- Walmart introduced its first branded hashtag challenge on TikTok, the social video app with more than 500 million users worldwide. The discount chain is urging customers to show off how Walmart's savings make them feel by posting videos of their dance moves, marked with the #SavingsShuffle hashtag, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Walmart signed up six TikTok influencers to show off their #SavingsShuffle moves and to urge others to participate. As one example, Adam Waheed, a creator of comedy videos on social media whose TikTok handle is @AdamW, posted a video showing his enthusiasm for low-priced loofas at Walmart. His TikTok account has 1.7 million fans.
- Videos tagged with #SavingsShuffle generated nearly 450 million views on TikTok as of the morning of Sept. 26.
Walmart's first branded hashtag challenge on TikTok could help the discount chain reach a younger audience who have flocked to the video-sharing app and have become more difficult to reach through traditional media like cable and broadcast TV.
TikTok helps to drive viewership of branded hashtag challenges by featuring them in its feed of trending videos. From there, users who feel inspired to participate in the challenge can create their own videos that spread Walmart's branding virally across the platform. Paid influencer videos typically are marked with an #ad hashtag, as comedian Ashlay Soto did with her #SavingsShuffle video that shows how she uses Walmart's mobile app to order diapers.
Walmart's hashtag challenge is another sign that major brands are getting on board with TikTok, which had been the most downloaded social video app in the U.S. for two straight quarters (Q4 2018 and Q1 2019) before fading behind Snapchat and Instagram in Q2 2019, per researcher SensorTower. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Uniqlo, Ralph Lauren and the NFL are among the first major brands to get on board with TikTok. Recently, American Eagle Outfitters launched its first TikTok campaign to reach teens via a hashtag challenge, brand takeover and beta test of an in-feed video ad with badge that directs users to an external site to make a purchase.
TikTok said its has more than 500 million users worldwide, but doesn't disclose details about its audience demographics. Researcher GlobalWebIndex found in a global survey of digital consumers that about 40% of TikTok's users are 16 to 24 years old. That age group tends to prefer "snackable" mobile videos that can be watched throughout the day.