Is TikTok Right for Your Organization?

Jeff Reeves • January 27, 2023

In just four years, TikTok has stormed to the front of the social media landscape – amassing a billion monthly users worldwide with a staggering 138 million in the U.S. alone.

TikTok’s short-form platform and personalized feed has become so popular that Meta revamped Facebook and Instagram to keep pace. Those videos keep users on the app for 95 minutes a day. But is TikTok right for your organization?

With so many users spending so much time on the app, it seems like an easy question to answer. But any organization will need to ask itself – who is my audience? TikTok’s users are overwhelmingly young, with more than 60 percent of users in the U.S. being under the age of 30. And half of those are under the age of 20. If your target audience isn’t Gen Z, TikTok might not where you want to spend your time and money.

Any organization will also need to weigh the pros and cons of creating content for TikTok and what comes with it. Your traditional ads might not work in the fast-paced world of a TikTok feed. Short-form videos require their own mindset to produce and aren’t just a shorter version of a traditional ad. The key to TikTok success, much like many ad campaigns, is partnering with the right people. In TikTok’s case – an influencer.

A traditional celebrity partnership isn’t needed on TikTok with some teen influencers holding followings in the millions. Organizations need to consider who is in an influencer’s following and their engagement when looking for a partner.

However, the Chinese-owned app is also not without controversy.

There have been bi-partisan efforts to ban the app in the U.S. over concerns the Chinese can use TikTok to spy on its users and push certain narratives. In December 2022, TikTok was banned from federal government phones with state governments, including North and South Carolina, in order to keep the app off state-owned devices. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said the ban was to help protect critical cyber infrastructure from foreign and domestic threats. The app has also been banned at Auburn University and the University of Texas.

While the pros might seem to outweigh the cons on the surface, any group should always measure the weight of each factor before committing time and resources to TikTok.

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