According to new research, TikTok users are strongly responsive to advertising on the platform with 56% of users saying they’ve purchased a product promoted on TikTok and 36% saying they haven’t but are open to doing so. The report, which surveyed 1000 TikTok users in the US found that only 8% claim to be unreceptive to promotions.
All of this comes in “What TikTok Users Want: The Essential Guide for Performance Marketers,” a new report released by M&C Saatchi Performance. The intent of the report is to get a snapshot of how users engage with the platform, with a critical focus on discovery, stickiness, purchase intent, and news consumption.
TikTok, which only arrived on the scene just a few years ago, has created a significant shift in the social media landscape with the app already reaching one billion active users in 2021.
While other platforms see declines in time spent, TikTok continues growing with data showing that US adults will spend 18.6% of their social media time on TikTok in 2024.
Also notable in the findings is the reliance on TikTok as a news source with the report saying that “Gen Z’s numbers skew even more heavily toward TikTok as a primary platform for news consumption. 82% of Gen Z users use the platform for news.”
The report added that 27% say it’s their primary news source.
Key findings on TikTok
M&C Saatchi Performance put together the following highlight summary of the report:
TikTok users are anything but casual. 56% of users say they’re on the platform at least once per day and leverage third-party app integrations. Gen Z are power users, primarily using TikTok and supplementing usage with other visual-forward social media platforms.
- Gen Z are power users. For example, 67% of this cohort say they log in to TikTok at least once daily, and 42% say they use the platform several times daily.
- Because TikTok focuses on discovery and entertainment, it’s a place where people go to check out new people, topics, or content. Meanwhile, platforms like Instagram are where people check in with friends, family, and specific influencers. This leads to a symbiotic relationship between the platforms, where social media usage beyond TikTok is strong among all demographics. For example, 78% of all TikTok users are also on Facebook, and 72% are on Instagram.
According to the report, 92% of TikTok users say they’ve either made a purchase based on an advertisement they saw on TikTok, via a TikTok ad or are willing to do so. Advertisers will successfully reach audiences via TikTok thanks to the platform’s strong ad engagement and recall among the demographic. Make them laugh, or choose a catchy earworm to make the most impact.
- 56% of users say they’ve purchased a product promoted on TikTok.
- 36% say they haven’t but are open to doing so.
- Only 8% claim to be unreceptive to promotions.
TikTok for Discovery
The report showed that more than half of TikTok users say they favor the platform over others for discovery. Gen Z is even more likely to favor TikTok as a way to learn about new things — 62% say they are most likely to discover new things on TikTok over other platforms. Only 8% say they primarily use Google.
- 53% of all TikTok users say the platform is their go-to for discovery. However, 18% favor other social media platforms, while 11% favor Google.
- Gen Z, in particular, finds TikTok handy for music discovery (59%) and recipes (44%), lifestyle (47%), fashion/beauty (44%).
TikTok as a News Source
Today, many people view TikTok as a primary news source, and many users trust what they see. For example, 74% of all TikTok users report visiting the platform to learn about the latest news, and 35% claim it’s their primary or only news source.
- Gen Z’s numbers skew even more heavily toward TikTok as a primary platform for news consumption. 82% of Gen Z users use the platform for news, but to break this down even further:
- 39% use sources in addition to TikTok
- 27% say it’s their primary news source
- 16% only get news from TikTok
“The findings from the TikTok report are a great lens into the activities and engagement on the social media platform. For performance marketers, if you want to be on TikTok, you need to understand what it’s like to be a consumer,” said Jennifer Sudo, Managing Partner, M&C Saatchi Performance.
“Don’t just create videos, insert some generic hashtags, and put them out there — use the search box and look for keywords people use. Within the next few years, TikTok will be an even bigger and more important channel than it is now, so brands must get on the platform now and understand how its users engage with content.”
You can read the full report here.
Featured image by Patrick Tomasso