Why is TikTok not popular with millennials

Generation Z reports: How your company reaches tomorrow's buyers with TikTok

I may have missed the founding of the Backstreet Boys in 1993, but I was already 10 years old when Britney Spear's balding scandal took place. The highlight of my youth? However, that was in 2016 - the founding of the Chinese company TikTok.
I belong to Generation Z and I will tell you how I got to know and love TikTok.


Love at first sight? This is TikTok!

This wouldn't be a blog post if we didn't deal with the hard numbers first. So: who or what is this app, which there is no longer a virtual path around?

Developed by the Chinese company "ByteDance", TikTok was born in September 2016. However, this was not the moment when the app went completely through the roof. Does the name "Musical.ly" mean anything to you? Correct. The social media app that people used to move their lips to a full playback song. In August 2018, the name "Musical.ly" was deleted worldwide and the users of the TikTok app service were taken over. And here we go.

Within six months (!) The app has been downloaded over a billion times worldwide. As early as June 2018, the app had 500 million active users per month. This makes TikTok the leading short video platform in Asia with the world's largest playback video community and the first ever Chinese app that works in the USA.

And that's not all: With 1.5 billion downloads, TikTok is number 1 in the international download charts, even overtaking WhatsApp.

And in Germany? 5.5 million Germans are currently active monthly on TikTok and open the app an average of 10 times a day. However, anyone who thinks that the app is more popular with women just like Instagram is wrong. Only 40% of the users on TikTok are female.

As the headline of the blog article already reveals, the app focuses on Generation Z. 69% of TikTok users worldwide are between 16 and 24 years old - only 31% are over 25 years old. Why is an entire generation so crazy about TikTok, you ask yourself? It's simple: it's different. As soon as you open TikTok, you're in. You do not need to register if you do not like, comment or upload anything yourself, the videos take up the entire mobile phone screen and are played out at random and based on your previous interests. The dangerous thing about it? You can easily move yourself from video to video for hours and of course the algorithm learns what you like best with every video that you watch until the end. The challenge for influencers and brands is to appear on your "For You" page so that you can follow them afterwards.

But stop! Should you now think: “The users are far too young. That is not relevant for my company. ”Then have a coffee or tea, make yourself comfortable and let me tell you why TikTok is and should be relevant for your company NOW.

Has TikTok been a black box for you so far? Then check out the video!

Fast. Easy. Straightforward. Three words with which one can describe TikTok fabulously. Video: TikTok / web-netz

About lone fighters and individualists: Why is Generation Z on Tik Tok?

First, let me ask you a simple question. When was the last time you asked yourself whether your company's marketing measures are reaching the right target group? I would argue that this happens at least once a year.

Most companies - and since you're reading this blog article, I suspect yours too - rely particularly on Millennials (ages 23-38) or Generation X (ages 39-54). But why? Quite simply: They are easier to reach and are most popular with many companies due to their high purchasing power. However, it is not new that more and more companies are abandoning their traditional measures and trying to rejuvenate their brand in order to reach the buyers of tomorrow. These companies quickly realize that they don't get people like me on Facebook or Instagram, but on “snack content” platforms like TikTok. But how do you reach me and why should you even focus on me?

Without a cell phone? Without me! Around 100,000 young people in Germany state that they are dependent on WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat. Photo credit: ViewApart / istockphoto.com

I belong to a generation that makes its own rules and wants to stand out from the crowd. A generation that is anxious to have as many experiences as possible, to pursue its own goals and to be more successful than anyone before. However, in order to determine whether I am actually the best or the best at something, I need something specific. Do you think of the same thing as me Correct. I need challenges! It's only better if I can measure myself against others.

TikTok lives from such challenges, to be precise from "hashtag challenges". OTTO provides the perfect example of this. With the hashtag challenge #machdichzumOTTO, TikTok users were to be encouraged to poke fun at themselves. With success: Within four weeks, videos with the hashtag #machdichzumOTTO recorded 147 million views. According to OTTO, 59,000 videos were created using the hashtag in the first six days.

BMW also generated around 19 million views in one week with the hashtag challenge #icelebrate.
However, you don't always have to invent your own hashtag. The company "Subway" made use of the existing hashtag #lovemyjob and gave other users a brief glimpse behind the scenes through its employees. Big brands like FC Bayern Munich, the cosmetics brand MAC and many more are already using the app to position themselves with the young target group. I deliberately write “position” because you shouldn't include TikTok in your measures if your only goal is to sell.

OTTO and BMW are leading the way: The #machdichzumotto campaign has already generated more than 179 million views as of November 2019 and the BMW #icelebrate awareness campaign almost 23 million. Subway used the existing hashtag #lovemyjob to take a look behind the scenes.

It's not about conversions (yet). It's about brand loyalty.

So now we come to the final question: When and for which company is TikTok really suitable? Everyone loves lists and specific examples, so let's go.

You should use TikTok if:

  • you want to sustainably rejuvenate the positioning or image of your company or your brand,
  • you are willing to experiment and you are no longer satisfied with your current measures,
  • your strategy relates to B2C marketing or
  • You are not primarily concerned with sales, but with awareness for your company or your brand.

“But what good is brand awareness for me if nobody buys my product?” I hear you say. With that I take up the heading of the blog article again. It's about tomorrow's buyers. If you convince me of your company early on, you will win later. You have to manage to bind me to your company forever with a unique and inventive idea. Or to keep loyal to your company. But it has to start somehow. 😉

Social Commerce: Experiments by TikTok

But TikTok could soon start with social commerce. As Techcrunch reports this week, TikTok is already experimenting in its own core markets of China and India with allowing some users to include links to e-commerce websites (or to other sites) in their bio and directly in their videos. Followers can thus go directly to the product sales pages from the videos. Instagram integrated this feature a long time ago. In many markets such as China, Southeast Asia and India, social commerce is becoming increasingly popular and is starting to present a challenge for “traditional” e-commerce players like Amazon.


So let's summarize again: TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform of all time and is particularly focused on Generation Z.

The app thrives on the participation of users who love to challenge each other. Companies and brands such as OTTO and FC Bayern Munich (759,100 followers) have already understood this trend and are using it with hashtag challenges to anchor themselves in the minds of Gen Z. TikTok shouldn't be a sales channel for you, but a way to generate attention and then build an intense bond with your future buyers.

So what do you say Are you ready to take on my wild and untamed generation? If the answer is “YES!” Then there is only one thing left for me to say: Make my day. 😉



Photo credit cover picture: imgflip.com

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Jannina Ackel

She found her great love on the Internet when she was 20: Facebook. Since then, her mantra has been “Senator, we run Ads”. In her free time, she listens to the crackling of a good record, scrolls through the vastness of Instagram and Tik Tok and satisfies her addiction to band merch. Jannina started with an internship at web-netz in 2013, started her apprenticeship here in 2015 and since 2018 she has lived her Facebook love in the social media team.