In line with what TikTok wants to present its platform as, the event was dynamic, entertaining and informative. With artists like Shimza and Cassper Nyovest on the stage and Lerato Kganyago leading the conversation, we were able to gain insight into what TikTok brings to the table from a branding perspective - in true TikTok fashion.
TikTok’s mission is to inspire joy and bring creativity to the forefront for its audience. Creativity is at the heart of how TikTok users express themselves, and storytelling is key to this means of expression. Now, brands have the opportunity to leverage this creativity to shape their future. In collaboration with 365 Digital, TikTok hopes to bring this mission forward for brands in South Africa.
Using TikTok for branding
Since the inception of the internet, there have been multiple shifts in the way we communicate and interact with content. From the age of communication, we have now moved into an age where participation on the internet and different platforms is what users seek. Shant Oknayan, general manager of Global Business Solutions, METAP, said, “TikTok’s users and creators demand the space for their voices to be heard - and brands that respond to this desire, to set the stage for a story where anyone can play a role just by being themselves, earn a special status in the community.” He said that this branding position is unique to TikTok.
TikTok For Business aims to allow businesses to engage with active communities in South Africa, and globally, in an authentic way. Essentially, it promises to allow communication with your audience in an uninterrupted environment where they want to be a part of your content. This community-led and authentic way of storytelling is what really connects audiences. “We’re committed to super-charging brands and businesses so they can show up as their most authentic self on TikTok,” said Oknayan.
The platform provides a comparably eccentric way for users to get creative. For example, TikTok partnered with EUFA 2020 - and have given fans a platform to connect with their favourite creators, share content and create their own moments.
The idea is that, with TikTok for business, brands will be able to capitalise on this idea.
Finding success with TikTok
Success with TikTok can be a daunting task to take on if you are new to using the platform. However, there are some examples of individuals and companies who have done so already - with some help from the platform.
For example, there is the Rising Voices campaign, which offers creators of colour an opportunity to be seen, heard and grow their content. Sphokuhle.n is one such creator who has found success through this. Having started her account in 2019, she has since grown her audience to a staggering 1.6m followers. In her words, she has felt that the platform has given her the opportunity to connect with her community by being herself - without the need to create an alternative personality.
In terms of a business example, for the past two months, there has been a drive to create awareness around the Doritos brand. Brandon Mncube, sector lead for Sub-Saharan Africa, digital marketing and media at Pepsico, said that their idea was conceptualised through the branded hashtag challenge. The goal of this challenge was to allow brands the space to shape cultural conversation by inspiring their consumers to lead the conversation and be part of shared experiences.
In under a week, the Doritos campaign saw 12,000 pieces of user-generated content.
Some more statistics include:
2,000 unique users
850,000 total likes
936,000 total engagements
TikTok offers a platform for brands where users are given a fully immersive experience. Through the use of video and sound - sound being particularly integral to creativity on the platform - it is difficult to multitask while you are using the platform. As such, brands could really benefit from using authentic messaging to connect with their audiences.