Lafayette Businesses Use TikTok for Promotion

Kristen Deville

@kristen_deville

TikTok is a rapidly expanding app used by businesses to reach a new audience through a social media platform.

Previously known as Douyin, TikTok initially was created in 2016 and now is own by a technology company, ByteDance, located in Beijing, China. The company’s founder Zhang Yiming grew the popular app in 2017, making it available for Apple and Android products across the globe.

According to influencermarketinghub.com, “TikTok was the second most downloaded app in the world during 2019,” and “garnered 738M downloads across iOS and Android in 2019.”

With billions of users, TikTok allows people to create a page and post 15 or 60-second videos with dancing, lip-syncing, advertisements and various hashtags. The wide range of creativity is what the app consumers find unique and keeps them engaged.

In Lafayette, several businesses have found success in using the TikTok app.

Izzy Landry, a sophomore at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, helps run the social media platforms for The Quarters, an apartment complex on Stewart Street. Landry has worked at The Quarters for two months and, after a month and a half of using the app for the complex, sees the impact TikTok has.

“I personally use TikTok and right now its super popular, we can meet students where they are at. It is so much easier to reach larger platforms and works by algorithm,” said Landry.

The Quarters has over 30 followers, and their videos reach over 1,000 views often, she said. While making creative videos is essential, using hashtags such as Lafayette and UL are crucial to bringing consumers to their page.

According to Bobby Owsinski on hypebot.com, “When a video is uploaded, TikTok shows it to a small number of TikTok users in between popular videos… The algorithm then measures how much of your video is actually watched, as well as how many Likes, comments, shares and downloads it receives. The algorithm is triggered by the velocity of the engagement it receives,” and “will be pushed out to more people as a result.”

For the population she is trying to reach, Landry said the app appeals to college students in an exciting way. She posts videos that are either random or inspired by a video she watches online. The most popular video is also Landry’s favorite. The humorous video shows a staff member stealing cookie while she thought no one was looking.

The video caption reads, “Residents are always welcome to grab a cookie, but don’t let us catch ya being greedy.”

Lex Abshire, a wedding filmmaker and photographer whose business is primarily in Lafayette, recently started using TikTok in February to gain more clients for Abshire Films + Photos. Abshire believes the video app will continue to keep booming.

Abshire started 10 years ago in high school with a variety of small filming and photographing jobs, but now focuses on weddings. He does business mainly in Louisiana and Texas with an occasional job in other states. He is looking to expand his business through social networking with the TikTok app.

Because he is new to the platform, he was shocked by the fast amount of people who watched his videos. Overnight he gained 900 followers with over 41,000 views on his videos. Because it is so accessible to watch the videos vertically, he believes it tailors to the eye and makes you want to watch a quick video.

As a fan of the app, he is intrigued by what other people are doing to show their craft and is curious to learn more. He also believes presenting content such as seeing behind the scenes work of other photographers is what grabs people’s attention. For more local audiences, the use of hashtags such as Lafayette will reach more people.

Abshire said he plans on using the app and seeing where it can take him.

Local businesses and individuals are taking advantage of the platform. It has shown measurable increases in its outreach as a viable social media platform. TikTok appears poised to grow even more as more people become familiar with the app and its promotional value.

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