TikTok is quickly becoming the go-to platform for Nonprofits, but it can be overwhelming to get started. We did an article a while back on TikTok fundraising features. Today we will look at ways to help you grow your audience on TikTok and engage with more potential donors, volunteers and supporters.
There is no right or wrong way to use TikTok; the platform constantly evolves. There are some guiding tips to help you expand your reach and engagement.
Watch our video on TikTok Growth for nonprofits:
Take advantage of TikTok’s Features.
Like any other social media platform, TikTok has its own unique set of features that can help you create a successful and engaging account. With videos, TikTok Live, Q&As video responses, Duets, Polls, and Pinned Posts, there are endless ways to connect with your audience.
One of the best places to start using these features is by focusing on your profile. Aside from optimizing your name, username, bio, videos, and pictures, ensure your profile is public and your videos are set to "Allow Others to Share."
You can pin up to three videos at the top of your profile. Pinning posts is a great place to highlight videos with more information about your organization, cause, and current campaigns. For example, you could create a pinned post with a strong call to action. How you choose to use this space is up to you, but it is the first thing people see when they go to your profile, so it is worth it to take some time to think about how you can use it to your advantage.
TikTok also allows you to turn on a Q&A section in your settings. This creates a new tab on your profile where you can post video answers to users' questions. It is a great way to interact with followers and for users to get to know your organization better.
TikTok LIVE is another way to connect with users. It is very similar to Facebook Live in that you can go live and interact with users in real time. Going live may be preferable to posting a video because you can respond to viewers or take requests in real time. Streaming is a great way to share announcements, new programs, campaigns, or other information that may take more time than could be explained in a one-minute video. TikTok LIVE is also great for live-streaming events and behind-the-scenes content or doing live interviews with new members and volunteers.
Next, let's look at TikTok content.
The first step to gaining more TikTok followers is to create quality content. Sounds obvious, right? But you'd be surprised how many people don't put enough effort into their videos. If you want people to watch your videos, you must give them a reason. Spend some time brainstorming video ideas that will grab attention.
One of the easiest ways to get more views or find ideas for content is to use trends. TikTok has a constant stream of new video, audio, and hashtag trends that you can take advantage of. Play with trending dances, challenges, sounds, and filters and see what works for your brand. See what's trending on the discover tab. Here is where you can find the most popular trending sounds and hashtags. You can also find more niche trends by using your For You Page.
Speaking of niche, find your niche and stick to it. This means finding a specific theme and/or video style that will help users engage more with your organization. Having this consistency will help when users like the content you're putting out and will come back looking for more. This doesn't mean you can only put out the same kind of content, but rather explore and find what style works for your organization and try to post more of that type of content.
Hashtags can also expand your reach but use hashtags wisely. TikTok allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per video, so be strategic about which ones you choose. Hashtags specific to your niche are more likely to get you in front of users interested in what you have to offer.
Get some influencers on board!
There are a ton of influencers and micro-celebrities all over TikTok. Reach out to TikTok users with a large following; maybe one of your staff or volunteers already has a connection with them. Chances are you can get one to help support your cause. Do your research beforehand, but sending them a DM explaining your cause and why they should support and promote your mission never hurt anyone.
Pro Tip: Duets are a great way to engage influencers!
You can also collaborate with other nonprofits. When creating content on TikTok, teaming up with other users can be a great way to mix things up and reach a wider audience.
Post regularly and a lot!
Because millions of TikToks are posted and watched daily, increasing your chances of getting on people's feeds is essential. Experts say posting 1 to three times a day is the best way to maximize your chances of building a following and getting views. You may not always have the time to post this often, but the general rule is that you should post as often as possible.
It may be helpful to pre-record or "batch" videos and schedule them out with programs like Later. There are varying opinions, but in a recent USA Today article, the best times to post are Sunday: 7 p.m., Monday: 1 a.m., Tuesday: 12 p.m., Wednesday: 10 a.m., Thursday: 10 p.m., Friday: 6 p.m., Saturday: 2 p.m.
Engage, engage, engage.
We can’t talk about social media without talking about engagement. Follow other users you think are awesome - they might just follow you back! Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and interact with those users in the comments section of their videos. The TikTok community is full of passionate, friendly people, and you never know who you might meet or what new opportunities might come your way.
Be Algo Friendly.
Ahhh, the algorithm. The algo decides what you are most and least interested in based on the following:
1) the accounts you follow
2) the videos you like, share or comment on
3) how long do you view a video
4) what you post
5) the captions and hashtags, as well as the demographics of your account
Keep the algorithm in mind when you post because it is designed to show users relevant content. If you want your content to be seen by as many people as possible, you need to ensure it is tagged correctly and includes the right keywords. By doing this, you'll ensure that your content appears in the feeds of users who are interested in what you have to say.
Though it's possible for a nonprofit to take its marketing and outreach to new heights on TikTok, it'd be unwise to try it just because everyone else is doing it. We here at The Cause tried hopping on the TikTok train, but when we examined our commitment levels vis-a-vis potential return on investment for education, let's just say that the verdict was clear. TikTok isn't right for our organization right now, but if you're ready to invest in content creation and devote some focused attention towards building up your social media presence there – we think you just might like the results!