Social media has evolved from its early days in which college students alerted their friends that they were in the library or simply posted a picture with friends without even tagging them. Now social media offers ways for marketers to connect deeper with their consumers.
These connections are thanks to the amount of time people spend on social platforms. According to GWI’s report titled “Social media in the US,” social media users in America spend an average of 2 hours and 18 minutes on social media a day. This is based on GWI USA information, which surveys more than 20,000 Internet users in the United States aged 16 and older.
Although Americans trail other markets as well as the global average in terms of social media activity time, the market stands out for the number of platforms that people use. One of the fastest growing has been TikTok, which was up 33% since the fourth quarter of 2020, GWI’s report states.
“TikTok has transformed the digital landscape in recent years,” the report states. “Initially a favorite among younger audiences, older consumers are joining it in droves. The number of Gen X/baby boomers using TikTok at least once a week has doubled since Q4 2020, which is something for marketers to keep an eye on. With TikTok being the most popular social media platform in the U.S. for finding products to buy, brands could look to follow the likes of Ryanair, Duolingo and even FC Spartak Moscow for good examples of how to maximize their potential in the short-form space.”
Garland Hill, head of growth business at TikTok, shared with Beverage Industry the ways in which beverage brands can utilize this growing platform to engage with their consumers in the question and answer session below.
(Please note that TikTok encourages beverage brands to review its Ad Policies that apply to all paid advertisements on its platform. Ads promoting beverage alcohol products as well as alcohol clubs and subscriptions, alcohol making kits and alcohol sponsored events are not prohibited on the platform).
Beverage Industry (BI): How has the rise of digital impacted American consumers’ engagement with CPG brands? Additionally, with emerging digital platforms, how can today’s marketing teams understand how best to utilize these new digital marketing avenues?
Garland Hill (GH): The TikTok community has ushered in a new era of marketing that fosters a uniquely conversational relationship between CPG brands and their consumers. The potential for discovery on TikTok is endless, and brands are not only able to tap into the community's organic conversations about their products, but can also kickstart conversations of their own.
We’ve learned that the modern consumer doesn’t want to be spoken at, they want to be engaged with ― making it pivotal that marketers show up on the platform in a way that feels fun, authentic and real. In fact our Global Community and Self-Expression Study conducted by Flamingo found that 79% agree that TikTok is a place for brands to demonstrate a bit of personality and express themselves.
While there’s no wrong way to find success on TikTok, we empower brands to think like marketers, and act like creators. Three ways CPG brands can do this is to work with creators, jump in on-platform trends, and inspire the community to co-create alongside them using TikTok's unique tools (like Stitch and Duet).
BI: What opportunities can a platform like TikTok offer beverage marketers?
GH: TikTok offers CPG and beverage brands a full-funnel marketing solution that reaches consumers at every stage of the purchase journey. From brand affinity to driving sales to product education ― we’ve even seen brands create products based off of organic conversations happening in the community.
The TikTok community has catalyzed a new kind of shopping culture we call Community Commerce, which is the blend of community, entertainment, and shopping that makes product discovery so special on TikTok.
#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt is where our community and creators are discovering new brands and products, and has 25 billion-plus views and counting.
A great example is Poppi, a probiotic beverage co-founded by Allison Ellsworth. Last January, Allison took to TikTok to share the brand's founding story, which went viral raking in over 662,900-plus likes and 48.5 million-plus views. Just three days later, the company had sold over $75,000 worth of product on Amazon.
In fact, according to our Path To Purchase study with Material, we found that TikTok users are 1.5 times more likely to immediately go out and buy something they discovered on the platform compared to other platforms’ users.
BI: What kind of potential consumer reach does TikTok offer for today’s beverage brands?
GH: TikTok’s global community of over 1 billion monthly active users consumes on average a movie’s worth of content every day, offering brands unmatched discovery and engagement compared to other platforms.
The past few years, we’ve watched TikTok explode into a truly multigenerational platform ― people from every generation, demographic, and interest group imaginable are watching, discovering, creating, and sharing content on the platform.