The rise of TikTok: How brands are using the platform to drive engagement

3d design two phones with tiktok popping up icons
Creative
3rd Jun 2021
Posted By Yasmin Flowers

TikTok - what is it and why has it blown up so much in the past year? Just as you think one platform has taken the lead in the social media landscape, another emerges - that’s the ever changing world of marketing for you!

Launched in September 2016, the video sharing app has now surpassed 2 billion downloads, and is there any surprise with its addictive algorithm? If you’re one of the 2 billion users and you’ve found yourself scrolling through the app until 3am, then don't worry, you’re not alone...

As well as being the year that Covid changed everything, 2020 will definitely be remembered as the year that TikTok made the headlines. As the world was forced to stay inside, the social media powerhouse platform hosted endless challenges, dances and comedic skits to keep the world entertained and connected. In just a few years, TikTok has become the epicentre of digital and social culture, with its unique algorithm that allows anyone to achieve 15-60 seconds of fame overnight. Although the app is very much dominated by light-hearted videos for entertainment purposes, it’s also fast becoming a major marketing channel for businesses to make use of - but, how?


Let’s take Little Moons as an example. One person posted a short clip reviewing the unique, mochi ice cream product and that was it - they were sold out on the shelves of Tesco. No, literally. People couldn't get their hands on any for weeks and even now people still struggle to!

As soon as followers became curious about trying the tasty Japanese treats, Tesco reported a whopping 700% increase in sales.

Not only that, but the organic hashtag itself ‘#littlemoons’ has 297.6M views, highlighting the vast amount of traction it achieved from the unexpected exposure on TikTok. As soon as Little Moons’ sales surged by 2,000%, the brand decided to prolong the moment of fame by creating its own TikTok profile, which was a smart marketing move. Little Moons started to post comedic content which viewers responded well to, leading them to accumulate a total of 231.6K followers, which just goes to show the impact that TikTok can have on consumer behaviours.

Little moons 1

Another brand that has absolutely nailed it with its TikTok strategy is RyanAir. Although it may seem unexpected, the budget airline has racked up a total of 633.9K followers and achieved an average of 1 million (if not more!) views on the majority of its posts - proving that TikTok really can work for any brand. The key to their success on the platform is the fact that they are so responsive and they quickly jump on viral trends, which results in them remaining well positioned in the never ending pool of TikTok content. RyanAir also utilises the comment section extremely well, providing them with another avenue to interact with their followers through.

Users have been pleasantly surprised by the brand's light-hearted humour and their hilarious take on the ‘Gen Z’ style trends.

They successfully make something as ordinary as an airline look ‘cool’ and comedic - well played RyanAir.

Ryan air

Last but not least we have Netflix; a brand that is notorious for stirring up a buzz on socials so it’s no surprise that they’ve managed to slay the TikTok game! Not only does the brand develop short, teaser snippets of it’s upcoming shows and movies to promote new releases, but they also connect with their audience by jumping on the trend bandwagon too. Their current strategy is definitely a one way ticket to success, as their 14.1m follower base suggests. They’ve been able to grow one of the biggest company followings on the platform by serving up creatively styled content as well as experimenting with clever hashtag challenges too. Not every brand is built for TikTok, but Netflix has certainly mastered the art of utilising the platform for brand success.

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Hopefully these examples have given you some insight into how to build a successful TikTok profile and how to utilise the platform for your brand, but if not - we’d love to help! Our marketing specialists can support your social media strategy through content planning, content creation, strategic scheduling and much more! Get in touch today at marketing@weareccm.co.uk.