Posted on February 20, 2019 by staff

Forbes ’30 Under 30′ star turns to TikTok


One of the stars of Forbes ’30 Under 30′ list for Europe is turning her attention to the next big social media platform.

Charlotte Hamill is the COO of London-based Born Social, which has grown 30 per cent each year for the past three years and reached £2 million turnover in 2018.

Now it is time for the social media agency to ramp things up further, with ambitious growth plans of 50 per cent this year – and TikTok could help them get there.

The app allows users to create and share short videos of up to 15 seconds with backing tracks and has been described as ‘the joyful, slightly cringe-inducing spiritual successor to Vine’.

“When everyone asks what’s new in social, that’s the answer I give,” Hamill, 28, told BusinessCloud.

“TikTok is super niche and really new: I think we will see brands start to use it. It’s an interesting platform and people are saying it is the next evolution of ‘stories’.

“Brands are going to have to behave differently on it, so as part of our strategy we are not creating brand accounts for them.

“But you shouldn’t use something for the sake of using it: businesses should consider whether it’s right for their target market.”

Around 20 per cent of TikTok’s users are between the ages of 10 and 19, with many of them creating dance videos, mimes and karaoke-style clips which are then shared globally. The free-to-use platform is yet to display ads, unlike Facebook and Twitter.

Born Social has started rolling it out to appropriate clients. Hamill expects brands to turn to content creators rather than attempt to carve their own niche out on the platform.

Born Social, which employs 40 people and has big-name clients including L’Oreal and the BBC, has seen an increase in ‘paid content’ where their social media posts are boosted to maximise exposure.

“Paid social is about making sure the right people see your content at the right time,” explained Hamill.

“People have followed you because they are indicating they want to see your content, but there is so much content on social media that the platforms have to find a way to order what they show you.

“It enables you to control your content to a much greater level, so you’re not just putting them out there and seeing what happens and leaving it in the hands of other people.”

An image of Hamill swimming with sharks in the Maldives – taken by her husband Chris – became one of the key shots used by Apple in its ‘Shot on iPhone 6S’ billboard campaign in 27 countries.

“We had just jumped in the water and he was testing his camera and took this photo of me,” recalled Hamill. “I didn’t even realise he was taking a photo. He posted it on Instagram basically to make fun of me!

“Luckily you can’t tell it’s me because of the snorkel, but I can now say that I’ve been a global campaign model.

“It was a total accident, so be careful what you post on social media!”

Speaking about her inclusion on the Forbes list, she said: “Forbes 30 under 30 is known by so many people and so I’ve been absolutely astounded by how many people have reached out.

“I’ve been quite embarrassed really. It’s been really lovely and lots of people have been very excited about it, but no more so than my mum.

“I’m not sure she 100 per cent knows what it is but keeps telling people about it.”