TikTok restrictions survey results

Here are the results of our quick survey this month about dealing with TikTok restrictions.

We ran a short four-question survey earlier this month about how digital destination marketers are handling the many restrictions that government entities are imposing on brand and business TikTok usage, because of privacy concerns.

This is the first time that we can remember a situation where a lot of tourism marketers (who often work for state/province, county, or city government) are potentially unable to have a brand presence on a major social media platform, and we wanted to know more about how tourism organizations, hotels, economic development organizations, and their partners are handling this.

We didn’t have a huge number of respondents to our survey – about 40 – but they came from a variety of places, including our email subscriber list of experienced tourism marketers, followers of our social media channels, and some private Facebook Groups full of tourism geeks.

Let’s get to it.

The first question established who among the respondents is running an active brand, business, or organization TikTok account right now, or are thinking of starting one:


Q1 Tourism Currents TikTok survey Feb 2023 do you have a TikTok acct or plan to

Because we recently downgraded from the rather expensive SurveyMonkey paid plan to a free one, we lost a LOT of functionality including number of allowed responses, and skip logic. Normally you’d end the survey at Q1 for those who said No.

Time to look for a SurveyMonkey alternative, right?!

To those who went on to answer the rest of our survey questions to the best of their ability, even if they aren’t on TikTok right now, we thank you.

Additional respondent comments

“We are not allowed to have a TikTok account because it cannot be archived. However, we do pay influencers to create pro-[OurDestination] content on TikTok.”

“We have just been told we cannot have an account, period. However, as a work around, we are advertising on the channel.”

“The [state redacted] Tourism Department had a TikTok account. It was doing great but when the Governor banned TikTok, we felt we needed to delete the account. It made us very sad.”

The second question was an effort to get at the scope of the restrictions problem – whose brand TikTok use is currently restricted, and in what way?

Over half of respondents aren’t restricted yet at all, and for those who are, restrictions on devices seem to be the most common.


Q2 Tourism Currents TikTok survey Feb 2023 is account use or access restricted

Of course, it’s easy to avoid restrictions on work devices and WiFi if you’re determined to run a brand TikTok account, so that was our next question – workarounds.

The third question asked whether reaching visitors, guests, and customers on TikTok was important enough to respondents’ marketing goals that they’d develop workarounds to the most common government restrictions.

About 27% would, about 37% wouldn’t, and maybe some didn’t want to say 😊 . . .


Q3 Tourism Currents TikTok survey Feb 2023 would you consider workarounds to avoid TikTok restrictions or ban

The fourth and final question asked about TikTok alternatives in reaction to brand usage restrictions.

Instagram and/or Facebook Reels were the most preferred alternative – remember that Reels were developed as a competitor to TikTok vertical videos.

Related: get more content in less time by turning Reels into YouTube Shorts and Stories into Pinterest Idea Pins

Not many went for the YouTube Shorts option; Shorts are YouTube’s vertical video competitor to TikTok and Reels.

YouTube is the Number Two search engine in the world, though, and is owned by Google. Shorts are mostly an SEO play at this point.

Q4 Tourism Currents TikTok survey Feb 2023 what are your TikTok alternatives

Respondent comments –

“We don’t have restrictions currently, but should a government imposed ban come down the line, we would just amp up video creation on other platforms. We see most success in Instagram currently anyhow, by nature of the age range of users.”

“We’d create real content that lasts longer than five minutes, such as blog articles and YouTube (horizontal) videos.”

Thanks very much to everyone who responded to our survey. It was helpful to get a “finger on the pulse” look at how marketers are handling this rather unusual situation with an increasingly popular social channel.

Go here to see the survey results in a dashboard display.

PS. Don’t forget the brand-new offering in the Tourism Currents online store – our expert social media audit.

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