Despite TikTok’s unwavering popularity over the past few years, it wasn’t until last summer that Uber adopted the buzzy platform. The rideshare company planned its entrance strategically, hiring its first TikTok-dedicated team member, Phil Rosario, months before activating. The exec quickly went to work developing a playbook designed not only to assist the brand tap into the platform’s vast audience, but to determine a way of community around a few of life’s more relatable moments, whether it’s ordering takeout or finding a ride home.
“One of the explanations it was really necessary for Uber to get on [TikTok] was not only to affix the cultural conversation, but to interact with audiences in the way in which that is exclusive to TikTok and construct this community behind this relatable experience that folks have using Uber products,” said Rosario, Uber’s global social media lead for TikTok.
Following its TikTok debut last May, Uber inside a yr gained over 750,000 followers and greater than 35 million organic video views, gains that Rosario attributes to a fine-tuned creator strategy built with help from creator management platform Grin. The two teamed last September — at which era Uber had achieved over 400,000 TikTok followers while Rosario was handling content creation alone — allowing the exec to pursue recent talent and nearly triple the quantity of content produced. In addition to Uber, Grin has worked with brands Skims, Liquid I.V. and Macy’s, amongst others.
“My goal was really to begin introducing some recent faces, but I knew that I had to seek out a very efficient method to try this when working with creators since I’m the one person dedicated to TikTok at Uber,” Rosario said. “I ended up working with Grin three months later, and after only one month of using Grin, was capable of introduce five recent faces onto the account and have since introduced greater than that.”
Today, Uber’s TikTok touts nearly 1 million followers and the channel, which features an assortment of each brand-contributed and creator-made content, holistically promotes its full business suite, including its core rideshare service and offshoot food delivery company, UberEats. To keep a firm pulse on content, Rosario only works with as much as six creators at any given time, he said, which helps maintain the connection between himself and those he teams with.
“It’s really necessary to be sure that these creators are getting as much attention from me as I’m getting from them,” Rosario said. “And I actually like it to feel like an ongoing partnership.”
Using a creator management platform has been fundamental to establishing strong creator ties, Rosario explained. For example, the functionality of Grin — which allows the exec to send information or payments through one platform — helps alleviate the necessity for an agency because the middleman, which may sometimes blur the connection between brands and talent.
“Having an all-in-one platform and process where I have already got these ongoing relationships and conversations with creators allows me to quickly turn around content, sometimes in lower than 24 hours, because there’s not that middle individual that has multiple stakeholders involved and multiple rounds of review before it even gets to myself,”
Striking a match
Behind Uber’s TikTok creator strategy is a selective process around which creators Rosario chooses to work with. For instance, creators chosen should have already got existing content around Uber or UberEats or have shared content that aligns with the life-style being promoted by the brand, the exec detailed. Diversity, each in demographic and in tone, is a top priority.
“What Phil has done that I believe is admittedly smart, and that is what thrives on TikTok, is he has created this community of warm, colourful characters that folks naturally want to interact with and return to,” said Ali Fazal, vp of selling for Grin.
To channel a more diverse tone, Rosario seeks out creators who succeed with various varieties of content formats and styles, and those that have a proven ability to create strong evergreen posts, to make sure the brand isn’t only leaning into trend content. In that regard, the exec often looks beyond vanity metrics, like follower count — a metric that always favors creators who aren’t diverse, Fazal added — to prioritize creative output. Follower count can also be less relevant on condition that creator content produced for Uber is simply shared on the brand’s channel, not the creator’s.
“It’s seeing that their content has that potential to essentially help tell the Uber story in a strong way and having the ability to kind of see beyond just those numbers,” Rosario said.
Creators who’re enthusiastic about constructing a long-term partnership are also key, Rosario said, noting that such relationships might help to discover strong content opportunities. For example, the brand in April prolonged a long-running partnership with one in every of TikTok’s Effect House creators, Laura Gouillon, to make a custom effect for Uber, a quiz dubbed “Which Uber ride are you,” that promotes the corporate’s services by quizzing users on their preferences. In total, the effect generated over 2,000 user-generated posts.
More broadly, positive sentiment by consumers across the brand’s TikTok presence has only grown over time as people engage with the brand’s content, Rosario said, adding that the success has been seen from a qualitative standpoint. On the side of the creator, efforts by Uber to determine a smooth partnership experience are key to making sure that the brand is positively regarded by talent down the road, Fazal added.
“In the identical way that for an organization, or employer, brand, what employees write about you on Glassdoor really impacts your ability to accumulate recent talent, I’d say it’s the identical for the creator experience,” Fazal said.
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