As the Denterlein team prepared for our semi-regular social media seminar with a non-profit association client this week, we asked the members what topics were keeping them up at night. One answer rang loud and clear: TikTok.
The newest Most Popular Social Media Platform has lots of people confused…
Should we start an account? Should we allow our employees to have accounts? What do we do about other stakeholders who are talking about us? How do we advertise on TikTok? I see TikTok videos on Instagram…what’s the difference between the two platforms?
In order to best help our clients answer these questions, we have to ask them our own questions first:
- What strategic goals are you trying to achieve with social media?
- Is your audience on TikTok? Are they expecting to see you there? And is the message you would share right for that platform?
- What resources can you reasonably commit to content creation and social listening, in a sustained way?
- How will you prove success translated into real world results?
More often than not, the answers to these questions reveal that creating an entirely new presence on an entirely new channel is not worth the ROI. The fallacy of social media is that it is free: the staff time and energy it takes to build an audience and create the steady cadence of content required for engagement in a cluttered digital landscape means that our clients simply can’t afford to answer just one question about a single platform.
Building comprehensive social media strategies
The few times a TikTok account is warranted, we help clients develop a platform-specific strategy that can reach their platform-specific audiences. It’s been a fantastic tool for companies in the retail/restaurant, travel, and placemaking industries, which naturally have highly visual physical spaces to promote. Larger nonprofits, with a national presence or corporate sponsor (read: bigger staffs and budgets), also have found success in raising awareness
What we offer to those who don’t pursue this track are comprehensive ideas to successfully achieve the goal that warranted exploring a TikTok in the first place. Though the approach differs in each client’s case, go-to tactics like these offer a wider lens for building social media strategies:
- Tap into influencers’ networks to reach a topic-specific captive audience.
- Test video content on Instagram. Figure out the right length for your content’s optimal engagement.
- Spend time and resources to build your Twitter or Facebook following, where most of your specific audience already exists.
- Conduct more aggressive media relations in important geographies.
- Supplement organic efforts with geotargeted digital banner advertising.
The efforts around brand awareness in the online world seldom find success by jumping on the hottest new trend. It may be fun for a while, but usually results in more wheel-spinning.
Other common social media questions
Here are a few other common questions our clients often ask about social media:
- What should I post to my Instagram feed versus Instagram stories?
- Why isn’t my LinkedIn company page’s post getting as much engagement as the last few posts?
- Should I boost this Facebook post? How much should I put behind it?
Like “Should I start a TikTok?” each of these questions should never be answered alone, but instead considered as part of a goal-driven strategy and aligned with how each platform is and will be used. The analytics are readily accessible and can be examined to reveal audience/user behavior on a real-world-actionable level.
Heading into a new year, during which Facebook will turn 18 and Twitter turns 16, it’s no longer just about which social media platforms you want to be on and why. It’s also about which ones you can consciously and strategically ignore so your communications overall are more effective.
Jayda Leder-Luis is a Vice President at Denterlein and consults across client teams on social and digital media strategies.
Photo credit to: @solenfeyissa via Unsplash