Jason Dorsey knows it’s not easy to keep up with all the evolving forms of social media. Nevertheless, the Gen Z expert feels it’s time to embrace marketing on TikTok, a social network which has been available on a worldwide basis for less than three years.
That’s right: your teenager’s favorite video-sharing app could be the key to helping your company reach an untapped consumer base.
“The way people at brands have historically created awareness was with TV, radio and print,” explained Dorsey, the president of the Center for Generational Kinetics. “Well, Gen Z’s probably not [paying attention to] any of those.
“You can’t create awareness if you’re not in front of them; you’ve got to be where they are.”
And, rest assured: virtually any teen or young adult is well aware of TikTok, which has over one billion users and has been downloaded 200 million times in the U.S. alone, according to wallaroomedia.com (June 14).
So, what specific steps can food businesses take to attract customers via TikTok? Dorsey, a co-author of the book Zconomy, explains below:
SPEND AMPLE TIME ON TIKTOK
“If you’re not engaging on TikTok — which too many brands aren’t – you’re really missing out,” Dorsey told The Food Institute.
Remember, Dorsey noted: successful brands reach consumers while they’re young, so that they’re aware of the brand as their purchasing power begins to increase. And, he added, TikTok offers a great opportunity to secure preteen, teen, and young adult consumers.
In order to build a significant following on TikTok, it’s important to stay attuned to which types of videos truly resonate with your audience. For example, Dorsey noted that baking videos are currently quite popular on TikTok.
A key to creating buzz about a brand on TikTok, the expert added, is “picking the right people that represent you and represent the brand well, with whatever it is they’re going to do, [like] sing, dance, share recipes, or whatever.”
According to a recent People article, a few of the most prominent food-centric TikTok personalities are:
Tabitha Brown, @iamtabithabrown
The actress and vegan-diet advocate has a fanbase of more than 4.7 million.
Chelsey White, @chelsweets
White, known for making elaborate cakes, boasts two million TikTok followers.
Vivian Aronson, @cookingbomb
Formerly featured on MasterChef, Aronson has more than 1.8 million followers.
It’s important to post TikTok videos that earn both the trust and respect of potential customers. Dorsey’s research has shown that Gen Z consumers are more frequently influenced by peers on social media than they are by experts or CEOs.
And that, Dorsey noted, “is a big deal. [Gen Zers] are really looking for people like themselves – that they’ve determined to be approachable and not having an agenda. You don’t have to be a huge social media influencer like a Kardashian or something, just somebody that they connect with.”
DON’T OVERANALYZE THINGS
In order to really connect with young consumers via TikTok, it’s imperative to realize that marketing strategies for Facebook might not translate to the newer, video-centric platform.
“There’s a lot of opportunity there,” Dorsey said of TikTok. “The key is to not overthink it.”