TUESDAY 11 AUG 2020 9:55 AM


Mary Keane-Dawson, group CEO of influencer marketing agency Takumi, explores a question on many communications experts' minds: could Instagram posts, influencers, and TikTok videos become essential in the corporate communications world? She argues that because visual images get to the brain much faster than text, TikTok in particular may be more engaging for both employees and potential customers when used to communicate business announcements.

Corporate communication is a set of activities involved in managing and orchestrating all internal and external communications. But, despite this broad definition, corporate information is often only distilled in two ways – written word (internal and external reports, press releases, and emails) and spoken word (meetings or interviews).

Isn’t it time to diversify?

In the social media age, could emojis, Instagram posts, influencers, and TikTok videos have a place in the business world?

The transition to casual communication

The transition to informal internal communications has already started, with collaborative tools like Slack, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams leading the charge. But there is a risk of words getting lost in translation with more casual communication. This is where visual communication can help – trying to explain something that’s happening using written communication can be time-consuming and may not help articulate what you are attempting to say. In these instances, a picture is really worth a thousand words.

Humans respond better to visual information

Although it may sound slightly risky, there’s science to back up the idea that switching to social media – specifically TikTok – to communicate business announcements could be more engaging for both employees and potential customers. Visual information gets to the brain 60,000 times faster than text and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. Also, people only remember 10% of what they hear after three days, but if a relevant image is paired with that same information, then retention rockets to 65%. So, it would be a given that humans absorb visual communication much better than a block of text.

With this in mind, TikTok may be one of the best social media platforms to communicate corporate announcements. The platform thrives upon a genuine spontaneity and energy that written communication or long-form videos often can’t. The short-form entertainment platform is founded on the belief that communication is more memorable and engaging when it’s authentic, creative and visual. And it’s hard to argue with that reasoning given that our latest whitepaper, The Realities of Influencer Marketing – TikTok and YouTube in Focus, found that more than 14% of 16-25-year-old globally said that TikTok influencers led them to engage further with content than Instagram or YouTube.

If the same level of engagement could be achieved through corporate comms using TikTok, then it may revitalise any business or brand’s HR functions. As TikTok specialists, we would recommend implementing consumer-esque strategies for internal communications but ensuring these are applied only when a softer approach is appropriate. In practice, this means creating fun and informal short-form videos that catch the viewer’s attention quickly.

Accessibility and the launch of TikTok For Business

But, as such a new platform to many, accessibility may be an issue for any business looking to use TikTok for corporate communication. However, the launch of TikTok For Business last month should help settle any concerns. Marking the first offering by the platform specifically for brands and businesses, the new functionality includes an e-learning centre, which will help businesses understand more about TikTok. This will include product guides, resources, and creative practices to help any business create a successful and engaging corporate campaign and learn more about what the platform has to offer.

While it may sound a bit out there, switching to TikTok for corporate communications could help revitalise a business’s culture and engage employees. This ‘corporate’ TikTok would look very much like the familiar consumer product, with unique and fun videos that encourage employees to repost or participate, which, in turn, will lead to a more connected and social workforce.