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This week we’re taking a deeper look at TikTok, the social platform currently exploding in popularity and content. Given the incredible growth, it’s no surprise that companies are scrambling to understand how to incorporate TikTok into their marketing strategies. Since launching in September 2016, TikTok has secured more than 1.5 billion downloads around the globe, was the second most downloaded app in all of 2019, and recently surpassed 40 million daily active users.

Chipotle, Dior, Sephora, the NBA, and Pepsi are among several leading brands that have been quick to capitalize on TikTok’s astonishing success – the exciting opportunity to experiment with organic growth and experience the brand-building power of user-generated content.


Creator-sourced content for luxury brands

Fashion-forward TikTokers are using the platform to share outfit inspiration through hashtags including #ootd and #tiktokfashion, respectively with over 2 billion views each. 

Luxury brands, including Prada, Dior, and New York Fashion Week, have taken notice and are currently testing the platform’s potential. Neither Prada nor Dior have posted to their accounts since joining TikTok; instead, both brands are experimenting with creators and using the voice of their fans and customers to generate buzz. It remains to be seen if they will leverage this content long-term as part of their marketing strategy.



Customers are talking – even when you’re not

Chili’s doesn’t have a TikTok account, and yet they already have over 10 million organic TikTok mentions. In response, Chili’s announced that it will celebrate its 45th birthday by joining TikTok today, March 6th as @chilisofficial. Similar to other brands joining TikTok, Chili’s will kick things off with a #chilisbirthday challenge on TikTok – encouraging creators to share their best version of the infamous birthday song.


This is a perfect example of how a brand can pay close attention to the voice of its customers – and use it as an opportunity to get in front of them, entice them to generate content, and drive more awareness to the brand.


Is TikTok Safe?

TINT-FOM_is-TikTok-safeDespite growing popularity, many brands and government agencies are reluctant to join TikTok amid concerns regarding safety and potential spyware. To boost awareness of safety and privacy controls, TikTok launched #youreincontrol – an educational short-form video series. The series, featured on @tiktoktips, reached over 347K views within one week of launching.

TikTok is making moves to make safety worth sharing, but to gain prominence for the long-term, they still have several hurdles to overcome (and a lot of convincing to do). Will it be a case of “go where your audience goes” – or will privacy concerns ultimately spell doom for TikTok in the North American market?



Prevention top-of-mind as virality disrupts business

The news is everywhere. WHO joins TikTok to spread health awareness; Facebook is granting WHO free ads to push accurate information; Google and Microsoft are encouraging employees to work remotely; and Facebook, Amazon, and TikTok are among the big names to drop out of SXSW – all thanks to (you guessed it) Coronavirus.

Trustworthy content is paramount on social. To prevent misinformation from spreading, Facebook is now following Twitter’s footsteps by boosting health updates from credible sources.





Each week in #brandcrush we highlight exceptional brands that are channeling their customers' voice to connect more authentically with their audience.

We love Chipotle for too many reasons to count. Besides their delectable burrito bowls, they consistently approach marketing in a light-hearted and creative manner. They were also the first fast-casual restaurant to partner with TikTok to deliver a popular UGC campaign, #flipthelid – a bold move considering the novelty of the platform in 2019.


With nearly one million followers and hilarious commentaries on Twitter, it is no wonder their subsequent TikTok #Boorito challenge amassed over 4 billion views in four months. From their clever billboards to catchy campaigns – including the #GuacDance challenge and recent SuperBowl challenge – Chipotle is not afraid of experimenting with user-generated content to engage its fans.


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