How To Know If Your Business Needs TikTok Now

Everyone's favourite app-du-jour, TikTok, is blowing up the chart and causing a political stir. Lots of change is happening...should you jump in now or wait until after September?

Where are we now?


TikTok has been in the news a lot for different reasons recently but is it time your brand jumped on the bandwagon? Here’s how to know. 

TikTok was the most downloaded App on Apple's app store Q1 2019 – beating out Instagram, Youtube, Facebook and Snapchat. With more than 900 million users worldwide (for context that is bigger than more than LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest – and more than Snapchat & Twitter combined) worldwide, you’d be forgiven for jumping straight in but wait. Understanding who is using the app, what they’re doing and why might  But that's just people downloading something new, right? With 800 million of these people in China, TikTok might be a waste of time and resources for you...or it might be your next big focus. Let’s dive in.


TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese mega-corporation that has a raft of other interests beyond TikTok. Currently, ByteDance is looking to sell TikTok so it can keep getting money from US consumers. Microsoft is the likely buyer but watch the headlines as this is changing daily. We’ll find out by the end of September as this is when Trump has said that TikTok need to change ownership or he’ll ban the app (along with other apps like WeChat). 

What Do The UK demographics of TikTok look like? this:

  • +3.7m active users in the UK currently with around 1m new app downloads every month.
  • The average daily time spent on the app is 41 minutes (and rising)
  • The largest share of users (26%) in the UK is aged 18-24
  • The UK generated the third-highest income for app behind China and the US in 2019 at £1.95m
  • @hollyh is the UK’s largest influencer on the platform with over 16.6m followers
  • The biggest TikTok influencers in the UK have higher engagement rates on Instagram
  • TikTok had its biggest month in March 2020 with 115m global downloads, with 745k from the UK
  • TikTok is set to reach 10 million users in the UK by 2021

Interesting fact! TikTok is more popular with Android users! 80% of all sessions in the UK come from Android users per Social Films. Keep this in mind when thinking about whether you should be on the platform - ask your customers if they are/will/want to use it!

The content on TikTok can be broken down easily thanks to tagging and FYP (For You Page) data. The top ten most followed UK accounts highlight the clear bias towards fun/frivolity is clear but that is not the only thing happening on TikTok:

Tik Tok is being used by a wide range of individuals and creators. Some have already made it into their full-time job. From selling crystals to advice, a whole economy has sprung up fast thanks to the pandemic and addictive user-experience that TikTok offers. 

Isn’t Trump banning TikTok?

Maybe. The President of the US is worried about data leaking into Chinese app companies so he has proposed a ban at the end of September if a US company can’t buy TikTok (which Microsoft has asked to do but is by no means a done deal yet). Something to think about when planning strategy right now. The lights could effectively go off to a significant chunk of Western traffic overnight and the UK is unlikely not to take a ban from US chums seriously. 

What about Ads? Can I pop some beautiful ads up?

Yes. Self serve ads are a new feature that TikTok rolled out just as people were getting publicly snippy with the platform. TikTok's self-serve platform will look familiar to anyone who's run campaigns via Facebook or any of the other social platforms that offer such tools. TikTok gives you the usual ad set-up options, including campaign and ad groups, targeting options, budget and scheduling, etc. More information is available on the TikTok for Business site. 

The Buzzbar ‘Hot Take’

Your success on TikTok is likely closely tied to your overall commitment to digital activity. Unless you're a using a very particular strategy or a niche industry, the safer option would be investing time on a website or Instagram page before TikTok growth right now. It’s never been easier to grow fast now thanks to ads and established routes to action but TikTok’s future is by no means certain at this stage. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

Want to know more about how to create the right strategy for TikTok? Book some free time with one of our social specialists and get started today! 

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