By Dr Soha Maad
This article sheds light on the use of TikTok in banking and finance. The article starts by introducing TikTok and its main features, how to download it, and how to use it. Following this introduction, the article overviews the market growth of TikTok APP and its rising popularity and world impact. Following this overview, the article focuses on the use of TikTok APP in banks, and in financial marketing, and for bank digital attraction. The article considers case studies of the use of TikTok APP by various banks. The article reflects on the future of TikTok and concludes with tips and recommendations for Arab banks to explore potential use and benefits of TikTok and avoid the jargon use.
What is tiktok?
TikTok is a popular social media app that allows users to create, watch, and share 15-second videos shot on cell phones. With its personalized feeds of short videos with music and sound effects, the app is notable for its good quality and high level of engagement. Users can add effects like filters, background music, and stickers to their videos, and can collaborate on content and create split-screen duet videos even if they are in different locations.
TikTok joined the ranks of social media giants in record time. It had about one billion active monthly users worldwide by the start of 2021 and had been downloaded in the United States at least 200 million times, according to Wallaroo Media.
Like all social media companies, TikTok raised concerns about the potential use or misuse of the private information it gathers about its users. The difference is that a majority of TikTok is Chinese-owned. The name TikTok refers to the short format of the videos. Launched in 2016 by the Chinese startup company ByteDance, TikTok growth in usage began in late 2017, when it acquired a rival app, Musical.ly, and ported over its 200 million account list to TikTok. TikTok is worth about $50 billion.
Marketing on TikTok is still in its infancy, but a growing number of agencies are eager to help brands create the kind of quirky content that gets clicks on TikTok.
Like many other social media sites, TikTok also makes money from in-app purchases. Users can buy coins priced from 99 cents to $99.99 and use them to tip their favourite creators on the platform. The company grossed $80 million from in-app purchases globally, according to an April 2019 report from Sensor Tower. In the first quarter of 2019, user spending reached an estimated $18.9 million globally.
TikTok is one of the world’s most popular social media apps and is available in more than 150 markets and 75 languages. The app hit close to two billion downloads in March 2020, with 104.7 million downloads alone as of January 2020, according to market analyst Sensor Tower.
The app’s most notable demographics are:
· 69% of users are between the ages of 13 and 24.
· 60% are female.
· Its users spend an average of 46 minutes per day on it.
· A quarter of the app’s downloads come from India, with more than 200 million active users.
· Usage in Thailand is increasing, with one in seven people downloading the app.
· About 96 million downloads are from the United States.
Like most social media sites, TikTok is not immune to controversy. TikTok and many other Chinese-made apps were banned in India in mid-2020 as a danger to the nation’s sovereignty. The move came amid growing tensions between the two nations.
TikTok is banned in Bangladesh. It was also briefly banned in Indonesia for pornography, inappropriate content, and blasphemy.
In February 2019, the company paid $5.7 million in the United States to settle allegations that it illegally collected personal information from children.
In July 2020, President Donald J. Trump launched a public attack on TikTok, threatening to ban it from the United States on the grounds that the Chinese Communist Party could use data gathered on its users to spy on United States citizens. He demanded that TikTok be sold to United States interests to eliminate the threat.
How to Download tiktok?
TikTok can be downloaded from google play on the following link:
TikTok can be also downloaded from AppStore on the following link:
How to use tiktok?
Using TikTok involves setting up an account, navigating the platform, and using the app’s most popular editing features.
Below is a detailed description of the steps to use TikTok:
Step1. Set up a TikTok account
1. Download the TikTok app from the iOS App Store or Google Play.
2. Open the app.
3. Go to Me.
4. Choose a method to sign up.
Step 2. Make a TikTok
1. Once your account is set up, tap the + symbol at the bottom of the screen to enter Create mode.
2. Before you start recording, you will be able to pre-select a variety of editing elements to apply to your video clip from a menu on the right-hand side of the screen. You can flip to your front-facing camera, tweak the speed, apply a softening beauty lens, play with different filters, set up a self-timer or toggle the flash on or off.
3. At the top of the screen, you can tap Add sound to prepare sound clips and music.
4. Hold down the red button in the bottom center to record video, or tap it once to snap a pic. Alternatively, tap Upload to the right of the record button, and view your camera library to upload a photo or video from there.
5. If you would like to add more videos or photos to the sequence, follow steps 2 through 4 again.
6. When you have created all of your scenes, hit the checkmark icon.
7. You will then have a chance to edit further, adding text, stickers, additional filters, voiceovers and more.
8. Add a caption or hashtags, tag friends, add a URL or toggle various privacy options on or off.
9. Post by tapping Post!
Step 3. Add TikTok effects
TikTok’s editing effects are a huge part of the app’s appeal. With built-in filters, effects and graphic elements, it’s simple to compose a masterpiece.
