With an initial release date of (if you can believe) September 2016, TikTok has skyrocketed in popularity over the last two years. With lockdowns, furloughs and generally nothing to do, it’s no surprise that the video sharing app has surpassed over 2.6 billion global downloads and is the 7th most used social media network.
Available in over 150 countries, over 1 billion active monthly users, and an increasing age-range user-base, the app holds incredible potential for brands. With most brands across multiple sectors such as retail and FMCG are leveraging this, charities, and the sector itself, are still finding their feet with the platform.
So, what is it about TikTok that makes it such a great, and free, marketing, and fundraising opportunity for the not-for-profit sector?
TikTok for good
The app has their own ‘TikTok for good’ initiative which works to help nonprofits use the app to “grow their audience, activate supporters, and raise awareness around specific causes.” The platform itself is also known to generously donate to the charities involved in the initiative – for example, in the US, they donated $1 to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for every video posted with the hashtag #PetBFF.
Such initiatives highlight that TikTok wants charities to be more involved with their platform.
A recent addition to the platform, Donation stickers, allow nonprofits to add a donation link to their profile, they are interactive and are embedded directly in videos and LIVE streams, just like other creative effects in TikTok. When clicked, the donor is taken to a screen to make their donation.
A new audience
With a new social media platform, comes a brand new user-base and prospective audience. If your social media strategy involves reaching the younger generation, then TikTok is the place to be.
As the most downloaded app of the year, TikTok offers the opportunity to move away from more traditional social media platforms that might not offer the most engagement. With 40% of users falling into the ‘Gen Z’ category in the UK (born 1997 – 2012), the platform works to help brands reach a younger, and potentially more diverse audience.
Outside of the potential the platform holds from posting and engaging with charity audiences, a lot of social media trends originate and gain momentum via TikTok, making it a great tool for general social listening. With Gen Z being a fairly new audience and market, they can sometimes be hard to ‘pin down’ – keeping an eye on the content they like helps to remain familiar with their interests, passions and humour.
The highest-engaging content on TikTok used humour, however only approximately 30% of brands actually attempt to use trend-related humour in their branded content on the platform. Knowing this emerging audience is key to creating successful content – otherwise your charity will get lost in amongst all the other content.
How can your charity use TikTok? Contact us here to see how our expertise can help your business drive fundraising.
Organic, paid, and streaming
The main appeal of TikTok is the original and relatable content created by its users. Relatability goes a long way on this social platform, which in turn, gives most charities a shoo-in. Animals, LGBTQ+, social issues, mental health, the arts, and nature are all examples of topics that already perform well and have a mass following on the app and are sectors many charities work within. This provides the perfect foundation for organic content.
Aside from organic content, the option always exists to invest in some paid advertising, which is vastly different to what you see on Twitter or Facebook for example. Paid advertising across TikTok exists in an incredibly similar way to organic content, they show up on peoples ‘for you page’ and are only noticeable as paid when reading the caption.
Streaming is also a new way in which TikTok is operating as an event platform. Hosting live events can draw in millions of viewers who can be directed to a donation page. Last year, The Weeknd performed a virtual concert on TikTok which drew in 2 million viewers and raised over $350,000 for the Equal Justice Initiative.
The ‘materials’ needed to create a successful TikTok far exceed those for a Tweet for example. Content needs to be tailored and separate to your other social accounts.
Don’t overthink it
These videos don’t require the budget of a blockbuster, just original thinking that’s in line with current trends.
Recycle and reuse
Not everyone has access to the time or the resources to create totally original videos, so if you have some at your disposal on YouTube for example, work with what you have.
Understand and respect the culture
TikTok is an opportunistic yet ever-changing space, with a growing audience and user-base. It is unlike any other social media platform, and this needs to be understood when entering the space. Understanding the culture that surrounds the platform, i.e., the social issues interest, is essential to building successful content.
All Response Media viewpoint
We have been working with charities and not-for-profit over the last 20 years delivering exceptional results. We are always scoping the landscape for new and innovative ways to help our clients target the right people, raising their donation and awareness rates, and being monetarily efficient in the process.
TikTok is an exciting new way to get in front of people you may not otherwise, and to share more of your brand story. Looking towards the future, the digital team are always developing the right strategies tailored to each brand’s goals and getting clients onto new and exciting platforms with the largest possible chance of success – TikTok being one of these.
With all the new potential benefits of the global sensation, it’s exciting to see where this will take us as an agency, and our clients within the charity sector.