While it’s likely that you are familiar with the word TikTok even if you aren’t certain what this social media phenomenon is all about, this article will give you the low down on the TikTok platform, who uses it, and help you ascertain whether this is an appropriate marketing option for your practice.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is similar to other online social media platforms in which the goal is to share information with others. TikTok was launched in 2016 by a Chinese company called ByteDance but, unlike other social media platforms primarily based on written content like Twitter or Facebook, TikTok enjoys its tremendous worldwide popularity with short-form videos, most of which range from 15 seconds to 1 minute. Due to its ease of use (including do-it-yourself tutorials), TikTok lets users follow others and comment on and share videos, which creates a unique collaboration opportunity for its audience. TikTok can even create what’s called a “For You” feed, which curates videos based on each user’s individual viewing habits.
The TikTok Controversy
You may have heard and/or read that numerous countries have concerns about TikTok. These concerns center around privacy, data collection, content moderation, and more. The app has been accused of collecting user data by its Chinese parent company. Concerns have also been raised about the existence of cyberbullying and inappropriate content, especially among predators targeting underage users. The US government has expressed concern that TikTok may be used to influence public opinion or even for espionage. How this will affect the existence of TikTok in the future remains unknown.
Just like any media, TikTok demographics determine whether it will effectively share your marketing message with the right viewers—i.e., those who want your services.
TikTok is especially popular among younger adults and teens, according to Statista, with the largest group of users on TikTok between the ages of 10 and 29. This makes TikTok an excellent venue to target market rhinoplasty, skin treatments for acne, breast surgery (including gynecomastia treatment) and Brazilian Butt Lifts as well as gender transition surgeries for those practices that offer those services.
There are no statistics available to identify socioeconomic background but, like most online social media platforms, it’s likely that the TikTok user base spans a vast socioeconomic spectrum.
How to TikTok
- Download the TikTok app from either the App Store (for iPhone) or Google Play for Android phone.
- Open the app and click on “Sign Up” to create your account.
- Create your profile (bio, username, photo).
- Create a video: tap on the + sign at the bottom of your screen to open the camera. You can create a new video by holding the “record” button or load in a previously recorded video from your phone or tablet. You can add filters, stickers, music, and other effects as well as hashtags and captions.
- You can edit your video(s) after uploading them to the app—make it shorter, add text and filters, add music, etc.
- To add music, click on the “sounds” button and check out the huge library of music clips.
Voila! You’ve created and posted a TikTok video!
The Bottom Line
TikTok is about videos and it’s about frequency. In order to create a loyal audience, you need to inform your database that you’re on TikTok through an eblast/e-newsletter; handouts attached to receipts when patients check out after a treatment; a poster in the waiting area and announcements on your other social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Remind your followers each time you post another TikTok video and be sure to repurpose each video on your other social media sites for maximum marketing mileage!
Post at least weekly; more often if you can. It would be best to assign the task to a specific staff member and have them use a phone or tablet specifically for shooting videos for TikTok.