6 tips for using TikTok to grow your digital audience
TikTok continues to be one of the most-used social media apps on the planet, especially by young people.
And while some people may shrug it off as a fad, it’s becoming increasingly clear that TikTok is here to stay – for now, at least.
Does this mean everyone needs to drop what they’re doing and start an account right this second? Not necessarily. But TikTok offers so many useful features that it seems crazy to dismiss it altogether.
With that said, let’s explore some of the ways you can use the platform to grow your digital audience.
1. Use video content to educate and entertain
One of the coolest things about TikTok is that there aren’t really any rules for how to use it.
Spend 10 minutes scrolling through your ‘For You’ page, and you’ll find musicians making songs with funny animal sounds, artists painting blindfolded or even a licensed therapist explaining commonly misunderstood psychological disorders.
This makes the platform perfect for people and organisations who are looking for new, inventive ways to communicate key messages to their audiences. Unlike channels such as Twitter, where you have an extremely limited space to tell your story, you can use TikTok to show your story in a way that resonates with people and helps your organisation stand out from the rest.
After all, when was the last time you were simultaneously educated and entertained by content on Facebook or Twitter?
Below is a great example from UNICEF’s TikTok account, where they’ve been creating tons of helpful content for how to approach COVID-19 vaccine discussions with hesitant loved ones:
2. Make the most of TikTok’s features
TikTok’s features are just as valuable as the platform itself. From its comprehensive music library to its incredible visual effects and video transitions, the editing power TikTok gives its creators is nothing short of brilliant.
Are you a nonprofit organisation raising funds for your cause? There’s even a donation button you can add to your content that allows your audience to donate directly to your organisation!
As an organisation, your TikTok videos can riff on current events, add your voice to viral trends or even just act as memes that are relevant to the work you do. After all, do we really need another boring conference group photo tweet in our Twitter feed?
Here’s a quick example from the British Red Cross – you can see they’ve used a couple of simple editing features as well as an audio clip from a personal favourite song of mine, Bo Burnham’s ‘Welcome to the Internet’ (by the way, if you haven’t seen Inside on Netflix yet, I can’t recommend it enough):
3. Hashtag challenges and memes
Hashtag challenges and trendy memes are a great way to not only come up with fresh content, but also serve as a way to be a part of the larger conversation.
Remember the viral Ice Bucket Challenge from all the way back in 2014? Imagine something even more viral popping up every single week, if not every single day – that’s pretty much how TikTok works.
By having virtually unlimited ways of expressing yourself, there are always new, fun trends that are gaining traction on the platform.
A recent example of this is the ‘romanticise your life’ trend that has been used in the past few weeks by hundreds of millions of users – if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out an example below from zoologists and nature show hosts The Kratt Brothers:
Can you think of some interesting ways your organisation could create something similar?
4. How-to videos perform really well – if done right
Your organisation likely has expert-level knowledge on a variety of topics, so why not create valuable content that showcases this?
A human rights nonprofit could create a series of videos on how to stay safe at protests, or a youth organisation could offer practical tips for students’ first job interviews. Find those things that add value to people’s lives and showcase that knowledge in a catchy, creative way.
A great example of this is Poppy O’Toole’s channel, Poppy Cooks, where she offers tutorials on basic cooking skills, takes audience requests on which recipes to make and even demonstrates easy budget meals:
5. Share across other platforms
Use your current social media presence to let people know you’re on TikTok!
Not only is this a great way to build your audience on a new channel, but this also offers a unique opportunity to share your TikTok content with an audience that might not necessarily have the app on their phone.
TikTok videos are very versatile, and can be shared on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or even Facebook – so your content doesn’t need to only exist in one place.
6. Switch to a TikTok Pro account
Just like every other social channel, TikTok offers a business-related profile option that gives you access to analytics and advertising features. After all, social media business models are built on a solid foundation of data monetisation!
With this free tool, you can see your view counts, identify your trending videos and even compare your follower growth over time. Plus, if you feel inclined, you can set up your own advertising campaigns directly on the platform.
While it takes a few days for the tool to populate your analytics, it’s a great way to better understand your audience and see what’s working and what isn’t. There aren’t any downsides to switching, so this is a no-brainer for organisations looking to make data-informed content decisions.
Are you currently using TikTok? What are some of your favourite trends to come from the platform? Let us know on Twitter.