why tiktok and clubhouse are fads (and you should rethink joining)
I see the same mistakes being made when companies and businesses advertise themselves on social media and you know, it’s not really my place to correct and fix the whole world when it comes to marketing strategies. Judgment aside, it’s hard to tell sometimes if things are working in the marketing space or not based on businesses not necessarily disclosing how much business is coming in or if their advertising is working, but what I want to discuss with you today is fads.
We’re gonna talk a bit about things that are what I see as fly-by-night popularity contests with social media apps, so obviously the big four social media apps are: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn (according to me - it might be different for you!).
However, new apps have been popping onto the scene and I want to talk about the really popular ones and those two are TikTok and Clubhouse.
So, TikTok is basically similar to Instagram Reels; a platform based on a series of short dance clips and videos, funny memes bringing together audio and music to create something funny and bite-sized.
The other one is Clubhouse and its now a really popular social app and invite-only developed with audio chat, so people around the world come together and they talk and they listen each other in real time. It’s a new social network based on voice.
tiktok & clubhouse
Now, you’ve got TikTok and you’ve got Clubhouse and they’re both fairly new to the scene compared to Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Now, the reason why I think TikTok and Clubhouse are fads - and I may be wrong, you may see me invested in them in five years - but I have a feeling that they are fads and the reason why I have a feeling about this is because I ask myself five questions before I join an entirely new social media platform.
As a Millennial growing up in the age of social media platforms like MySpace, DeviantArt and Facebook kind of just getting started (like before, when Facebook was hotornot.com, right?!), social media has just grown like crazy. I’m thankful for it but I’m also wary and I have a very watchful eye to see which social media platforms are really going to catch on.
So the first question I ask is:
is my target demographic on this social media platform?
So Instagram is known for its B2B (business to business communication). You’ve got an account for Givenchy, for example, and they can communicate with Louis Vuitton. Two brands can do an Instagram Live together, they can start their own YouTube channel, they can communicate together, so you see, there’s a lot of B2B communication on Instagram and that’s been really helped by the whole surge of business accounts that you can launch on Instagram. You can shop for your products on Instagram and everything which is the reason why I’m primarily listed as a business owner. Why I am on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn is because those are professional social media networks for people who are typically in their 20s-40s and up who have dispensable income, they have a business usually and these are my target clients.
TikTok is not where my target audience is. I notice that a lot of people on TikTok are primarily in their teens, so if they even wanted to find my services, they would probably have to ask their mom and dad first and I’m not even saying that to diss people on TikTok, I’m saying that as simply what the demographics show me of who is using these apps.
The next question I would ask is:
what is the privacy situation of this app?
So, for example, TikTok has been in the news a lot recently, at least over the past year. I thought TikTok was down or banned forever from the United States. I thought nobody was going to be using TikTok because it was in the media and I really wasn’t confident that TikTok was legally going to continue existing. Now, I’m not even sure what the status of using it is, but because I am seeing fishy reports of it in the media out there about TikTok in that it’s potentially some sort of conspiratorial platform or that you might not even be allowed to use it in the United States, I just see the instability there and I’m not interested.
The third question I’m gonna ask before I join any social media platform is:
does the app have anything significant to bring to the world?
By that, I mean: is its vision big enough?
Let's take Facebook's big vision; it’s basically the new Yellow Pages. You can pretty much find anyone on Facebook. You can connect with your long-lost sister, you can find your high school boyfriend on there, you could really find just about anyone on Facebook because their reach is just that big and they’ve only just kept getting bigger.
Instagram is the same, LinkedIn is the same; it’s for business owners and professionals. YouTube is the same. If you wanna watch a video on your phone at all these days or even on your computer, you’re probably gonna be heading to YouTube. It’s that big.
With TikTok, I’m not sure what their big vision is. You can watch and discover millions of personalized short videos and its primarily a video streaming platform with a very specific type of video and a very specific, culturally applicable platform for comedians and people who are primarily putting themselves out there as the jester. I wouldn’t say it’s a big enough vision for me to come on board and advertise myself.
