Sahail Ashraf posted on 14 April 2023
TikTok offers new advice on tapping into some more ‘niche’ communities as part of your overall campaign. And it’s actually very useful.
As the most fascinating social media platform around at the moment, TikTok could have just sat back and watched more users pile through its virtual doors. But it consistently supplies meaningful advice for creators on how to get the most out of the channel. The latest suggestions focus on how brands can reach that little bit further, and boost engagement among communities that may not immediately ‘work’ with their product or service.
Every marketer knows that there is value in community. On social media, communities have been part of the set up since the very first social media post. People want to connect with other like-minded people and feel part of a group.
The best marketers understand this in a profound sense. They tap into communities that are part of or influential in their industry, and then become part of those communities. This helps build reach and engagement.
TikTok, like any other social media platform, is built for this kind of strategy. However, it has now outlined a deepening of that strategy. It seems to be actively encouraging marketers to dive into other communities. It even has an underlying concept that marketers can use to make the process easier.
“Embrace communities and their subcultures—that’s where true inspiration lives. 76% of users say they like it when brands are a part of special interest groups on TikTok.”
This means venturing outside the comfort zone and finding communities that are that little bit further afield, but still have some sort of connection with what you do. Building community involvement in these places allows your reach to grow.
To explain all of this the company points to eBay. The hugely popular ecommerce platform reached out to a very specific niche community, the ‘Sneakerheads’. Sneakerheads are collectors of sneakers, but in a huge way. They live and breathe the brands and shoe styles on a 24-hour basis.
To tap into this niche community, eBay used a vote process, where Sneakerheads could vote for their favourite sneaker. This was an intersting one, because eBay sells pretty much everything. The company can be as general as it likes and still reach a lot of people. However, eBay chose a smaller, niche community that has huge loyalty at the core, and tapped into that.
This worked well for eBay, but how will it work for the rest of us?
TikTok wants you to succeed, so it has suggested some key ideas and strategies that will help you get ahead of the game.
If you’re looking for those niche communities, TikTok suggests:
Need inspiration? Try the Keyword Insights tool to discover the top keywords that resonate with your audience and industry. Start by looking up a hashtag that is relevant to your intended audience — for example, try #makeup if you’re looking to reach the beauty community on TikTok. From there, the tool will show you related interests, which you can use to further explore beauty-adjacent subcultures and communities.
Then TikTok talks about stay and play as a concept. This involves staying in your current established communities and ensuring you are active and providing meaningful interactions. At the same time, it suggests moving to communities that you simply wouldn’t normally be associated with.
It uses an example of a fashion company and how it would focus on GorpCore (outdoor fashion as everyday wear) and FashionTok communities. This would be it’s ‘stay’ place. Then it suggests branching out into FoodTok and Miniature World, communities that are not necessarily linked to fashion. The ‘play’ concept asks that you just have fun and get involved in these niches, and see what happens. The more you do this, the wider your reach will become.
TikTok says this on Miniature World and its relationship to fashion (or not):
#miniatureworld is a niche subculture that’s just what it sounds like: skits with small figurines living in their tiny worlds. Subcultures like Miniature World offer a wide range of creative content formats and partnerships with creators that may have never been done before! Remember the focus on innovation in “play” communities.
The eBay example is kind of like that, in that it has a huge, general platform reaching out to a smaller community. It’s possible that the Sneakerhead community did not expect eBay to crop up in their feeds.
Finally, TikTok suggests some genuinely useful tips on how to get the most out of the experience.
Stay and Play is the core of the main concept for brands who want to widen their reach and engagement through communities. Simply put, the more you play outside that comfort zone, the more benefit you will derive.
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