Marketing Without TikTok

Ronn Torossian
3 min readAug 17, 2020


According to recent reports, by the end of next month, the US will no longer have access to TikTok — especially if a US business, which most likely seems to be Microsoft, doesn’t reach an agreement with the owners to buy the platform before the end of the deadline. However, while many content creators on this platform are worried about the possible oncoming changes, most of the brands are not too concerned with this news.

Many businesses and corporations haven’t established a strong TikTok presence yet. Those that did manage to do that in the past few months can easily pivot all their investment towards another platform.

Additionally, a number of competitors to TikTok are currently emerging and they are looking to challenge or even replace this platform, which has been titled one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world. The platform is especially popular with the younger generations — Generation Z specifically, — with a variety of fun challenges, split-screen duets, life hacks, dance videos, and other content.

However, many competitors — with Instagram being the most popular one — were gauging this type of short video content long before the President branded the platform a threat to national security. ByteDance, a corporation based in Beijing, is the owner of TikTok, and the president has stated that the US user data might be shared with the Chinese government.

There are several brands that have already established a big presence on the social media platform, such as Chipotle, which has garnered over 900,000 followers and created a challenge and several menu hacks; Little Caesars, with over 64,000 followers and its own challenges; and even Dan-O’s Seasoning, with nearly half a million followers, which provides its viewers with cooking tips and hacks, as well as fun musical snippets.

Nevertheless, most brands still prefer to focus on the already established platforms that are popular with the rest of the world, such as Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Facebook. Many of these brands understand that this is still a budding platform from the media and marketing perspective, and the media hasn’t reached a level where it can allow significant marketing spent for TikTok.

This doesn’t mean that the user base of the platform isn’t appealing to the brands, especially the brands that focus on the younger generations, like Gen Z, which has really started to see this platform as their own. Still, according to research, 35% of Gen Z-ers use TikTok, while 68.3% is still on Instagram.

The platform holds great potential for brands, as it’s growing very quickly and the average user spends a lot of their time on this app. Meanwhile, many other social media platforms are trying their own hand at recreating the success of TikTok, with Instagram launching a similar feature titled Reels, which allows users to record, edit and share short videos, and also add audio and visual effects to these videos.

This feature comes right after Facebook shut down Lasso last month, which many referred to as a TikTok copy.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations. 5W PR is a leading digital pr and influencer marketing agency.



Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is Chairman & Founder of 5WPR & one of America’s most notable PR executives. He is the Author of best-selling PR book, “For Immediate Release.“