TikTok, the new frontier or sinister device?

Some free social media marketing advice: pay attention to TikTok.

The controversial Chinese digital import is making waves in the industry and international relations space that is worthy of our attention. The reason for this is two-fold:

  1. TikTok has grown into a social media force that presents itself with myriad opportunities for monetization.
  2. TikTok may be a tool of the Chinese government designed to spy on its users.

In business, two ideas are not always mutually exclusive. In this case, however, they might be. The question before businesses and consumers considering adding TikTok to their social media portfolio is whether the platform is an asset or a liability in disguise.

With Facebook closing in on 20 years of existence, Instagram 10, and Twitter around 16, TikTok is the new kid on the block. And as younger demographics continue to opt to engage more on TikTok and less with older platforms, they are a threat to the status-quo.  

Like any new form of technology, there have been those sounding the alarm with their concerns about TikTok from the beginning. What is different with TikTok’s origin story though is it didn’t take off in Silicon Valley or New England, rather in communist China.

The latest headlines making the rounds concerning TikTok is that the U.S. government may opt to “ban” the app over national security concerns. Will this happen? Who knows. That said, there is a real possibility that TikTok and other apps with questionable ties to the Chinese government may become an online relic of the past, as has happened in India.

While TikTok’s future in the United States may be ambiguous, what is clear: with hundreds of millions of downloads, and with major brands like Wal-Mart, the NBA, and Calvin Klein signing on, social media marketers must be able to provide clients advice on how to increase their engagement for who choose to use it.

This blog article was written by Five Seasons Media’s Chief Creative Officer, Josh Scheinblum. For questions about how Five Seasons Media can help your organization, please contact Josh via email at Josh@5SeasonsMedia.com.

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