September 29, 2020

The Tik Tok Ban: How to Handle a Social Media Channel Crisis

TikTok was banned in India in June earlier this year and it seems as though the USA may be facing a similar situation. With India accounting for a third of all TikTok downloads globally, it is unsurprising that this ban has led to an estimated income loss of over 1 billion rupees (R228 million) each year for the top 100 influencers on the platform. Not only did this have a knock-on effect for brands making use of influencer marketing on the platform, but it also removed a social media platform with an exceptionally high engagement rate and a massive and steadily growing audience as a marketing channel. For brands (and influencers) that chose TikTok as their one and only platform for marketing, it was a heavy blow.

The recent developments heralding another ban to take place in the US highlights the reality of how easily a social media platform may disappear and disrupt social media strategies and established influencer marketing. Ensuring your social media strategy is agile and robust enough to easily adapt in the face of a channel crisis is important to us, so we have compiled some guidelines on how to deal with a channel crisis should it arise.


When facing a channel crisis


Confirm your target market

When considering any big move within marketing (particularly changing your primary social media channel), it can be helpful to confirm your target market. This will help you to narrow down your options as each platform has specific audience demographics. For example, 41% of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24 years old with 56% being male and 44% being female whereas, LinkedIn’s audience is primarily 46-55 years old with 57% being male and 43% being female. If you feel that your original social media channel was not effectively reaching the intended target market or that your established target market may be incorrect, this would be a good time to revisit this.


Define the goals that were set out for the channel

Your next step will be defining your marketing goals on this channel (brand awareness, lead generation, community engagement etc) as this will help you to define what you are looking for in the new channel. While you can generally meet most goals on the majority of social media channels, some platforms lend themselves better to certain goals. For example, TikTok is almost unparalleled for building audience engagement and Pinterest is one of the best platforms for lead generation. It will be helpful to do an audit of how well the original social media channel was meeting its goals and what lead to its success to explore this more fully.


Identify the metrics you will need to monitor performance

This choice will be directly related to the goals that you established for the channel. If you are using your channel primarily for lead generation, you will need to be able to track clicks to see if your content is successfully directing your audience to your website, ecommerce store etc. If you’re looking to build your community engagement, you will need to be able to track engagement. Not all social media channels offer the same metrics so it’s important that you take the metrics you will need into account before making a choice.  


Decide on the optimal format for your social media posts

Make use of your marketing strategy and historic social media performance to find out what post format works best to reach your goals. If your brand and offering lends itself well to video formats for example, then be sure to choose a social media channel that is optimised for video. Certain formats lend themselves well to specific social media platforms based on what their audiences use the channel for. There are also various augmented reality features that you can incorporate.


Don’t put all your social media eggs in one basket (diversify your social media channels)

It’s important to diversify your social media channels so you won’t be starting from scratch and losing the audience you have worked so hard to build should one of your channels disappear. Not only will you be increasing your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) by using multiple platforms, but you will also be able to reach a much larger audience by making use of various channels. If you have multiple marketing goals for your social media content, you can also use different social media channels that are more effective in helping you to meet these goals.


It is the nature of social media that the platforms and their features are constantly changing. Navigating these changes can be tricky as they have the potential to significantly impact your marketing efforts and outcomes. For a simple solution, partner with Black Snow Group. You won’t have to dread these inevitable fluctuations as keeping abreast and taking advantage of trends and the changing landscape of social media marketing is our speciality.

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