The rise of authentic, unfiltered snapshot social media apps and how your brand can utilise the trend

To BeReal or not to BeReal, that is the question.

If you haven’t heard of BeReal or TikTok Now, where have you been?

BeReal emerged as one of the top social media apps, increasingly growing in popularity throughout 2022 and reportedly being downloaded a massive  28M times since its launch in 2020. Once each day, the app notifies users to share an unedited photo of themselves, encouraging people to be more real and authentic.

Initially, brands like Chipotle and e.l.f turned to the app to capitalise on the trend after seeing its potential. While BeReal doesn’t strictly allow advertising in keeping with its objective to shun filters, edits, and influencer culture, certain brands have found a sneaky way around this. For example, the popular US fast food chain Chipotle used the app to give the first 100 customers who used the discount code placed on their BeReal account a free lunch. Following this, Cosmetics company e.l.f. also recognised the app’s appeal with one of their main demographics: Gen Z. They then provided their first 150 BeReal ‘friends’ with an exclusive code for a free product.

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Whilst a lot of brands already are members of popular social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, it’s unlikely that you’ll find some of your favourite brands on BeReal. The app restricts users to only 500 friends who must be accepted, limiting a brand’s ability to reach a large audience.

However, TikTok recently added a new feature to the app called TikTok Now. The feature bares a striking resemblance to the app BeReal, following a similar premise where users receive a daily prompt to capture a 10-second video or a static photo to easily share what they’re up to. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of followers on TikTok, and with many brands having a public profile, there is no ‘acceptance’ process that must take place in order for consumers and brands to be connected.

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The power of TikTok

With more than 800 million users, TikTok has become a large platform for brands to create content, drive engagement, and build relationships with their customers. Brands are increasingly turning to TikTok to create fun and engaging content that resonates with their target audiences. From big brands like Nike, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola to small businesses, TikTok provides an opportunity to connect with customers and create content that can be seen and shared by millions.

Statistics show that TikTok is becoming a powerful channel for brands to reach their customers. According to a recent study, TikTok boasts the highest number of daily active users of any social media platform and is responsible for over 6 billion video views per day. Brands are leveraging this platform to reach their target audiences and create content that resonates with them.

Should you consider using TikTok Now as a brand?

In addition to creating content, brands are seeing the potential of using TikTok to drive customer engagement and loyalty through TikTok Now. The new feature of the app has the potential for brands to reach out to their target audience and raise brand awareness. Using TikTok Now to create fun, engaging, and creative content for your brand is a simple way to attract a new audience on social media. This allows a brand/company to show a different side of their business, other than the content that people are used to seeing on other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can also be more involved in conversations about your brand by using TikTok Now, which will help increase engagement with potential customers!

What kind of content should you post on TikTok Now?

The appeal of TikTok Now, like BeReal, is the ability to be authentic, and thus add personality to a brand beyond the curated personality we’re used to seeing on Instagram.

Behind-the-scenes content is a great marketing strategy to appear ‘authentic’. Personifying your brand allows customers to see you as more than just a company. Posting photos from meetings, events, or everyday office life may help consumers see the company in a new light while also cultivating brand loyalty.

People are fascinated by what goes on “behind the camera.” Younger audiences are increasingly wanting ‘banter’, honesty and realism from brands (see Ryanair and Duolingo on TikTok). Marketers can use TikTok Now to provide customers with exclusive BTS content that elevates unedited and raw shots.

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Want to build a community for Gen Z consumers? 

TikTok, as a community-driven app, now allows marketers to create an online community by leveraging the feature’s ‘authenticity.’ Gen Z is increasingly rejecting perfectly staged and meticulously curated posts resulting in diminishing engagement for brands that continue to do so. If you want to build a community for Gen Z consumers, consider the type of content and the type of platform you will be using. For example, whilst pictured product images might work well on Instagram, consider what content your audience is creating and which content they’re most likely to interact and relate with. For the Gen Z audience, you’re more likely to find an increased engagement with ‘candid’ and ‘authentic’ posts over curated posts.

Should my brand be on TikTok Now?

When creating an online community, marketers must put their customers at the centre of their strategy and at the forefront of everything they do on the platform.

If you want to reach out to your customer base while being as authentic and relatable as possible, you should definitely consider TikTok Now. If your brand revolves around curated and edited content, it may not be the right platform for you.

Would you consider using TikTok Now? Comment your thoughts on our latest Instagram post!

For more information on the digital marketing services we provide, get in touch on 0113 357 0440.