Two years ago, the idea of using TikTok for business seemed utterly absurd. This was a platform for 14-year-old kids! To think about adults using TikTok to engage with their favourite brands was unthinkable. Imagine one of the Big 4 banks on TikTok! Cringe… right? Well, maybe not, we only have to look at the development of Instagram to see how a social platform can quickly move from a niche proposition to a central part of social marketing mix.  It’s a proven success story of how brands can embed themselves into communities by dabbling in hashtags and stories to becoming part of how markets are influenced. Pre-lockdown research suggested over 66% of the users are Gen-Z (under 24), however emerging data shows parents of 3+ children are creating their own TikTok accounts – and their content ranges from sound-bites to dance challenges (ahem… fails) to household tips.

Kids have hoisted themselves straight into ‘Head of the Household’ seat. They are now key decision-makers and there is a notable shift in pester-power dynamics. No longer are we concerned about taking our sprogs on supermarket trips where sugary treats are strategically placed at knee high levels, we are now more interested in how many ‘likes’ our savage dance challenge received… am I viral yet? 😊

Social Chain hosted a webinar; TikTok for brands, where Catty (Head of Creative, New York) presented statistics that surprised me; Savage dance challenge received over six million views, but best care tips for plants received over SEVEN million views…. WHAT?!!? Are we missing a trick by restraining our creativity…? Being too reserved, perhaps? Should we throw our cautions to the wind and embrace this new platform to engage with our customers? Afterall, as social creatures, we seek connections. It might be the time to switch our focus from product to customer – formulate a relationship with existing customers and hope for new customers to fall in love with this approach to bolster brand and ultimately… product!

The COVID-19 lockdown changed the world. I feel its time for businesses to look beyond the norm and without taking those small tentative baby steps - take a leap into the unknown and see what happens. Entertainment and humour are fast becoming a more relevant element of the B2B buyer experience. Imagine if you could create a stir in your audience that prompts the desire to learn more about you and your brand – how awesome would that be? Through teasing a smile, being a little bit out there, you are not only setting a trend, but generating potential leads. What’s the worst that could happen? If it doesn’t work out - be honest, admit you tried, it didn’t work… who remembers KFC’s response to running out of chicken?

The challenge is ON!