I ask myself that same question everyday. For all you who are new to TikTok, get ready to be seduced by an endless barrage of seemingly random videos. And you can start right away; unlike Instagram or Facebook, you don't need to follow anyone to view content.
Let's start with some facts about the app - it has more than 3 billion downloads globally ( LA Times January 4, 2023) Its engagement rates outdo Facebook and Instagram and it has transformed culture - "reshaping language turning dance into social currency and making video into something we watch vertically rather than horizontally."
On TikTok you don't follow people the algorithm follows you. So invariantly you re the master of your feed. Imagine a video channel curated and geared to your most peculiar tastes. Each user experience is unique and that's what makes it so addictive.
So how do you get in on the game? Well, the formula of success is consistency and repetition. The predictability of it all seems soothing and comforting when you have a few minutes (or hours) to kill. Even the most repetitive of videos can make one accumulate followers and lots of them. Take for example, this one British girl named Lauren, who jumps rope in her backyard. That's it. That's her claim to fame. @lauren.jumps - 1 million followers. Different song, different day. Same routine. Fair to say, she learned how to jump rope during the lockdown, she's cute, but seriously, if I have seen one jump I have seen it all. However who am I to say? I can't jump rope to save my life.
The randomness of it all keeps you on the app. One second you see a video of a girl jumping rope and the next will be Warren Buffett giving an interview on PBS. It is that hodge podge of news, facts, comedy, Bourdain interview excerpts, live rock music concerts and live feeds of Indian street food and fishmongers gutting fish in Bangkok, - wait TMI, I am revealing way too much of my feed.
But is all this good for your business? Well it certainly won't hurt. Bear in mind the rules are different from the the apps you are used to. TikTok is all about real life. And increasingly more about going "live" You, your person, your face, your personality needs to be out there selling your wares. If you are a stylist for example, you need to show yourself wearing the clothes as oppose to reposting a GUCCI runway show in Milan. If you do post a runway show, then do a voiceover that will infuse your personal take on it.
So my advice to business owners is really simple. Start slow. Spend some time on it. Explore the amazing video editing features within the app, experiment, add music, be creative, see how others in your industry are using it and then you can decide if it's right for you and your business. And if you get stuck, just ask your teenager if you have one nearby.
- Christos Joannides is on TikTok under @flat6concepts