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To Tik Tok or Not?

Stations are asking, “Should we be on Tik Tok?” This data may help you decide…

By Paul Marszalek

Radio stations executing on Social at a high level are few and far between. Mostly, it’s a matter of capacity.

With little economic incentive to dedicate personnel hours to Social, it’s been recommended that stations not bother trying to be good at everything. In other words, pick just a few Social platforms, and try to be good at those.

Most Triple A and Alternative stations execute some mix of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snap.

Increasingly, there question arises, “If we only have the capacity do a couple of these, should Tik Tok be in that mix? If so, what gets bounced?”

It’s a great question, and the Infinite Dial 2022 study from Edison Research may help with that decision.

Edison has tracked Tik Tok’s rise in use. Between 2021 and 2022, usage by persons aged 12+ grew from 23% to 36%.

In broad demos, usage increased from 44% to 61% among 12-34 year-olds, 16% to 34% among 35-54 year-olds, and 6% to 13% among the 55+ set.

Those are some impressive increases — even among the older crowds that listen to Triple A and Alternative. However, if we need to truly make a decision about ROI, peeling the onion to ask which Social platforms are used most often may get us closer to an answer.

The chart below shows that, among adults, it’s still mostly a Facebook/Instagram world.

When it comes to which platforms are used most often, Facebook and Instagram still rule.

While Facebook and Instagram show staying power, it’s worth noting that the 12-34 demographic noted above is one heck of a demographic. With virtually nothing in common between a 17 and 32 year-old, we might conclude that heavy use of Tik Tok is still very much on the younger end of that group.

Still,  Tik Tok has lept Twitter and Snap — and Facebook has absolutely no momentum, having largely become a listing of obituaries – rock stars, pets, and unfortunately sometimes even colleagues.

Therefore, even though Triple A stations’ target demos are 35+, following CHR’s lead into Tik Tok may not be as far fetched as previously thought.

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