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Time to Stop Treating TikTok Like Instagram
Time to Stop Treating TikTok Like Instagram

TikTok and Instagram are different... very different. Strategize as such.

Al Nafea avatar
Written by Al Nafea
Updated over a week ago

It's no secret that TikTok has a grip on today's popular culture. The power of short form video, combined with TikTok's emphasis on discovery and innovation, makes it one of the strongest competitors in social media. Even Instagram, via its emphasis and push on Reels, understands the leadership role TikTok has commanded in today's crowded attention economy.

So, what makes TikTok different from Instagram and what should you be doing about?

TikTok is still in its infancy despite being the fastest growing social channel ever

Marketers have a one-time opportunity to expand their audience and influence while a social channel is young. Instagram, much like Twitter and Facebook, is saturated with branded content, making it extremely difficult to get a brand in front of its target audience. For now, TikTok's algorithm is still relatively democratic, presenting a unique opportunity over Instagram for brands to go viral.

Historically speaking, early adopters of Instagram and Snapchat demonstrated that you need to get in early to build audience and influence. All in all, marketers must be channeling Instagram resources into TikTok urgency.

TikTok's audience has a craving for UGC of new things

Instagram was born out of keeping up with friends and family whereas TikTok, since its inception, has been about discovery of new music, dances, trends, products, and more. As such, TikTok presents a unique opportunity to tap into a trend-setting, innovative community who seeks to share what they love and learn from each other. In fact, TikTok notes that 49% of users say the app is their go-to source for product discovery. Yes, it's raw and authentic content from amateur creators... but it's highly highly effective.

Short form video, aka all of TikTok, is the most engaging content on the internet

Instagram is pushing into short form video, but TikTok still holds a commanding lead. But why is it important for you? Well, video UGC leaves the strongest impression on viewers. In fact, 95% of TikTokers claim they remember the content and products they see in video UGC. The effectiveness of images, whether branded or user generated, doesn't come close to that.

TikTok impressions and engagement rates vastly outperform Instagram

It only takes a single viral UGC post to completely change the course of a business. TikTok engagement rates are astronomical, due to its democratic algorithm via the For You page. The average engagement rate on TikTok roars above 1,000% whereas on Instagram, it's a mere 3%.

For example, Kylie Jenner posted the same TikTok as a Reel and the following happened:

The TikTok got 23.5M views at an 89% impression rate

The Reel got 1M views at a 0.5% impression rate (despite having a larger following on Instagram)

And because TikTok prioritizes diversity and community over follower counts, anyone's UGC has a legitimate opportunity to go viral, and thus change the course of a brand on social media. Products like The Pink Stuff, CeraVe, and Zara Jeans all repeatedly sold out their products in the US due to the extraordinary degree of UGC raving about those products. The Pink Stuff, a random affordable cleaning product, garnered 111 million likes on #ThePinkStuff.

TikTok is an imperative component to UGC strategy, and LoudCrowd is ready to assist

With an engagement rate that is 100x the rate of Instagram, TikTok UGC coming from your customers should be viewed as far more valuable. Easily acquire amazing content from your ambassadors via LoudCrowd and with the digital rights to their content, repurpose them on other platforms... even Instagram!

We recommend for your programs:

  • Immediately add-on TikTok! Reach out to your client strategist to get the add-on

  • Set easier reward tiers for TikTok than Instagram (because the content is far more valuable and typically harder to create)

  • Place an emphasis on TikTok in your program communications

  • Allow members to repurpose content between TikTok and Reels

The time is now! TikTok is still relatively unsaturated, people are highly engaged, and they're ready to talk about and share the products they adore. It's a no brainer.

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