How TikTok is revolutionising social media: impact and strategy insights

Published On: July 11th, 2024Categories: Black Vanilla, Social MediaBy

TikTok now boasts more than one billion active users and has skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years. 

But what does this mean for your social media strategy? Despite its popularity, there is still a feeling of apprehension among many brands and companies to enter the TikTok landscape.  


Who’s using it and why? 

TikTok’s user base is incredibly diverse, spanning various age groups, demographics, and regions. Brands across industries, from fashion and beauty to technology and food, are capitalising on this varied user base to reach a wide range of potential customers. 

Not only are brands and companies using it to their advantage, but so are users. Increasingly, TikTok is being used as a search engine tool to research popular food spots, brand reviews, and travel destinations with 40% of Gen Z preferring it to Google. This comes down to not only the vast expanse of content on the platform, but also the growing trust placed on authentic user generated content (UGC).  

Reading this, you may be thinking this platform won’t work for my brand. Well let’s see shall we… 


How the algorithm works 

TikTok’s algorithm is designed to prioritise content quality and user engagement, which is similar to LinkedIn’s focus on professional engagement and content relevancy.  

Both platforms utilise machine learning to analyse user behaviour and preferences, curating a personalised feed that highlights content most likely to resonate with each user. If we trust the algorithm LinkedIn is using, why do we not trust TikTok’s?   

This means that on TikTok, content that captures attention and generates interaction, regardless of the creator’s follower count, can go viral.

We know this all too well at Black Vanilla. In April, one of our TikTok’s went viral, achieving over 1.6 million views and still counting. What went well? It’s not always clear, but a combination of timely trend participation, engaging content and authentic storytelling seems to have struck a chord with the audience. Our video captured attention quickly, it was entertaining and encouraged shares, all of which are key elements in TikTok’s algorithm for boosting visibility. 

This works both for harmless content, but controversial content too. The more engagement you attract, whether it be positive or negative, the more the post is rewarded with traction. ‘Comments are king’ and provoking conversations (or potentially arguments) in the comments section is a tactic some brands use to increase engagement. 


How much humour is too much? 

One of the reasons some brands and companies can be apprehensive to use TikTok is its informal nature. Humour can be a powerful tool on TikTok, helping brands to connect with their audience on a personal level. However, it’s essential to strike the right balance. Too much humour, or humour that feels forced or off-brand, can detract from the message. You want to enhance rather than overshadow the core message. 

One notable example of a brand that has successfully used humour on TikTok is Aldi. Aldi’s TikTok account features playful and witty content that often pokes fun at customers’ experiences, the social landscape and highlights their products in a humorous light. This approach has resonated with a wide audience and significantly increased their engagement on the platform. 

It can also go the other way. A recent example of a brand facing controversy regarding their humour on TikTok involves Gymshark. The fitness brand sparked backlash with a video that many perceived as insensitive. The video, part of their “Expectation vs. Reality” series, was criticised for making light of serious fitness struggles, which some viewers felt was dismissive. This controversy highlights the fine line brands must walk when using humour to engage their audience on social media platforms like TikTok. 

TikTok represents a valuable tool for brands and companies seeking to engage with a wide and diverse audience. By embracing authenticity and leveraging trends, brands and companies can effectively entice users and drive meaningful interactions.  

The platform’s impact on social media strategy, emphasising content quality, creativity and rapid trend adaptation, offers valuable lessons that can enhance a brand or company’s overall digital presence. As TikTok continues to evolve, it presents endless possibilities for brands willing to innovate and connect with their audience in new and exciting ways.  


So why don’t you have a no-strings-attached discussion with us, and we can help you to decide on the best social media strategy that works for your brand.  

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