Part 2 –
Navigating the TikTok Ban:
Impact and Strategies for Social Marketers
Kait Shiels Founder and Managing Director of Spark Social Agency

With the Department of Justice and TikTok asking the US appeals court to expedite its decision on whether the social platform’s parent company would be forced to sell the app or face a ban, social media marketers face questions about how their work and clients may be impacted.

With over 150 million users in the U.S. alone, social media marketers work with countless brands, creators, and businesses to help them grow their presence on TikTok. But how would a change in ownership or a ban impact those who are often responsible for the strategy behind a brand’s social growth, and how can they protect their clients?

Any marketer knows that it is crucial to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to emerging trends in the world of social media. With many brands heavily invested in TikTok’s ecosystem, the prospect of a ban raises questions about how marketers should manage their clients’ strategies.

Diversify your Social Media Strategy

The potential ban of TikTok underscores the importance of diversifying your social media strategy, and for marketers who have heavily relied on TikTok for their campaigns, the pressing need to explore and establish a presence on other platforms is clear.

For example, you can begin leveraging other short-form video platforms that offer similar content opportunities, such as YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and Snapchat Spotlight. By investing time in understanding these platforms’ unique algorithms and user bases, you will help future-proof yourself against any volatility within the social media ecosystem.

Additionally, by expanding to emerging platforms that cater to younger audiences there is the potential to fill the void left by TikTok. Creating content that can be easily repurposed across multiple platforms ensures that your content remains effective and engaging, regardless of where it is posted.

Focus on Owned Media

Relying solely on a third-party social platform for your brand’s digital presence poses significant risks, as demonstrated by the potential TikTok ban. Building a robust owned media strategy for clients and brands can help mitigate these risks. For example, developing a strong website and blog, optimized for SEO and regularly updated with fresh, relevant content, will help drive organic traffic and establish your brand as an authority in your industry.

Another essential step is to build an email list; email marketing undoubtedly remains one of the most effective ways to reach and engage directly with audiences. You can use this list to offer valuable content, exclusive access, or free resources that can encourage sign-ups and higher engagement with the brand.

Finally, cultivating a community through forums, social media groups, or branded apps can foster loyalty and provide a direct line of communication between the brand and its target audience.

Monitor Trends and Stay Agile

Now more than ever, the digital marketing landscape is changing, and staying agile is crucial for success. To do so, marketers should monitor regulatory developments to stay informed about changes that could impact social media platforms, and lean on experts and advisors where necessary, to enable you to anticipate and adapt quickly. A key part of this is tracking audience behavior and preference to help understand where your target audience is spending their time and how they are engaging with content. By having this information in hand, you will be able to understand how and where you can diversify your brand’s presence and the most impactful strategy to do so.

Have a Plan B

Finally, use your knowledge and experience to begin developing a contingency plan for any sudden platform changes, with clear strategies as to how you would reallocate budget to different platforms, or shift focus to other content types. If you are working with multiple clients, ensure you are having informed and open conversations with them so that you are aligned on any changes that may need to be made. Educating clients and having a “Plan B” will allow you to pivot with grace and expertise when industry changes occur, being one step ahead of competitors.

Final Thoughts

The potential TikTok ban serves as a critical reminder of the volatility in the digital marketing landscape that many modern brands are heavily invested in. Beyond the need to diversify social media strategies, it’s crucial for brands to remember the power of owned media and the importance of agility and planning in the coming months. While making plans may not be as exciting as crafting a glittering strategy, it will allow you to mitigate the risks associated with platform-specific dependencies and seize new opportunities ahead of competitors in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Part 3 – Navigating the TikTok Ban