TikTok and Gatsby
Not sure where or how to start with TikTok? Well we’re thrilled to announce you can now discover TikTok influencers with ease by using Gatsby!
With our newest feature, you can uncover which of your customers (and your influential customers) are on TikTok, and learn which of them has the best potential for a partnership on the platform.
This works the same way as our Instagram integration. By capturing your customers’ TikTok handles at some point on your website (whether by pop-up, through one of our integrations, or at checkout), you’ll get access to their TikTok data such as number of followers, number of people they’re following, number of posts etc.
Getting alerted when they mention your brand on TikTok (like how our Instagram media tracking works right now) is coming soon in an upcoming release. You can take advantage of TikTok’s vast user base simply by adding a field to collet TikTok handles on your website, and tapping into your happy customers’ influence (who I’m sure will have some fun with it!)
Showing TikTok and Instagram insights side-by-side in Gatsby’s Dashboard
For example using a Klaviyo Form to ask for Instagram and/or TikTok handles now
Gatsby syncing TikTok insights with Klaviyo for example
Over the past couple years, TikTok has taken the world by storm. 1 billion users spend up to 1 hour a day (a lot for a social platform!) watching 60-second dance challenges, quippy product reviews, weirdly soothing ASMR videos and participating in some trends that are just downright strange — if not dangerous! In fact, TikTok was the most downloaded app in 2020, so it’s no surprise it was also the third fastest growing brand of that year (after Zoom, of course). Let’s take a look back at how TikTok got started, and where it’s headed. But first, here’s a few fun facts:
- 62% of TikTok users are ages 10–29. That’s quite a bit younger than the average user on both Instagram and Facebook, which are more popular with people ages 25–34
- 69% of teens prefer TikTok to other platforms, making it an ideal platform for brands looking to engage with a younger target customer
- TikTok boasts the highest engagement rate of all social media platforms. Micro-influencers on the platform have an average engagement rate of nearly 18%, compared with 3.86% on Instagram, and 1.63% on YouTube (source: Upfluence)
- 90% of TikTok users visit the app daily, and when they do, they spend about an hour on it!
- 60% of users are Gen Zers, set to be the largest generation to ever exist, and currently account for 40% of all consumers. That’s huge for brands considering the spending potential of their target customers.
With all of this growth and potential, you can see why many brands are starting to incorporate TikTok into their social media marketing strategies!
The TikTok app as we know it today launched in 2017, but it first became available in its native mainland China in 2016, where it is currently known as Douyin. Owned by a private company called ByteDance, TikTok’s rise to fame can be traced back to ByteDance’s reported $1 billion purchase of Musical.ly, a Shanghai-based social media start-up that was especially popular with a younger audience.
Enticed by Musical.ly’s massive user base,TikTok absorbed the app in 2018, allowing users to keep their profiles, data, and beloved key features like short-form lip synching videos. As a result, TikTok’s downloads skyrocketed, and it became the most downloaded app in Apple App Store in both 2018 and 2019, outperforming Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
If it wasn’t already, the Covid-19 pandemic helped TikTok achieve household name recognition as millions of users flocked to the platform to participate in fun dance challenges while under stay-at-home orders (to be fair, there wasn’t much else to do!). And as a result, it got the attention of older users, expanding well beyond its core Gen Zers (we’re looking at you, Millennials!). It’s been a fruitful few years for TikTok, to say the least.
Consider: since 2018, TikTok’s global user base has grown by 1157.76%, and it’s only just getting started. In other words, this platform has massive potential!
What Makes TikTok Tick
Unlike other video-hosting platforms, TikTok sets itself apart as “the leading destination for short-form mobile video” with a mission to “inspire creativity and bring joy”. While similar to Vine (RIP) in its ability to showcase short-form videos, TikTok honed in on a couple key missing features: shareability and useability. With a souped-up suite of built-in editing tools including the ever popular lip sync and “green screen” features, TikTok fosters creativity by encouraging users to play around with manipulating video content and sharing with the worldwide community.
TikTok also plays nicely with other platforms, like Instagram and YouTube, allowing users to easily cross-share content. But perhaps one of the biggest key differences between TikTok and other social media platforms is the overwhelming positivity of the content. Staying true to their mission to “bring joy”, TikTok’s front page (aka the “For You” page), only features upbeat, non-controversial content, which drives what people post.
