What is TikTok?
For those who don’t know by now – TikTok is a social media platform created by a Chinese tech firm called ByteDance that allows users to generate 15-second videos and host live streams with musical overlays, sound and visual effects.
To say that the platform is popular is putting it mildly, to date the app has been downloaded over 1.5 billion times on the App Store and Google Play. And it has more than 800 million users worldwide – 41 per cent are aged between 16 to 24. 1.6 million Australians are among the many global users.
Popular content includes musical montages or mini music videos. While some people are just lip-syncing to songs, others might get more creative. In this interesting example, a user combines a video game’s storyline with a song with lyrics that relate well to what the main character is doing.
Although TikTok might feel like just a hub of lots of odd posts, its popularity and video focused layout opens not-for-profits up to a variety of unique marketing and brand awareness opportunities.
How not-for-profits can use the platform
In April 2020, TikTok officially launched Donation Stickers, a new in-app feature that offers creators a way to help raise monies within their videos and TikTok LIVE streams for charities and causes they care most about.
Donation Stickers are interactive and can be embedded directly in videos and TikTok LIVE streams, just like other creative effects in TikTok. When a user taps on the Donation Sticker, they will be guided to a pop-up window where they can quickly and easily submit a donation without having to leave the app. Donations are enabled by Tiltify, a charitable fundraising platform, which processes donation transactions securely through their platform.
Currently, there are a limited number of charities that you can donate to using TikTok Donation Stickers but the platform will hopefully open up the option for more not-for-profits soon – so keep an eye open on developments.
Information and educational videos
Not-for-profits can use the platform to raise awareness about their cause. By sharing what your not-for-profit does, introducing your team members and showing what goes on behind the scenes, you can connect with both new and existing audiences.
Caenhill Countryside Centre, a charity in the UK, uses the platform successfully to teach young children about farming and caring for animals. They use TikTok to share videos of pets in their rescue program, which have been a big hit with users with more than 156,000 people following the charity.
We don’t all have content of cute animals that melt your heart, but if you want to have an impact you’ll need to get creative and think of how you can promote your cause in a unique way.
This is where you challenge other users to perform a certain activity on TikTok. This is a good way to get your cause to go viral whilst encouraging participation from users on TikTok.
A great example of an effective campaign is the #movember hashtag challenge. TikTok donated up to $20,000 to Movember when users posted videos supporting the men’s health campaign.
There are lots of clever ways charities could be engaging with users through hashtag challenges to raise monies, but also to grow their brand awareness.
There have been a lot of security concerns about TikTok of late with calls for it to be banned in Australia. However, TikTok Australia dismisses any reports around data security issues and defends TikTok’s data privacy. It states it has multiple safety measures in place for consumers and continues to invest to make it even safer. A spokesperson for TikTok Australia said consumers in Australia “love TikTok”.
There are lots of great ways that not-for-profits can use TikTok, but like every digital marketing channel, a charity needs to review a few things before it starts using a new communication tool.
Always check that you have the resources to implement – staff and budget. If you’re going to engage effectively on any digital marketing platform you will need to do it well, so you’ll also need a content marketing plan – what are you going to post, when and what creative are you going to use?
Charities also need to decide if they wish to engage effectively with Generation Z – the age group that mainly uses the platform. This age group are very generous in giving to charities, but you’re going to have to have a great story to tell to cut through and get them to view your content and follow you.
Redhead Digital Marketing specialises in providing not-for-profits and small businesses strategic advice on the right type of digital marketing channels to use to engage effectively with audiences to grow your brand and generate vital monies. Why not book a free consultation today, or call Andrea Jones on 0450613460 for more information.