Considering TikTok for advocacy? What you should know.
Social media video content is constantly changing. Between the style itself and how we consume it, it’s clear that user preferences are evolving, and we as public affairs experts have to keep up.
When TikTok first gained popularity, the fast-paced, unpolished style seemed to be something reserved only for Gen-Z and intended to keep people entertained during the pandemic. However, as we quickly learned, the style took off, infiltrating our culture and inspiring other platforms like Instagram to create their own video-only platform called Reels. And now, with 150 million Americans on TikTok, many organizations are grappling with how to properly use it as a vehicle to communicate to audiences and advocate for their issues. Adfero approaches each client’s needs individually but believes there are a few things everyone should know if they want to consider using this platform.
- Content requires little production, little to no budget and can be produced quickly.
- The style leans heavily into people, rather than illustrative styles, which ensures relatability to audiences.
- 46% of users engage with content on TikTok without distractions or multi-screening so it’s likely your message will resonate more closely.
- Because of the way the algorithm uniquely functions, organic content may be shown to users that don’t follow you and help broaden your reach.
- The style used on TikTok also works for Instagram Reels, ensuring you can cross promote and reach multiple audiences with one video.
- Partnering with content creators that have a trusted and established following may help boost your efforts quickly and in a more natural way.
- Authenticity is absolutely necessary, which means you may have to be willing to let go of any strict brand guidelines and corporate messages.
- Many users go to TikTok to be entertained. Consider how to connect and educate with entertaining content.
- Trends are constantly changing, so if your organization is not quick to approve content, it might be hard to break through the noise.
- There is federal legislation underway in both the Senate and the House that seeks to ban TikTok, and Montana recently banned it at the state level. Do your research and know what regulation is in place and whether a ban can be enforced.
- The same algorithm that can show content to new audiences can also prohibit it from being seen if there aren't enough users already engaging with similar messages.
- Integrating advocacy tools with TikTok is not yet possible, requiring users to leave the platform to take action.
The Adfero POV
If you’re looking to have a presence on TikTok, be ready to commit and have honest conversations about expectations. Don’t be on the platform just to say you are – you must embrace a new style of content to reach an active and engaging audience that will move your mission forward.
And whether you choose to be on the platform or not, it’s important to remember that short-form content is here to stay. It’s fast-paced, just like the world we live in, the content is more digestible thanks to the way information is edited in snippets and it allows you to authentically showcase your company’s brand, mission and culture. This style will continue to dominate digital platforms, so learn to use it to your advantage.