Back in 2020, we asked the question, Should Tour Operators Use TikTok? At that time, the popular social media app famed for its viral dances and catchy soundbites already had hundreds of millions of active users. In September 2021, just around a year later, TikTok reported a 45% growth in active users, having reached one billion.What’s more, by the end of 2022, TikTok is expected to reach 1.8 billion active users(opens in a new tab). At this point it’s safe to say that TikTok is not going anywhere anytime soon.
But how did this video sharing platform, first popular among a demographic of young teens doing the renegade on their personal accounts, become the fastest growing and sixth most popular social media platform in 2022? Well, TikTok has a different approach to engagement that has allowed it to become a space where a variety of video styles, users and subjects can gain popularity and go viral. This also makes it an excellent low-cost marketing tool for your tour business. There’s already a large audience for travel and tour related content – the #tiktoktravel hashtag alone has attracted tens of billions of views, that’s a lot of potential customers!
So how does TikTok work? TikTok uses a different approach to engagement when compared to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube, where success is measured based on the number of followers you have. With TikTok, your videos can gain exposure and go viral even if you don’t have any followers. That’s because TikTok uses a long-tail content strategy – rather than showing the most popular videos that have the most mass-appeal on every person’s feed, TikTok feeds are customized for each user based on an algorithm that takes into account the previous videos you’ve watched, liked and shared. This means that unknown or more niche content will still show up in feeds, and it will already be targeted towards users who’ve shown interest in similar content.
You may still be questioning if creating a TikTok for your tourism business is the right move and the truth is the answer will depend on you, your business and your target demographic. Here are two things to ask yourself before you invest your time in TikTok:
1. Do you have time to dedicate to creating engaging content, learning about current TikTok trends, and interacting with other users and businesses relevant to your tour business on the platform?
If your answer is no, then creating a TikTok probably won’t have a huge benefit to your business. You may not need followers on the platform to gain views on TikTok, but you do need to be aware of the type of content that TikTok favors, figure out your niche and what works best for your business and spend time creating that content. If that’s not an option for you, it’s probably not worth setting up a TikTok right now.
2. Is your target demographic over age 50?
If your answer is yes, then TikTok might not be the best social media platform to focus on for marketing your business right now, although there is the potential to attract users who will eventually age into your target demographic. The largest age group on TikTok in 2022 is 20-29 year olds and just 11% of current TikTok users are over the age of 50. That being said, if you are excited by TikTok’s potential, targeting an older demographic doesn’t mean you will have no success on the platform – 11% of one billion is still 110 million users.
If you do have the time and energy to market your tour business on TikTok, the next step is deciding what style of content will work best for you. TikTok is no longer just a frivolous app for the youth now, professionals from all industries are taking advantage of the platform to share information and promote their business. From Q&A sessions with a mortician to dentists dancing in their scrubs(opens in a new tab) (you’d be surprised by how many of these there are), there’s many different ways to approach creating TikTok content. Here’s a few approaches you could take:
TikTok Dance & Audio Trends
It may seem obvious but these videos are popular, get a lot of engagement and don’t require you to come up with an idea from scratch. If you’re not a great dancer, don’t worry! Don’t take yourself too seriously and make the video interesting by performing in a unique location or engaging your whole team to join! Is dancing just not for you? Instead of dancing, try using a trending song or audio clip in your content as videos can actually be searched on the platform by their audio.
Wildlife & Views
Do you see amazing scenery or spot wildlife on your tours? Audiences never seem to tire of animal videos and beautiful landscapes. Check out Mag Bay Expeditions TikTok to see their amazing underwater videos of marlins and whales in Mexico. Or take a page from FlyNyon, a helicopter tour company(opens in a new tab), who flaunt their bird’s-eye views of NYC in their TikTok videos.
Do you offer historical or educational tours? Do you know interesting trivia or have a unique perspective on a subject? Share these things on your TikTok! Just remember to make your content engaging within the first few seconds of the video, otherwise users will keep scrolling. Another strategy is to create “stitch” videos, where you have a previous users’ video showing on one side of the screen and your video on the other half where you can comment on the other user’s content, creating a kind of dialogue. This is another great way to increase engagement and use your knowledge to educate people on the platform.
At the end of the day, there are lots of potential ways to approach TikTok and that’s part of what makes it such a popular and fast-growing platform. Just remember, the first step to taking advantage of TikTok for your tourism business is to get on the platform, see how it works, what others are doing and where your business, personality and strengths best fit in. If you already have a TikTok account then be sure to add a link to your profile in your other social media profiles and on your website. And if you need a website for your tour business, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with Tourism Tiger today and give your sales the boost they need.
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