case study

Helping TikTok Understand Users
During Unprecedented Growth


TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video, and its mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. The platform is a home for creative expression through videos that create a genuine, inspiring, and joyful experience.

In its early growth stages, TikTok was interested in better understanding who was signing up & using their platform as well as the reasons why. With this information, TikTok wanted to better target their acquisition strategies and tailor content strategy on the platform to drive deeper connections with their users.

The Solution

Leading With MaxDiff (Most-Least Scaling) To Segment TikTok's user base

Socratic conducted a large-scale online survey among TikTok users of various ages, geographies, and other demographics.


A MaxDiff exercise within the survey forced TikTok users to identify their most and least influential reasons for using TikTok. Subsequent modeling prioritized the reasons from most to least and also showed the relative influence of each reason.


TikTok users were segmented based on their MaxDiff preferences to identify unique archetypes by their motivations and goals for using the app.


For each unique archetype, Socratic profiled:

  • Path to trial/usage (customer journey, or events leading to sign-up)
  • Situations leading to increased usage and/or switching from other apps
  • Content and messaging that would be most effective for acquisition efforts
The Outcomes

Insights and recommendations directly informed acquisition and deepening strategies

Socratic delivered insights that provided input to enhance acquisition and deepen TikTok’s strategies. 

The insights improved the understanding of who is using the app, their primary reasons for using it, and experiences that led them to increase app usage.

TikTok saw the U.S. users grow over 5.5 times in less than an 18 month period, which elevated it to one of the world’s most downloaded apps.

Today, TikTok has over 80 million users in the U.S. who spend an average of 52 minutes a day watching and creating videos. In addition, 90% of TikTok’s users access the app daily.

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Socratic Technologies is a research-based consultancy that drives strategy and lifts brands. We believe in delivering high-touch client experiences as a cornerstone to providing irreplaceable value.