TikTok vs. Instagram: Which is better for reaching the ethnic communities in the UK?

24th July 2023

Social media is always evolving. However, two platforms—TikTok and Instagram—stand out with the opportunities they provide brands to communicate with their target audience using videos and pictures form of media. To reach the UK’s diverse ethnic communities, it is important for brands to study the impact of such channels and understand which to prioritise for their strategy. In this blog, we will look at critical points to consider between TikTok and Instagram’s capabilities when it comes to reaching and resonating with the UK’s diverse ethnic communities through social media marketing.

TikTok or Instagram for ethnic communities?

  1. Demographic Representation and User Base

Understanding the demographic composition of both platforms is essential to assessing their potential to reach ethnic communities. Instagram boasted approximately of 35 million users in the UK, while TikTok had around 23.38 million monthly users. Although Instagram had a more extensive user base, TikTok’s growth rate was substantially higher, especially among younger audiences. 

Having this understanding allows you to relate this data to what you are trying to achieve with your marketing strategy. Do you want to reach the ethnic Gen Z alone with your marketing? Or do you want to reach audiences across different age groups? 

  1. Content Format and Engagement

The 15- 60 seconds short-form video format popularised by TikTok has completely changed how people view videos online. The platform algorithm gives priority to user interaction, so people are always being shown new and interesting material that also has some bearing on popular culture. This provides a great opportunity for businesses to connect with people of different races by producing videos that are both visually appealing and easy to distribute online. 

With the launch of Reels, which TikTok inspired, Instagram has become largely focused on photo and video posts. Instagram’s visual emphasis appeals to narrative and longer-form material. While TikTok’s shorter videos are more suited for sharing quickly, which, therefore, can be an opportunity for brands to create short video contents that can be shared between ethnic communities. Brands can also make use of the shareability of posts via Instagram stories to get engagement from the audience as well. 

  1. Influencer Marketing Impact

Brands frequently work with influencers on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram to reach their respective audiences. Reaching out to ethnic communities effectively requires the use of influencers who reflect the communities they are trying to reach. To determine which influencer would make more impact, you can read about why you should consider micro-influencers here.  

Many TikTokers have amassed maximum engagement by sharing videos celebrating minority languages, customs, and values. The genuine and community-driven nature of the platform encourages participation and makes it simpler for brands to join in the discussions through influencers. TikTok also has a creator marketplace, which allows brands or marketers to discover, manage and get real-time insights on campaigns. 

With Instagram being an established platform and an offshoot of one of the first social platforms, Meta, it’s been home to a sizable group of influential people from many walks of life. With this large audience, Instagram’s influencer marketing allows brands to reach a wider audience, but it’s important that their posts still resonate with their target demographic. 

  1. Cultural Sensitivity and Community Building

Cultural sensitivity and community building are essential for reaching ethnic minorities. TikTok’s informal and inclusive nature allows for open dialogues and organic connections between creators and their audiences. This sense of community fosters the sharing of personal experiences and cultural heritage. 

On the other hand, Instagram’s more curated and aspirational environment might require brands to take extra care in avoiding cultural appropriation or misrepresentation. However, authenticity is key on both platforms.

5. Data-driven Analysis of User Behaviour

Brands can monitor the performance of their campaigns and learn more about their target demographic using analytics tools available on both TikTok and Instagram. Videos on TikTok are more likely to be found by their intended audience because of the platform’s algorithm, which places a premium on content discovery. Video views, viewing time, and audience demographics can all be accessed by brands to know what’s working and what’s not. 

Also, Instagram provides extensive analytics on post visibility, interaction, and follower composition. Using this information, brands can create ads that more effectively target people of different ethnic backgrounds.

Is TikTok better than Instagram?

Both TikTok and Instagram offer significant possibilities for brands to interact with audiences from diverse groups in the United Kingdom. TikTok’s organic community-building, short-form video format, and rapid expansion make it an appealing platform for addressing minority groups. While Instagram, with its large and engaged user base, an extensive network of influential users, and flexible content options, is crucial for reaching ethnic communities across age groups.

Brands who want to reach ethnic groups in the UK should think about the goals they intend to achieve. Brands can more effectively interact with the diverse ethnic populations in the UK if they keep up with shifting cultural norms and diversity dynamics. You can also read up on our insightful resources to understand how to reach ethnic communities in the UK. 

Do you need help reaching these communities in the UK? We’ve worked with various brands to reach ethnic groups in the UK and would be glad to help you as well. Contact our team by clicking here, and let’s work together. 

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