So…. What About TikTok?

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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, was originally a video and music-sharing platform. However, in August 2018, 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.


2020 Social Media Trends

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January… A new year, with new opportunities to get started on the right foot. We are full of motivation, drive and excitement of what the year has in store for our business. 

If you are anything like a majority of businesses out there, you might be at a loss of where to start when it comes to your social media strategies for 2020.

Hot digital trends form and change in a blink of an eye. 

How are you to keep up? 

We have compiled a list of some of the top digital trends to be aware of and implement this year. 


Social media has changed drastically. Instagram used to be all about beautiful pictures that were sure to gain you followers and engagement. It is no longer just about a pretty photo, it is now about what you have to say. It’s time to engage with your following and tell a story. 

“Likes” are a thing of the past now. You are still able to view your likes but this is no longer visible to others. As a brand, you want to find a way to adapt to this change. Audiences want meaningful connections with the people and companies they follow. They want to see the brands they like doing something that directly affects them or the causes that they care about. 


Instagram’s features of IGTV and stories are now a sure fire way to gain engagement with your following. Recent studies show that Instragam video posts gain 2x the engagement of other post types. The great thing about the videos is that you can tell a story with them. This really enables you to find new ways to increase engagement with your brand and reach a larger audience. All social media platforms are investing heavily into video, so it might be time to jump on this bandwagon.


TikTok is rapidly gaining popularity, especially with GenZ. GenZ’s are tech-savvy, craving innovation, personalization, brand purpose and transparency. We highly recommend keeping an eye on this social platform or jump on the TikTok bandwagon.  That is, if you think this would be a place you could communicate with your customers. Brands are already on this platform utilizing it to their advantage. TikTok currently has 500+ Million users and was the third most downloaded app in 2019. 


Influencers with large followings are no longer the target of brands. Brands are now more interested and looking at building relationships with the Micro Influencer. Unlike macro influencers, using Micro influencers will equal closer relationships and better engagement. More brands will be connecting with nano influencers, which are accounts with even a smaller following than Micro with only a couple thousand followers. 


According to Sprout social and the research they have done, user generated content will be one of the top social media trends this year. User generated content involves establishing a connection with your audience through customer content. This will encourage a constant stream of content from your followers. Why not create a personal hashtag to your brand and allow your customers to showcase your brand for you. Better yet, add in a giveaway where your followers use your hashtag on a story image to gain even more engagement on your brand. There are so many opportunities here.  

Rethink what social platforms deserve your attention this year. 

With so many social platforms out there, you really should think about what platforms deserve your attention. What platform will reach your audience and gain your brand engagement? Really focus on your top two. It is crucial to understand how you are utilizing your time and what will bring you the best results. Being on all platforms will drain you and not bring out the best results with your social strategy.

Take some time to really look at where you can reach your audience best. 

We hope that you will take away a few of these trends for 2020 and integrate them into your social media strategy. Really think about what you can do to make 2020 your year. 

What are your goals for your social media strategy this year?

We would love to hear!

-Melissa Schalk



‘Tis The Season For Holiday Networking

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It’s that festive time of year, where we are all attending both personal and professional holiday events. If you are like most people, you may be faced with keeping a conversation going with someone you don’t know very well. In addition to watching the alcohol consumption, I have a few tricks up my sleeve for these events, including some strategies to engage with folks and even enjoy these events.

In general, it is important to look the part at these events. A close second is to be comfortable. And, a good rule of thumb is to be a little bit over-dressed if you are not sure. In general, a suit is a great idea, with or without a tie, or a dress is a flexible choice.

Most of all, look to be inclusive. Try to keep your body language open and welcome newcomers into your conversation. Once you make eye contact, a simple “Hi, I’m Harper!” will break the ice. Then you can introduce the newcomer to the group you are in.

Have a few conversation starters up your sleeve. I always try to have an interesting (non-political) current event to discuss, as well as a tidbit about a home sports team or two. You may find that you don’t end up discussing either topic directly, but it can elicit where someone went to college or perhaps an experience they had related to the area or current event topic.

Also, there are several perennial icebreaker questions that work well in any networking or social situation, and all are predicated on the notion that people always like to talk about themselves. Here are some to keep handy:

  1. How do you know the host? / What is your connection to the sponsor?
  2. How are you spending your time these days? (This is a good one, because it doesn’t put someone on the spot if they are between jobs, ill, et cetera.)
  3. Do you have any plans for the upcoming weekend/holiday?
  4. Any favorite podcasts or social accounts?

These are tried and true and should get you through a good 10 minutes or more of a 1:1 conversation – more if you are in a group. Remember to keep the phrasing of the questions open ended, so that you don’t get a one word, dead end answer.

Last, but not least, remember your manners. Hold doors, use table manners, don’t interrupt, and be sure to thank your host or the person who brought you to the event. No one wants to be that “rude person.”

A little thought and preparation going into an event can make the entire experience much more relaxing, and even enjoyable. Plus, you never know when you are going to make that next great connection.