How a TikTok Ban Will Affect Brands

  • April 18, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

As of now, it is still being determined whether the government will ban TikTok in the U.S. But what has become evident is that the popular app has staked out a place in pop culture and has taken the idea of social commerce and reshaped it in its own image. Products across a wide range of categories have gone viral on TikTok, and many have sold out, often under the hashtag, #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. 

According to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, there are approximately 5 million U.S. businesses that use the app to reach consumers, and many of those brands have seen their sales rise significantly after establishing a presence on the app. 

Unlike Instagram, which prioritizes content on accounts that are already popular, TikTok is tailored to feed users content that is based on their interests, allowing brands to find their target audiences– for free. Just by having good content, brands have a chance of finding their audience, even without the resources for a dedicated marketing team. TikTok also has a more casual, less polished aesthetic overall, meaning that smaller brands have been using the lower production values to their advantage by appearing to be more authentic to their audiences. 

One of the biggest losses that could result from a ban on TikTok is the loss of the hard-won connection that brands have built with their audiences, especially retailers and e-commerce brands who rely on the platform for marketing and sales. Losing the highly-engaged consumer means losing the ability to drive sales. Many brands rely on TikTok for organic marketing and paid advertising as their primary revenue drivers so a ban would be especially harmful to smaller businesses. 

If the ban does take place, it could have a pronounced effect on the economy. A ban on TikTok would put many jobs at risk in the tech sector, which could lead to a slowdown in consumer spending. This would be on top of the other tech layoffs that have been underway over the last several months.  Experts are also concerned that a ban could reduce the amount of data available to companies, which they fear could lead to a lower level of economic activity. 

How Brands Can Sharpen Storytelling On Other Platforms

Even in the midst of TikTok dominance, there are other social media platforms with plenty of space available for strong and effective storytelling. Market research is essential in order for brands to learn what their customers want and what competition in the same space is doing. Experienced research agencies like Eyes4Research can help brands target and research their audiences and gather the necessary data to learn what resonates with their audiences. 

Having this data allows marketing teams to refine their messaging that is specific to each platform, which often attracts different audiences with different expectations of what makes for engaging content. 

Read more about the technology and branding on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from consumers. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.