Tik­Tok is the most unique social plat­form we have seen to date and can’t be approached the same way as oth­er plat­forms. Here’s how to approach your strat­e­gy to ensure rapid growth over the com­ing years.

Now with over 800 mil­lion month­ly active users across the world, Tik­Tok is a force to be reck­oned with. That num­ber is already greater than Twit­ter and Snapchat com­bined. What was once con­sid­ered a hard to com­pre­hend plat­form is now cre­at­ing a sense of urgency for brands to shift resources towards and cre­ate ded­i­cat­ed pro­gram­ming. Before you get start­ed, here’s some con­text on both how and why you should be invest­ing in a con­tent strat­e­gy for Tik­Tok.

Why it’s time to invest

Tik­Tok has cap­tured the Gen Z audi­ence and forced com­peti­tors to fig­ure out their own solu­tions.

Recent­ly, at the Dig­i­tal Life Design Con­fer­ence in Munich, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel respond­ed to a ques­tion regard­ing his opin­ion on Tik­Tok as a plat­form. Two things he said caught my atten­tion.

First­ly, he views the over­all social con­tent land­scape as a pyra­mid. In his eyes, the base of that pyra­mid is “self-expres­sion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion,” which Snapchat embod­ies. The next lay­er of the pyra­mid is “sta­tus,” with the belief that in its orig­i­nal con­struct, social media is real­ly about gar­ner­ing likes and com­ments (like on Face­book, Twit­ter, and Insta­gram). Then the top of the pyra­mid is “tal­ent,” which Tik­Tok encom­pass­es.

The sec­ond was his response when he was asked if he thought Tik­Tok could be big­ger than Insta­gram. Spiegel replied: “I think it’s cer­tain­ly pos­si­ble because this tal­ent-based con­tent is often more inter­est­ing than sta­tus-based con­tent.”

It should be not­ed that this view is com­ing from the CEO of a com­pa­ny that has since alien­at­ed some of the biggest tal­ent ambas­sadors from its plat­form. Celebri­ties like Kylie Jen­ner, who was cre­at­ing exclu­sive con­tent on Snapchat before the well-doc­u­ment­ed back­lash over an unwel­come inter­face redesign forced her and oth­ers to depart the plat­form. What a dras­tic change of heart.

Why it’s time to invest

How you should approach TikTok

Tik­Tok is the most unique social plat­form we’ve seen to date, which means it can’t be approached the same way as oth­er plat­forms. Here are two things to con­sid­er before you approach your pro­gram­ming strat­e­gy.

Make TikTok its own vertical within your organization

Don’t rope the plat­form in with your oth­er social pro­gram­ming strate­gies. Tik­Tok is not Face­book, Insta­gram, or Snapchat. It is by far the most cre­ative, enter­tain­ing, and unique plat­form that cur­rent­ly exists in the social cat­e­go­ry. You should ensure that Tik­Tok is approached by a dif­fer­ent team and led with a mind­set of tak­ing smart risks and embrac­ing cre­ativ­i­ty.

The per­son who leads your strat­e­gy should be some­one whose nat­ur­al instinct is to imme­di­ate­ly open Tik­Tok when­ev­er they check their phone, some­one who under­stands the plat­form and is inde­pen­dent of your cur­rent social team. If you come across a per­son that under­stands the plat­form and says they don’t use Face­book, hire them on the spot.

Invest the necessary resources to grow the platform

Let me pro­pose a hypo­thet­i­cal for you to con­sid­er. If you could go back to 2013 and re-do your con­tent strat­e­gy for Insta­gram after it was pur­chased by Face­book in 2012, what would you do dif­fer­ent­ly? If it were me, I would have ded­i­cat­ed more resources towards the plat­form with a focus on growth. In the ear­ly phase of any social net­work, there is an incen­tive for being first-to-mar­ket as a brand.

For exam­ple, look at Nation­al Geo­graph­ic on Insta­gram. In Decem­ber of 2012, they were at 640K fol­low­ers. Sev­en years lat­er, they are at over 130 mil­lion fol­low­ers. Nation­al Geo­graph­ic invest­ed resources in its pro­gram­ming strat­e­gy and took advan­tage of a plat­form that was grow­ing rapid­ly. Their ded­i­cat­ed invest­ment helped them become pio­neers and pro­pel them to grow over a peri­od of time much faster than their coun­ter­parts and stand out amongst the noise because the team had ears on the ground.

Right now, Tik­Tok for brands is cur­rent­ly in the phase Insta­gram was in 2013. The oppor­tu­ni­ty is right in front of you. Invest the resources now and groom the plat­form, as it could be worth­while for you and social­ize your orga­ni­za­tion with a Gen Z audi­ence that is far and away from a dif­fer­ent breed as their entire lives have involved tech­nol­o­gy.

If you fol­low these steps, you will be in a prime posi­tion to estab­lish rapid growth with­in the plat­form over the com­ing years. Hire some­one that knows the plat­form and give them the resources nec­es­sary to grow it. Strive to be the Nat Geo of Tik­Tok.

SOURCE: Talk­ing Influ­ence