As the CEO of a media monitoring agency, when I first saw TikTok, I was convinced that it will not become an influencers marketing platform. I stand corrected of course, with egg on my face, as the Chinese app hits high records, both in reach and revenue. But the impact Tiktok left on the influencers marketing scene goes beyond its own success, as it has effectively changed the way influencers create content on other platforms, including Meta’s formidable Instagram. But where does Tiktok stand now as an influencers marketing platform? And how does it impact the business of social media monitoring and reputation management?Tiktok was created to target an age group much younger than what other social media networks target. It flourished among this age group thanks to three wicked factors: Thirst for self-expression among Gen Alpha, peer pressure, and an exceptionally generous reach algorithm adopted by the company. With number hitting unprecedented ground, money making ideas started to surface, and the app eventually became an influencers platform.
This success posed a direct threat to Meta, the then known as Facebook company known for its bipolar strategy in handling competition: If I cannot acquire them, I will become them. Not wanting to bid against on Tiktok against Microsoft, Meta decided to do what it previously did with Snapchat: Copy the service. This was the birth of Instagram REELs, Facebook REELs, and perhaps sometime soon WhatsApp REELs! YouTube followed lead, and created shorts, and idea still short of success in our region till today. However, the real impact TikTok left on Instagram was not the mere creation of REELs, but also forcing Meta to adopt a reach-enhancing algorithm for them. An Instagrammer who would normally have to pay Meta to promote their IG Videos, and who used to get this much reach on the ill-fated IGTV side of Instagram, would have ten-fold the reach with his same account on REELs. This is a first in Meta’s history, and I would say way to go TikTok.
But the impact did not stop there. Social Media Influencers, or SMIs as we call them here at VEER , even those who still did not want to be on TikTok, started creating content the TikTok style: Short, entertaining, catchy, and, let’s face it, with more flash than substance. Please forgive my last comment, as I belong to a generation who worked hard to create content. This lead, naturally, to a similar change in how people on these platforms consume content. The impact is inevitable, and enviable: Platforms changed, content creation changed, user behavior changed, and money-making strategies changed.
Subsequently, the way we handle social media monitoring changed as well. Back when Instagram stories became the number 1 medium for influencers to offer brand coverage, the challenge was great for us at VEER , but we became the first (and only so far) agency to offer monitoring of time-sensitive IG stories and Snapchat. Tiktok-ing Instagram was not much of a challenge: Content is permanent, and it has a direct link. Now we can monitor Instagram REELs with the same ease in which we monitor TikTok itself.
In conclusion, TikTok succeeded in more than what it planned to do, it actually changed the game, and while I see this trend as positive for our Influencers Marketing Social Media Monitoring business, I as a content consumer still worry about what will come next. But that’s a story for another day. I invite you to check our one-of-the-kind social media monitoring today.
By Dr. Ali Mohamad, CEO & Co-Founder at VEER