TikTok may be at the center of many controversies in the West, but it’s making a name for itself in the Middle East thanks to a smart celebrity-driven strategy, explains Hady Hajjar.
Hady Hajjar, founder of celebrity and influencer marketing agency HuManagement, explains how TikTok, the latest social media fad and rising online platform, is driving brands’ attention to its solutions.
How should brands approach different social media platforms to distribute celebrities/influencers’ content?
Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket. Diversify. You can reach different audiences by working with all of them. Also, either you are an early adopter of a certain trend or technique, or you’ll have to be a follower. For example, the new trend is TikTok and again, early adopters have now started to spend on TikTok; I love to see these type of clients that have the guts to try new things.
TikTok is short, funny videos. Would that work for all kinds of content creators?
A fashionista who is only a poser, who only takes nice pictures, will not be comfortable on TikTok, but I have seen many fashionistas transitioning to create video content on TikTok in a very funny, fashionable way. And the TikTok team is trying to empower and push good content creators – they call it ‘white label’ – by giving them more exposure. The smart move from Tiktok is that they have now started recruiting big celebrities, because in the Middle East, we like and follow celebrities. Now, these celebrities will not be able to create content on a daily basis like influencers; they will do it once a week. But having a celebrity on that platform will push lots of users to go there.
Do we already see influencers from the region rising on TikTok?
Yes, like UAE locals Khalid Al Ameri and [wife] Salama. I never expected to see them on TikTok, but they opened a joint account and raised the bar very high, creating one video per day. They got more than 10 million likes, in less than four weeks, which is huge. Of course, they were whitelisted because TikTok wants to show the local community that the best talents are on the platform. And in parallel, others – usually 16-18 years old – who are not active on Instagram, started to become famous on TikTok only.
Is this type of content good for brands?
TikTok is not only about comedy or dancing. Gary Vee, one of the most influential and inspirational personalities, is on TikTok. We did campaigns for Emirates NBD and for Masdar on TikTok. You can have any type of content, as long as you present it the right way.
What would be ‘the right way?’
Every platform has its own way to produce and to deliver its content. If you have one piece of video for a client, don’t post it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. This is the laziest strategy. You need to create specific content for each platform, and you need to be on all platforms to reach all the different audiences.
Facebook and Instagram have a big, older audience. On TikTok, the biggest chunk of audience is age 16 to 18; there’s an overlap with Snapchat, but the strength of Snapchat is that it attracts locals and has a quick call to action. The Saudi people like to hear you talking to them, telling them what you’re doing today – like a conversation; and while you’re talking to them, you can suggest they just swipe up to go to the many e-commerce platforms and buy a product.