Need-to-Know TikTok Trends to Energize Your Social Marketing

Benchmarks Report reveals the most effective tactics

2022 was the beginning of a new social media era focused around short-form vertical video.

Over the past year, marketers found themselves restrategizing to take advantage of this evolution and the increase in attention and time spent on social media—73 hours per month on average with 85% of those hours spent on social entertainment.

As brands continue to find their footing in social entertainment, many now face the added complexities of smaller teams, shrinking budgets and growing demand for accelerated performance in an increasingly difficult economic landscape.

Dash Hudson’s 2022 TikTok Benchmarks Report provides brands with the data required to refine their strategies for ultimate success in the ever-evolving and increasingly important social sphere.

Entertainment trumps virality

After becoming the world’s most downloaded app in 2021 and adding an additional 100 million users in 2022, TikTok remains ripe with opportunity for brands to lead in the space as early adopters. Despite the channel’s explosive popularity, it continues to have fewer posts from brands compared to other social channels. This signifies that on TikTok, quality of content is much more important than quantity of content, with brands focusing on driving entertainment value rather than volume of posts.

In a 2022 study by Dash Hudson, tens of thousands of TikToks shared by top brands were analyzed, focusing on true engagement: completion, loops, sound engagement and shares. It was found that true engagement—measured by Dash Hudson’s proprietary Entertainment Score—is strongest in the first 250,000 views of a TikTok. This measurement is critical because it demonstrates that viral videos have rapidly declining returns as they reach a larger audience and move beyond those who actually complete, loop and share a video.

The research demonstrates that brands have the largest opportunity to drive meaningful results by recentering their strategy on driving entertainment, thus attracting the most optimal audience.

Engagement trends to know

In 2022, TikTok surpassed Instagram as the leader in engagement by 10-fold. While 2021 saw beauty brands rule TikTok in engagement, 2022 saw the media and publishing industry take the top spot. Clearly, entertainment content is winning on TikTok, as publishers lean into catchy headlines, entertainment-themed news and pop culture content to capture and convert audience attention.

Over the past year, TikTok also debunked the longstanding correlation between smaller number of followers driving higher engagement. While growing brands (10,000-100,000 followers) on Instagram boast an engagement rate nearly 50% higher than larger brands (500K+), TikTok sees larger brands generate an engagement rate that is 20% higher. This trend can be attributed to the quality of content being produced by larger brands, and to the sophistication of TikTok’s algorithm.

In this unique environment, the best content is being served to a highly targeted audience that is more likely to engage, thus resulting in more people following the brand. This is a large contrast from other channels, where followers beget engagement.

Accelerate your performance

In the ever-competitive social landscape, entertainment is not only essential for capturing the attention of audiences, but also for driving sales. A 2022 study conducted by Dash Hudson and NielsenIQ uncovered that brands on TikTok that leverage entertainment as a content strategy grow 34% faster than those that approach the platform with a traditional marketing mindset.

Dash Hudson’s newly-launched host of tools empower brands to spend less time experimenting and more time driving results. The Competitors tool, for example, leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to allow brands to uncover which content strategies are performing for their competitors on social media, thus providing insights into what might be effective for themselves.
Trending Video Notifications enable brands to quickly uncover which TikToks are gaining momentum so they can take immediate action on high-performing content. At the same time, Trending Sounds curates up-and-coming sound trends so marketers can source the most relevant opportunities for their brand.

Most notably, Dash Hudson’s patented Entertainment Score is the first of its kind in the social media marketing landscape to allow brands to measure how well their TikTok video is entertaining their audience and ultimately double down on what’s working to drive more value for their business

Arm your brand with authenticity

In addition to a strong emphasis on entertainment, brands can find success through authenticity. When it comes to showcasing authenticity on TikTok, it’s important to remember that audiences on TikTok prefer to be spoken to like friends rather than customers. As such, the production value of content matters significantly less than the need to be timely, funny and relatable.

To kick authenticity into high-gear, brands must also recognize that TikTok is not a one-dimensional experience—and that creating entertaining content doesn’t stop at video. Brands can flex their relevance and creativity by simply chiming in on conversations happening within comments sections, whether your own, or a competitors’.

In 2023, those ready to pivot and fully embrace the participatory, engaging and diverse nature of the new social entertainment era will be positioned to deliver the strongest results. While the social landscape will undoubtedly continue to shift throughout 2023 and beyond, those who are agile and prepared to move at the speed of social will lead their industries and continue to win the hearts and wallets of consumers alike.

As CMO at Dash Hudson, Kate Kenner Archibald supports the broader marketing team to align product positioning and go-to-market strategy in the new era of social entertainment.