TikTok for brands: an authentic connection with a young audience

September 23, 2022
min read


TikTok for brands: an authentic connection with a young audience
From 'renegade' and 'cottage core' to 'emo capybaras'. We agree, TikTok is a Wild West full of trends that come and go. To find your way in this as a brand, it is sometimes tricky, to say the least, but definitely worth it!

The app has been around for a while, but experienced a huge boom during the pandemic. TikTok focuses on snappy, shortform video where fancy edits are allowed, but certainly not required. Thanks to this formula for success, the platform has since reached the milestone of one billion monthly users in less than five years.

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Users of the app spend about 20 hours on it per month. Comparing this to Instagram, where users spend "only" 11 hours per month, it is immediately clear that TikTok is the place to hold users' attention.

Why do companies choose TikTok?

  • Gen Z: 62% of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are active users of TikTok. Within this age group, half also report being on the platform daily (Imec Digimeter, 2021). For them, TikTok is now also more than a pastime. The app has grown into a genuine search engine where Gen Z searches for vacation ideas, new brands or fun bars and restaurants.
  • Accessibility: Creating and sharing videos is very easy. As a user, all you have to do is record some fun footage from your day and you can post it right away. You choose how far you go with the quality of your edit. Unlike platforms like YouTube and Instagram, it all doesn't have to be so neat here.
  • Range: Perhaps the most important USP of the platform: anyone can go viral. With the right sound and hashtags, everyone has a chance to be discovered. Even if you only have three followers! Just how that happens remains a mystery to many. The algorithm, as on most platforms, looks at what you interact with. What is unique about TikTok, however, is that you can consciously start adjusting here. Not interested in "fridge organizing? Indicate it, and TikTok will keep this out of your 'for you page' (fyp). 
    • For the TikTok newbies: the "for you page" (fyp) is the page that shows you all your recommended videos. Once you as a user open the app, you immediately stay glued to the fyp due to the automatic playback of the videos. The infinite scroll further ensures that you are curious about what's coming next every time.
  • Localization: Although this is an app used worldwide, TikTok often organizes local contests and challenges. Local trends are anticipated through the use of localized hashtags.

As a company, how can you get creative with the platform?

TikTok is now not only relevant for young users, but companies are also finding their way to the platform more quickly. A good example of this is Ryanair. By going along with TikTok trends in a playful and funny way, the account now has 1.7 million followers. A second example of a successful TikTok strategy can be found at Duolingo. The recognizable bird mascot has already generated 94 million likes. 

But why are companies like Ryanair and Duolingo doing so well? Both Ryanair and Duolingo respond very well to trends. As a company on TikTok, it is important to let go of the aesthetic for a while and also jettison your templates, and logos for a while. Authenticity and recognizability are the keys to success here. And a healthy dose of self-mockery.

<div class="tiktokgrid-1"><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@ryanair/video/7229727669624048922" data-video-id="7229727669624048922" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px;" > <section> <a target="_blank" title="@ryanair" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@ryanair?refer=embed">@ryanair</a> TVs on planes are so 1988 💅 <a title="entertinment" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/entertinment?refer=embed">#entertinment</a> <a title="fyp" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/fyp?refer=embed">#fyp</a> <a title="ryanair" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/ryanair?refer=embed">#ryanair</a> <a target="_blank" title="♬ original sound - glee" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/original-sound-6973833975932521222?refer=embed">♬ original sound - glee</a> </section> </blockquote> <script async src="https://www.tiktok.com/embed.js"></script></div>

To use TikTok most efficiently, it is beneficial for companies to partner with a creative company that can provide new ideas and insights. 

How TikTok gave a new push to Bavet's brand experience

In the case of spaghetti chain Bavet, we were the lucky creative company. Bavet, like TikTok, came seemingly out of nowhere but in a short time grew to become one of the Fleming's go-to spaghetti spots. Even in Liege and Maastricht, meanwhile, you can already enjoy a good "Belgian spaghetti. The move to TikTok was a logical step for the company. Memes and pop culture trends were already very much embedded in their Instagram calendar. Chase drew up a strategy for TikTok and advised to put Baveteers at the center and use current TikTok trends, among other things. Our Hasselt-based TikTok aficionado Sophie Oome handled content creation, from concept to edit and publication.

Bavet, meanwhile, knows their way smoothly to the For You Page. To date, 34 videos have been posted over a period of 9 months. This led to 1,000,000 views and more than 30,000 likes. Although followers are less important, the account has reached the 1,000+ mark in this area as well. 

Our strategy also scores in terms of comments and engagement. Young people comment and tag their friends and family to invite each other to dinner or share the latest Bavet news.

Would you like to discover Bavet on TikTok for yourself? Here are some TikToks to get you started:

<div class="tiktokgrid-3"><div class="ttwrapper"><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@bavet_spaghetti/video/7137248609115835653" data-video-id="7137248609115835653" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px;" > <section> <a target="_blank" title="@bavet_spaghetti" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@bavet_spaghetti?refer=embed">@bavet_spaghetti</a> It’s ✨SPAGHETTI✨ <a title="itscorn" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/itscorn?refer=embed">#itscorn</a> <a title="corn" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/corn?refer=embed">#corn</a> <a title="belgianspaghetti" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/belgianspaghetti?refer=embed">#belgianspaghetti</a> <a target="_blank" title="♬ It&#39;s Corn - Tariq &#38; The Gregory Brothers &#38; Recess Therapy" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/It's-Corn-7133362813254388523?refer=embed">♬ It&#39;s Corn - Tariq &#38; The Gregory Brothers &#38; Recess Therapy</a></section</blockquote><script async src="https://www.tiktok.com/embed.js"></script></div><div class="ttwrapper"><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@bavet_spaghetti/video/7225649680288320795" data-video-id="7225649680288320795" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px;" > <section> <a target="_blank" title="@bavet_spaghetti" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@bavet_spaghetti?refer=embed">@bavet_spaghetti</a> <p>There&#39;s no friendschip than the one with your workbestie! 🥰🥰 </p> <a target="_blank" title="♬ this is for langit - a" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/this-is-for-langit-7099788059700431643?refer=embed">♬ this is for langit - a</a></section></blockquote> <script async src="https://www.tiktok.com/embed.js"></script></div><div class="ttwrapper"><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@bavet_spaghetti/video/7111270652258159878" data-video-id="7111270652258159878" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px;" > <section> <a target="_blank" title="@bavet_spaghetti" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@bavet_spaghetti?refer=embed">@bavet_spaghetti</a> DID YOU KNOW you get your spaghetti for free if you have a red record in your menu? <a title="belgianspaghetti" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/belgianspaghetti?refer=embed">#belgianspaghetti</a> <a title="belgianfoodies" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/belgianfoodies?refer=embed">#belgianfoodies</a> <a target="_blank" title="♬ original sound - Tik Toker" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/original-sound-7095690411141810950?refer=embed">♬ original sound - Tik Toker</a> </section> </blockquote> <script async src="https://www.tiktok.com/embed.js"></script></div></div>

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