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26 February, 2024

Why Hong Kong Brands Should Not Forget About TikTok

In the dynamic realm of digital marketing, TikTok stands out as a global cultural force, captivating younger audiences with its vibrant and engaging content. Despite its inaccessibility in Hong Kong, the platform represents a crucial avenue for local brands aiming to broaden their international footprint.

With over 1 billion active users globally and 60% belonging to the Gen Z demographic (born in or after 1995), TikTok heralds a significant shift in the way information is consumed and shared. Its algorithm, tailored to present a wide variety of videos based on user interests, alongside with how content is created, delivered and consumed, stands itself out among the other mainstream social media platforms, including X, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

  • Content Format – TikTok specializes in short-form video content, encouraging creativity and spontaneity. Other social media channels offer a mix of content formats, including text, photo, and video, with a tendency towards more polished and curated content presentations.
  • Content Delivery – TikTok’s algorithm emphasises virality and user engagement, allowing creators to reach a vast audience beyond their followers. In contrast, other platforms rely on algorithms that prioritize content from followed accounts and paid advertisements.
  • Content Consumption – TikTok fosters a highly personalized and immersive viewing experience, where content discovery is serendipitous, driven by the user’s interactions and preferences. Traditional platforms depend more on the user’s established network and feed curation.

Despite TikTok’s departure from Hong Kong several years ago, embracing the platform should not be seen as venturing into unknown territory but as a strategic expansion of their digital presence. The platform offers a direct line to the pulse of global youth culture, presenting an opportunity to engage with a demographic that is increasingly influential yet harder to reach through traditional media.

Remarkably, some Hong Kong brands have adeptly re-engaged with TikTok to captivate overseas audiences with compelling success stories. Cathay Pacific (@cathaypacific) has made waves by collaborating with overseas influencers to create “24 hours in Hong Kong” videos, amassing over 7 million views. Their debut TikTok video, launched in November 2023, attracted 12.9 million views. In a bid to revigorate post-pandemic tourism, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (@discoverhongkong) has been spotlighting the city’s distinctive cuisine and urban scenery, drawing an audience of more than 2 million followers. Moreover, other Hong Kong brands already selling in overseas markets have established or begin to create their TikTok presence to engage with local audiences, with notable example include Casetify, Kee Wah Bakery, Lee Kum Kee, and Nin Jiom.

The strategic embrace of TikTok by these Hong Kong brands underscores the platform’s unparalleled capacity to tell their stories on a global stage. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, TikTok represents not just a trend, but a crucial component of a holistic digital marketing approach, for Hong Kong brands eyeing to expand globally or bringing overseas customers to home.

At RFI, we understand the transformative power of TikTok in connecting brands with global audiences. Our regional team offers specialised TikTok content creation and strategy services to help brand navigate this dynamic platform effectively. Contact us to discover more about creating your first TikTok campaign or elevating your existing presence.