The clock is ticking: What brands need to know about a possible TikTok ban

If you’ve been keeping up with the headlines, you’ll no doubt have seen that last month the House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that would force the company that owns TikTok, ByteDance, to either sell the app or have it banned from all devices in the United States. Given that TikTok has become an integral part of many marketing strategies over the recent years for both B2B and B2C brands, what is the best strategy moving forward?

GettyImages-1337891415The first step is not to panic.

The driving force for this bill is concern over privacy, and the passing of the bill is likely a move to force TikTok to separate from ByteDance. Instead of a ban, it is more probable that the app will be purchased by a larger conglomerate (think Amazon with its push to grow its footprint in digital advertising or Microsoft, which was previously interested in acquiring TikTok in 2020) and remain legal in the US. However, it’s always better to be prepared, especially knowing that President Biden is ready and willing to sign the bill should it make it through the Senate.

socialAudit_IconThe next step is to audit your social media and influencer marketing strategies.

While TikTok is an incredibly strong performer for many brands, especially when trying to reach younger generations, any good social strategy should truly be holistic, meaning you aren’t investing all your resources into any one platform. While different platforms may serve different brands better than others, maintaining a solid presence across all platforms is an important part of creating awareness.

Take a look at how you are dividing your resources and consider shifting to ensure a more equitable division. Are you currently leaning heavily into TikTok? Think about repurposing that content on Instagram as well. Additionally, you can consider putting paid support behind this content as a way to get it in front of even more consumers. In the event of a ban, you should be able to pivot.

If you’re working with influencers, you’ll also want to make sure you are being empathetic to how this ban could affect them.

GettyImages-1180385277Many influencers rely on TikTok as part of their livelihood, and a ban would be the same as losing a job. Consider drafting messaging around this topic specifically for them. If your influencer strategy is truly holistic, then they should already be posting on multiple platforms for you. To make up for any difference, you can always negotiate additional deliverables. However, if they’re only posting on TikTok, this is where you’ll need to pivot and consider having them focus their efforts on another platform.

Overall, the last thing you want to do is sour the relationships you’ve built with your influencers.

Remember, they’re human too; show them you’re willing to work with them, and your partnerships will be even stronger as a result.

Think your social and influencer strategy could use a revamp with this in mind? Akhia is here for you! We have years of experience in managing influencer networks and advising brands, helping them to stay ahead of the constantly shifting social media landscape. Reach out today to learn more.