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Snapchat vs TikTok For Marketing

One of the joys of using social media is watching how they change and evolve, remember Myspace and Bebo? This week we will have a look at the two new kids on the block: Snapchat vs TikTok for Marketing.

What Is Snapchat?

In case you have been living in a cave, or Grimsby, we thought we would give you a brief bit of background on what Snapchat and TikTok actually are.

Launched way back in 2011, Snapchat was initially created as a photo-sharing app for people with a new approach being that any pictures or photos would automatically be deleted after 24 hours.

It’s important to think back to 2011, all social media was about collecting memories and storing the data.

Snapchat was a breath of fresh air, compared to everything else because it was instant and disposable.

Over the years it has evolved, yes, those bunny ears god bless them, but the essential idea is the same, quick, instant messages that disappear after 24 hours.

If you would like to find out more info on what Snapchat does these days then this is a good place to start.

Ok, What Is TikTok?

The best way to describe TikTok is to look back on another dearly departed social media platform, Vine.

Do you remember Vine? Where you could create 6-second video loops and share them with the world?

TikTok is a bit like that except the videos can be longer. Also, Vine was bought by Twitter who then shut down the 6-second loop idea so it disappeared.

(Interestingly enough the co-founder of Vine has just launched Byte, which is like Vine but with extra bits)

the image shows a man using lots of different social media apps

Snapchat & TikTok, Are They Worth Using For Marketing?

Good question, are they worth bothering with or like Vine will they just go away as quickly as they appeared?

Well, before dismissing them as gimmicks used by Gen-Z and millennials, let’s consider one thing first: the user base.

At the end of 2019, Snapchat had 218 million daily users and TikTok had 800 million monthly users.

Any way you look at it, that’s an impressive user base. But who is using it?

Both Snapchat and TikTok are used primarily by 13 to 34-year olds and both have users all over the world.

Now, if Snapchat has been around since 2011 surely, we would be using it for digital marketing along with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, right?

That’s a good point, the very nature of Snapchat didn’t lend itself to marketing, an app for sharing photos that disappear.

But with an ever-growing user base, companies kept trying to find a way in. In those early days, users would have to search for a brand or use its ‘snapcode’ to find it.

That changed in 2015, Snapchat launched Snapchat Discovery

As there is a Discovery page on Snapchat this has meant that users are more likely to see a brand they hadn’t searched for.

So, now if you look at the top ten Snapchat Discovery pages you will see the likes of The Daily Mail, Buzzfeed and The Food Network in there.

The way that Tiktok has been set up (short videos, easier to browse) means that it lends itself more to marketing.

For example, they have hashtag challenges and in-app video adds, indeed the first TikTok hashtag challenge amassed nearly 20 million views in 24 hours.

One early and some would say surprising success story on TikTok is Chipotle.

They took part in a hashtag challenge on Nation Avocado Day and saw chain’s avocado usage jumped 68% to 18,500 cases.

If you haven’t used TikTok before and would like to find out what all the fuss is about without having to have a conversation with a surly teenager then there’s a great HubSpot article here that goes through all the different ways TikTok can be used.

Shall We Ditch Facebook & Instagram Then?

No, please don’t.

Although Snapchat has been around a few years and is an established platform, it is still only really starting to be used successfully by some companies for marketing.

It is also worth pointing out that in order to make even a small impact on Snapchat as a marketer you will need a very large budget.

At the moment your competitors are global companies like The Wall Street Journal and Buzzfeed.

TikTok could be more lucrative, but it is far too early to tell.

For every Instagram, there is a Vine. You don’t want to spend time and money investing in unique video content only to find it disappears quicker than the chart career of Peter Andre.

Another difference is that TikTok is a Chinese owned company and they have notoriously stricter censorship control.

So, they could disappear, be shut down, or just like Vine be snapped up by a competitor.

Also, at the moment TikTok doesn’t have any direct competitors, but another company that own a couple of social media platforms (Hi Facebook) will be keeping an eye one what happens for sure.


We would say as it stands unless you have millions to spare, don’t spend time and money on digital marketing on Snapchat.

TikTok, we can’t say for sure yet, it is certainly interesting and could yet evolve as Instagram has. Keep an eye out for developments and watch this space.

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