TikTok’s popularity and the need for diversification in social media marketing strategies

TikTok, the popular social media app, is ubiquitous these days. From viral dances and lip-syncing videos to short-form comedy sketches, the app’s ability to attract headlines shows no signs of slowing down. Even celebrities and politicians have joined the app, eager to connect with their fans in a new and innovative way. However, along with this popularity comes growing notoriety, particularly around governments worldwide becoming increasingly concerned about security issues with the app, given its Chinese origin.

Governments’ Concerns around TikTok’s Security Issues

In July 2020, the US government announced that it was considering banning TikTok, citing concerns that the app could pose a security risk due to potential data breaches and usage of sensitive personal information by the Chinese government. Since then, other countries have followed suit either by considering banning TikTok or conducting investigations into the app’s security protocols.

Potential Impact of a US TikTok Ban and User Migration to Other Platforms

If the US TikTok ban were to pass, users would likely migrate to other platforms. However, many users are already on multiple platforms alongside TikTok, with only 0.1% of users being unique to the app. Therefore, the ban would not necessarily stop the desire for short-form content on social media, but rather shift it to other platforms. The real concern for brands and marketers is that their largest marketing channel may no longer be viable.

TikTok Users Already Present on Other Platforms

Forward thinkers have been diversifying their budgets across platforms for years, even before the potential TikTok ban announcement. TikTok creators, in particular, have already built audiences across multiple platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube. By diversifying their audience base, they mitigate the risk of being reliant on one platform’s algorithm.

Short-form video’s effectiveness on social media is not surprising, as 85% of marketers agree, according to a HubSpot report. Short-form content is easy to digest, quick, and shareable, making it perfect to reach many users quickly. As a result, brands are investing more money in video content than ever before.

Incentivization as a Key to Platform Engagement

To ensure that brands retain their audiences, improving incentivization will be key. Therefore, apps such as Yepp share 50% of daily revenue with users through in-app prizes. Such apps enable creators to monetize their audience base directly, rather than relying on a platform’s algorithm or ad placements. By incentivizing users to create content, they help fuel the demand for short-form content on their platform.

Lack of direct payment from TikTok to creators and alternate advertising methods

TikTok currently pays little to creators, about 2.5 cents per 1,000 views. This leaves many creators disappointed and pushes them to rely on other platforms or advertising methods. For example, some creators have leveraged YouTube’s monetization options or patronage platforms like Patreon. This has helped them increase their income from their content and diversify their revenue streams beyond a single platform.

Advancements in AI and Their Potential Impact on User Preferences and Behavior Prediction:
With recent advancements in AI, we are about to witness a dramatic evolution in how platforms understand and cater to user preferences and habits, and even predict their future interests based on behavior patterns. As such, it may be more important than ever for brands to ensure they are experimenting with these new AI-driven tools to identify in advance where their audiences may be heading next.

One thing is for sure, social media platforms, including TikTok, are not going to disappear overnight. However, the potential risks and growing concerns of governments around the world have highlighted the need for diversification in marketing strategies. By spreading their efforts across multiple platforms, marketers and brands can mitigate their risks and ensure that they have audiences and revenue streams coming from a variety of sources. Along with this, the advancements in AI offer new opportunities for brands to understand their users and cater to their needs at scale. By embracing these changes and staying adaptable, brands can ensure they stay relevant while the social media landscape continues to evolve.

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