The sun is setting on the terrace of the Isabelle Huppert suite. Glass of champagne in hand, the manager of the Martinez hotel, Yann Gillet, observes the orange reflections of the sky on the Croisette. The few seconds video is the last content posted to his TikTok account. In a tuxedo on his profile photo, the 51-year-old manager takes the stage in the iconic five-star in Cannes. There he distils advice on "gentleman manners". Tying your tie, folding your pocket square or making a double Windsor knot to tie your shoes ... Videos that also feed into the hotel's official account.
TikTok is a way to address a community that is not necessarily interested in us
,” says Yann Gillet
. The goal is for this clientele to come in ten years when they can afford it
It's also a story of image,
" he adds. The communication operation is still in its infancy. These videos have generated, for the time being, just over 4,000 likes on the director's account. The one at the Hotel Martinez got even less. This is little ? Whatever, within the Hyatt group, owner of the establishment, the idea pleases. The American company would even consider getting started on the platform.
TikTok is one of the fifty most visited sites and is the tenth most popular application in France
Ouisncf, the city of Cannes, Transavia or even the Palace of Versailles… In France, more and more tourism players, like the Martinez hotel, want to appropriate what could become a formidable communication tool.
The Chinese platform has been breaking attendance records since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Between July 2020 and September 2021, the app gained more than 300 million users.
She has not yet reached the level of Instagram, which is considered an institution when it comes to travel inspiration on social networks.
In January 2021, the American network counted 1.2 billion active users (i.e. who posts or reacts to content at least once a month), against 689 million for TikTok according to a study by We are Social.
A figure that has since almost doubled since Tik Tok prides itself on having exceeded one billion active users worldwide, only four years after having absorbed its competitor Musical.ly.
In France, the platform made its entry among the fifty most visited sites and became the tenth most popular application.
Read alsoHow Instagram has changed our travel habits
Investing in the travel sector
TikTok is a video sharing application created in 2016 by the Chinese company ByteDance. It was launched in France three years ago. It provides a stream of videos selected for the user and chosen according to what catches their attention. No need to have a large network of friends or subscribe to anyone, just swipe your thumb up and down to switch between content. The algorithm does the rest. You can still subscribe to certain creators, in order to find their content more easily.
Anyone can post a clip that will be viewed by thousands of people. The videos are short, even very short. The maximum duration has just been increased to three minutes, but most do not exceed 30 seconds. In reality, many limit themselves to just 10 seconds. In its early days, the application was all the rage among teens, who competed in choreography on the hits of the moment. Since the start of the pandemic, the age of users has reportedly increased. According to a Kantar study commissioned by TikTok in 2020, 67% of users are over 25 years old today.
Bolstered by this insolent growth, the network is showing its willingness to invest in the travel sector.
“This is a high priority for TikTok
, confirms Arnaud Sabnis, director of monetization at TikTok France.
The platform has more than 40 billion travel videos ”.
The hashtag #voyage has been consulted more than 1.1 billion times since the arrival of the social network in France, three years ago.
And according to a study carried out by Walnut Unlimited in 2021 on the initiative of TikTok
"49% of users say they have booked a trip or bought a travel-related product after being inspired by content seen on TikTok"
Read also Travel Instagrammers: influencers or profiteers?
The Chinese platform is on an upward slope. And its travel content is growing rapidly. “
People sometimes ask me for advice on how to break into Instagram,”
says content creator Bruno Maltor.
I want to say,
“don't go to Instagram but to TikTok”
blogger and travel influencer for ten years on YouTube and Instagram, has just launched his brand of clothing and accessories dedicated to globetrotters. He is increasingly active on TikTok. In the past six months, it has even gained 100,000 subscribers, reaching a total of 293,000. That's more than his number of
on YouTube but less than his Instagram account, which maintains a slight lead with 350,000 subscribers.
Yet it is on TikTok that he breaks records of likes
More than 100,000 people have pressed on the little hearts of some of his videos,
"which I have never experienced on any other platform."
On TikTok, it's happening now.
I post several times a day, against one to two times per week on Instagram
says Bruno Maltor.
Admittedly, TikTok videos are shorter and therefore quick to edit.
"You have to get straight to the point, tell a story in a very short time,"
explains Florin Defrance, another travel content creator, with 145,000 subscribers.
A search with the hashtag "#voyage" generates a multitude of very short videos. A young woman sliding down a slide in the sea, two visitors to the zoo or a young man who recounts his encounter with a dog during a bicycle trip in China ... Often fun and entertaining, they do not act as a guide or a guide. travel advice. Especially since these contents are rarely localized. Only the country or region where they were filmed appears in the description, at the discretion of its author. Not very practical to try to find the exact place where the video was shot and to plan an excursion there.
However, some creators use the platform to give travel advice. Florin Defrance launched his TikTok account in March 2020 during the first containment, when the platform exploded. “
I started with travel memories. I explain that we drove for 2 hours, that we went through such and such a place, etc. The idea is to share more than just the photo of the beautiful place at the end of the journey, and to show people that it is doable
Quickly, he gained many subscribers. “
I thought everyone would know what I was going to talk about, but not at all. The public is quite young and has not necessarily had the opportunity to travel a lot.
The monetization of a video is possible from 100,000 views, but many parameters come into play such as the regularity or the number of likes.
A budget of 350 million euros over three years is planned to pay the creators of European content preferred by users, we are told at TikTok.
Florin Defrance, for his part, receives less than 10 euros per month.
Suffice to say that this is not about to replace his main activity as a director.
He sometimes posts content in partnerships with brands that seek to promote their products.
"It gives me a little bonus, but that's not what keeps me going
Spontaneous videos against worked photos
Recently, the 30-something posted several videos of very specific travel advice: how to download Google Maps on his phone to consult them offline or how to find cheap tickets on Google Flights. “
On TikTok, it's not the aesthetic quality that counts but rather how people identify with the story told in the video. You don't have to be a talented director, unlike Insta where you have to be beautiful but where there are fewer anecdotes.
Instagram's DNA is still photo sharing. The content is less spontaneous but more sophisticated, and is equipped with a geolocation tool allowing you to find all the content posted on the place from which a photo or video is taken. Useful for finding out about a destination. Videos, which did not make their debut until later, remain in the minority and are generally longer. Even if in 2020, the American social network launched the Reels, a video format of 15 seconds maximum with audio content and effects in augmented reality. The maximum duration has now been increased to one minute, but the tool is still largely inspired by TikTok.
The Chinese operator is also walking on the beds of its rival.
It just increased the maximum video length limit to three minutes, down from just one minute earlier.
But before winning the bet, the platform still has a few battles to fight.
In particular, it must resolve the problem of the harmful effects that it is suspected of having on young people.
Even in his native country, the app had to limit its use to 40 minutes per day for those under 14.
We will have to prepare for his trips in fourth gear.