Advertising and advocacy on TikTok

The most popular app downloaded globally in 2020 and 2021, TikTok is an outstanding platform to reach consumers both through digital advertising and organic posting. With one billion active monthly users, organizations can use the platform’s unique algorithm to their advantage, potentially attracting an audience of millions.

Welcome to TikTok - the fastest growing social media platform. Users can post videos from 15 seconds to 10 minutes, take part in popular trends, collaborate with influencers, and create content to reach millions of viewers. Unlike other social media platforms where followers curate their own feed by choosing who to follow, TikTok uses a unique algorithm to show videos on a ‘For You’ page. The For You page is personalized to each user by showing videos the algorithm thinks they are most likely to engage with. This is based on the user’s recent likes, comments, location, and even actions outside the app, such as online purchases and Google searches.

TikTok can be a powerful tool for advertising, with multiple ad types offered in the TikTok Ad Manager. Through paid advertising, ads will appear on the user’s For You Page as they are scrolling through. Although the ad may just look like another TikTok, it is presented with a ‘Sponsored’ label and a call to action, encouraging the user to click on the ad. Recently, spark* has used TikTok Ads for our client Wine Growers Canada for their #TheRightAmount initiative. Through audience targeting available in TikTok Ad Manager, Canadian TikTok users interested in wine may see the ad on their For You Page, prompting them to click the link directing to WGC’s website.

Besides paid advertising, companies can use TikTok to reach large audiences, increase views, and grow their follower count. This leads to an overall increase of brand awareness and the opportunity for grassroots advocacy.


spark* TikTok tips

We all want to know what makes a winning TikTok strategy, and why some videos go viral while others only attract a small audience. While there is no single recipe for success, understanding the TikTok algorithm and adhering to certain best practices allows videos to captivate more viewers and ultimately reach a larger audience. By following trends, uploading videos regularly, and creating engaging content, organizations can advocate or promote their brand for free on TikTok and reach millions of users. Check out some of our tips below.

1. Use relevant hashtags

Similar to most social media platforms, using hashtags increases the chances of your video being seen and helps reach your target audience. #FYP, standing for “For You Page,” is the most popular hashtag used on TikTok. Hashtags can be used to raise awareness about regional or global issues, such as the use of #MyBodyMyChoice to advocate for abortion rights in the US. During the BLM protests, #BLM was used to spread awareness on protests, educate on racism, and encourage people to donate to charities. The hashtag gained major global traction throughout the app, and currently has 36.8 billion video views.


2. Create or participate in trends

Accounts can follow popular trends or create their own trends to advocate for a specific cause. For example, several Indigenous accounts on TikTok promoted a trend forRed Dress Day. Individuals were encouraged to hang a red dress somewhere visible in support of missing and murdered Indigenous women.


3. Captivate your audience

Users should be captivated by your video within the first 2-3 seconds. Recording vertically, using a good quality camera, and including a hook that encourages viewers to keep watching are all great ways to capture attention. @GenZForChange, an account advocating for change on issues such as abortion rights, firearm reforms, and LGBTQ2S+ rights, grabs users attention by partnering with popular TikTok Creators and celebrities to speak on current issues.

4. Remember to engage with your followers

Staying engaged with your audience on TikTok helps future videos gain more attention. As an account owner trying to increase brand awareness, answering comments on your videos, liking and sharing other videos, and posting regularly will organically boost your account. Never take this simple engagement for granted.

Parting Thoughts

Whether you’re using it as an advertising tool, advocating for a cause, or promoting your brand organically, TikTok is an important component of an organization’s social media strategy. If you need some help getting started on TikTok, contact us today.

Interested in more, or how we can help? Reach out: