- Over half of all respondents had purchased a self-defense item due to a TikTok recommendation.
- Alarm systems are the top home safety advice topic on TikTok.
- Older millennials (age 33-40) were the most likely to trust home security tips from TikTok.
Sourcing security advice
Social media has become the digital dimension of our everyday lives, with research suggesting there are 4.59 billion active social media users worldwide. That accounts for about 59% of the global population! A recent international study also found that Gen Zers and millennials find digital life more important than in-person life.
Meanwhile, TikTok is now the third largest social media platform.), with over 750 million users. It’s where one can find knowledge and advice on almost anything imaginable: fashion trends, DIY tutorials, life hacks — even security and safety advice. But how much influence do these apps have over viewers’ decision-making when it comes to their safety? Read on to find out.
First, we wanted to determine how much TikTok users trust different types of advice and recommendations on the platform. For the purposes of this study, security tips included things like door locks and home security systems, while safety tips referred to topics like carbon monoxide detectors and fire safety. Would what they trusted and how much vary by age?
According to our research, millennials were more likely to trust home safety tips than life hacks on TikTok — especially younger millennials. This makes sense, as other recent research indicates that younger users are looking to social media for entertainment and information. In fact, more than half of every generational group we surveyed said they trust advice on TikTok, indicating it’s become much more than just a source for funny dances and crazy challenges.
Perhaps millennials are particularly trusting of information on social media because they are the original pioneers of this technological era. Most of this generation is old enough to remember life both before and after the internet. Almost 78% of younger millennials (age 25-32) said they trust TikTok’s home safety tips, which is more than any other age group. Meanwhile, older millennials (age 33-40) were most likely to trust TikTok’s home security tips (67.5%).
Next, we wanted to find out how many people have actually purchased a security or safety device based on a TikTok recommendation. We then compare those products to the security measures that make people feel the safest.
A whopping 91.1% of those surveyed reported purchasing a security or safety device based on a TikTok recommendation. Other recent research has turned up similar findings, noting that social media posts influence up to 81% of consumers. Based on ours, personal alarms were the measure that made people feel safest and also the one most often purchased due to a TikTok recommendation.
Security systems and cameras were other top measures that made our respondents feel safe. With so many types and features of security cameras available, it’s easier than ever to keep an eye on your home 24/7. But overall, respondents were more likely to purchase a self-defense item based on a TikTok recommendation over either a home security system or camera, suggesting that they leave that advice to the experts.
The items purchased based on TikTok recommendations varied by gender, though. Men were more likely than women to purchase self-defense items and weapons, while women were more likely to buy personal alarms and guard animals. It seems that the men were more interested in tips about preparing for an attack compared to women, who were more swayed by things that might deter it in the first place.
Advice from online strangers
Finally, we wanted to analyze the most popular security hashtags and types of safety advice on TikTok. We also explored who’s most likely to give safety advice on TikTok and why people turn to this platform for advice and product recommendations.
We found that #homesecurity and #safetytip were the most popular TikTok safety and security hashtags based on average likes and views. Men were the most likely to give home safety advice on TikTok, with about 40% of content identified as having been posted by a male. As for what was discussed the most, alarm systems, locking doors, and neighborhood safety were the three most popular topics.
Regardless of the source, many consumers crave authentic information, especially millennials. The majority of people we surveyed (62.6%) reported using TikTok for advice or product recommendations because it feels more genuine. Word-of-mouth is a highly sought-after marketing metric, and marketers have found a new way to achieve it in the digital world by partnering with social media influencers.
Additionally, Gen Xers (aged 41-57) were most likely to use TikTok for advice and product recommendations because they felt like it was more relatable than those from other sources. And men were more likely than women to say they do so because they feel the information is unbiased.
Genuine security advice from TikTok
More people are looking to social media for genuine information about a variety of topics, including home security and safety tips. Millennials were more likely to trust home safety tips than life hacks from TikTok, and most respondents had already purchased a self-defense item based on a TikTok recommendation. And alarm systems are the top safety topic on TikTok, proving the popularity of the platform as a source of home security information.
But while TikTok is a great place for anecdotal tips, make sure you get expert advice before making any big investments!