What Is TikTok—And How Can You Use It for Events?

How social media’s latest app craze can boost meeting awareness

If you’ve been scrolling through social media recently, you’ve likely seen short, music-backed videos on your feeds similar to Vine clips from the social media days of yore. If the videos convinced you that the now-defunct platform was resurrected, think again: It’s Vine’s cousin, TikTok, taking center stage.

TikTok is a social video platform that allows users to create and share short, musical videos. Like Instagram or Twitter, users can follow their friends, celebrities and influencers, whose videos will then populate their social feeds.

Known initially for its viral lip-syncing videos, TikTok has captivated younger audiences, who have catapulted the app to social media stardom. It became the third most downloaded app worldwide for the first three months of 2019—a feat that led to hitting 1 billion downloads in February. 

For meeting planners looking to boost event awareness and engagement, especially among younger attendees, TikTok is the marketing tool you didn’t know you needed—until now. Here’s how planners can jump on the TikTok bandwagon and leverage the technology at their next meeting:

Create a hype video as part of your pre-event marketing strategy.

Nothing elevates excitement leading up to an event like a well-executed hype video. TikTok’s viral-friendly interface is perfect for sharing pre-meeting content and generating awareness and ticket sales. 

Unveil your event agenda with a TikTok campaign. 

Not announcing your speaker lineup all at once? Build anticipation for your meeting with a TikTok announcement campaign. Share videos weekly leading up to the official announcement, with each post hinting at agenda items or key speakers. As with a pre-meeting hype video, the suspense factor will generate social buzz and drive engagement among potential attendees.

Jump on trends to increase meeting awareness.

Like other social channels, TikTok’s trending topics offer the ability for you to add your meeting’s voice to the conversation. So, promote your event by hopping on current TikTok trends, such as popular video formats or songs. Consider it a creative way to show off your event’s personality and brand

Boost social engagement with a hashtag challenge.

TikTok’s hashtag feature, which challenges users to make videos about specific topics, is the perfect way to increase your event’s social engagement and encourage audience participation. Take it from Jimmy Fallon’s #TumbleweedChallenge, which amassed more than 8,000 videos and 9 million views in one week. Come up with a challenge—silly or serious—and create a unique hashtag to tag submissions with. Be sure to present the best entries at your event! 

Use TikTok to engage younger attendees.

Trying to target millennials and Gen Z? About 66 percent of TikTok’s 500 million active worldwide users are younger than 30. And with many young people turned off by traditional marketing, TikTok gives planners the opportunity to stray from the beaten marketing path and provide authentic, branded content that younger audiences will engage with naturally on their social feeds.

Work with a TikTok influencer to reach new audiences.

Like Instagram, TikTok was quick to lend itself to an influencer-based content model. If influencer marketing is part of your event marketing strategy, find an influencer who relates to your meeting purpose, and partner with them on TikTok posts leading up to your event. Because of the large following TikTok influencers often command, working with social media stars can be an effective way to get the word out about your meeting and spread awareness among new audiences.