TikTok encourages the creation and consumption of “mood-boosting” content, under the theory that this is why their users stay on the platform longer than other social media platforms. In fact, a recent study conducted by Kantar on behalf of TikTok revealed that since discovering the platform, TikTok’s users spend more time on it at the expense of both TV and dating apps, a good indicator of the app’s substantial pull.
There’s no question TikTok’s playful, creative and engaging videos are addictive, and in a way TikTok has successfully managed to brand the type of content it showcases. There’s something about TikTok videos that sets itself apart from other videos — you instantly know it when you see it.
Influencers on TikTok
If Instagram is a beauty pageant, TikTok is a talent show.
TikTok’s unique platform has quickly become a launching pad for talented influencers (aka “creators”) both established and aspiring. You’re probably all familiar with Addison Rae, Bunny the Sheepadoodle and Olivia Rodrigo (who the White House famously tapped to promote Covid-19 vaccines), all of whom we bet you didn’t know just a couple years ago. Are you surprised to learn they each got their start on TikTok?
Because of TikTok’s huge user base and the super engaging nature of its content, it’s relatively easy for someone to go from unknown to mega influencer in minutes. So what does this mean for influencer marketing? Literally anyone can be an influencer, and it doesn’t take much to go viral. Thanks to the emphasis on discovery and shareability, TikTokers also enjoy much higher followings than on any other platform.
While on Instagram, having millions of followers is limited to celebrities and super mega influencers, on TikTok, it’s not unusual for someone you’ve never heard of to have the same, if not higher, following. This is key for brands, since they can get the reach of an expensive celebrity Instagram campaign at far less cost and with significantly higher engagement. TikTok has seemingly inadvertently.
TikTok As Storefront
Soaring product sales are a powerful side effect of TikTok’s light-hearted videos. A recent New York Times article, “Will TikTok Make You Buy It”, explored the impact TikTok has had on brand sales: “Clothing, cosmetics, cleaning solutions, tech accessories, toys and life-hacky appliances have all seen sales skyrocket after becoming TikTok sensations”.
While some sales can be attributed to paid partnerships, the vast majority happen through organic viral posts — proof that UGC and authenticity is where it’s at! The informal and convivial mood of TikTok’s videos has made it easy for influencers of all levels to sell without coming across as salesy. As the Times acknowledges, “Even when people are trying to sell you something, their messages seem off-the-cuff, like trustworthy recommendations rather than sponsored shilling”.
In response to this immense opportunity for social commerce, TikTok created TikTok Shopping, making it easier for consumers to purchase in-app through digital storefronts, tagged products and live shopping events. It even includes a new partnership with Shopify, featuring a suite of tools allowing brands to run marketing campaigns and ads directly from their Shopify dashboard. There’s big business in store for brands on TikTok!
How Brands Use TikTok
Since catching on to TikTok’s sensational growth and ability to drive sales, brands have been scrambling to create a presence on the platform. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. As you can imagine, TikTok calls for a very different social media strategy for brands — on the one hand, it allows for more playful, creative and off-the-cuff content, but on the other, it’s harder to plan, often requiring hopping onto whatever happens to be trending at the moment. TikTok’s “Discover” feature can be especially useful here as it allows you to quickly identify trending topics, songs and themes, so you can participate in trending conversations in real time.
And when it comes to influencer partnerships on TikTok, it’s time to release control over tight branding and messaging. While true for all influencer partnerships, authenticity is especially integral to success in a TikTok partnership. That means fewer post requirements, and giving the influencers creative freedom to share in a way that feels the most on-brand for them. Since anyone can be an influencer on TikTok, you never know who might catapult your brand to viral fame, which makes it both easier and harder (hello, paralysis of choice) to vet potential partners.
TikTok is currently the fastest growing social media platform, and it’s becoming a key platform for social commerce. Its emphasis on discovery and uplifting content has earned it the best organic engagement rate of any social platform, making an ideal platform for driving brand awareness and conversions, at low cost. Discover your most social customers on TikTok today with Gatsby — get started now!