With so much negative news floating around and Christmas looming, we all need some positivity. Today, I’m looking at TikTok for good. TikTok, the ever-popular social platform is the perfect place to promote your non-profit or kick-start a charitable event for your brand. So let’s find out what tools are available to help you on your mission and take a deeper look at why this platform is a suitable fit for socially responsible initiatives.
Why Choose TikTok for your Charitable Campaign?
TikTok has over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, with app users in the US and UK spending more time on TikTok than YouTube. That’s huge! What’s more, among social, communication, photo, video and entertainment apps, TikTok is ranked as the most-downloaded worldwide since 2020 and competes with YouTube for the top spot in consumer spending since last year. It’s no secret that this social platform has really taken off. But aside from its popularity, why is TikTok a perfect match for a charitable or social good campaign?
- TikTok has a huge Gen-Z and Millennial following. In the US alone, 60% of TikTok users are between the ages of 16-24. And 26% are between the ages 25-44. This is significant when considering using TikTok for good, as according to a Forrester study, more than half of Gen Z respondents aged 18-23 years will always research a company to ensure it aligns with their position on corporate social responsibility before making a purchase. To gain trust with a Gen Z audience, however, brands need to avoid being performative and instead aim to be as authentic as possible.
- A Gen-Z and Millennial audience aren’t interested in glossy stereotyped depictions of unattainable lifestyles used in traditional advertising. Instead, they want brands to represent real and diverse people in a relatable way. TikTok is great for this as it doesn’t require high-tech video recording equipment or an off-the-charts marketing budget. It’s also super easy to create an inclusive post representative of your brands morals, ethics and overall purpose without having to hire actors.
TikTok for Good – What You Need to Know
The platform leads by example with its very own TikTok for good initiative. This is designed to inspire and encourage a new generation to make a positive impact on the planet and those around them. The app can be specifically used by brands, including non-profits, to ‘grow their audience, activate supporters and raise awareness around specific causes.’ The platform is also known to donate generously to charities involved in campaigns. For example, they donated $1 to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for every video posted with the hashtag #PetBFF (up to $175k). This attracted celebrity attention, with influencer videos helping to boost outreach.
TikTok wants charities and socially responsible brands to be part of their platform, offering some cool tools to make giving back a whole lot easier. Donation Stickers, for instance, are clickable icons that are embedded onto videos. When clicked, the stickers take the users straight to a donation form where they can give money. Powered by Tiltify, donation stickers are still in the pilot stage, mostly for US charities, but a wider roll-out is expected in the UK too allowing anyone to add a donation sticker for a charity of their choice. Watch comedy couple Matthew & Ryan introducing Donation Stickers for the British Red Cross to their 5.4-million strong audience. TikTok also launched their own introduction video for this which was liked by over 540k people.
Charities Nailing Their TikTok Presence
Citizens Advice has won awards for their social media usage and it’s easy to see why. Their easy-to-understand videos break down topics that are often complex and heavy, in a way that engages the 16-25 demographic. They recently explained the drop in Universal Credits, for example, using an array of clever features to convey their point including the Green Screen option. This allows brands to incorporate customisable backgrounds into their videos for additional context. By doing this, followers can instantly see the relevance of the content. Citizens Advice also produce a whole lot of content tailored to a younger audience. They address questions that could frequently be asked by Gen-Z users and often add a comedic twist to ensure their videos resonate with this age group.
Top Tip: Know who is accessing your content and try to address their pain points in a fun and engaging way. The more your content is needed, liked and commented on, the more you’ll be sought out and your popularity should rise. Don’t be afraid to carry out a bit of research to see which content has worked well for charities in a similar field. You can then use this as inspiration for your own campaigns.
Young Scot is the national information and citizenship organisation supported by the Scottish Government for young people aged 11–26 in Scotland. The declared aim of the organization is to make young people informed, incentivised and active citizens through the information they provide. And this is done extremely well on TikTok. For example, all of the Young Scot content is made by young people and therefore comes across as genuine and relatable. As 76% of Gen-Zers feel diversity and inclusion is an important topic for brands to address, you’ll also see videos featuring people of all different backgrounds and ethnicities. The charity also knows that TikTok fans love a challenge and therefore get on board with this whenever possible. Take a look at this mental health awareness video using the popular chopping dance trend.
Top Tip: Get involved with popular challenges and make them relevant to your brand. You could even start your own challenge by using a catchy hashtag and an easy-to-follow idea. However, don’t let the excitement of doing this throw you off track. Your posts still need to have a clear message. And if someone engages with video, be sure to respond to help form that close-knit community vibe.
