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How TikTok Is Being Used Strategically in PR

Published on Oct. 26, 2022, at 5:19 p.m.
by Kelsey Nayman.

If you heard the phrase “tik tok” in 2009, chances are you would probably think of American singer-songwriter Kesha’s hit “TiK ToK.” Today, it’s more likely that your mind would go to the app of the same name. Emerging after the popularity of “Vine,” a 6-second video platform, TikTok has captivated Gen Z and older generations alike. This platform consists of short videos up to three minutes and is quickly evolving into the next big public relations tool. Agencies and businesses around the world are using TikTok to launch campaigns, build brand personalities and reach large audiences.

Photo by Alexander Shatov via UnSplash

Staying on top of social media trends is crucial for any successful PR strategy. In fact, social media platforms are constantly expanding, requiring PR professionals to learn and implement new tactics.

One way to use TikTok strategically is by building brand personality — giving the brand human-like characteristics to connect with its target population.

Some of the most popular brands on TikTok convey fun and interactive personalities. For example, Disney+ has partnered with TikTok to launch the #DisneyPlusVoices campaign. #DisneyPlusVoices challenge was crafted in honor of Disney Plus Day, promoting the app’s celebration of its second anniversary. The campaign allowed TikTok users to unlock their favorite Disney characters’ voices and use them in the text-to-speech feature on the app.

The National Football League teams are also cultivating their brand personalities. Many NFL teams are using TikTok to build fan relationships by commenting on viral videos.

These methods have created engaging content through branded hashtag challenges. Hashtag usage is critical for larger brands looking to promote new campaigns. Trending hashtags increase posts’ visibility and range allowing brand messages to be easily spread throughout the target algorithm.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik via UnSplash

Businesses are also starting to recruit employees specifically for TikTok. Dr. Michael Salzhauer, aka Dr. Miami, a renowned cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon, hired Santina Rizzi, a social media personality with 459,500 followers. Other small businesses, such as Mac Shack, have followed in Dr. Miami’s footsteps by recruiting employees for their social media accounts. Social media has aided these small businesses in gaining substantial followings, resulting in increased visibility beyond what they had experienced prior.

So why TikTok? All social media platforms have a certain process for ensuring that people see specific things. This makes it difficult to keep up with others unless you are following them. TikTok’s unique algorithm, specifically the “For You Page (FYP),” is solely based on personal engagement. The method in which the platform utilizes data sets it apart from other social media; the FYP is crafted from a pattern of likes and shares, rather than priority being based on which accounts an individual follows. In fact, TikTok has two pages: one for accounts that someone follows and an FYP that is curated via the platform analytics.

TikTok is a space for all people, regardless of age. Although there are other platforms to use to make your PR strategy successful, if you are looking for global reach, TikTok is your best bet.

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