More than a billion people around the world go to TikTok every month to be entertained as they learn, laugh, or discover something new. But they’re not just jumping on during the half-time ad break – the TikTok community is forgoing other forms of entertainment to spend time on TikTok.
These findings come from TikTok’s ‘Time Well Spent’ research, conducted with Kantar. It found that people are coming onto the app with four mindsets, which differentiate it from other platforms: entertainment, participation, uplift and discovery. Additionally, the top three positive feelings associated with TikTok were happiness, joy and creativity. These positive vibes reiterated what TikTok’s 2021 audience research revealed – consumers feel 14% happier during and after using TikTok, versus before opening the app.
“TikTok is all about discovery, and it doesn’t take long to understand what people like to watch,” says Isobel Sita-Lumsden, head of B2B marketing Europe at TikTok. “So if you’re a fan of surfing videos and are an amateur knitting enthusiast, as the algorithm learns what you like, your For You Page will be full of videos of surfers tackling the biggest waves and tutorials on how to knit yourself a cardigan for winter. And because the content on a user’s For You Page is tailored to their likes and interests, they enjoy the time they spend on the app.”
From hashtags to communities
When asked how they like to spend their time on TikTok, 76% of respondents said watching videos, 33% follow Creators and 29% learn about new recipes, DIY projects or current events and trends. With over 200 billion views, #LearnonTikTok is one of the most popular hashtags on the platform and it is this kind of entertaining, informative content that keeps users coming back – with 82% admitting they will continue to use TikTok the same amount or more over the next six months.
And with community at the heart of TikTok, people often find themselves enjoying the app with friends or family. While 71% watch videos alone, 67% share videos beyond the platform. When it comes to creating content, the TikTok community often calls on their friends to get involved too. It is this sense of belonging and community that helps trends thrive on TikTok. #EduTok has achieved over 138 billion views since its inception, #EasyRecipe has amassed over 11 billion views and #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has more than 6 billion views.
Goodbye to multi-screens
The research highlighted how TikTok evokes joy by showing people content that makes them happy. When they are browsing their For You Page, 94% of TikTokers take action, whether it’s liking or commenting on a video (53%), sending a video to friends (47%), or researching/buying a product they’ve seen advertised (25%). This happens because the TikTok community is engaged: 41% agree that they pay full attention when using TikTok, compared to 32% across all social platforms, making multi-screening a thing of the past (1).
How brands can build TikTok success
With no second screen to distract them, people on TikTok will listen to and take notice of content they’re interested in. And this goes for ads too – 54% of the TikTok community recall branded content on the platform (2).
TikTok’s position in the consumer decision journey cannot be overlooked. By getting involved in trends, talking about their business and discussing the benefits of their products rather than just asking people to visit their website and buy, brands are finding success. And because 67% of TikTokers share videos, branded content can live beyond TikTok.
“For brands looking to engage with the TikTok community, remember that they’re here seeking joy, happiness and creativity,” says Isobel. “Tap into that by getting involved in trends, chatting to users in the comments and being authentic. If you’re doing that, people will stick around to find out more about your brand.”
1) TikTok Marketing Science Global Time Well Spent research (EU 5 Results) 2021 conducted by Kantar
2) TikTok Marketing Science Understanding EU TikTok Audience Research 2021 conducted by Clear M&C Saatchi