Many important issues are highlighted on TikTok. But it’s important to give users a break from the conventional news-like content they might hear on the TV. This is something Refuge Charity does well. By using relevant soundtrack mashups and plenty of humour, messages can be conveyed in a fun yet poignant way that’ll stick in the minds of platform users. Check out this video regarding misogyny not being made a hate crime as an example.
Supporting survivors of domestic abuse in the UK, Refuge also uses very blunt language to convey their messages. For example ‘No woman is ever to blame for her partner abusing her,’ with the ‘believe women’ message at the end of the video sending a strong message.
Top Tip: Keep your messaging strong and simple in each video. Know why you’re posting and what your goal is. If you want people to donate, say it. If you want people to contact you, provide the right information. if you’ve stats to prove your point, use them. Music can also give your videos extra power. So think carefully about which soundtrack to use and make sure it aligns with your message. It’s also a good idea to subtitle your videos so that they can be easily understood, even with the volume down.
Brands Utilising TikTok for Good
As well as charities, many well-known brands are also using TikTok for good and, in the process, have created a whole-new arm of marketing opportunities. So who’s rocking this strategy?
Chipotle – Cultivate a Better World
They’re well-known for serving up a flipping good burrito. But Chipotle also knows that ‘real food starts with farmers.’ So, they’re using TikTok to draw attention to the work farmers do and have placed a link in their bio to help transition 1 million acres of land to the next farming generation. Not only has their heart-warming animation been viewed over 27 million times, but the brand has also created content to help explain the purpose of their short film. The bio link leads through to a ‘Support Our Farmers’ initiative with a very clear call-to-action. This is a very clever way to align with TikTok fans who carefully choose brands that take social responsibility seriously.
Top Tip: If you want to use TikTok for good, be sure to choose an incentive that makes sense to your brand. A food chain like Chipotle supporting farmers is relevant and therefore comes across as genuine and authentic. And that’s what you need to aim for.
Nike – Stop Your Scroll
Let’s face it, we’re all fragile at the moment. The forced lockdowns and social isolation impacted mental health with 46% of Gen Z Americans believing that it’s harder to achieve their educational dreams and career goals. Stress and anxiety is through the roof. But Nike has used TikTok to help us all calm down. Using the hashtags #NikeYoga, the brand has posted several feel good videos complete with relaxing music which makes it easy to take a pause – even just for a while. This is a really simple yet creative way to stand out from the crowd, while giving back to society.
Top Tip: Remember that giving back doesn’t have to be complicated. Often, the best campaigns have a very simple goal. But it’s really important to know your audience and to understand how they’re feeling at any given time. A simple Google search, for instance, will reveal that people aren’t necessarily OK and might need your help rather than your hardsell.
There are many ways to raise people’s spirits through TikTok content. For example, you could write a topical yet funny song to make people feel less alone. You could offer a Q&A-style video, or you could focus on messages of hope and positivity.
TikTok – This is Black
To celebrate Black History Month in October 2021, TikTok created a brand-new, in-app campaign to spotlight the talent of prominent black voices on the platform as they become renowned names in the categories of music, acting, dance, makeup artistry and much more.
Featuring users from all corners of its Black creator community, including Dreya Mac (@dreyamac), Nife (@itsjustnifee), Benjy (@benjy_lookbook) and Ehiz Ufuah (@_ehiz), TikTok aimed to highlight creativity and emphasise the huge part black talent has played in making TikTok the platform it has become today. The campaign also encourages lesser known creators to raise awareness of and discussions around Black History Month and share their experiences. To date, many of these videos have gone viral showing just how powerful a platform like Twitter can be when used for good.
Top Tip: Create a campaign around a national day or event. If you sell food or BBQ equipment for instance, then National Picnic Day could be the perfect time to get creative. But make sure your campaign is relevant to your brand so that is comes across as authentic and meaningful. Similarly, if you run an inclusive workplace and are dedicated to equal rights, you could let this be known during Pride Month. TikTok has an abundance of black creators and therefore taking part in Black History Month made perfect sense. What’s more, be sure to look out for challenges you can join in and always use a relevant or branded hashtag to ensure your content is easy to find.
Want a social media strategy that works and meets the expectations of your audience? Talk to me and the Contentworks Agency team for strategy, content and feel good storytelling. Enjoyed reading TikTok for Good? Go ahead and hit share.