Saudi Arabia’s TikTok sensation and the booming business behind it

Hashtag’s Alia Ali believes the platform has ushered in a ground-breaking era of interconnectedness, collaborative potential and growth

TikTok is captivating millions and transforming the way Saudis connect, create and promote businesses. The digital phenomenon has taken the realm of short-form video by storm, creating viral sensations and reshaping social media in Saudi Arabia.

TikTok started gaining significant popularity in the region around 2019, and it comes as no surprise that Saudi Arabia, a nation renowned for its tech-savvy population has embraced the platform with unparalleled fervour.

In fact, Saudi Arabia claims the crown as the global leader in TikTok penetration, with a staggering 88 per cent of the population using it.

With an ad reach rate surpassing expectations at 110 per cent, TikTok’s allure captivates not only individuals but also those with multiple accounts.

Diving deeper into the app, it shows a fascinating gender dynamic, with 38 per cent of ad viewers being women and 62 per cent being men.


What truly sets TikTok apart is the power of community. In the diverse and connected society of Saudi Arabia, a strong feeling of unity and togetherness spreads, igniting a contagious enthusiasm for shared experiences.

Users can share their favourite videos with friends and family, nurturing a cultural phenomenon that transcends borders.

It is within this fertile ground that Saudi Arabia’s TikTok revolution thrives, weaving bonds and fostering connections that transcend the virtual realm.

Saudi businesses have harnessed the app’s unique format and vast user base to forge a new path for brand promotion. Gone are the days of relying solely on traditional platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

Recognising the immense potential of TikTok as an advertising platform, Saudi brands have ventured into uncharted marketing territories.

With the power to reach millions of eager eyes, businesses have wholeheartedly embraced TikTok as their primary channel for brand promotion.


The app’s advertising formats, ranging from sponsored challenges to influencer partnerships and native advertisements, offer a diverse array of possibilities.

By joining forces with popular TikTok creators, brands unlock a gateway to exponential growth, tapping into vast networks of followers and creating unforgettable brand experiences.

This innovative approach allows businesses to forge authentic connections with their target audience, painting vivid strokes of inspiration and weaving unforgettable memories.

Shgardi – a Saudi-based personalised on-demand delivery app – decided in 2021 to join TikTok and test its advertising solutions. Soon after, it created a TikTok profile and engaged the community with various ad creative and organic content.

More than 13,000 people followed the account on TikTok in a short amount of time—with thousands of engagements generated. A plan was also developed to collaborate with Saudi-based TikTok content creators to enable Shgardi to communicate their brand message in a fun and creative way.

They contacted several creators and briefed them on ideas to promote Shgardi’s app utilising various unique selling points they offer.

Two days into launching the iOS14+ dedicated campaign with the new content, cost per install dropped by 30 per cent compared to the branded content used in a previous campaign.

To improve the results even further, Shgardi looked into implementing best practices such as including more than one creative in a single ad group and refreshing the creatives every 7-10 days or when the CTR starts to decrease.

And to do that, Shgardi decided to reach out to more creators and worked together on developing new engaging TikTok videos for the campaign.

Working with content creators on TikTok to promote the content, Shgardi managed to drive 25,000+ app installs during the campaign period with a 75 per cent lower CPI vs. other digital platforms, according to the brand’s internal metrics.


TikTok has become a catalyst for creativity within the fabric of Saudi workplaces, unlocking the hidden talents and ideas of employees to showcase their skills, share their expertise and unleash their imagination.

Smart companies understand the power of TikTok as a conduit for innovation, encouraging their workforce to explore new horizons and contribute to a vibrant work atmosphere.

From quick tutorials to behind-the-scenes glimpses and awe-inspiring projects, TikTok empowers individuals to become architects of their own narratives, painting a portrait of creativity that breathes life into the corporate realm.

By sharing the magic behind their curtains, organisations reveal their true colours, attracting top talent, nurturing unwavering loyalty and etching their names in the annals of excellence.

As TikTok continues to evolve, it will undoubtedly play an increasingly significant role in Saudi Arabia’s business landscape, transforming the way brands connect with consumers – and sparking a new era of creative marketing.

By Alia Ali, Account Director at Hashtag Social Media Agency