Are you using TikTok as an element of your company marketing? More to the point, should you be using it?
There is no question, the TikTok app is wildly popular. There have literally been billions of downloads on Android and more Apple downloads that the social media giants, Twitter and Snapchat.
TikTok is also engaging. People spend a lot of time on it and TikTok’s algorithms have been accused of being addictive. That’s kind of what a marketer wants, right? Advertise on a media with addictive qualities? Where can a marketer sign up?
The short videos TikTok is known for are easy to make. You do not need a bunch of software or skill, lowering the barriers to entry. Just let it rip. Once they are made, you can even repurpose them to other social media platforms and/or host them on your website.
Looking for that proverbial social media influencer who can rally people to your brand in your market? TikTok even launched a “Creator Marketplace” that can help you find just the right person to help you promote your HVAC brand in your town.
If you prefer to straight out advertise, TikTok gives you a bunch of options. Moreover, advertising is relatively cheap compared to other social media platforms.
Of course, TikTok is focused on younger users. But hey, they are the future. And if six out of 10 are less than ag 24, doesn’t that mean that four out of ten are older?
It seems that whoever is running the app can even log your keystrokes, making it possible to capture logins and passwords.
Sounds terrific, right? But even with all of the pluses, TikTok is still a bad idea for your business.
The security concerns of TikTok were brought to the forefront when the popular podcaster, Joe Rogan started reading the terms and conditions of using the app in one of his podcasts. Others took note and began their own investigations. Install TikTok on your phone and you turn over access to your phone’s camera, microphone, location, all of your contacts, and your clipboard, for starters. Every contractor needs to draw his or her own conclusion about TikTok. Be careful about this one. It seems that whoever is running the app can even log your keystrokes, making it possible to capture logins and passwords.
Furthermore, there are suspicions that TikTok is capturing biometric data from its users, like face scans, iris scans, voice recognition, and fingerprints. All of this sounds ominous, but who cares? Surely the people behind the app would never abuse it? Think of the potential liability. Think of the bad publicity.
Nothing about TikTok is clumsy or miniscule.
Of course, the people ultimately behind the app are the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Everyone can trust the CCP. It’s not like they have a history of infiltrating government and private databases for identity theft. It’s not like they are trying to build a massive database on every American citizen. It’s not like they engage in coverups and lies about things like, you know, virus origins.
The founder and CEO of Privacy 360, Adam Jackson, noted, “I do not think the media could overhype or sensationalize any of the dangers of the app…anytime Amazon, major banks, and the Department of Defense ban employees from using an app for security issues, it’s probably time for everyone to uninstall the app.”
So big, security conscious corporations and government agencies think TikTok is a bad idea. That’s sometime to think about. TikTok is also being used by the CCP to influence Americans, censoring information that reflects badly on it and promoting desired themes and narratives.The pols and media blasted the Russians for clumsily attempting the same thing on a miniscule sale through a few Facebook posts in 2016. Nothing about TikTok is clumsy or miniscule.
" . . . anytime Amazon, major banks, and the Department of Defense ban employees from using an app for security issues, it’s probably time for everyone to uninstall the app.” - Adam Jackson
My management style is to let people try things, especially if they are excited about them. When an executive, backed up by a social media person encouraged me to let them run with TikTok, I was tempted to give them a green light. However, I took the time to look at the app and found enough things of concern to ban it. People could use it on their personal phones, though I didn’t recommend it, but they could not use it corporately.
The company brand was not going to be associated with a brand that is associated with the nation’s chief geopolitical rival, if not outright enemy. We were not going to encourage others to use an app with as many potential downsides.
Every contractor needs to draw his or her own conclusion about TikTok. Be careful about this one. Be careful with your company, yourself, and your kids.
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