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The Battle to Be Seen

Branding: it’s a word that brings balance and focus to your platform. Whatever you’re promoting — yourself, beauty, comedy or other forms of entrepreneurship — the advent of social media has become instrumental in taking a brand to the next level. With a large audience made of millennials and Gen-Zs, people are able to reach individuals and groups from around the world. Not only does this set up advertising opportunities for the user, but it also bolsters your influence in pop culture and the world.

For a long time, Instagram has dominated the popular landscape with more than 2.0 billion users from around the globe as of 2020. Everything from food blogs, to beauty and aesthetic recommendations to go with the latest philosophical rant about what fulfills one’s ambitions. Now, enter TikTok: a creative, musical and entertainment-based platform that has quick and digestible content that appeals to an even younger generation of users. For years, Instagram has been a platform for photo and video content, serving as a means to promote your life, an idea or a cause. Now, TikTok is making an impact on how younger generations (and their families) communicate with their peers and create content to the masses.

Depending on what you’re trying to do with your platform and/or brand, there are reasons to use Instagram over TikTok, or vice-versa. In many situations, you can easily share content platform-to-platform. “Fear of missing out” will have users flocking to your platform in no time; after all, the goal is to make people feel like everyone else is part of — an experience — that they’re not.

We’ll highlight some tips to consider when using both platforms and give you some insight into how you can grow your brand into a powerhouse.

TikTok

TikTok is an app for making and sharing short videos. The videos are tall, not square, like on Snapchat or Instagram’s stories, but you can scroll up and down, like a feed, not by tapping or swiping side to side. There are a variety of different tools that are available to video creators. Everything from filters as on Snapchat to the ability to search for sounds to lay as sound-on-tape under your video. Users can also engage with other users, through reply videos or by means of collaborations. This meas that users can duplicate videos and add themselves alongside.

Like on Instagram and many other social media platforms, hashtags play a surprisingly large role on TikTok. On TikTok, hashtags actually exist to create group challenges, jokes and other fun copycat games. There’s less of a need to actually create content from scratch because you can select from an enormous range of sounds, from popular song clips to short moments from TV shows, YouTube videos or other TikToks. You can join a challenge, or participate in a dance meme, or make a joke. Otherwise, you can simply make fun of things. TikTok is also based in China and can be used there while Instagram is banned in China.

Some tips for using TikTok to grow or build a brand include:

  • Enable restricted mode to remove unwanted videos: There are a lot of TikTok creators all over the world and the platform is filled with all sorts of good and bad content. Limit what you see by using Restriction Mode. You just have to open the app, tap on the ‘Me’ button, and then click on the three-dot menu and then tap the ‘Digital Wellbeing’ option available under the general settings. You will spot the “Restricted Mode” there, turn it on.
  • Make Live Wallpaper with TikTok Videos: It could be a logo or a brand but you can use a branded background image to make sure that you’re always representing your brand, no matter what content you make. You just have to download an official plugin named TikTok Wall Picture created by the TikTok Inc. After downloading it, open the TikTok app on your smartphone, go to your favorite video, tap the Share button, and select the ‘Live photo’ option.
  • Download TikTok Videos without the Watermark: Sometimes, it’s better to kill two birds with one stone. By removing the watermark in the TikTok, you can use the video content on other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.

Imagine a version of Facebook that was able to fill your feed before you’d friended a single person. That’s TikTok. The question is: how do you get people to engage? The answer? Show them things, often and always.

Instagram

Regarded as one of the top social media platforms, Instagram has more than 1 billion active users. That kind of reach is extraordinary if you know how to leverage it right. According to Omnicore, Instagram generated $20 billion in advertising revenue in 2019. In that same year, approximatel 69% of America's marketers planned to spend most of their 2020 influencer budget on Instagram. According to a Bloomberg Intelligence report, Instagram was worth $100 billion by 2018.

This year, the platform has taken further steps to benefit and make capital for its users. In May, the platform announced plans to share its advertising revenue with creators through ads in IGTV. While TikTok is gaining traction, Instagram is still a reputable platform that has been proven to benefit entrepreneurs. Whether its cultural rap battles, comedic content or lifestyle advice, Instagram provides a platform that truly allows you to reach audiences of all ages.

Instagram can be a highly-targeted, visual marketing channel for your brand but it will only work if you stay diligent and build your followers. Some tips for using Instagram to grow or build a brand include:

  • Use the right hashtags
  • Use the right filters
  • Post at the right time
  • Steal your competitor's followers
  • Pay for sponsored posts and product reviews
  • Use geotags to boost local discovery
  • Organize your stories into highlights on your profile
  • Ask new users who engage with you to follow you
  • Hop on trends
  • Run a giveaway
  • Be consistent
  • Monitor your following closely over time
  • Use the Instagram tools at your disposal

Building Your Brand the Right Way

Building a brand demands that you first build a following. Whether you have TikTok or Instagram, you can use the tips above to generate a following that will rival some of your biggest competitors. Leveraging social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram will not only help you promote your messages but it will also enhance your bottom line and create jobs. The power is in your hands!

Use it.

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