TikTok exploded onto the worldwide scene in 2020, a short-form video-sharing app that’s incredibly popular with influencers and users around the world. But in recent years, governments throughout the globe have become suspicious of the real intent behind the launching of the app, particularly in the shadow of the tension that’s arisen between China and the West.
So far, India has banned the app completely, with the USA set to follow suit and the UK government already moving towards a ban on their professional work devices. But what does this ban mean for content creators and how can you prepare for a total TikTok ban when you’ve already funnelled so much time and effort into generating an extensive following on the video-sharing site.
A TikTok ban might seem like good news for the government to protect the data of their citizens, but for content creators who often rely on the app to reach their audiences, it could cause a huge issue when it comes to exposure on social media; something that’s very important in such a digital age. With this in mind, two of the most immediate consequences would be a reduction in audience and a lowering of income for the influencers who use it as a way to make a living.
But for marketers, the consequences are somewhat different. This is because they don’t rely on the platform to provide them with an income, but they will rely on it to generate a solid, loyal audience for their clients. With the threat of a TikTok ban looming, content creators are scrambling to get their information and data together to be able to transfer an audience from one channel to another. But this can take time, which is why you need to think about it now.
It’s also forcing content creators, whether they’re working as part of a digital marketing agency or not, to look at similar alternatives to TikTok, but they run the risk of that particular app not being as popular as the original video-sharing channel. Triller is something that content creators are looking at instead of TikTok. It’s an American-owned platform that could get off the ground and, with it being an American app, it’s unlikely to run the risk of a worldwide ban.
The USA might not have banned TikTok entirely, but it’s possible for them to actually block the app altogether, according to the BBC News, but why? The US claims that, as stated in the same article, the data could be used to spy on Americans throughout the country and that such information could fall into the hands of the Chinese government. In a bid to protect their citizens and the information they could possibly hold, the USA are hoping to cut all ties with the video-sharing platform. But blocking the app entirely isn’t as simple as it might seem.
One of the ways in which they could block TikTok is by asking app stores, such as those run by Apple and Google, to remove the app entirely so that it can’t be downloaded by new users or updated by existing users. The only reliance they have on a complete ban will take time as new updates need to be made available that, if left not updated, could cause havoc for existing users, rendering the app no longer usable.
However, there is thought to be around the app ban for those who can’t let it go. There is a section of specific app stores that lets users access apps that are available in other countries but your own. It is also possible to download apps from the internet rather than from dedicated app stores. But there is something that app stores can do to make sure that not even these work-arounds cut it.
They could send updates to American devices which will disable the TikTok app entirely, meaning users won’t be able access it at all, no matter how hard they try. On the other hand, this complete block of the app is a long way down the line and isn’t something that can happen overnight. This is something that other countries who are considering the ban need to think about.
Where India has already banned the popular app, the USA are quickly following suit, but so is the UK. According to The Guardian, it was reported earlier this month that the UK is already very close to banning TikTok on government mobile devices. With this change being put in place, it brings Britain inline with the USA, India and the European Commission when you consider their views on the Chinese-owned video-sharing app.
The problem and concerns arose around the 2017 national security law that was unveiled in China whereby they made it a requirement for organisations and citizens alike to cooperate with the state intelligence work in the form of assisting and supporting. This is something that was used previously to justify the ban on 5G telecom networks, such as Huawei, for example. But TikTok themselves came forward following the announcement to potentially ban the app from government devices, stating that they would be “disappointed” if the ban came into effect.
On the other hand, an article by Politico claimed in February, following speculation that the Prime Minister would ban his staff from using the video-sharing platform, that the removal of the TikTok app should be down to the personal choice of government officials, and that it shouldn’t be something that’s forced on constituents, despite evidence to suggest that these Chinese companies are gathering data from overseas consumers on behalf of China’s intelligence agency.
Nevertheless, the ban is likely to go ahead because, according to the British government, of the “potentially sensitive nature of information which is stored on government devices”. They justified the move by stating “government policy on the management of third party applications will be strengthened” as a result of the TikTok ban.
Apparently, TikTok requires the permission of the user to access all of the data that’s stored on the mobile device before being able to use the app, leaving high-profile users vulnerable to accidental information transfer. With this in mind, the ban might not stop there. Sky News is speculating that the entire world might be on the same road to ban TikTok permanently; a possibility considering that an increasing number of government officials across the globe are having TikTok removed and banned from their mobile devices. So when it comes to the future of TikTok in the UK specifically, it’s not looking positive, but its fate still hangs in the balance, leaving influencers with a slither of hope.
It’s important that you bring your TikTok audience over from one platform to another. This means that you’ll be able to keep the following you have generated, therefore lowering the negative effects that will come about as a result of a complete TikTok ban. Here’s everything you should do to prepare for the popular app to disappear completely:
There are plenty of other platforms available, aside from TikTok, that content creators can use as a way of displaying your content online. Choose something that’s the same, if not similar, especially if you’re looking at keeping the video content alive. Instagram is becoming increasingly more receptive to video making and sharing online, making it an ideal, more trusted platform upon which people can share their videography. Make sure your TikTok followers know that they can still access all of your content elsewhere in preparation for the app to be blocked.
Make sure you’re using every available option to tell your TikTok followers that they can reach you elsewhere. Provide them with links and send emails to your audience with contact information enclosed within it. Make sure they know that you’re reachable and easily accessible, whether they want to follow you on social media or ask questions about your brand. This is something that should be conveyed in calls to action (CTAs) displayed either at the end of articles, emails, text messages or on posts on other social media sites.
There are plenty of other social media channels that you can repurpose your TikTok content on, including Instagram, Twitter and even Facebook. Think classic platforms where videos can be shared, reshared and commented on. Focus on increasing engagement on other sites to build a stronger audience there as opposed to TikTok, then slowly start phasing out your TikTok content.
As already discussed, you should make your TikTok followers aware that you’re available on other sites, but make it as easy as possible for them to find your other online profiles. Include links to them wherever you can and keep reminding your audience that you’re still very-much reachable via other means.
Brands should be posting on every single platform they exist on in order to reach as many people as possible. Don’t just limit your content to TikTok because you want them to move over to other social media channels. Keep making quality content and share it on every site you’re on. This shows that you’re proactive everywhere and not just on TikTok which also helps to build trust with your TikTok audience because they know that you’re not actually going anywhere, but simply moving from one social media platform to another.
Brands need to be present everywhere online to be able to reach a wider audience that’s also relevant and an omnichannel marketing approach is just that – variety. It’s a way of marketing your business on various different platforms, but if you’re not already taking this sort of approach, then it could take some time to get it all off the ground if you’re starting from scratch. One way to speed up this process and to get your TikTok audience to follow you to other social media networks is to incentivise them. Offer free gifts, unique offers and decent discounts.
Kumo is a forward-thinking, innovative digital marketing agency with the expertise and knowledge behind us to set your business apart from the rest. With SEO, PPC, content writing and website design services available, to name a few, you’ll always be able to count on our professional team to catapult your brand into the spotlight. If you would like further information, get in touch with a member of our highly-experienced, dedicated team today – we’re based in Nottingham but are proud to serve clients throughout the country.
As an experienced Copywriter, Lorna enjoys creating varied content for an abundance of different industries and sectors. From detailed, informative articles to creative infographics, she's always looking to inject originality into the work she produces. When she isn't working, Lorna runs her own lifestyle blog, plays the guitar and loves to take part in charity runs.