Being born in the late 90s I was frequently told I wasn’t a genuine ‘millennial’ or 90s kid…and not technically being a 21st Century baby, I didn’t really fit the typical patterns of a ‘Gen Z’ either – instead I became part of a weird hybrid generation, who identified with both demographics yet never really assimilated into either. I often found that my sense of humour, outlook on life and preferred social media channels were vastly different to my older brother (classic Millennial who probably still has a Myspace page) and my younger brother (typical Gen Z who has about 10 technological devices all accessible from his bed). I was too late to the Myspace and Facebook party and I wasn’t selfie-crazy enough to enjoy Instagram and Snapchat.

But then, enter 2020 and this miraculous new app called TikTok – a social media platform like I’d never seen before, that so perfectly encapsulated my humour and gave me filtered content that targeted my interests to a tee! After realising that TikTok’s primary demographic (70%) was between 16-24 year olds, I went ahead and set up an account for myself. Very soon during isolation, I found myself addicted and losing sleep as I desperately hoped of coming up with the next big idea that would make me #TikTokFamous.

Eventually the appeal of putting TikTok Influencer on my resume wore off (secretly, all my videos essentially flopped) and I was able to examine the platform for the value it provided me as PR practitioner.  

Firstly let’s go back to basics – here are some key questions you’ve probably wondered about TikTok, and as Agent99’s resident TikTokker, I’m here to answer them for you.

  1. What the hell is TikTok?

In a nutshell, TikTok is a social media platform that allows users to produce and share very short creative videos of up to 60 seconds. More than just a quick Instagram story to share your morning brunch at The Grounds, TikTok prioritises content that people enjoy, like and have an affinity with.  

2. Okay, but why on earth should I care about it?

Well, you  might be potentially under the assumption that TikTok only caters to teens who love to dance, but did I mention it has more than 800 million users worldwide; more than Linkedin and Twitter? And, it is currently the fastest growing platform in the world! The average user spends 50 minutes on TikTok per day and considering the average video spans for 16 seconds – that means that an average user is watching over 187 pieces of unique content in a single day!

3. What makes TikTok different from other social media platforms?

Where Instagram, Facebook or YouTube would provide more highly polished and stylised content – TikTok prioritises natural, organic and humorous videos where the user and their creativity is at the front and centre. Want to get followers but you’re not an attractive bikini model with gorgeous tanned legs and perfect skin? Don’t worry, because TikTok still has a place for you, like Rohi; the middle-age Aussie guy currently getting over 100k views per video on his journey to cut out fizzy drinks! #SoftDrinkCEO

4. Why is it important for PR and Marketing professionals?

TikTok, while hugely popular, is still quite a relatively untapped channel. The biggest asset it provides for PR and Marketing professionals is that it allows their brands to enter into a new and receptive audience who are younger and more heavily invested in the content. Unlike other platforms that use unpredictable algorithms to provide the user with content, TikTok takes the data you provide and feeds you more of what you love; hence why my content stream is filled with Glee commentary, musical theatre covers and Ja’mie Private School Girl spoof videos.    

The great thing about TikTok is that it caters further than just the Gen Z cohort now. The world has caught on and even my own dad downloaded the app mid-quarantine. Whether you are a classic Karen and love Wednesday wines with your Mums’ book club, or you’re a 12-year-old with great dancing abilities – if someone resonates with your content on any level, you will grow! So, if you’re wondering whether TikTok is the right platform for your brand – because of its algorithms, the answer is probably yes.

Take for example a fantastic challenge going viral at the moment. The #NiveaSplash challenge calls on girls from all over the world to re-enact the iconic slow motion splash featured on every Nivea commercial. Take a look below.

This challenge has resulted in thousands of organic, user-generated video content and 77.4 million views of the brand challenge on TikTok. All because Nivea saw their demographic was highly accessible on TikTok and found a way to inspire a viral reaction.

5. Will the hype die down?

Personally, I believe the TikTok craze won’t die down anytime soon. I’d almost be scared to call it a ‘craze.’ In the app’s short history, it has already proven itself to be a powerful force that has turned social marketing on its head.  

And regardless, even if I’m wrong and TikTok has its time in the spotlight – at the moment, it’s another incredible platform that will provide you access to a wide network of consumers and can provide real value to brands that have the guts and creativity to enter in.

By Agent Emilie (give me a follow @emilie_laws) 😉

Agent99 is an award-winning PR and communications agency based in Sydney. For more information about our services, contact us at

Further reading:
How Videos Can Help to Achieve Cut Through on Your Followers’ Social Media Feeds
How to Harness the Power of Social Media Influencers During Challenging Times