If you’re not familiar with TikTok, one of the most downloaded mobile apps in the world, it could be because you’re not a teenager.
TikTok is a social platform consisting of short, user-generated videos with built-in filters, effects and music. It was the most downloaded app in the United States in September 2018, which is the first time it had more downloads than Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat in any given month.
Consider these other statistics:
- TikTok has more than 500 million active users throughout the world — about 27 million are in the US — making it the ninth most popular in terms of social network sites, ahead of more established ones like LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat.
- It was the most downloaded app during the first quarter of 2019, with 188 million new users. For a year-over-year comparison, it has grown by an astounding 70 percent from the first quarter of 2018.
- 66 percent of users are between 16 and 24 years old.
- The average user spends 52 minutes per day on the app, with 90 percent of users accessing it daily.
These stats, combined with the fact that members of Generation Z — those born between the mid-’90s to mid-2000s — have started to rent their first apartments means that TikTok could be a great opportunity for apartment marketers to meet prospects where they are. Read on for some ideas on how to leverage TikTok for apartment marketing.
How does TikTok work?
- Download the app
- Register an account
- Click the plus sign at the bottom of the app, which will open the camera
- Hit the red camera button to start filming
- Press the red checkmark icon when you’re finished filming
- To start over, use the backward arrow icon
- Edit the video to add augmented reality effects, filters and music
- When you have a video you’re happy with, hit the red Next button
- On the posting screen, you can describe your video, add hashtags and tag friends. You can also designate if the video should be public or viewable to friends only
- Hit post
How can Multifamily use TikTok?
There are three primary ways that apartment marketers can use the platform:
- Set up a channel and create your own videos to promote your apartment community.
- Partner with influencers to give your apartment community messaging more reach.
- Advertise your apartment community. TikTok launched a beta version of its ads offering earlier this year, and brands are experimenting with how to best use it.
At the moment, many brands are doing a combination of running their own channels and working with influencers.
Creating your own videos
Before starting, take some time to get to know the kind of content this app is known for. Here are some examples of a couple prominent organizations that have been able to gain some traction on TikTok recently:
San Diego Zoo. Who doesn’t love cute animal videos? The San Diego Zoo has amassed more than 50,000 fans with a strategy that combines animals with fun music. Think: A video montage of a bunch of different types of zoo animals played to Lizzo’s “All the Boys.” Or a video of a tortoise eating a plant to the song “Turtle Power” from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The Washington Post. Surprisingly, the Post’s account isn’t news-focused. Instead, it features funny behind-the scenes videos and skits all taking place in the newsroom. For Halloween, it posted a video of a reporter trying to leave at 5 p.m., but his phone cord wraps around his leg, he falls, and a clown on a tricycle approaches.
Working with influencers
Last year we wrote about Instagram micro-influencers and how to use them to promote your apartment community. The same approach can be used with TikTok. The key to influencer marketing is to partner with an influencer whose audience fits your product, in this case apartment living.
The idea is for the influencer to create content focused on your apartment community in the way that they feel would best suit his or her audience. Given the explosion in this space in the last few years, it’s not too difficult to find influencers who might be willing to work with you to promote your apartment community. You might even have one living in your community right now.
Advertising on TikTok
TikTok launched a beta version of its ad offering in early 2019, and since then, major brands like Grubhub and Nike have found success in promoting their products and services with quirky, creative campaigns.
Multifamily could be in a position to benefit from advertising on TikTok, given that most apartment renters are younger, just like most TikTok users are younger.
But new technology tends to appeal to younger people first, with older groups catching on later. So while it could be worthwhile to jump in now, waiting to see how the platform plays out on a larger stage might also be a smart move.
Another consideration is cost. The minimum investment in a TikTok ad campaign is $500 and can go up to $300,000. And because TikTok Ads is still in the beta stage, the process isn’t laid out entirely online yet. Basically, though, after clicking Create an Ad you’ll be asked for some basic information then a representative will contact you directly to set up your ads account.
TikTok presents an interesting marketing opportunity for apartment marketers. There is definitely potential for success because of the overlapping demographics of both TikTok users and apartment renters. Take a few hours to explore the app and see if you come up with any creative ideas on how to make it work for you.