the leading destination for short-form mobile video. This app is a video-sharing social networking platform owned by ByteDance, a Chinese-based company.

Video-based platforms have not been nearly as consistent as some of the social key players like Facebook and Instagram. One of the first major short-form video platforms was Vine, which met its demise as other social media platforms started upping their game and adding more features. Still, the concept of short video clips began to shape trends and other social media cultural phenomenon. 

TikTok has taken the digital space by storm, boasting more App Store and Google Play downloads than Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram. In fact, TikTok is downloaded 80 times more than the stand alone IGTV app! With this popularity, one may be interested to extend their business’ digital platform to include TikTok as well. But before you take the plunge, read on for some of our tips to see if TikTok is the right move for your business.


Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Element5digital on Unsplash

At The Modern Connection, one of the most important steps in our marketing strategy is to first identify our client’s target audience. When considering TikTok, you should definitely keep your business’ target audience in mind. What’s the general demographic? What social apps are they using? TikTok’s current audience is overwhelmingly used by a younger age demographic, with 60% of the active users in the US ranging from age 16 to age 24.  If your target audience falls within that age range, TikTok might be a good option for you.

If TikTok seems like the right platform for your audience, there are some benefits to joining earlier than other businesses. On TikTok you have the opportunity to reach a larger audience. This current audience is also not seeing too many businesses on the platform, which means an early presence may have a longer lasting effect on users. The content on TikTok consists of trendy and fun clips. This is important to note because anything that seems too formal or inauthentic will not do well. If your business can keep clips light, candid, and unique, your content is more likely to fit in.

We’ve all watched teens cringe when their parents try incorporating the latest lingo in conversation, and that relationship is similar to a video gone wrong on TikTok. For a clip to do well, you have to make sure the content isn’t forced. Short clips (15 seconds or less) do the best, and in that short amount of time it’s important to get straight to the point. Using music and appropriate hashtags are the final steps for a successful TikTok video.

If you’re still on the fence, there’s nothing wrong with creating a business TikTok account as a trial run. The video-platform is full of short, unique and engaging content, so it’s important to pay attention to what’s working before launching any full-blown campaigns. You can create a profile just to look and see what’s there before posting anything yourself. It may also be a good idea to play around with more established platforms like YouTube and Instagram if you’re interested in video content.

It’s important to be aware of the fact that TikTok possesses a type of technology called “deepfake.” Deepfake is digital manipulation technology where fabricated images or videos appear to be real. Essentially, this technology would make it possible for a person to digitally place someone else’s face on an existing video or image. If you consent to using the front facing camera on TikTok, then you are automatically consenting to this technology. 

This could potentially mean that your face could be used for a cause that you never agreed to. Tiktok’s explanation for having deepfake is that they use it for educational purposes on the reality of technology. Despite this “educational value,” it’s a good idea to think about this technology and what it could mean for you and your business. If you decide to proceed with a TikTok account and use the front facing camera, it’s important that you’re aware of the risks.

While the future of TikTok is still uncertain, it could be the right move for businesses who cater to a younger audience. Joining the platform sooner rather than later puts your business ahead of the rest, and could help gain more exposure. If your business has a fun and engaging side to show, then TikTok could be a digital step in the right direction!

Abbay McCandless
Abbay McCandless
Abbay is a Social Media Manager at The Modern Connection, where she loves to create dynamic social content and put her blogging skills to the test. She graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in English, so she thrives in any situation where she can write or be creative. In her free time, you can find her running around town with her dog Kirby, or out with friends eating all the food in the city of Charleston.