Should charities be on TikTok? Yes, there’s absolutely a place for charities on TikTok. It can be a great way to engage with the younger audiences mostly found on the channel. However, it can be a little bit harder to do well than other social media channels and there are some common mistakes being made. I’m going to talk you through what you need to know about setting up an account, how to post good content and what kind of content will work best for your charity. I’ve also compiled a list of all the UK based charities on TikTok so you can see how others are doing it. I’ll be keeping the list updated so don’t forget to bookmark the link.
So where to start?
During my search for charities on TikTok, a few things stood out to me. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Even if you’re not on TikTok, you should get your account set up.
A lot of people are impersonating charities on TikTok because the charities haven’t claimed their name. Whilst I absolutely don’t think you should jump onto a new platform just because it’s new and everyone is using it, it’s often a good idea to set up an account under your charity’s name just in case and prevent people from pretending to be you.
- Once you’re on TikTok, tell people you’re on TikTok
Some charities are verified, some not. With the issue of impersonation on the channel, it’s easy to think a genuine account is fake because you don’t let anyone know you’re genuine and there’s no way to properly verify. Talk about it on other channels and include a link to it on your website.
- Get all the basics right.
Like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there are some basics to get right. Your name, your bio and your profile picture. Even if you don’t plan on using TikTok, these need to be filled in correctly.
- Switch to a business account.
Like Instagram, TikTok has a business account you can access. Simply go into your settings (the three little dots on your profile), click manage account > Switch to pro account > select business account. Not only will you have access to some analytics on your videos but you’ll also be able to add a link in your bio to your website.
- Do your research
Before you even start posting, spend some time on the app yourself. Learn it’s intricacies. The way people comment, the use of emojis, the different styles of video. So much of it is completely unique to the channel. If you want to get it right, look before you leap.
Using TikTok well
How you use your TikTok account is important. Using TikTok is more than just uploading your videos filmed in landscape and hoping for the best. The channel is closer to Instagram stories than it is to YouTube so first things first, make sure your videos are all portrait. The younger audience is also more discerning and more aware of channels trying to seem cool when they’re not. So what should you do and what should you avoid?
Do – Put your people in front of the camera. Audiences on TikTok are more likely to respond to a person than a faceless advert. It doesn’t need to be polished and perfect, just authentic. Find people who are charismatic in front of the camera and let them talk in their own words.
Don’t – Try and make challenges happen. Challenges can be fun and if they go viral you can get a lot of attention, but trying to make a challenge happen can look like you’re trying too hard. Keep things natural. If it happens, it happens.
Do – Take risks and try new things. The best organisational TikToks are great because the person running the account has been given the freedom to try new things, experiment and have some fun with it.
Don’t – Forget the hashtags. Your hashtags are key to having your content seen by more people. Look to see which hashtags are more often used.
Do – Get chatting in the comments. There are whole communities to be found in the TikTok comments. Ignore them at your own peril. The comments section is a great way to build up connections with your audience. You can even respond to comments with videos which is recommended.
Don’t – Forget captions. Make sure your videos are accessible by adding captions to all your videos with speach. There are a few ways TikTokers do this but making sure the captions appear in a place that isn’t covered by text/buttons is important.
What kind of content should your charity post?
There’s no one size fits all for charities. What works for you might not work for other charities, even if they work in a similar area. It’s always a good idea to have a bit of a strategy in place whilst also allowing for the more spur of the moment videos that TikTok is great for. However, if you’re completely lost, click on each link to view some tips and ideas for some key charity areas.
- Mental health is a topic discussed quite often on TikTok. Not only could you share tips for handling stress and anxiety but you could get real people to share their stories. You could also work with established TikTokers who have discussed their mental health publicly.
- Cute animals do really well on TikTok. Quirky animal videos, interesting facts and stunning imagery will always be a hit.
- You might think TikTok is not for you because the age of the audience is more youth than parent or child, but there’s actually a lot of parents on TikTok. Parenting hacks and tips always go down well. Easy recipe ideas for children and craft projects are popular too, why not share some ideas for things families can do during lockdown?
- Powerful stories told by the people affected would work well. I’ve also seen some great videos from charities in this area for particular fundraisers. For example, how to prepare for a marathon or what to bake for a cake sale.
- There are a lot of doctors and nurses on TikTok including Love Island influencer Dr Alex George. You could partner with medical professionals to explain medical conditions as well as the TikTokers dealing with a medical issue themselves. You can also debunk misinformation and share easy to understand guides on checking your own health.
- There’s a whole lot of creative people on TikTok. Wow them with amazing architecture, beautiful singing, stunning art or fascinating behind the scenes moments from the theatre. Surprising or humorous historical facts might work, as would explanations of unusual artefacts. You can also get creative with music. People are using TikTok to write whole musicals, what could you do?
- Why not hand over control to the young people you work with? Or at least work with them to create content. You could have a go at some of the challenges or dances trending (especially funny if it’s youthworker vs young person). Overall, keeping things fun and entertaining will keep people watching.
If your charity is on TikTok and you’re not on the list above, get in touch and let me know and I’ll add you on.
Like this blog on TikTok? Check out my blog on what you can learn about creating videos by watching TikToks.
Got any question about the above? Let me know in the comments below.