• The Swing Agency

TikTok is the New PR

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

By: Kate DePetro

The app Tik-Tok has over 800 million active users worldwide and has really emerged this year during quarantine, exploding with new celebrities, trends, and creativity. However, let’s take a step back and explain the basics of what TikTok really is.

TikTok started as a way to create short videos, 15 to 60 seconds, to post and share with friends. Users can add music, hashtags, filters, and upload previous videos from their camera roll to generate content and share on their profiles. You can follow other users, and watch their videos, or TikTok provides a “For You Page” which shows suggested videos the individual user may enjoy.

The number of users on TikTok has exploded compared to where it was a year ago, which is what I want to talk about today.

TikTok has become a social media platform for people to find humor, dance, and share ideas and life hacks. The company TikTok itself has been so successful with advertisements. They were able to create a “creators fund” paying different TikTok stars for their videos based on views, almost how YouTube used to function. TikTok has become a way for music to become popular, to set trends in style, improve small businesses, and how the queen herself Charli Dameilo, a 16-year-old who reached 90.0 million followers this week, became famous overnight. Based on Charli’s dance moves, style, and camera presence, Charli exploded on TikTok, having the most TikTok followers since March of 2020. She has been the face of Holister’s back to school campaign and is now living in Los Angeles with her family, who have also taken over the platform. Both her parents and older sister have millions of followers of their own. Charli herself has a net worth of $4 million and altogether her family has made over $9 million this year, based on TikTok and brand deals from TikTok.

Another famous TikTok star that exploded on TikTok is nineteen-year-old Addison Rae. Addison is a small-town girl from Louisiana, her TikTok went viral and she started gaining popularity. She dropped out of LSU to move to Los Angeles and is the second most popular on TikTok with 72.7 million followers. Her net worth however is higher than Charli’s, at around $5 million. Addison has been seen hanging out with the Kardashian family, creating TikToks, and taking Instagram photos with Kourtney Kardashian and receiving over millions of likes. Addison also makes over $14,000 per advertisement post on her TikTok and is the current face for American Eagle Jeans. The success that came behind these two girls is because of their popularity on the app. Brands like Hollister and American Eagle have taken their faces and create a public relations campaign behind it. The two girls have made so much money, that their net worth increases every day with each new follower.

TikTok has become a platform for small businesses to generate more business. An example of this is the company Belexies Hoppe, which is an accessory shop run by two sisters. They started their TikTok account back in March, and have received over 10.6 million likes and constantly have to restock their store with their product in high demand. With the hashtag #smallbusinesscheck, TikTok users go online shopping, find new stores, boutiques, and small businesses have benefited from it. This has really helped small businesses get back on their feet, after having to close their stores due to the pandemic. The hashtags are also part of why local small businesses pop up on someone nearby's “For You Page” based on location, which could generate views to the website or make a stop at the store.

Overall, TikTok may not be forever, but as of now it is 100% relevant and taking over the social media world. Any type of business or any creator should take advantage of downloading the free app, and try creating a video to generate more attention. For my own personal use, on my 21rst birthday, I made a 15-second video of what I did throughout my day and I received 316,000 views and 51,200 likes. It has become so easy to gain followers and viewers, that with a simple hashtag there is so much to explore and take advantage of on the app.

I believe that TikTok is a new form of public relations. There is a lot all of work that goes into creating the TikTok, such as brainstorming the video idea, coming up with the who you, as the creator, want your target audience to be, and what the goal of the video is. This form of public relations, and it is very relevant. The amount of people who could view your content is endless, which leads to endless possibilities for your business and your public relations career.

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