1. Tap the + icon to start making your video.
2. Tap the Effects menu to the left of the record button.
3. Scroll to the right to explore the different subcategories of effects, from Animals to Funny. Tap any of the effects to preview how they will look on camera.
4. Under the Green Screen section, there is a variety of different ways to layer video over top of a fake background.
5. When you have found the effect you would like to try, tap out of the effects menu and use the record button to capture your scene.
Step 4. Use TikTok popular editing features
· The green screen tool: Tap the Effect button to the left of the record button and find the green screen tab. There are many different styles, but they all layer a fresh video of you in front of a fake background. You can record a video, and then use that as the green screen backdrop.
TikTok duets: The TikTok duet tool allows you to share a split screen with another user’s content to sing along, dance along. To duet with a video, tap the share button on the right-hand side of a video and tap Duet.
· Adding text: You can add text on the final editing screen.
· Appearing, disappearing or transforming: These are popular editing features of TikTok.
· Cloning: TikTok is always introducing new effects, filters and features like clone photo effect. The Discover tab let you discover the newly introduced effects to TikTok.
Step 5. navigate TikTok
The five icons across the bottom of your screen are used to navigate TikTok. These icons are:
· Home: Tap on this icon to watch a stream of TikTok content from other users. In the For You tab, you will be delivered fresh content from across the app that the TikTok algorithm thinks you might like. You can Swipe over to the Following tab to view a stream of content exclusively from people you follow.
· Discover: This icon is used to share trending hashtags that you can explore and to search for specific content, users, songs or hashtags.
· Create (the plus button): Tap this icon to access the recording screen and create a TikTok.
· Inbox: The inbox include notifications about new followers, likes, comments, mentions and more. Tap the All activity menu at the top to filter by specific notification type.
· Me: The Me icon leads to your profile. You can tap the Edit profile button to make changes, or tap on the three dots in the top right to access TikTok’s settings and privacy menu. You can edit profile option like TikTok username.
Step 6. Find friends on TikTok
One way to find your friends on TikTok is to connect your profile to your contact list or Facebook account.
· Go to the Me tab (the bottom right corner).
· Tap the human and a plus sign icon in the top left corner.
· Choose to invite friends directly, connect with your phone’s contact list or connect with your Facebook friends list.
· To turn off contact sync, you can always go back into your phone’s privacy settings and turn off contact access for TikTok.
Another way to find friends is to search for their usernames. Go to the Discover tab and type a name.
You can also scan your friend’s TikCode. This is a unique QR code built right into users’ profiles.
Step 7. Engage with other users on TikTok
Interacting with other users is a critical part of any successful TikTok marketing strategy.
On every video, you will find a menu of icons on the right-hand side that allow you to engage and interact with other TikTok user.
· Tap the profile icon to go to the user’s profile.
· Tap the heart icon to like a video.
· Tap the speech bubble icon to leave a comment or read comments.
· Tap the arrow icon to share the video with a friend, save it, use the same effect on your own video, or duet or stitch the video to your own fresh take.
· Tap the spinning record icon to see which song is being used in the video, and explore other TikToks that use the same clip.
Tiktok the fastest growing social media app
According to Influencer Marketing hub, TikTok is the Fastest Growing Social Media App.
The global TikTok facts are:
· Fastest growing social media platform in the world, available in 155 countries
· 2 billion downloads worldwide by April 2020
· Over 800 million active users
· 41% of users are aged between 13 and 23
· 90% of users visit the App several times a day, spending on average 52 minutes a day on the App
In United Kingdom UK, TikTok facts are:
· TikTok has over 3.7m active users and is set to reach 10m by 2021
· 26% of active users are aged 18-24
· TikTok is downloaded over 1m times a month in the UK
· The average daily time spent on the app is 41 minutes
Some of the key reasons behind the TikTok app’s surge in popularity are:
· Celebrity Endorsements: The app is liked and used by several celebrities. The app has paid partnerships with several celebrities, in various regions, who promote the app to local audiences.
· Localised Content: Another key driving factor in TikTok app’s popularity is the fact that despite being a global app, it has a strong focus on localised content. The app often runs local contests and challenges and captures on local trends through the use of localised hashtags.
· Easy Content Creation, Sharing, and Viewing: The TikTop app has simplified video creation and sharing. All users have to do is record anything and everything from their daily routines and post it instantly. Due to the short format, neither the video-creation nor the watching process takes much time or effort. Additionally, this short-form video content is played as soon as a user opens the app. Due to this addictive nature of the type of content, it is very easy for people to keep watching random videos for hours.
Popular widespread use of TikTok is ascertained by the United States president, Joe Biden, meeting with TikTok stars to strategize on combatting disinformation surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during the CNN Saturday Night Live program aired on 12 March 2022.
