U.S. TikTok Ban and your Marketing Strategy

What the U.S. TikTok ban would mean for your Marketing Strategy

The United States has taken a significant step towards the potential ban of the popular social media platform, TikTok.

On the 13th of March, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would require the TikTok owner ByteDance to sell the social media platform or face a total ban in the United States.

The bill's fate now rests with the Senate, where it remains uncertain as to whether it will become law. However, the House's strong support, with 352 Congress members voting in favour of the bill and only 65 against it, clearly shows the serious threat TikTok faces in the US.

What does the bill mean?

The bill would require the Chinese company ByteDance to sell their stake in the U.S version of TikTok or the app would be banned.

President Biden's White House has stated it would support the legislation and others have argued this is about protecting Americans and not the government's attempt to strip Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression as others have stated.

Despite the Bill against TikTok showing extreme popularity and Biden telling reporters "If they pass it, I'll sign it", the ban is likely to face challenges on the grounds that it restricts the right to free speech.

However, it is unclear if China would approve any sale or if the transaction could occur within the six-month deadline.

What would a ban mean for TikTok users?

TikTok has penetrated the U.S. market with the number of monthly users now passing 150 million, equalling nearly half of America's population.

Enforcing a ban on TikTok would be complex. App stores would be penalised for making TikTok available for download and therefore it would be immediately removed from both Apple and Google app stores.

Although it would be difficult to stop users who already have the app downloaded using the platform, Internet service providers will likely be forced to block IP addresses associated with TikTok.

However, this obstacle can easily be overcome by using a virtual private network (VPN), which re-routes computer connections to other locations. Which would allow you to use TikTok.

TikTok’s reply to the U.S. Bill?

Alex Haurek, A TikTok spokesperson, is "hopeful that the Senate will consider the facts, listen to their constituents, and realise the impact on the economy, seven million small businesses, and the 270million Americans who use our service".

Donald Trump, Biden's opponent in the upcoming presidential election, has made it clear that he would be against banning the platform.

TikTok Ban -What Marketers Need to Know


While there is still a good chance the bill might not pass, or if it does, it might be sold and cause no issues at all, it does raise the question of what you would do without TikTok for those who rely on it heavily in their social strategies.

Here are a few tips on mitigating any risk to your marketing strategy should TikTok be banned in the future.

Diversify your social presence

If TikTok is banned – it doesn't mean all of your audiences disappear. They will simply switch their attention to another platform.

44% of TikTok users in the US are aged 24 and under. By diversifying your social presence onto other platforms with the same user demographics, you reduce the risk of losing the opportunity to be in front of your audience should TikTok be banned.

Instagram and Snapchat are two popular social platforms with similar user demographics in the US.

Even if TikTok doesn't get banned, our social team strongly recommends diversifying your social presence.

There is a huge benefit to having a social strategy that includes all platforms where your target audience is, you have more opportunities to get in front of your audience at different touchpoints, serving them content they love.

Don't panic about your influencer strategy

What we just said about audiences not disappearing? The same goes for influencers!

With TikTok being a high-tempo platform, influencers are already used to switching their strategy with the newest trends. If TikTok is banned, they aren't going to bat an eyelash before adapting and moving their focus to other platforms – we'd expect YouTube and Instagram to become more popular.

Instagram has become more like TikTok, with 'Reels', and has a great potential for influencer marketing.

YouTube is also filled with popular content creators who you could work with and has a similar short form feature – Shorts- to compete with TikTok and Instagram reels.

Despite needing to adjust your current influencer marketing strategy if TikTok were banned, it does not mean you would have to eliminate it altogether. The strategy can still be used on other platforms to extend your brand's reach.

In Short…

While the fate of the ban of TikTok is still uncertain in the U.S, keeping a strong brand image on other platforms, adapting your influencer marketing strategies, and optimising your website to increase organic traffic are all crucial steps in mitigating the risk to your business if you rely on TikTok in your marketing strategy.

Get in contact with our team of experts who can help diversify your marketing strategy, ensuring if TikTok gets banned you won't be at risk of losing your community!

Friday 22nd March 2024

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