Those with large followers on Instagram do not leave the platform; instead, they build new profiles on TikTok as they also post the work on Instagram, especially during the pandemic. Posting content first to TikTok and then posting it on Instagram Stories has become common practice, as has placing TikTok and YouTube handles in Instagram profiles and vice versa.
Chang credits the combination of TikTok and Instagram Reels to her growing audience on Instagram. Her feed, which she began expanding in 2016 and started at 25,000 in early 2020, has grown to 197,000 followers today. She says that about half of her brand partners, which include L’Oréal Paris, No7 and Lancôme, will now have a combination of both TikTok and Instagram deliveries.
“TikTok has become an increasingly important platform for adding creators̵
Of course, the success rate on TikTok also means that others appreciate it less, which makes a large Instagram that follows much more sought after in the eyes of influencers and brands, says Gil Eyal, partner in Starfund and founder of the influencer platform HYPR. “The term ‘TikTok Famous’ is a somewhat ironic term for being familiar, but not really.”
That sign is clear with creators who started on TikTok, but who are also growing their Instagram accounts to reach more target groups and work with brands that will be on both platforms. Mario Selman, a TikTok creator (@marioselman) with 4.3 million followers, has worked with brands such as T-Mobile, Google Pixel and Nike, over TikTok and Instagram where he now has 1.6 million followers. “Everyone has used both platforms in different ways and has allowed me creative freedom depending on the platform to ensure that I could provide the best possible content for the audience,” he says.
This type of approach to multiple channels will continue, as Instagram puts more emphasis on video and brands put more money into TikTok, say experts from influenza agencies. “Most marketing campaigns run on Instagram, and even the biggest TikTok influencers repeatedly ask their followers to follow them on Instagram (or YouTube if they have a channel),” says Eyal.
“Instagram will continue to be an incredibly valuable tool when it comes to sponsoring opportunities and linking content with e-commerce,” said Ricky Ray Butler, CEO of branding firm BEN Group. “Influencers are not going to jump in the long run – if anything, the next wave of creators will be native to TikTok, but ultimately be multi-channel social media experts.”
Panosian says it makes sense for creators to continue to lean on both platforms, or more, even when headaches occur. “We all kind of ‘grew up’ on Instagram. It’s not easy to walk away from. It’s just being fluid enough to adapt to the changes.”