Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur United States, an international franchise from Entrepreneur Media.
Everyone is on social media, but not everyone is on every platform. This applies to individuals as well as brands – or at least it should be.
With a limited amount of time, money, and energy available to all of us to grow our business, we need to decide which platforms to consider and how to distribute our resources.
TikTok is one of the newest social platforms, especially for Generation Z. When everyone is talking about it, should you and your company feel compelled to post and develop influencer marketing relationships there too?
Ask yourself these questions when you make up your mind.
Related: 5 essential questions to ask veterinary influencers
1. Is your ideal customer active on TikTok?
Who does your brand appeal to? With some of the newer social platforms there is a sharp demarcation between the target groups.
For example, while the vast majority of Americans have been familiar with YouTube for generations, there is a huge age difference when it comes to TikTok adoption. 48 percent of 18 to 29 year olds use TikTok (the number is even higher for 18 to 24 year olds), while the number for the 50+ age group shrinks to around 10 percent.
If your target audience falls into this emerging adult group, using TikTok can be very beneficial for your brand – users are pretty loyal and active on the platform. According to our latest influencer marketing study, 87 percent of TikTok influencers say they get more engagement here than on any of their other social media platforms.
In our experience with influencer marketing activations for customers from all industries, we recommend focusing more on who the influencer is reaching than the influencer's own demographics.
It's better to find an influencer who connects directly with a small but focused portion of your audience than to find one who has a large following but doesn't force your ideal buyers into action. Weeding out their followers can take some time – it can make sense to use an influencer marketing platform to sift through the data and find the best influencer match for you.
2. How flexible and creative would you like to be with your brand?
We've seen companies go outside the box on other social media platforms with great success. Wendy's continues to receive requests from individuals and other brands for "Roast Me Wendy's," with everyone from McDonald's to the Tampa Bay Rays catching some of their shadow.
Your brand may not be ready to take it to this level, but how open are you to dropping your corporate guard and putting creativity first? If you're willing to be flexible, you might find great ways to tap into a TikTok niche.
For example, during the recent period known as “great resignation,” companies have struggled to attract and retain talent. Some brands like Target, Chipotle, and Shopify have been able to use TikTok résumés to connect with job seekers and connect with those who "creatively and authentically showcase their skills and experiences" in their TikTok videos.
Going outside the box can add extra visibility and keep your brand from looking too corporate on TikTok. For example, when the 2020 pandemic first hit the US, global health and consumer goods maker P&G worked with one of TikTok's leading influencers, Charli D'Amelio, to create the #DistanceDance that leveraged the reach of an influencer to To attract attention and engagement.
If you plan to work with an influencer, you can still combine brand identity with freshness and creativity. The influencer can provide insights into what is working for their audience (they should know as the majority spend between one and five hours on the platform every day) while you provide the key messaging and branding standards that the content is aligned with target.
Related: 5 Questions You Should Ask To Determine If TikTok or Instagram is Better For Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
3. Do your marketing goals match the capabilities of TikTok?
If you are considering the marketing funnel, TikTok is probably at the top of your funnel.
They use it to get attention and create additional interest through very short creator clips. Trying to force a sale can appear as someone who is there to take advantage of the platform rather than being part of a community.
Gen Z in particular are more likely to skip ads and get frustrated when ads disrupt their user experience. The platform doesn't offer universal e-commerce functionality either, so you'll want to create a seamless transition between your TikTok endeavors and your other social media platforms.
Although they recently introduced an in-app shopping feature in partnership with Shopify, it is only available to Shopify merchants with a TikTok For Business account. When it comes to driving viewers to your website or driving traffic to a landing page, keep in mind that links can only be added to account bios for now.
If you are able to develop content and partnerships that are clever, interesting, and seamlessly incorporated into your audience's feed, you have a much better chance of gaining their commitment and trust over time.
When new social media platforms hit our collective consciousness, it's easy to feel very polarized – either that you have to be there or that there is no way they might fit you and your brand.
You could actually end up somewhere in the middle. You have the opportunity to explore and experiment with new platforms, and often an influencer partnership can be an entry point – to see what could work for your brand, with a knowledgeable user of the platform to guide you through the process and helps you.