When it comes to social media marketing, odds are you and your brands will have the ‘traditional’ platforms covered, but there’s always a thought that creeps in: “Should we be trying something new?”
For every article that’s promoting Gen Z’s new favourite platforms, you’ll no doubt have questions. Is there value in it for my brand? Do we try out the platform as a test? The answers won’t be the same for everyone. The only thing that’s the same is that most marketers are staring wide-eyed at these platforms, a bit unsure of what to do with them.
Take TikTok for example. Stats show that the Gen Z audience that lots of us are chasing are using it eight times a day, spending more time on it daily than they do on veteran platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Also, TikTok isn’t yet subject to the same reach restrictions that have been making it harder to get content in front of audiences on other platforms.
It almost sounds too good to be true. The audience is there; they’re highly engaged and you don’t need to work too hard against an algorithm for now, but does that call for a shift in your marketing budget? Not necessarily. It’s reported that only 8% of UK internet users aged 16 to 64 are active on TikTok each month, which is quite low when compared to Instagram’s 49%. Moderation policies and data privacy regulations are also cause for a bit of concern, especially if your brand has to consider age-gating.
So, how do you go about making the decision to use it or not? By putting your audience first, not the platform. If your key audience is Gen Z and your brand has the personality and creativity to provide them with content that is valuable and contextually relevant to TikTok, then there is definitely an opportunity. But it’s important to bear in mind that TikTok is about fast culture, so you need the ability to jump onto a brand relevant trend and release a video as quickly as possible, or you could miss out entirely.
If your brand doesn’t fit with the audience's need on the platform, in terms of creating viral videos, you can take a leaf out of Gymshark’s book and work with influencers who create content on your behalf for a more authentic fit. The UK-based gym clothing brand partnered with top fitness influencers to create TikTok videos while wearing Gymshark apparel, with the objective of increasing product and brand awareness and promoting Gymshark’s 66-day fitness challenge. The campaign reached 19.8 million fans with the hashtag #gymshark66 receiving over 45 million views – that’s without the brand having to create any TikTok content of its own.
Another platform that offers you the opportunity to get in front of your audience without creating content of your own is Twitch. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a video streaming service which currently boasts over 2.2 billion broadcasters. With a userbase made up of 81.5% males and more than 15 million daily users, there’s no shortage of a potential new audience for your brand, but you can’t just sell. If you’re going to have a brand presence on Twitch, you need to do as the gamers do – get playing.
For example, when American fast-food chain Wendy’s played Fortnite on Twitch. They created an Avatar modelled on their logo whose sole responsibility was to rid the game of frozen beef burgers, a play on Wendy’s business promise of only using unfrozen, fresh beef.
Instead of interrupting the gaming experience with traditional ads, Wendy’s chose to become a part of it and reaped much richer results. Wendy’s even returned to play Fortnite a second time as a way of promoting their BaconFest campaign which was just as successful once again, proving you don’t necessarily need to create content in the traditional sense to engage your audience.
If you’re not planning on getting your brands onto either of these platforms, you can apply their learnings to your current social strategy. Short-form video can live on any platform, the key take-out is to make it as entertaining as possible. If you can’t game with your audience, create gamified content to let them play with you. Lastly, if you want to inspire a viral challenge, Twitter and Instagram provide opportunities for that too – just ask Dolly Parton. Your brand might not be on TikTok or Twitch but there’s no reason you can’t use them for inspiration until it is.