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The Importance of Audio on TikTok

The Importance of Audio on TikTok

One of the major ways TikTok differs from other social media sites is the role of audio. We’re breaking down this major difference below: What it is, how it came to be, and why it matters for your marketing efforts on the site.

How Is TikTok Different?

Audio plays a much larger role on TikTok than many other sites.  Most other social media sites, with the exception of YouTube, still see users watching videos primarily with the sound off.  On channels like Facebook and Instagram, marketers are best-served sharing video content in which sound does not play an important role.  On TikTok, however, most viewers watch videos with their sound on.  Not only that, but background “sounds” for TikTok videos trend on the site, the way a meme might trend on other sites.  Making use of these popular and trending “sounds” can prove to be very beneficial for your TikTok presence.

Why Is TikTok Different? 

So how exactly did TikTok emerge with such a different relationship with audio than other social media sites?  What it boils down to is essentially that TikTok provides a unique user experience.  Since the sole focus of the site is short-form videos, it is a more immersive viewer experience, and users log on with the intention of spending time to watch videos, not to mindlessly scroll through a feed. This different purpose and focus has led TikTok users to overwhelmingly watch with sound on. 

Do I Need To Make New Content Specifically for TikTok? 

Knowing now that TikTok provides a drastically different user experience than many other social media sites, it raises the question: Does your brand need to be making different types of content for TikTok than you do for other platforms?  Do you need to be creating and designing content exclusively for TikTok?  

The answer to that is kind of yes, and kind of no.  You should definitely be crafting content that fits in to the specific viewing habits of TikTok users: namely, making use of audio clips and popular “sounds” in your content more than you do on other channels. Silent videos are unlikely to garner much attention or end up trending on the site.  

However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to repurpose content you have used elsewhere and make it work on TikTok.  In the app itself, you can add stickers, text layovers, and sound effects to your videos. So even if you start with video content that is missing some of these aspects, TikTok provides opportunities to add these types of things in before posting. So while you do not necessarily need to be spending tons of time and resources creating content that is exclusively for TikTok, you do at least need to be mindful of adding aspects like sounds and stickers to videos before sharing them on TikTok.

All in all, it’s no secret that TikTok stands out from other social media channels in a variety of ways.  One of the most glaring, and important to be aware of in your marketing efforts, is the importance of audio.  Make sure to capitalize on popular and trending sounds to make the most of your TikTok presence!

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