TikTok for Good: The Nonprofit’s Guide to Marketing on TikTok

Marketing and Social Media

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At the beginning of 2020, a video app called TikTok exploded in popularity because it provided a way for people to connect during the pandemic. After amassing 800 million active users worldwide, TikTok is now used for much more than dance challenges and quick recipe videos. 

Nonprofits and cause driven organizations just like yours are now marketing on Tiktok to help raise awareness and support for their missions! Like any other marketing tool or social media platform, TikTok’s value is in its storytelling ability. If you’re hesitant or skeptical about adopting TikTok as a marketing tool keep reading—we’ll unpack everything you need to know about using Tiktok for good! 

Determining if TikTok is a tool you should use 

Does the tool help you reach your target audience? 

If you’re considering creating a TikTok account for your nonprofit, it’s important for you to evaluate if you’ll be able to reach your target audience on the platform. TikTok’s user base is young. Over 50% of the apps’ users are under 32 years old, and over 41% of TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 24.  

If you work with youth or are a youth-service organization, TikTok could be a terrific way for you to reach teenagers and young adults. Or if you want to diversify your donor and volunteer base and attract younger supporters, TikTok could be a great tool for your organization. Our Generational Giving Report found that Gen Z prefers to give via social media apps!  

If on the other hand, most of your supporters and volunteers are over 30 years old, you may want to direct your energy to managing social media platforms with an older user base.  

Do you have the time to devote to it? 

A good social media tip for all platforms is to be intentional! You’d rather have only two social media accounts that you post on regularly than five social media accounts you sporadically post on. Posting a video around three times per day on TikTok is considered best practice.  

If you’re unsure if you have the time to manage a TikTok account for your nonprofit, create a draft content calendar. Label each day on the content calendar with the names of the platforms you’ll be posting on, what you plan on posting about, and any photo or video you’ll need created for the post.  

If you begin to feel overwhelmed or you have to post less on other platforms you currently manage, it’s a sign that you don’t have enough time to prioritize another platform.  

How your nonprofit can use TikTok for marketing 

Brand or cause awareness 

TikTok is all about short videos. When the app first launched users could only post 15 second clips. Now you can post videos up to three minutes long! Think of the three minutes you have as an elevator pitch. You can create videos that talk about your work and how your nonprofit meets needs in your community—you just have to keep it short. 

If one three-minute video can’t cover all the incredible work you do don’t worry! Create a series of videos highlighting different aspects of your organization. Remember, posting at least three videos per day is considered best practice. 

United Way has repurposed images of their volunteers and video interviews of their staff to create several TikToks that raise awareness of their work. Check out the examples below! 

@unitedway

The app you are on right now is helping fund this work! Help us thank @tiktok/@tiktokforgood for their $500,000 donation. ♥️

♬ Similar Sensation (Instrumental) – BLVKSHP

Educating your target audience 

To inspire action one of the first things you must do is educate your community on the needs your nonprofit meets. What problems does your nonprofit tackle? Why are these problems or needs in your community important? Include short stats in your TikTok videos that demonstrate the importance of your work or the severity of the problem you’re addressing. 

This TikTok by Charity: Water, below, educates viewers on the lack of clean water in Madagascar. By stringing together a series of marketing videos and adding statistics on the availability of clean water, Charity: Water does an excellent job educating viewers on the need they’re addressing in Madagascar.  

@charitywater

About 50% of Madagascar’s population lacks access to clean water, but we’re on a mission to change that! #GivingSzn #TikTokPartner #LearnedOnTikTok

♬ original sound – charity: water

Engaging with your target audience 

Social media is all about (you guessed it) being social. One of the main ways you can keep social media social is by engaging with your audience. Engagement can be responding to comments on your posts, liking and sharing content posted by your partners, tagging your donors or volunteers in posts, and more! On TikTok one of the main ways you can engage with your audience is through user generated content (UGC).  

To take advantage of UGC your nonprofit simply needs to repost TikToks that mention your organization or the work you do. However, make sure you always ask for permission before reposting someone else’s content and be sure to link or mention the TikTok user in your video’s description. 

Check out Giving Tuesday’s TikTok for great examples of reposting UGC! Giving Tuesday frequently reposts videos from other TikTok users that are relevant to their audience or related to their mission. The examples below include a TikTok featuring random acts of kindness. Another video features facts on clean water and how viewers can take action.  

@givingtuesday

We’re out to destroy the narrative that only certain people are capable of radical generosity. Watch this story from @jimmydarts #GivingTuesday

♬ original sound – GivingTuesday
@givingtuesday

@thetinydiplomat shares some facts about our 🌍 ‘s 🚰 crisis and how you can take action. 💦 #GivingTuesday #GivingEveryTuesday #WorldWaterDay

♬ original sound – GivingTuesday

Another way to engage your target audience on TikTok is by going live. If you have over 1,000 followers and are 16 years of age of older, you can go live on TikTok. Going live is great for behind-the-scenes glimpses into your nonprofit’s work, Q&A sessions, panel discussions, and more! 

To expand your reach and engage with new audiences you can add co-moderators to your live session (you can invite up to 20 moderators at once!). Once you go live, all of your followers will receive an in-app notification and a push notification (if they have push notifications enabled) to their phone.  

To go live on TikTok do the following: 
  1. Tap the plus button at the bottom of the screen (the same button you’d press to record or upload a TikTok video). 
  1. Under the record button, you’ll see options like “60s”, “15s”, and “Templates”. Scroll to the left to select the “LIVE” option. 
  1. Next, you’ll be prompted to create or upload a cover photo for your live stream and a title. Your followers will see the title and cover image in their notifications, so make sure it intrigues them and encourages them to join! 
  1. Add any effects you’d like to use. 
  1. Press the “Go LIVE” button. 

Repurposing your videos  

Video is the most engaged with type of media across social media, so your TikTok videos don’t have to exist just on TikTok. You can repost your TikTok videos on Instagram as reels and even share your TikTok videos on Facebook and Twitter. 

However, If you’re going to share TikTok videos on other social media platforms try and stick to sharing your own content (not UGC) so you can provide relevant information specific to your organization on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

City Year Boston makes the most of their TikTok content by sharing their videos on Instagram. This strategy works well for Instagram because the platform encourages video posts in addition to images.  

TikTok videos can be doubled as tutorials as well! In the video below, a City Year Orlando volunteer shows people how to register for an upcoming silent auction. City Year Orlando added this video to their auction FAQ page to help auction participants learn how to register and participate virtually.  

Conclusion 

TikTok can be a great tool for engaging with your audience and highlighting the important work your nonprofit does! In addition, The app’s rapidly increasing popularity and global reach means marketing on Tiktok won’t disappear any time soon. For more marketing and social media tips, check out the following resources: 

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