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TikTok has emerged as the dominant video-first social media platform, but making the jump from views to conversions has been an obstacle for many audience professionals.
TikTok has emerged as the dominant video-first social media platform, but making the jump from views to conversions has been an obstacle for many audience professionals. For our July 2023 gathering, we hosted a discussion about TikTok’s role in platform strategies.
Audience peers shared how they cracked the code on how to use TikTok to boost brand awareness and reach younger audiences discussed how to use the platform for non-traditional conversions like newsletter sign-ups.
We’re exploring the idea of hosting a hands-on TikTok workshop; fill out this short form if you’re interested.
We heard from Krishna Sharma, Audience Engagement Editor at The Baltimore Banner who took us behind the curtain on the organization’s approach to TikTok.
The Banner chose to lead with authenticity and develop their unique brand voice on the platform. They’ve found success by using videos to show the journalistic process, capture the energy of newsroom collaboration and focus on the human aspects of their stories. Krishna’s role is split between managing various social platforms, with TikTok taking up about half of his time.
Krishna started by using audience questions as jumping off points for videos. Their content started to gain traction about two months in, which is when they posted their “Baby Shark” investigative video. The video went viral, garnering 700k views and 9k followers for their account and winning NYU’s Best TikTok Explainer of the Year award.
Sometimes a reporter or editor will pitch a TikTok story idea, and other times Krishna will suggest a video based on a story. Krishna does not have formal video editing training, but on TikTok the audience responds more to authenticity over polish. Krishna and several others in the meeting recommend CapCut as an easy-to-use video editing program.
The Lenfest Institute provides free tools and resources for local journalism leaders to develop sustainable strategies to serve their communities.