The rise and rise of TikTok and Houseparty during this crisis

By: Lauren Smartt

8th April 2020

Earlier this month, our Head of Social Laura Gibson was included in a feature on Campaign looking at the rise in popularity of TikTok and Houseparty, as consumers look to join new digital platforms during the current COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in the UK.

You can read the full article on Campaign here:

What do marketers need to know about the changing behaviour of consumers on social media? Laura shares her thoughts on the topic below, and outlines what marketers need to ask themselves in this brave new world post-lockdown. 

These past few weeks have shown us that change is necessary and can bring great opportunities – ones that will live long after this lockdown period. It’s been quite extraordinary to watch the ways in which people have used technology and creativity to connect with others during this time. 

People now have the time to flex their creativity in ways they haven’t had before and so TikTok, which was seen as an app for younger children, is being used by people of all ages now. It’s allowing people to express themselves and talk about their personal experiences at this time in a totally new way. We’ve never been so in need of human interaction so apps such as Houseparty are feeding those cravings and allowing us to still participate in each other’s lives, albeit virtually.

Before the lockdown, video calling could often feel a bit intrusive and if you’d have told me a month ago I’d make my first video call to a new client from my bed with no shame, I wouldn’t have believed you. Yet, here we are. This crisis has normalised video messaging and could mean that more people than ever turn to technology in a time of need rather than away from it. 

And this shouldn’t be a temporary measure; I see this as the start of a new way of life. What we are going through now is making everyone – brands and consumers – behave differently and the habits that we start to adopt now will pave a new way of working for many. Life after lockdown sounds dramatic, but it will be a different life to the ones we all had before. 

Brands have endless opportunities to connect with their audience right now; their audiences are crying out for it, so it can’t be ignored. As we’re seeing with these trends, people are coming back to social media, whether that’s to get their news, to facilitate communicating with friends and family that would normally be in person, or as a form of entertainment and a welcome distraction from everything that’s happening. Strategies are going to have to change and they have to change fast. 

92% of people think brands should keep advertising and 78% of people believe brands should help them in their daily lives; what an amazing opportunity we have here to do something great within our agencies and with our clients! But we have to make sure it’s for the right reasons. 74% of people think companies should not exploit the situation and I couldn’t agree more. 

As a company you need to think about how you can help. How can you use the skills you have to actually make a difference? Then ask yourself why you’re doing it and if the answer is to further your own agenda, then you need to rethink because people need some reassurance right now and showing them that we are all in this together is the way we can do that.