Banking on tiktok
Banks cannot ignore TikTok in any customer-facing service. Banks seeking to identify their future customer pipeline should leverage the scale of the demographic that TikTok is attracting. What is increasingly evident for any bank going through a digital transformation is that Generation Z (known as zoomers – the demographic cohort aged 9 to 24) expects brands to come to them with bite-sized relatable and relevant content that they can access whenever it suits them.
TikTok offers two broad areas of opportunities for banks:
1. The first is to use the platform to increase awareness and consideration. The content opportunities are theoretically limitless, for instance, offering a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes in branches and contact centres, sharing the latest card designs, commitments to society (end child poverty, getting greener) and so on.
2. The second area for opportunity relates to financial awareness. The financial advice community is small but growing with Fintechs. Banks could fill this gap and help young people develop good money management habits from the outset of their working lives resulting in more valuable potential customers. Using TikTok to convey the three principles of sound money management (track your spending, pay off debt, save for the future) would be a good starting point.
Below are some hints and tips to help banks in using TikTok:
· Create content with the TikTok platform in mind. Re-purposing Instagram content will not appeal or generate the same interest.
· Make the content useful, relatable and funny to appeal to target audience.
· Partner with influencers who already have an established community of followers and understand banks goals in using the platform.
· Encourage user-generated content to increase engagement. This might be something like a video campaign for spend or save where users share whether they are sticking to their financial goals.
How banks are using tiktok?
Below are two case studies of how banks are using TikTok:
Case Study 1: FNB Community Bank
According to Independent Banker news, FNB Community Bank is conquering TikTok. FNB Community Bank has reached millions of people via TikTok, Instagram and other platforms. FNB Community Bank in Midwest City in Okla has made an early and particularly successful step in making videos about financial advice. These videos for TikTok and Instagram Reels, a TikTok competitor with the same short-form videos of up to 60 seconds, typically receive a few hundred or several thousand views, numbers that would make many community bank marketers proud.
Case Study 2: Neobank Up in Australia
According to Australian news, Neobank Up is taking innovation to a whole new level by partnering up with TikTok to create the first-ever gamified TikTok effect in Australia.
Users can now use this new effect to create a TikTok video of themselves playing the #UpEasyMoney Challenge which involves “munching” as many coins as possible in 30 seconds to go in the running to win $1,000. Neobank Up has collaborated with TikToker in the campaign to launch its new brand platform Easy Money. Neobank Up goal is to change the whole experience of saving and spending – because the more engaged and connected you are to your money, the easier it is to take control and build the life you want. Personal finance content continues to thrive on TikTok. Aussie neobank was using TikTok as a way to connect with existing customers and meet new ones. Aussie neobank found TikTok to be effective and engaging.
TikTok Challenges for banks
Despite the vast potential, various challenges may be facing banks in using TikTok. These include:
· Strategy: A challenge for banks is to identify its customer potential use of each social media platform and to develop a corresponding strategy that deliver reasonable outcomes. In the case of TikTok, this is likely to be an engagement strategy.
· Content: Content must be timely and relevant for customers and nuanced to cater to different platform characteristics and audiences.
· Regulation, Data Security & Safeguarding: TikTok platform is not suited for real financial advice or sales, especially in highly regulated markets like the United Kingdom. It is better to think of using the platform to provide hints and tips which build engagement with financial content and encourage better decision making. Banks need to consider risks to their brand that social media platform issues like online bullying and privacy.
· TikTok rules: TikTok has the potential to become a powerful marketing tool, enabling brand awareness and financial literacy for a precious potential customer base. But to realise its potential, banks need to understand TikToks rules. If banks are customer-centric they should seize the opportunity of wider audience using TikTok.
tiktok for financial marketing
Financial services content marketers constantly evaluate and refine their brand’s presence on social media, including consideration of opportunities as they emerge.
There are three considerations that can help in determining if TikTok can be used in a marketing strategy:
· TikTok’s core users: A common perception about TikTok is that its users are primarily Generation Z. Although TikTok’s biggest demographic is 16 to 24 years old, it is not entirely off-limits for adults older than 30 years. It is particularly popular among those in their 40s.
· Social media trends: The way people consume social media is changing. There is a shift away from self-promotion and a move toward community building, and marketers have to adapt accordingly. In the social media space, TikTok is considered a disruptor changing the concept of community in new and creative ways, including how people respond to and interact with content. For example, TikTok duets promote video collaboration between users, and hashtag challenges inspire users to participate by making and uploading their own videos on a specific theme.
· How a bank brand should use TikTok: As with other social media, brands posting and advertising on TikTok should avoid being too invasive, especially when targeting Generation Z and Millennial consumers. Therefore, banks must get creative in how they may be able to stay true to their brands while building community within the types of connections and collaborations already established by individuals on the network.
Examples of how banks can market on TikTok include:
· Create a brand channel and upload relevant videos.
