VIDEO VIEW: 5 ways the public sector can use TikTok

There’s no question that the wind is filling the sales of TikTok the short form video channel.

What has started as a Chinese platform with music is morphing into a genuine contender to break the Facebook monopoly.

The public sector, by and large, has been eyeing up TikTok warily. Innovators have been experimenting.

Trends and audio

One key way to get people to see your content is to ride on the coat-tails of poppular trends and popular audio.

In a nutshell, a trend can be a particular style of video. It can originate in one part of the world, burn fiercely and just weeks later be burnt out. Similarly, a music track can drive a popular style of video.

If you watch one video on a trend, say, you can lose yourself in exploring other takes on the trend.

With this crop of video, there’s some examples of public sector creators using trends. Why bother? Because if you do this you are likely to reach a a larger audience so when you’ve got that must-share content you are reaching more people.

Not all of the examples here are public sector but all have ideas that can work well in the sector.

Public sector TikTok ideas

Creator: @redbridgecouncil

Purpose: Voter registration amongst young people.

Trend or Audio: ‘Everybody’ by Back Street Boys.

Why this works: It’s self deprecating and shows a sense of humour. It links a music track with a call to action. You’re original. You’re the only one. You may or may not be sexual.

Creator: @thisisrangerkeith.

Purpose: By having no clear call to action the video reminds viewers that it’s good to take a break in the wild and listen for just a moment to bird song.

Trend or Audio: None.

Why this works: It deliberately shuns trends and trending audio that people can jump on to reach an audience. By doing so it reinforces why the countryside is a good place to go and recharge. This isn’t a service. It’s a bloke called Keith that you can build a basic web relationship with. You can even by merch.

This is by an individual rather than an organisation. I’m taking this that he could be a countryside ranger.

Creator: @southyorkshirefire

Purpose: Entertaining content.

Trend or Audio: #ringlightchallenge and the ‘Nobody wants to see you naked’ audio.

Why this works: This is a really good example of a public sector account embracing the platform. It creates entertaining content so it can build an audience and then deliver calls to action. This is a piece of that entertaining content.

The #ringlightchallenge began as a trend amongst super fit gym goers so they could show off their rippling shoulder muscles. It was then subverted by others. The overweight girl with the light disappearing into the fridge, for example. The audio ‘nobody want to see you naked’ is also a trend which the service have used here.

Creator: @livingliverpooltour

Purpose: Explainer video.

Trend or Audio: None.

Why this works: Living Liverpool Tour is a man who loves Liverpool and wants to explain and explore the city he clearly loves. The purpose is to educate and inform. This video is an answer to a question posed to him why playiong fields in the city are called locally ‘The Mystery’. By using period pictures, a voiceover and original video it tells the story of a mystery donor.

“Now,” each video concludes, “where shall we go next?”

It’s a lovely piece of place marketing.

Creator: @worcsacutenhs

Purpose: Celebrating a patient story.

Trend or audio: none.

Why this works: This is a video that works on its own independent of trends. A patient story its a celebration of a baby born 15 weeks early finally going home.

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