In the past decade, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in how people consume content and interact with brands online. With over 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok has become one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. If you’re like most people, you probably think of TikTok as a social media platform where people post short videos of themselves lip-syncing or dancing. However, there’s more to TikTok than meets the eye. In addition to being a social media platform, TikTok is also a powerful search engine. Thanks to its algorithm which is specifically designed to surface videos that are relevant to the user’s interests, TikTok has become an invaluable tool for businesses and marketers.
So what does this mean for businesses? It means that if you’re not already on TikTok, you need to be! Here’s a closer look at how TikTok is quickly becoming the new search engine—and why your business needs to be on it.
TikTok as a Search Engine
TikTok offers a unique search experience that is different from other social media platforms and even traditional search engines. When you open the TikTok app and start scrolling, you are immediately presented with a never-ending stream of content that is personalized to your interests. This personalized feed is based on the type of content you have interacted with in the past.
But unlike other social media platforms, TikTok does not rely on hashtags to organize content. Instead, it uses algorithmically generated topic channels. These topic channels are based on what TikTok thinks you will be interested in, and they are constantly updating this. For example, if you watch a lot of videos about cars, you may see a channel for car reviews or car models.
How TikTok’s Algorithm Works
TikTok’s algorithm is based on a combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence. This means that the more data TikTok knows about a user, the better it can serve them relevant content. TikTok collects data about users in a number of ways, including but not limited to:
- The type of content they watch
- The amount of time they spend watching videos
- Their geographical location
- The device they’re using
- And much more!
This wealth of data allows TikTok to serve users highly-targeted content that they’re likely to enjoy. As a result, TikTok has become an incredibly effective search engine.
Implications for Businesses and Marketers
Businesses and marketers should be aware of how powerful TikTok’s algorithm is and how it can be used to reach potential customers. When creating marketing campaigns for TikTok, businesses should focus on creating engaging videos that are tailored to the interests of their target audience. In addition, businesses should also make use of hashtags and other identifying information so that their videos can be easily found by users who are searching for relevant content.
The Rise of Influencers
Another trend that’s driving TikTok’s success is the rise of social media influencers. An influencer is someone with a large following on social media who can generate awareness and interest in a product or service through their posts. On TikTok, influencers typically create short videos featuring products or services that they promote to their followers.
If you’re not sure whether your business should partner with an influencer, consider this: 92% of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family more than advertising when it comes to purchasing decisions. When an influencer promotes your product or service on TikTok, their followers will see it as a personal recommendation—which means there’s a good chance they’ll check it out for themselves.
In addition to using TikTok as a way to organically reach your target audience, you can also use TikTok ads. TikTok offers six types of ad formats: In-Feed Ads, Spark Ads, TopView Ads, Brand Takeover Ads, Branded Hashtag Challenge Ads and Branded Effect Ads. Check out more about these ads here.
As TikTok continues to grow in popularity, brands and businesses need to start taking advantage of this platform as a way to reach their target audiences. TikTok offers a unique search experience that is different from other social media platforms and even traditional search engines. The bottom line? If you’re not already using TikTok as part of your marketing strategy, you need to be. It’s one of the best ways to reach your target audience—especially if you’re targeting younger consumers. So start creating your own videos today!