Is TikTok Getting Banned? Protecting Your Brand from Change

Kristyn Snell (She/Her)

May 13, 2024

What started as whispers several months ago has now escalated into a looming reality: TikTok may soon face a ban in the U.S.

Welcome to the rollercoaster ride of social media, where one day, millions of people are engrossed in a vibrant platform, and the next, it could vanish from their smartphones. For creators, influencers, and brands, the potential TikTok ban represents more than just a loss of a favourite app—it signifies a major upheaval in marketing strategies.

Those who rely heavily on the platform could be forced to post elsewhere, though many say their efforts don’t have quite the same effect anywhere but TikTok. Lawsuits and protests aside, what can we do in such uncertain times? 

Prepare. Thankfully, though all we really want is for the ban to disappear and life to return to normal, there are numerous ways to diversify income streams and protect your brand from change, such as:

  • Invest time in other social platforms
  • Merchandise your personal brand
  • Teach what you know
  • Seek out aligned brand sponsors
  • Offer memberships and subscriptions
  • Consider consulting or speaking gigs

Why Does the TikTok Ban Matter?

TikTok By the Numbers

TikTok boasts 1 billion monthly active users who consume and create content daily. It’s been an invaluable asset to digital strategies across the globe, but as lawmakers scramble to figure out the platform, everyone is watching and wondering how it may affect their efforts.

Here’s some eye-opening facts about the platform:

Impact on Businesses

While TikTok started as a simple video-sharing app, it’s now become a vital marketing tool. Brands have leveraged its algorithm to achieve unprecedented engagement rates, turning views into conversions and followers into customers.

So, what happens when this is all stripped away? 

Consequences of the TikTok Ban

Should TikTok vanish from the phones of millions of Americans, there will be a ripple effect on marketing strategies and influencer careers. Some businesses will lose part of their viewership, some influencers will lose part of their following, and some audiences will be looking for other platforms to frequent. In all cases, everyone will need to adapt.

That’s why preparation is key.

7 Innovative Ways to Protect Your Brand from Change

In the ever-evolving social media landscape, relying on a single platform for your income is like putting all your eggs in one basket—and then balancing that basket on a unicycle. It may be a fun circus act, but not so much for your financial stability. 

So, let's explore some savvy strategies to help you succeed, no matter what the digital world throws your way.

  1. Spread Your Social Wings

First and foremost, don’t be a one-platform wonder! While you might have your favourite platform and an established audience there, having a presence on multiple platforms is essential. 

Why Diversify?

Just as financial advisors recommend diversifying investments, your online presence should be spread across multiple platforms. Each platform has its own vibe and audience, which means more opportunities to connect with fans and brands. 

YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and emerging platforms are all part of a balanced online presence. Think of each platform as a different investment in your portfolio—some may rise, some may fall, but you're covered in case one bites the dust.

Repurposing Content

Start adapting your TikTok content for Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. This will maximize your content’s reach and lifespan, ensuring your efforts continue to benefit you, even if one platform changes the algorithm or usage rules, or simply disappears. 

  1. Merchandise, Baby

Merchandise isn't just for rock stars anymore. Your fans would love to have your T-shirts, mugs, phone cases, stickers, beauty products—you name it. 

Platforms like Teespring, Blanka, and Shopify can help you set up shop without needing to keep inventory, turning your brand into a wearable (or consumable!) statement.

  1. Teach What You Know

You've got skills, insights, and experiences that others want to learn about. So why not share that knowledge? 

Platforms like Skillshare, Teachable, LinkedIn, or even your own website can be the stage for your courses or workshops. Whether it's photography tips, social media strategy, or how to build your own online brand, your expertise is valuable.

  1. Say Yes to Sponsorships…Wisely

Sponsorships can be a significant source of income, but it's all about finding the right fit. Partner with brands that align with your values and content to maintain your authenticity. Remember, your audience trusts you, so work with brands you genuinely like and would recommend even without the paycheck.  

Choose Partnerships That Reflect Your Brand

Developing long-term relationships with authentic brands can be more impactful than pursuing one-off relationships. 

Working on the long game will allow you to:

  • Forecast your income
  • Plan out your content calendar in advance
  • Work collaboratively with the brand as you collect data and insights from the content you create along the way

 

  1. Don’t Forget About Affiliate Marketing

If you're already talking about products you love, why not make some income from it?

Earn as You Endorse

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn a commission for products sold through your links. Remember to be transparent with your audience about your affiliate relationships—it builds trust and complies with regulations. 

This ecosystem is evolving and can be quite lucrative, especially when the brands and products are well integrated into life and/or day-to-day content.  

  1. Memberships & Patreons

Exclusive content via Patreon, Substck, or YouTube Memberships can turn regular viewers into devoted fans. These platforms allow you to create membership tiers with perks like behind-the-scenes content, early access, or exclusive Q&As. It’s a great way to deepen your relationship with your audience while stabilizing income. 

Any opportunity to collect email contacts can help protect you the next time a platform gets fickle and will allow you to keep in touch with your audience. Email marketing isn’t going anywhere!

  1. Consulting & Speaking Gigs

Your expertise can open doors beyond the internet. Speaking engagements and consulting roles allow you to share your insights on a large stage, expanding your network and enhancing your professional career.

Brands and events are always looking for knowledgeable thought leaders to share their insights.

Expect the Best, Prepare for the TikTok Ban

Whether it’s losing an influential social media app, a change in algorithm, or any other unpredictable event that results in lessened viewership, it's important to be prepared for shifts.

While diversifying can see you through tricky times, it can also set you up for greater success. So go forth, innovate, and diversify—your future self will thank you. 

Stay creative, stay diversified, and most importantly, stay YOU! And if you’re looking for additional guidance along the way, get in touch with our expert team at MODERNSPEAK. We’ll help you turn your digital challenges into opportunities. 

Check out our services, meet our team, or reach out directly to harness the full potential of your digital presence.

FAQ

When is TikTok getting banned in the US?

Things are heating up in the U.S., while ByteDance urges the government to make a decision earlier than planned. Currently, the company has until January 19, 2025, to divest its U.S. assets or face a ban.

Is TikTok banned in Canada?

If TikTok is banned in the U.S., it could face the same fate in Canada. While Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau hasn’t said much on the matter, his overall concern is “keeping Canadians safe while making sure we’re taking advantage of great technologies that spur innovation and opportunity for people right across the country.” 

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