· Work with influencers to spread content to a broader audience.
· Encourage user generated content.
· Pay to advertise on TikTok.
· Consider TikTok for bank services marketing.
Tiktok for bank digital attraction
TikTok can have an impact on digital attraction for banks. TikTok has the potential to be a powerful marketing tool. For example, videos posted on the app can gain thousands to millions of views. For banks, TikTok may be ideal for increasing digital attraction.
When discussing digital attraction, it is crucial to examine the role of the customer. Building digital interest in products or services requires businesses to understand their audiences. Therefore, learning more about your audience is key to learning how to attract them.
Digital attraction has three core components
· Empathy: Showing a customer that there is complete understanding of their problems
· Compassion: Demonstrating a high level of care for the customer’s well-being
· Ease: Soothing customer worries by providing planned out solutions
Three main kinds of digital marketing can be used by banks for digital attraction:
· Content Marketing: Content marketing uses keywords and tags to help find the desired customers.
· Email Campaigns: Email campaigns help nurture relationships with customers until they are ready to commit.
· Paid Advertising: Paid advertising can gain impressions from highly targeted audiences and demographics.
Typically, a strong bank digital attraction strategy will include a combination of marketing methods. Determining the specific needs of customers is essential. This process helps to both onboard new customers and retain existing relationships.
Digital attraction requires paying attention to ongoing trends.
· Mobile-friendliness and intuitive designs are two important components for digital attraction. Having a platform optimized for mobile use provides tremendous value to customers. Likewise, an intuitive and responsive design is also helpful in attracting customers.
· Branding: The way a bank brands itself is important. Branding helps to make a business more relatable to the customer.
· Social Media Presence: Social media is a valuable and powerful tool. It helps connect professionals directly with their customers. There are millions of users across the many social platforms. This makes social media a great place to seek out customers.
· Video Content: While written content is good, visual content can be more effective. Video content goes hand-in-hand with changing technologies. This makes it a complementary element for digital attraction.
· Engagement: Engagement is crucial to connect with customers. Driving up engagement will help to attract more new customers.
Using TikTok as a digital marketing tool has several benefits, including:
· Building and Maintaining Relationships
· Boosting Revenue and Traffic
· Creating a Digital Reputation
· Staying Ahead of Competition
Important considerations for using TikTok to drive digital attraction are:
· Influencer Marketing: Like all social media, TikTok is full with influencers. Taking advantage of this and partnering with influencers to promote a business is smart. This will help a company to reach a much larger audience.
· TikTok Ads: TikTok offers a few different styles of ads. Using TikTok ads can help banks prepare for the future as the app continues to grow.
· Bite-Size Education: Though TikTok is primarily used by younger people, finance is still a profitable niche on the platform. The key is to offer short and simple video content centered around education. Providing useful educational resources on banking and finance will help build trust in an audience.
· The Demographics of TikTok: TikTok’s most notable demographic is the age group it attracts.
The Future of TikTok
The New York Times depicts TikTok as an app rewriting the world. The current popularity of the TikTok app is astonishing but still does not guarantee that it will ever reach the levels achieved by other social networks like Instagram and YouTube.
To maintain its current popularity, TikTok will have to keep innovating and finding new ways to engage their user base. They will also have to make the platform more marketing-friendly for brands in order to establish the app as a social network that is going to stay. With more brands looking to TikTok to further expand their social media marketing reach, TikTok is on the right track. If it is able to capitalise on brand engagements, it is sure to grow further and may even be able to compete with other social media platforms.
How arab banks can leverage tiktok?
Tik Tok app has the potential to become the next big marketing and social networking platform. However, how the app creators leverage this potential and maintain the current popularity of the app, has yet to be seen.
Below are some tips and recommendations for Arab banks to leverage TikTok potential:
Research the platform. Follow other banks and businesses to get ideas.
Customize content. Existing social media content can be remade into videos with a smaller compliance hurdle than completely original content.
Engage customers. Making TikTok content can be a fun way of involving everyone.
Get creative. Some TikTok can be made relevant with captions or voiceovers and using the app Canva for adding quick animations.
Be authentic. Arab banks should devise their own strategy to use TikTok customised to their needs and adapted to their goals.
Target the Z generation: Arab banks should raise the younger audiences interest in finance.
· Leverage TikTok best features: The key when using TikTok is to leverage its best features. Connecting with influencers in the finance niche and providing educational resources are two great ways to build a loyal TikTok following.
· Use TikTok for bank digital attraction: As more Arab banks embrace digital transformation, digital attraction will continue to grow in importance. When used wisely, apps like TikTok can help banks to find new audiences and future success in the years to come.
Investopedia, Wikipedia, TikTok website, Pulse on Linked in, Independent Banker, Mozo news in Australia, Medialogic, Times, Fanbytes, New York Times, CNN