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Currently placed at number one for entertainment on the app store, TikTok is the most downloaded app in history. With over 800 million users worldwide, it is also one of the fastest growing. The app has outperformed other competitors like Facebook by overcoming the language barrier; it has reached areas in rural India and China that more ‘word heavy’ apps have not been able to access. TikTok is most famous for its trendy 15 second dances and remixes of songs, but there is another side of this app that is informative: educational TikToks. In this article we will discuss how to make the most of TikTok and use it as a resource to be more informed.
Why Information Matters
TikTok is known for lip syncing and trending dances. So then why, on a platform meant for fun and light-hearted content, would there be a need to spread credible, reliable information and news? In short, it’s because of how wide TikTok’s reach is. TikTok is available in over 155 countries. In addition to this, over 50% of teens get their news primarily from social media.
Apps like TikTok play a significant role in the spread of information — and misinformation. One pressing example is the coronavirus-related rumors that are presented as facts throughout TikTok videos. These rumors can often change young people’s attitudes and actions surrounding the pandemic. Our goal at Daily Dose News is to spread accurate information and help teens learn about news that is going on around the world.
Optimizing Your “For You” Page
You may have noticed that your For You Page (FYP) looks entirely different from some of your friends. This is because the TikTok algorithm promotes what you spend the most time viewing and what you engage in, more specifically, what you like and comment on. This is why some people say they are on “Elite” TikTok, “Gaming” TikTok, “Alt” TikTok, or even “Farmer” TikTok: it is because that is what their FYP is primarily composed of.
So, if you want to be more informed about social activism and have some of your FYP be “Educational” TikToks, make sure you engage when you see an educational video! Spend time liking, commenting, or rewatching, and that’ll ensure that more similar content appears in your FYP.
The Types of Educational Content
Due to the nature of the app, TikTok is filled with a wide variety of content from comedic content to dancing/singing to educational and many more. Even within educational TikToks there is a plethora of content out there catered to appeal to different audiences on TikTok. Some of the main categories include news sources, activism, career experts, and high school/college advice.
Our account, Daily Dose News, falls under the category of news sources because we are committed to providing information about global news that happens daily. Due to the short nature of videos on TikTok, many other news accounts follow a similar style to provide information on broad topics quickly and engage as many viewers as possible.
However, more established organizations like the World Health Organization use their platform to focus on a more specific topic like spreading awareness about public health or updates on the pandemic.
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While news accounts on TikTok are most often run by multiple people, activism TikToks are usually run by single people who are also often young. These TikTok creators are more focused on bringing awareness to social justice issues and movements rather than daily news. Because the general TikTok audience is also young, activism TikToks do quite well and TikTok’s unique algorithm allows for the information to spread quickly.
For example, one movement that began on TikTok was changing profile pictures to a black fist to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and stand against the censorship of Black creators. This quickly gained traction and you can still see many TikTok accounts with this image as their logo.
Another category that has become extremely popular on TikTok is relating to advice. Advice channels can be related to a wide range of topics from skincare tips to physical and mental wellbeing. Perhaps one of the most popular topics is professional advice, which not only encompasses advice from students about high school/college but also career experts sharing their own individual experiences.
Because TikTok promotes short videos, these types of videos are extremely helpful for students who are looking for advice in a concise way. It also allows them to connect with career experts that they might not have been able to connect with on their own and gives them access to new opportunities to help them achieve their goals.
Types of Educational TikToks
Below is a list of some of the top creators in each of the aforementioned types of educational content:
3. Career Experts
4. College/High School Advice
5. More niche/up and coming
Although educational content can be classified into these categories to a certain degree, each content creator is unique in their own way. Most accounts undergo completely different experiences before finding what type of videos people actually want to see and what sets them apart from other content creators already on the app.
When we first began our account, we experimented with many different video formats. When we posted our first TikTok on April 2, 2020 our original plan was to post educational TikToks mixed in with TikToks that matched current trends. As we slowly started to grow, we started to modify our formats to better appeal to our audience. Sure enough, one day we picked a format that blew up. The video quickly surpassed 1M views, and is currently at 3.7M views. Multiple videos after that also surpassed 1M views, and our following started to grow quickly as well.
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Now that we know what works, we focus largely on creating tiktok videos in this format, while also experimenting with some new techniques as well. We’re also working on expanding our platform and our currently growing on Instagram. We’re also making a website that will feature tips about how to be involved in current social justice issues, a review of news from around the world, and partnerships with other creators. At the end of the day, our goal is to create a more informed generation of young people, and we’re utilizing social media to achieve that goal.
How You Can Make Educational TikToks
There are three main factors that go into creating an informative, yet also attention-grabbing, TikTok video that is sure to be successful.
1. Find Your Topic
I’m sure we don’t have to tell you that the hardest part is just jumping in and getting started. Now that you’re in the right headspace to get started, first find the perfect overlap between your knowledge and what your audience would like to learn about. If you’re an expert on cats but your audience wants to hear about dogs, figure out a way to connect the two interests — that way, you will be able to effectively contribute something new to the conversation about something that the audience is interested in.
This is important for so many reasons, one being that a more engaged audience is more likely to share, like, and watch the video to completion — all factors that increase your chances of showing up on the for you page.
2. Grab Their Attention
Now that you know how to choose a topic that will interest your viewers, it’s time to implement. We have two recommendations here: build suspense throughout the duration of the video, then at the end, surprise the viewer in some way (don’t worry, we’ll give examples).
Building suspense throughout the video is critical in increasing the chances that the viewer stays throughout the whole video. Some ways that you can do this are by grabbing the audience’s attention right at the beginning with something they haven’t seen before, but leaving them wanting more (that’s the suspense part). Some great examples of this that we’ve seen include provocative questions or statements like “You won’t believe what happens at the end” or “You NEED to hear about ____”.
This can be in the caption or in the beginning of the video. Then, you can surprise the viewer by putting something shocking/attention-grabbing for a short amount of time towards the end of the video. This will make the viewer watch the video again, ensuring they digested all the information and increasing your views.
3. Reach Out
Last but not least, it is absolutely vital to appeal to an audience that isn’t normally invested in educational TikToks. This can be done through trending dance moves or music, which will help you get on the For You Page (FYP) and reach a wider audience.
We hoped you enjoyed our article! Feel free to DM us with any inquiries @dailydosenews on TikTok and Instagram or firstname.lastname@example.org.