Clubhouse, I’m not sure yet. I’m still watching.
The fourth question I’m gonna ask before I join any social media platform is:
why am I joining this platform?
For example, I love Instagram because Instagram is a place where primarily businesses can thrive. Whether it's a product or service based business, these businesses can really thrive on Instagram. You can shop on Instagram, you can communicate with businesses, you can post a product of a business in your Story and tag them in the photo. They might see it and re-post you so you have an interesting relationship with your favourite businesses! That’s pretty cool.
My reason for joining Instagram is to advertise and promote my services. I’m also partially using it to connect with people in my personal life but I mostly do that by just texting them and I don’t really use Instagram to connect with my friends and family; Instagram is primarily used by me as a service-based business owner, advertising and promoting myself and my brand.
TikTok is not something that I would primarily see useful for me because it doesn’t feel like it does very well for people who aren't comedians or people who are utilizing short little funny clips for humour or dancing. Dancers can use TikTok easily! Anything where you are putting yourself out there in a tangible, artistic, creative way; you can do that easily on TikTok. For me, as a service-based business, it doesn’t really make sense for me to be on TikTok unless I am actually a tangible creative. I create designer assets and I design my own kind of branding materials and marketing materials for clients, but that’s not primarily what TikTok is for, so it’s not really for me.
Clubhouse is interesting because if I was someone who is a public speaker (I mean, I do a lot of public speaking and I'm even memorizing my first-ever TEDx talk I'm giving later this month, but I wouldn't say I'm primarily a public speaker; I would say I’m more a coach) and maybe I had a podcast or I wanted a public platform to share my audio and my words. I could obviously take the rich content from my YouTube videos and put it into an audio to put it on Clubhouse (not sure how they do it but that could be a way that I could utilize Clubhouse for my business needs!).
The last question I would ask before getting onto any social media platform is:
what are the data laws like?
This is so important to ask yourself when you’re joining a social platform; what is its legal status? So like I said before, TikTok has a really tenuous legal status. I’m not quite sure if TikTok is going to exist in a year or what country its going to be allowed in but it’s really important when you're thinking about data privacy and trying to see where the social media platform is allowed in the world. With Instagram, I’m pretty sure it’s allowed everywhere.. Facebook, allowed everywhere.. however, there are certain countries that do ban certain platforms or make it very difficult for you to get on those platforms, so that’s why they there are platforms like WeChat and WhatsApp. I’m not even that knowledgable about it because I’m a primarily a Western-based service provider, however if I was curious about it and I was a foreigner (I wasn’t born and raised in a Western culture), I would be super curious as to, based on my target market and who I want to serve, what social media apps specifically will help me reach my audience, either online or in person.
A lot of companies want to be putting themselves on social media to brand themselves, to promote themselves and ultimately get customers and clients. An important thing as a Branding Coach that I want to provide information on is how to be selective about the social platforms you decide to engage in and how to make sure that you are actually thinking strategically when you join a social media platform. If you’re a business and you take yourself seriously, it’s not just about jumping on a bandwagon and rushing to join on all the social media apps so that you can be everywhere to everyone; you gotta be selective because you’re going to burn yourself out if you are on too many social platforms trying to be consistent. Unlike being on nine different platforms versus just posting to one or two social platforms and making sure that you have your business needs and know who your target customers are, then deliver really high-quality agency level branding on the select platforms.
I hope you learned something and I hope you took something away. I am going to be reposting this on my YouTube channel so make sure that you follow me or subscribe to my YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/83o_CtvkCkY
If you want a 90 minute free complementary training that I’m offering in February the day after Valentine’s Day, so, love yourself and treat yourself to learning more about branding yourself as a healer/a health and wellness entrepreneur! You can do that for free at this link: fb.me/e/17hpnOBkT
I look forward to seeing you there! I hope to see your happy face join me on February 15th and other than that, have an amazing day!