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So…. What About TikTok?


Social media is the established channel for building relationships and engaging audiences, with nearly 4 billion users worldwide. While Facebook continues to reign as the most popular platform, it isn’t necessarily where your target is. Increasingly, younger users are on ephemeral, video-driven platforms, the trendiest being TikTok. This month, we take a closer look at TikTok and how nonprofits and businesses can use it in 2020 and beyond. 

What is TikTok?

What exactly is TikTok? If you haven’t heard of TikTok, then you might have encountered it with its former name, Musical.ly. Musical.ly was originally a video and music-sharing platform. However, in August 2018, Musical.ly was purchased by a Chinese company, ByteDance, at which point the app was rebranded as TikTok.

Today, TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world, with more than 1.2 billion downloads to date. As of 2019, there were 500 million users worldwide (roughly the same number as LinkedIn) and 41% of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24 (Globalwebindex, 2019). TikTok allows users to create short videos with music, filters, and many other creative features. 

How Can TikTok Help Nonprofits and Businesses?

As a nonprofit, using TikTok is an effective way to reach younger generations and gain an edge. With the majority of users in Gen-Z,  90% of TikTok users access the app on a daily basis. One of our favorite accounts on TikTok is The Institute of Human Anatomy (@instituteofhumananatomy), which is a private human cadaver lab that focuses on educating various healthcare professionals. Most of their posts demonstrate cadaver body parts, such as four human hearts of different sizes. This account has 3.5 million followers and each of their video posts generates approximately 70,000+ likes, shares, and comments.

TikTok: Tapping into an Untapped Market

In addition to an increase in the number of active users, there is also an uptick in advertisements on TikTok. Businesses and nonprofits that use intriguing videos to grab users’ attention are ahead of the game. (Globalwebindex, 2019)

For example, perhaps your organization wants to attract more students into a certain degree program or encourage younger generations to consider a specific industry as they approach college age. By leveraging TikTok, you not only have access to a sticky platform, but you also have the opportunity to get your nonprofit or business name, organizational mission, and brand right in front of your target audience. 

Like many of our clients, you might be asking yourself: Should I use TikTok? Will it benefit my nonprofit or business? TikTok can be effective in addressing the Gen Z market, which is widely considered to be a difficult group to reach. 

Content is Still King

With hundreds of millions of active users across the globe, TikTok is a sticky platform for nonprofits and businesses wanting to meet the younger generation on their turf. Create approachable and fun content, leveraging popular music and hashtags to gain traction. It may be worth considering diverting from your established brand voice and presence for optimal results. Above all, ensure content is fresh and aligns to established TikTok conventions.

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