thankQ Resources

TikTok: Everything your nonprofit wants to know, but is afraid to ask

Everywhere you go these days, people are talking about TikTok —the latest surging social media trend. You’re probably wondering what it’s all about, and if your organization should be on it. We know there can be a lot of pressure when it comes to social media for nonprofits. There are so many platforms out there, it can be easy to spread yourself too thin. We don’t want to advocate that, but we do want to help your nonprofit track the social media landscape and stay ahead of any potential ‘digital disruptions’. So, take five minutes and travel with us into the world of TikTok. Maybe it’s the platform for you, maybe it isn’t? Before you decide, you need to gather the information that will help your nonprofit make that decision.  

Ready? Let’s start at the beginning…

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a relatively ‘young’ social media channel, having started in 2016 as a platform known as ‘Douyin’. The idea is simple. Snap a 15-60 second video on your phone, customize it with effects, sounds, graphics, captions, and filters. When you’re happy – post! Job done. Not only is your creation live for users to browse, it’s easy to cross-post content to the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  

How many people use it?

TikTok is available in around 150 different countries, and has earned itself an estimated 1 Billion active monthly users worldwide. That’s pretty impressive for a platform that’s been around for approximately five years. It’s one of the world’s fastest growing apps and is looking to be a trend that will outlast pandemic restrictions.

Who uses TikTok, and how?

‘Young’ in more ways than one, TikTok has proven itself to be particularly popular with the Gen Z market (folks born in the late 1990s on). But it doesn’t stop there. Research shows that video content, such as that shared through TikTok, can have a broader family appeal. What’s more, lockdown months have seen TikTok users growing up, with more and more millennials signing on to the platform.

And what are they doing?

The average TikTok user spends 850+ minutes on the platform every month. For the most part, content is known for being light-hearted and entertaining. It might not be somewhere you go to catch-up on the news, but content is maturing, with investment (and uptake) in educational content on the rise.

TikTok for nonprofits

Looking at the main user demographics, you could be forgiven for thinking that TikTok simply doesn’t apply to you. But before you write it off, remember. TikTok has a HUGE user-base. One that isn’t just growing, it’s aging. It is quick and easy to use, has one of the highest post engagement rates around, and it allows users to share video content across different platforms.

All the ingredients are there.

When it comes to nonprofits, there are two key threads to explore. Let’s start with TikTok fundraising. Mobilized through TikTok for good, the team wants their platform to ‘inspire and encourage a new generation to have a positive impact on the planet and those around them’. One of the most obvious ways to do this, is with their ‘Donate Sticker’. Creators can add stickers to their nonprofit’s social media posts and raise funds for their chosen cause. In addition, you can also increase awareness for your cause with a promoted hashtag. TikTok users can then create videos to that hashtag.

But social media for nonprofits isn’t just about direct donations. It is part of a journey, a broader strategy to engage and connect with your supporter base – particularly in these socially distant times. So here are a few tips to help your organization make the most of TikTok.  

How to engage supporters and fundraise with TikTok

Keep it real: you don’t need a video with high-production value. TikTok is all about creating and sharing authentic content.

-Keep it light and varied: It’s been a rough year, and we all need something to smile about. A break from the doomscroll, TikTok is about entertaining people and bringing joy. So, focus your nonprofit’s social media posts on content that will make people smile.

-Share tips: If you want to take it a bit deeper, educational content is a great way to go. Video snapshots that share tips, info, and insights are a great source of TikTok content.

-Run a hashtag challenge: A great way to get people involved, keep the ask accessible and the tag snappy – people will soon start capturing and sharing their progress.

-Get people involved: The golden rule of any social media channel. Don’t just talk about you. Start a conversation and create ways for people to interact with your brand.

And finally…

Regardless of whether or not TikTok is the right next move for your organization, its popularity is an important reminder of the role and potential of video marketing. We all know that social media posts with video content prompt more engagement than those without (10 and 20 times more, in the case of Twitter and LinkedIn). Whether yours is created and shared on TikTok, or another social media platform, the world of video content is ready and waiting to be explored.  

Want to maximize your nonprofit’s social media fundraising?  Contact us to see how your CRM can help you with your efforts by telling you more about your supporters.  Set up your personalized demo today.