TikTok Emerges as Major PR Tool and Money Maker

 

By Kyrsten Eller

For as long as I can remember, the popular social networking app TikTok has filled people’s lives with joy during uncertain times. With over 50 million daily active users in the U.S., it’s no surprise that some TikTok users have become stars overnight. By posting a simple 60-second video that appears on the “For You” page, a person’s engagement increases, and so can their rise to fame.

When videos go viral, the users do too. Some of the platform’s most popular influencers — such as Addison Rae, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, and Khaby Lame — have become increasingly prevalent across various industries and have changed the world of public relations one video at a time.

According to an article from Crenshaw Communications, for any brand wanting to “incorporate TikTok into a brand PR strategy, TikTok influencers are essential.” When companies are looking to promote new products, the use of the app can result in a substantial amount of success for brands when using influencers who post frequently and whom some look up to.

With a whopping 137.5 million followers, Charli D’Amelio has easily become the most famous user on the app. Her partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts was one of the biggest PR moves — not only for her career but for the company’s future, too. The day “The Charli” drink made its debut in stores, the Dunkin’ app had “a 57% increase in daily app downloads.” On top of that, the collaboration triggered “a 45% surge in cold brew sales the day after its launch.”

Addison Rae’s latest partnership with IPSY, a monthly makeup service subscription, earned the brand $96 million with the help of a personalized Glam Bag that features beauty products from Rae’s exclusive makeup line, ITEM Beauty. IPSY’s parent company, Beauty for All Industries, stated that it “plans to use the money to develop its technology platform, expand retail distribution and grow internationally.”

These influencers are taking over multiple industries, from food to beauty, and it’s changing PR for the better. According to PRSSA’s blog, “The [TikTok] app itself has completely changed the way that public relations can be executed on social media.” Offering the advantage of digital word-of-mouth through compelling influencer videos, TikTok could be the tool that PR practitioners need to promote their client organizations’ products in the digital age.

With the avid use of shared media strategy through TikTok specifically, the celebrity partnerships and promotions that brands create could result in a positive future for the PR industry as a whole.

Feature Photo by Amanda Vick on Unsplash

Kyrsten Eller is an editorial writer for Platform Magazine, an online student-run publication at The University of Alabama. She will graduate May and hopes to move to a city where she can begin her professional PR career.

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