In the past two years TikTok has redefined both what it means and what it takes to become an influencer. It’s propelled the voices of younger generations and given marketers a shiny new toy to play with in hopes of reaching an important demographic.
But even those who rose to fame on the app are not staying put, they’re diversifying and expanding their brand. We’re now watching as TikTok stars make content that is not only easily accessible on other social platforms, but tailored for those different audiences.
From this we pose the question — what counts as mainstream success? Is it enough for influencers to be big on just one platform, or do you need cross-platform appeal to make a real impact? And what does that mean for brands?
We looked at different influencers on TikTok to see how they use the app, and what can be said from their engagement on other social platforms.
If you don’t know Dixie D’Amelio, you might be familiar with her younger sister Charli, who happens to be the most followed TikToker in the world. Charli’s success initially helped thrust Dixie into the limelight, but she has continued on to build her own brand, largely focused on a singing career, and now has 57M followers of her own.
Dixie is so popular on the app that she can chug a drink in a 15 second video and earn 6.8M views, but also post sponsored content that receives a similar amount of attention, like modeling shoes for her Puma partnership, or showing her audience how to use a mediation app.
@dixiedamelio breathe with me on the @breathwrk app! link in bio #breathwrkpartner ♬ Meditation with natural sounds and music that closes your eyes - Red Blue Studio
Ranking in the top 10 most followed people on TikTok makes Dixie an obvious target for brands looking for big exposure, but smart creators are also building their presence on other apps. In fact, when you visit her TikTok a small button directs you straight to her Instagram and YouTube accounts, where she has 25M followers and 7M subscribers.
Both of these accounts serve different purposes for Dixie. Her Instagram feed is much more structured, and her YouTube channel features everything to do with her music. Her partnerships do cross platforms, but are executed in different ways to fit the taste of where they live, such as an Instagram post promoting her latest Puma attire, which earned over 614k engagements.
But what about a different kind of TikToker? Let’s check out the foodies.
Devour Power’s TikTok’s may look like nothing but two people enjoying NYC’s best comfort food, but the couple actually creates content with a goal of increasing revenue growth for the restaurants they visit.
Each video features a different restaurant and highlights a menu item that they deem necessary to “devour.” Their videos rack up tens to hundreds of thousands of likes, and they currently have 1.5M followers. The duo paint quite a similar picture on Instagram, where they hold the same amount of followers and repurpose their videos onto Instagram Reels. However, their posts on the app receive a notable amount of engagement themselves, and have even caught the eyes of popular celebrities.
In contrast to TikTok, Instagram is used to showcase their family, and a photo of their son sporting an unamused face saw lots of love from fans and has even reached actor Michael B Jordan. The actor commented on the post, which received 34k engagements, and said, “why does this make me smile so hard!?” But the food is still the main focal point, with one video of a vodka pizza earning more than 61k engagements.
The Hype House
The Hype House is a collective of teenage creators that helped a lot of today’s biggest TikTokers get their start (even Dixie D’Amelio). The house was monumental in the growth of Gen Z on the platform, and brands started to take note of this.
Today, the Hype House is home to a much smaller group. A lot of original members have left to pursue more than just TikTok, or simply because they don’t need the affiliation anymore. The ones who are left still have a massive following, but they’re expanding their brand to other social platforms.
Jack Wright, one of the remaining house veterans, has done exactly that. He first blew up on TikTok thanks to his dancing skills, but you can now find him posing for his 1.5M Instagram followers, or entertaining his 325k subscribers on YouTube. Even one of the founders of the Hype House, Thomas Petrou, said that they will actively try and push their audience to YouTube because it’s unclear where TikTok is going. So, even though TikTok has been reliable for creators so far, even those who monetize the most off of the app are making themselves diverse.
TikTok has helped pave the way for a lot of influencers, but are they truly able to make an impact without a cross-platform strategy? Is TikTok clout enough to stand out among the sea of influencers? From what we can tell, it seems that being accessible across all social media is what builds a powerful influencer, and brands should keep in mind that TikTok is just one slice of the pie.
For more about influencers on social media apps, check out our blog about Instagram brand partnerships.