TikTok is rapidly becoming a social platform of choice for our youngest generation. Its members make and share short-form videos, up to 10 minutes in length. Generation Z is obsessed with TikTok, and it is a no-brainer that brands that cater to that demographic should have a presence on the platform.
TikTok has spawned a new generation of influencers, too; a group of people who have far more clout with today’s teens and tweens than more conventional movie or television stars. But how do you find TikTok influencers, particularly if you are of "more advanced" years yourself?
Check out the Top 26 Platforms for Finding Influencers on TikTok
In this guide, we are going to take a look at some of the methods you can use to search for TikTok influencers.
How to Find TikTok Influencers:
- How Popular is TikTok?
- How Does TikTok Compare to Other Influencer Platforms?
- Carrying Out Influencer Marketing Campaign on TikTok
- Research Your TikTok Influencers
- Search for TikTok Influencers on Google
- Check if Any of Your Existing Influencers Also Excel on TikTok
- Platforms that Cater to TikTok Influencers
- Agencies that Cater to TikTok Influencers
How Popular is TikTok?
TikTok has grown phenomenally over the last couple of years. The app has now been downloaded more than 3.5 billion times. It was the third most downloaded non-gaming app for most of 2019, and the fifth app to reach over 3.5 billion total downloads in 2022.
Despite falling foul of India’s regulatory regimen, earning itself a short-term ban in that country in early 2019, TikTok now has more users in India than anywhere. It even has more Indian users than those in its homeland of China, with the United States holding third place, with over 200 million downloads.
TikTok’s popularity has caused concern with some American politicians, however, who feel uneasy with a Chinese app performing so well in the United States. Senators Chuck Schumer and Tom Cotton wrote a letter to the Acting Director of National Innatelligence, Joseph Maguire, in October 2019, claiming that “With over 110 million downloads in the U.S. alone, TikTok is a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore.” Time will tell how much credibility is given to their concerns.
How Does TikTok Compare to Other Influencer Platforms?
The number of TikTok downloads is now at a staggering level, particularly considering that few people over 30 use the platform. However, monthly downloads still don't exceed those of Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Nevertheless, there are now considerably more TikTok users than those on Snapchat, and it is rapidly moving closer to the user numbers of the “Big 5” social platforms.
The type of content featured on TikTok differs from what you see on the other platforms. This is partly because of the way TikTok is structured, as well as the nature of its user base. TikTok’s users share short videos, not text posts, static images, Stories, or longer-from videos. TikTok users don’t write the types of captions you see on Instagram posts, nor the longer blocks of text commonly included in Facebook posts. While you can use hashtags on TikTok, users don’t use the quantity of them that Instagram fans do.
TikTok users do use some similar creative touches, similar to those Instagrammers use in their Stories, such as filters, however. TikTok is probably more interactive, however, and you are more likely to see short videos of TikTok users in their everyday lives than you do on the other platforms.
Live Streaming is commonplace on TikTok, possibly a hangover from Live.ly, which dominated in the Musical.ly days. However, there is one niche where TikTok doesn’t rule the live streaming roost with its young users – Twitch still is far more popular with gamers.
Carrying Out Influencer Marketing Campaign on TikTok
Although TikTok has recently introduced an official advertising platform, influencer marketing is still probably the most common way for brands to market on TikTok. Here, brands partner with influential TikTok creators to create relevant content and share it with their audience.
If you produce a product that would interest a group of typical TikTok users, then TikTok influencer marketing can be a highly effective way to build up brand recognition. Of course, like all influencer marketing, your partnership with a TikTok influencer has to come across as authentic. There has to be genuine synergy between your brand and the chosen TikTok influencers. TikTok's Generation Z audience is cynical and savvy, and will quickly see through any attempt to try and shoehorn a lousy fit between influencers and brand.
Research Your TikTok Influencers
If you do believe TikTok to be a good fit for your audience, you then need to find compatible influencers. A good starting point would be searching for influencers who share videos on relevant topics in our new TikTok influencer tool.
Of course, you first need to understand the types of videos that your potential customers prefer to watch. What kinds of influencers will attract them most? TikTok is now far more than just an app for youngsters to lip-sync. So you need to understand your target audience well.
When you get to the point where you have an excellent understanding of the types of influencers to approach, you will want to take a closer look at the posting habits of individual influencers. Ask yourself why they are popular. What types of videos do they share? Do they appear to follow the same kinds of values as your brand, or is there a high likelihood of a conflict of interest? Indeed, you should take a good look to ensure that they aren’t already making posts promoting your competitors.
In particular, look closely at their engagement metrics. You want to work closely with people who are capable of genuinely influencing the tastes and interests of their audience, not just people with large follower numbers.
As with all types of influencer marketing, you have three main methods of finding TikTok influencers:
- Do all of the research yourself, using TikTok itself and whatever other tools you can find to help you
- Pay for a subscription to one of the influencer platforms that supports TikTok
- Work with an agency, and use their suggested method to discover your TikTok influencers
Search for TikTok Influencers on Google
Apart from our new tool, the obvious starting point to find influencers if you aren't paying to use a platform or agency is to start with a Google search. Be aware that there is no particular correlation between those TikTok influencers who appear at the top of a Google search and those who make the most successful influencers. You will need to take a good look at the available statistics and the types of videos shared by the influencers you find this way.
Use a search term like “top TikTok creator” along with the name of your niche. For instance, you could search for “top TikTok beauty creator."
Check if Any of Your Existing Influencers Also Excel on TikTok
If you already use influencers on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitch, or YouTube, it is possible that these people also run accounts on TikTok with good-sized audiences. Assuming that their TikTok audience meets your preferred demographics, then it may be worthwhile expanding your existing relationships to TikTok.
Indeed, it is worthwhile checking whether influencers you know of on another platform also feature on TikTok, whether you have an existing relationship with them or not. If they are popular on YouTube or Instagram with a Generation Z audience, they may also have a sizeable following on TikTok as well.
Platforms that Cater to TikTok Influencers
We have written extensively about influencer platforms, and have reviewed quite a few of them. We are noticing that a number of these are adding TikTok to their offerings. At the moment, Grin, Fanbytes by Brainlabs, Upfluence, Post for Rent, and Izea include a tool to help you find TikTok users.
Although you have to pay to use a platform, it will often be a worthwhile investment, as they make it much easier to carry out influencer discovery, and usually include a wealth of data that can help your decision-making.
Agencies that Cater to TikTok Influencers
You might prefer to pay a TikTok marketing agency to organize your influencer marketing for you. Although fewer agencies cater to TikTok than the better-known platforms, many now do so. These include Fanbytes by Brainlabs, the Influencer Marketing Factory, 6Degrees, Influencer Agency, and PMYB, amongst others.
You can often leave influencer discovery up to the agency, which will recommend suitable influencers to you. In some cases, TikTok talent management agencies work with one of the platforms, and many have an in-house influencer discovery tool to find the best influencers for your brand.