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How to keep your social media marketing relevant in the age of TikTok


As a millennial approaching the latter half of my 30s, it wasn’t my mortgage, my two kids or my increased spending on eye cream that began to make me feel old: it was when I couldn’t figure out TikTok.


Why can’t I figure out how to match my movements to a song? How do they get these words to appear on screen? How do I clip multiple drafts together? WHY IS THIS SO HARD, I thought, struggling with my iPhone in the name of “research for work” and finally relating to older family members who always asked me seemingly obvious questions about technology. I hoped and prayed it would just go away, a passing social media fad that wouldn’t make it into the brand world.


Alas, for better or worse, TikTok has not gone away, and plenty of brands and financial influencers are using the channel to create amazing, and even educational, content. (Turns out it’s not just twerking videos!)


Whether or not your credit union or brand “needs” to be on TikTok is ultimately a case by case business decision, but the type of content TikTok has brought to the forefront has implications for all social media marketing, no matter the channel. Here’s what I’ve learned from my deep dive into the rabbit hole.


Keep Content Short But Engaging -


We’ve known for some time that video reigns supreme on social media, but that doesn’t mean that just because you used video instead of a still image, people are more likely to engage with content. Thanks to TikTok, Instagram Reels and Stories, the content that now resonates best with social media audiences is short but captures your attention right away. Whether it’s using humor, music, filters or an unusual situation, you only have a few seconds to capture your audience.


As credit unions, we are committed to educating members – but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with it. Think about how you can use social media trends and quippy content to share financial education tips. Believe it or not, GenZ is actively seeking out financial advice, but they don’t want to download a white paper or watch a webinar– they want you to get to the point within 60 seconds or less.


Know Your Audience and Use Measurement Tools -


There’s not much of a point in creating content if you’re not measuring it, so make sure you’re using some sort of tool to keep track of your KPIs, and that you’re reporting on them regularly. Tools such as Sprout Social, which is what we use, allow you to see how much engagement each piece of content receives, and therefore what your top and lowest-ranking posts are, so you can continuously optimize your social media strategy based on what’s resonating with your audience. Many tools will also allow you to get a peek into who your fans on social media are with detailed demographics, so you can create a content strategy plan accordingly.

Unfortunately, there aren’t really any tools on the market yet that will report on TikTok’s analytics, but if you convert to a business account on the channel, you will be able to keep track of your content’s KPIs.


Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out for Help -


Let’s face it, we don’t all have the exact same tastes or sense of humor, so make sure you’re not creating content in a silo. Lean on your coworkers for feedback on what’s entertaining or impactful and what’s not, and make sure to brainstorm content ideas with others. The more diverse of a group you can get for your content creation and feedback, the better. And, if there’s a channel you really just can’t wrap your head around, chances are there’s someone at work (who likely isn’t buying all the eye creams yet) who might be able to give you a hand.


Like I said, TikTok might not be for everyone, so take a look at your audience and the message you want to share and determine what’s right for you. But don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and embrace the crazy world of “new” social media.