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Now, a lot of people reading this will probably already know what TikTok is, or at least have some vague idea about what it is and what you do on it. But, for those amongst you who have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a breakdown of what it is and why you and your sports organisation need to be on it. 

Before we get started, here’s a quick breakdown of what TikTok is –

  • Originally musical.ly, TikTok is a video sharing social media platform focusing on short videos of either 15 or 60 seconds.
  • Users customise these videos with filters, stickers and background music. A lot of people create lip-sync videos. These are then shared with the TikTok community.
  • Also a live video feature but this is only available to users with over 1000 followers.

Who’s using it? What’s the demographic?

As with most social platforms, it’s mainly used by younger people. TikTok has an audience that is mostly teenagers and young adults. A GlobalWebIndex analysis found that ages 16-24 made up 41% of the apps users, 66% of users are under 30. 

Why are you missing out? Here’s why…

1. Cross platform use 

I came across my first TikTok just before Christmas last year and it actually wasn’t on TikTok. I saw my first TikTok video on Twitter as it was going viral, but you could tell it was a TikTok video because it was branded with its logo in the corner and also carried the username of the creator. One feature I think is really useful is the fact that on the app, you can download the video to your phone. This gives people the ability to share these videos on other social platforms, which increases the amount of exposure you can potentially generate. Now, you obviously have no control of what people can do with these videos but if your content is well branded, everyone will know who the original creator is. 

A great example of well branded content is the Chicago Bulls mascot, Benny the Bull. He has his own account separate from the official Chicago Bulls TikTok account and amazingly he’s more popular with 2.2 million followers compared to 334.4k on the Chicago Bulls account. Now he might have a separate account but you can instantly tell who he is and who he is associated with because of the team branding or locations he is in. 

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Don’t ? touch ? my ? tail ? ##canttouchthis

♬ #hiteverybeat – lulbabyynelii

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2. The next generation of fans 

Sports teams are dependent on a continual influx of new fans so they must always be looking to attract the next generation so having a presence on a social media platform that is mainly used by youngsters seems a no brainer. Personally, I think that any sports organisation should be on every new and emerging social platform. Now there’s a chance that not every platform will work for the content plan you’ve got but what’s the harm in giving new platforms a try? One new platform you try could be the next big thing and you have first to market advantage over everyone else.

3. A new style of content

Now before you start, yes, video isn’t a new style of content but I mean this in the sense that it’s going to allow people to get creative. TikTok seems to be a hub of creativity. There always seems to be a few different trends on the platform at any one time so it’s easy to jump on one of those but the accounts that seem to have the most success are the ones that bring their own element of originality to their content. 

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4. The ‘For You Page’ and hashtags

One thing I really like about TikTok is the level of discoverability there seems to be. The home screen is split into two tabs, one for the accounts that you follow and a second tab called ‘For You’ which is basically a recommendations feed based on videos similar to what you have interacted with. What I like about this is that it opens you up to a whole range of videos that you may not have seen before. 

Similarly, the hashtags function works really well and it is easy for a user to discover hashtags using the ‘Discover’ tab. In this tab you can see what’s trending and also search for users and hashtags. The same kind of goes for most social platforms with hashtags but with a bit of research, you can find the best hashtags for your space.

So those are 4 reasons why I feel you or the sports organisation you work for should be on TikTok and creating content. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll probably do the same thing I did when I first downloaded TikTok. You’ll probably think it’s a bit weird and wonder why on earth you’re on it but trust me, it’s addicting. It appears to be one of the new social platforms that actually has a bit of staying power so having a presence on it seems a bit of a no brainer.