'Chief TikTok officers' may be coming to a C-suite near you

Some companies are adding specific roles to crack a vital, yet challenging market: TikTok.

Duolingo, Whole Foods and accessory chain Claire's are among them, The New York Times reported Feb. 12. One Dallas marketing agency is even seeking a "chief TikTok officer." The prospects are usually young people — even college-aged — since TikTok can be trickier to grasp than its predecessors, like Instagram and Facebook. 

"If you think about the number of brands with a really strong TikTok presence, it's less than a handful, compared to brands with a strong Instagram presence, which is literally everyone," Mae Karwowski, chief executive of the influencer firm Obviously, told the Times. "Video is so much harder for brands to do and then the direct face nature of TikTok doesn't fit into their current models."

Young people, Gen Zers in particular, are frequent users on the platform and catch onto its quirks and trends more quickly. They are also more likely to connect with an audience that they themselves are a part of. 

Medical institutions are not exempt from the TikTok craze, according to a Feb. 14 LinkedIn post from John Whyte, MD, the chief medical officer of WebMD. 

"I asked a young patient the other day where he got his health information. He said Tik Tok," Dr. Whyte wrote. 

"Honestly, I was a bit surprised. Perhaps naively. I thought about it all day," he continued. "And what I've learned is that we need to bring health info to where people are. We need to make it convenient to access. We need to analyze the latest trends in what people are accessing. We can't have a 'build it, they will come' philosophy. We need to go to where patients are as well."

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