TikTok’s Hold on Consumers Continues to Grow

The power of TikTok continues to hold strong, even as a ban of the social media platform looms.

In its third annual TikTok advertising report, Disqo, the brand experience platform, conducted a consumer survey of more than 6,500 U.S. residents, finding that the brand’s engagement on the app is only growing. In fact, 63 percent of consumers have positive perceptions of TikTok ads, with 14 percent reporting making purchases from TikTok recommendations on a weekly basis.

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Almost a third of survey respondents (28 percent) report spending a significant amount of time on TikTok saying they look every day, which the authors of the report said highlights the platform’s engagement power and making it a trusted source of information and discovery.

“The TikTok advertising opportunity is undeniable, but the platform’s brand experiences are evolving at a record pace,” said Stacy Perrus, director of brand communications at Disqo. “The need to stay on top of consumer attitudes and measure the effectiveness — from awareness all the way through to purchase — of social media campaigns has never been greater. Frequent innovations and optimizations are crucial for keeping pace with TikTok’s dynamic evolution and maximizing the ROI of ad spend.”

Importantly, in its evaluation of TikTok, Disqo’s report points to the content being produced on the platform today in stark contrast to just a few years ago. The shift, which has included the integration of ads into the scrolling experience alongside influencer content has changed the way that users engage with the platform. Entertainment remains TikTok’s primary use accounting for 73 percent, survey respondents said they also use TikTok for information gathering (36 percent), product discovery (35 percent) and keeping up with trends (34 percent).

The authors of Disqo’s report said that “TikTok’s true power lies in the platform’s ability to influence consumer attitudes and behaviors,” with consumers admitting to liking ads on TikTok and even taking action from them. Even as ads have grown on the platform as companies use TikTok to build their brand, consumer perception of TikTok ads has remained consistent when compared to last year at 63 percent. The most common actions that consumers report making after watching a TikTok video are to share the content (64 percent), research a project (42 percent) and purchase a product (27 percent).

Notably, while TikTok Shop is still somewhat new, Disqo’s data suggests that it has had influence on e-commerce activity through in-feed integrations and shoppable ads. Fourteen percent of consumers told the company they make purchases from TikTok recommendations weekly while another 15 percent said they do so monthly. Unsurprisingly, Gen Z has made the most purchases through the TikTok Shop. Within the Disqo audience, the authors of the report said, the shopping cart value of TikTok users is also 21 percent higher than non-TikTok users.

When prompted, consumers reported having split feelings about a ban being put on TikTok, though consumers from younger generations are more in favor of brands sticking with the platform. Just more than half of all consumers said they are concerned about Chinese ownership of TikTok, dipping to just 25 percent of Gen Z. If the ban does go into effect, Gen Z said they are most likely to use Instagram instead.

Disqo’s experts advised marketers to monitor how TikTok ads are working individually and in tandem with other social media platforms, saying that TikTok should be considered as more than just a social media platform. Consumers trust TikTok, but there is no doubt that should the platform go away, they will quickly settle into use of other social media channels.

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