There’s a shiny new tool in the social media marketing world and it’s called TikTok. SHANE O’NEILL weighs up the pros and cons of the application for retailers.
The latest social media ‘buzz’ for business is TikTok and the advantages it can offer businesses. You could add it to your marketing strategy, but should you?
Sure, TikTok is fun; however, is it the right audience at the right time for a retail jeweller?
Before you jump onto a new social media platform, it’s wise to define your goals in using the channel.
You can’t do everything and do it well, and if you aren’t doing something well, what exactly are you doing?
As a small business you can almost justify joining just about any social media channel. Depending on your strategy and staff skills, it’s possible to be successful on various platforms.
However, that’s not typical for most retailers. Unless you have endless marketing dollars, there are usually more relevant channels than the newest social channel du jour.
When Google+ was launched in 2011, many thought it would be the Facebook killer. Instead, it never caught on. Before you start to dilute your marketing efforts with yet another social media application, you must complete your due diligence to determine if it’s the right fit.
Consider using this simple formula to help rationalise adding or changing our social media. Time + strategy + audience = effort and money.
Ask yourself how much time you will need to dedicate to maintaining the social channel. You must understand how you’ll use the channel. Make sure the user base is your target customer and it has large enough base on a local level.
For example, how much time do you need to invest in creating TikTok videos? Video is certainly more time-consuming than static images, but is also far more engaging. You can and should create video content for any channel you use.
So, the questions are what type of videos should you create that you can use across other channels, and do you have the time to add TikTok videos?
Before you add more social media channels – and therefore work – define your strategic objective. For the sake of discussion, we’ll assume the strategic use of TikTok would be to target the bridal customer, based on the profile of the average user.
If that’s the case, are you already targeting bridal on social media? Most social media users use multiple channels and
TikTok isn’t the primary channel for most, so are you planning to make TikTok your primary bridal channel?
If so, is it better than what you are currently using? For example, Instagram is a great channel to target the bridal audience as 31.5 per cent of US users are between the ages of 25–34. That’s the prime bridal demographic. In fact, 54.4 per cent of
US Instagram users are between the ages of 18-34.
More than 40 per cent of Australians reportedly have an Instagram account as of 2021.
Oh, by the way, Instagram has also launched its own take on the TikTok format, called Reels, which may very well affect
TikTok’s growth and user adaptation.
So, who’s using TikTok the most?
Around 50-60 per cent of US users are between the ages of 16-24. That’s a large number of users outside of the average age of a typical bride at 28. More than seven million Australians over the age of 18 use the application according to a recent report, the majority of which are female.
Moreover, some are still in high school and the rest probably aren’t prime for bridal marketing efforts. Another reason business gurus are touting TikTok is that it gives you the chance to get in front of Gen Z. I get it, but why?
They won’t start becoming prime bridal customers for at least another four or five years. With the pace of technology evolution, I’ll bet we’ve all moved on to something else.
Effort and money
So, now comes the $64,000 question; is it worth the additional time and effort to create and develop a TikTok presence, and do you have sufficient marketing dollars to allocate?
Would you take dollars away from more strategically appropriate channels, such as Instagram, to do so? From my perspective, the answer should be no. Will TikTok grow into a marketing juggernaut?
Maybe, but it’s not there yet as there are simply too many superior options for the majority of jewellers and their marketing dollars.
The bottom line is it’s easy to get caught up in social trends. However, newer social channels often don’t stack up to well-established social channels, for a litany of reasons that you need to consider before going down the rabbit hole.