Beauty industry pro Jo Jones reveals how at 43-years-old she's become addicted to micro-vlogging site TikTok - and explains why beauty brands need to get on board

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If you're a beauty devotee, we imagine you're familiar with Jo Jones; as well as helping build brands for 20 years, she's also co-founder of Beauty Banks, a charity that redistributes unused toiletries to those in need. On top of that she's one part of beauty vloggers The Beauty Hags with beauty editor and influencer Nadine Baggot.

Jo has seen trends come and go in the beauty world and the latest one to pique her interest is TikTok. Here she explains why beauty brands need to be on the app.

"When I set up my TikTok account eight weeks ago I had no intention of posting anything to it. God forbid, I’m a 43 year old mother of two. I have no right to be lolloping about on a lip-syncing app causing death-by-cringe to my kids. No, I was there strictly in a work capacity. I’m a beauty PR and it’s my job to get attention for the brands I help build and promote."

After learning that TikTok had overtaken Facebook , Instagram, Messenger and Snapchat as the most downloaded app on iTunes – it has been downloaded over 1.5 billion times - I knew I couldn’t afford to ignore it. And frankly, if Reese Witherspoon (@ officialreeseTikTok ) isn’t too old to be there then I, a whole six months younger than her, am not either."

What is TikTok?

"According to technology news site Tech Crunch  ‘TikTok is Instagram for the mobile video age.’ In a nutshell TikTok is a short-form video sharing app. A reincarnation of Vine but with 15 or 60 second-long video-clips versus Vine's six seconds. It is possible to string TikTok clips together to make longer form videos but I think it defeats the purpose of this platform which is all about fast, fun entertainment."

Is TikTok for kids?

"Of course it is because that’s how life works. All big-time social media platforms start life with a young(er) user base. The 16-25 year old ‘kids’ find something cool, adopt it as their own, then their mum signs-up and they're off onto the next thing faster than you can say ‘mum-meme-ing’. Also, here’s the thing; in its early years Facebook was labelled as ‘only for college kids’ and we know how that worked out for them.

What's popular on TikTok?

"Right now lip-syncing and dance videos performed to music are the most popular on TikTok but they're not all that the platform is about. Content creators include comedians, artists and bands are showcasing their talents as well as gymnasts, bakers and bone-fide pop-stars – hey JLo . Lopez used TikTok most recently as a vehicle to take followers behind the scenes of her Superbowl show. However, what’s really exciting me is how beauty is coming alive on the platform."

What can beauty brands do on TikTok?

"We already know there’s a huge appetite for beauty content thanks to YouTube and Instagram. The difference here is that TikTok is putting the fun, playfulness and joy back into beauty. Forget the latest feud between ‘Blogger A’ and ‘Blogger B’ the collaboration fiascos, the dramas, the rants, the hacks, the exposès, the ‘my truths’ because it's overshadowing (pun intended) the beauty of beauty. For me, beauty should be a place of joy and exploration of self and connecting with like-minded others as well as discovering products and services. Somewhere you can play and experiment (not always successfully!) with your look and express yourself in the way you want to."

Which big brands are on TikTok?

"Powerhouses such as Sephora  and Fenty Beauty  are killing it on the TikTok, showcasing their brands in a fun, fresh way and connecting with customers joyfully. For beauty content creators TikTok provide a fun space for playing with beauty products and experimenting with your look. I particularly enjoy the bite-sized beauty content where creators focus on one thing – like a feline flick eyeliner tutorial or a lip look without doing a full-face make-up tutorial. The last time I checked #makeuptutorial had 3billion views #eyemakeuptutorial 60.2million and #skincareroutine had 191.million views."

Is TikTok easy to use?

"There are lots fancy extras like editing templates, duets that enable you to create content with another user without being in the same room, filters, stickers and the like, most of which I haven’t fathomed yet. On the whole though I’ve found TikTok to be pretty intuitive, even for a ‘woman of my age’ to quote my 11-year-old daughter, Violet. If you are already on Instagram, then you’ll crack how TikTok works quickly enough."

"Eight weeks in and I’m loving TikTok. Not only am I posting regularly with my little beauty tips but I’m getting engagement because, and this is another plus of the platform, you don’t have to grind out a following like you have to on other channels. You can be discovered by followers simply by creating good content that taps into what they love. If you are stuck for content ideas simply visit the discover section on the platform and its loaded with ideas."

"If I had to sum TikTok up in one word it would be joy. It’s just joy. Joy to create, joy to consume and right now, who doesn’t need a bit of joy in their life – even if it’s only 15 seconds long?"

Follow Jo on TikTok

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