The social media battle: TikTok overtakes YouTube and Google
Abbie Smyth Social Media Manager
3 min read
Thursday, 21st July 2022
There’s no denying that TikTok has become a global phenomenon. The app started in China in 2016 and first became available worldwide after merging with another Chinese social media service, Musical.ly, in 2018. From initially blowing up as an app to share dancing videos, it now has over 1 billion users across the world and earned $4 billion in advertising revenue in 2021 alone.
The rapid growth of TikTok has no doubt caused a knock on effect on consumer habits and behaviours on social media.
Back in June 2020 at the height of the first lockdown, TikTok first began to outrank YouTube in terms of the average minutes per day people ages 4-18 spend accessing the platforms.
Since then, TikTok has continued to dominate the social media landscape with younger users. By the end of 2021, kids and teens were watching an average of 91 minutes of TikTok per day compared with just 56 minutes per day spent watching YouTube, on a global basis.
Fast forward to 2022, we now know that people aren’t just passively spending time on the app too. They’re engaging more, converting and spending money directly through the platform.
YouTube is well aware of this shift in consumer behaviour, as are all other social app makers including Meta and Snap. That’s why YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat have all now copied TikTok’s short-form vertical video feed with their own products.
It’s not just YouTube that TikTok is stampeding over too. It’s also surpassed tech giant Google as the most popular website of the year, according to a report by IT security company Cloudflare.
The stats speak for themselves, TikTok is the place to be. So, if you’re not already on TikTok, WHY NOT?
Here are our top tips for a TikTok strategy:
- Make TikToks, not ads - it’s the golden rule. People want to see real, relatable content not polished ads constantly pushing products.
- Over-commercialised doesn’t cut it - too much branding or high production content makes ads stand out like a sore thumb on TikTok, and not in a good way, in a scroll-past-this-ad-as-quick-as-possible-way. Make your content look native to the platform as if it was created by a user.
- Authenticity is key - don’t hop on every trend or sound just because. Find your ‘why’ and share meaningful and authentic content for your audience.
- Niche audiences are highly engaged - TikTok has shown us that there are all different types of people with different interests on the app (big up Francis Borgeious). There are large communities of highly engaged people across a range of niche industries - make the most of these.
- Content creators are where the magic happens - but think, how can you foster long-term, meaningful collaborations that are true and authentic to your brand?
- Sell the sizzle, not the sausage - it’s one of the most common phrases in sales but it translates to TikTok perfectly. Think - how can you show the lifestyle, benefits and positive effect of your product on the customer, rather than a cold, hard push of the product itself?
Look, talking about TikTok and translating a brand's wider marketing objectives into a TikTok strategy is my favourite thing. Want to chat more? Drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org