TikTok

How Brands and Creators are Using TikTok to Educate


By Kelsey Docherty

Published June 17, 2020

6 minute read

There’s no denying that social media platforms have changed shape and focus over the last month to rightfully support the Black Lives Matter movement. But with fast-paced and ever-evolving TikTok, it can be tough to spot the positive changes. We chatted with Kelsey Docherty, TikTok brand consultant, aficionado, and all-round video content pro to share

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There’s no denying that social media platforms have changed shape and focus over the last month to rightfully support the Black Lives Matter movement.

But with fast-paced and ever-evolving TikTok, it can be tough to spot the positive changes.

We chatted with Kelsey Docherty, TikTok brand consultant, aficionado, and all-round video content pro to share her insights.

Stemming from Kelsey’s trend-watch series on her Instagram @kelsey_tries, we’re chatting educational content, and how brands and creators are using TikTok’s quick video format to level-up our knowledge!

From important (and essential) awareness videos for #BLM and #Pride, to product styling tips and hoop dance tutorials, TikTok is here to educate, and we’re here for it.

TikTok Trends Overview of the Week

If you’ve seen a surge of educational content on your #ForYouPage, you’re not alone.

The usual dance challenges and quirky TikTok trends have taken a backseat to more important issues. It’s incredible to see brands and creators alike use TikTok as a platform to educate and inform their audience on current events and social issues.

Just look at the shift in content in The Washington Post’s latest stream of videos. They have always been a reliable source of information and have incorporated TikTok trends into their feed when it makes sense.

Recently they’ve created a number of informational videos that educate their audience on white privilege, systemic racism, and the challenges Black journalists face every single day.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah is another media outlet that is focusing on educating their audience of 1.2M followers on the Black Lives Matter movement, specifically on police brutality, white allyship, and the meaning behind protesting.

The hashtag #LearnOnTikTok has always been popular and you’ll see it featured on the Discover page on TikTok.

It currently has 7.4B views and thankfully, shows no signs of slowing down as people are craving educational content more than ever.

TikTok often amplifies educational content (like how-to guides, resourceful hacks, and quick tutorials), and recently, we’ve seen the algorithm elevate #BlackLivesMatter content, leveling up educational content and putting it in front of millions of eyes, exactly where it needs to be.

Check out @kei.honey‘s viral post below. With just 30K followers, Kei’s educational video gained over 750K views and 220K likes!

Another important cultural moment that you can see TikTok amplifying is Pride. The hashtag #MyPride is currently trending on the Discover page and has over 280M views to date.

One of the top videos you’ll see in hashtag is a series called “History: But Make It Queer”, which has 19 episodes to date. Check out episode 1 below, kicked off by @marcsebastianf:

TikTok creator @joshhelfgott is also creating some amazing educational content this month, specifically going over what the LGBTQ+ flags represent and why.

To see how other brands and creators are activating on social media for Pride, check out our blog post on How to Plan a Pride Campaign on Social Media.

With educational content taking prime real estate on TikTok’s For You and Discover pages, it’s clear there’s a cultural shift and demand for content that shares knowledge and personal insight!

Standout TikTok Brand of the Week

Kiitan Akinniranye, @kiitana is a fashion and lifestyle creator and owner of Atarah Avenue, a digital shop for headwraps. She is one of my favorite people to follow on the app and here’s why.

Her content never fails: she uses popular songs, jumps on trends quickly, posts helpful and educational content, and her seamless transitions are *chef’s kiss*.

So in short, Kiitan has found the perfect balance to promoting her business and getting involved in the fun side of TikTok!

For example, check out her tutorial on how to style and tie a headwrap:

It’s the perfect pairing of product promotion, educational content, and engaging video content you know you’ll view more than once.

If you’re a small brand learning the TikTok ropes, @kiitana is one to watch and learn from! You can also check out our Ultimate Guide to TikTok Marketing to learn more about how to sell your brand on the platform!

TikTok Creators to Watch:

#1: @NotoriousCree, CEO of Traditional Hoop Dance

Of course, dance and choreography didn’t completely disappear from TikTok this week because I discovered @NotoriousCree!

James Jones is an Indigenous traditional hoop dance artist who has performed globally and is ranked among the top five hoop dancers in the world.

He has just under half a million followers on TikTok and he not only creates beautifully choreographed hoop dance videos and puts his unique twists on popular trends, but also educates his audience on what hoop dancing is, what the hoops represent, and why he dances.

#2: @DevanOnDeck, CEO of Style + Anime

Devan’s TikTok videos are fresh, informative, and will likely make you want to go buy a new pair of sneakers (Editor’s note: this actually happened to me. My first pair of Air Force 1 Highs are on their way.)

His content is so unique because he’s not only a style inspiration, but his other interests are reflected in his videos, like his love for anime. There is a huge anime community on TikTok and a huge fashion community on TikTok, so he is able to combine the two and create some of the best style content on the app!

#3: @Loganwgood, CEO of Saving the Turtles

Logan Wood loves the ocean. He also loves cleaning plastic from beaches. The result? Educational and highly addictive content of him cleaning up beaches across the US.

Armed with just a sifter, gloves, and some garbage bags, Logan is bringing awareness to the pollution on our beaches.

Plus, with some videos getting hundreds of thousands of likes, it’s clear it’s not just a hit for World Oceans Day.

Now that you’re inspired by these brands and creators who are making digestible, quick-fire educational content for their viewers, it’s time for you to do the same!

Think about your brand’s unique point of view and voice and start exploring ways to provide authentic and helpful content to your audience.

We, as people and brands, should always be seeking ways to better ourselves, our audience, and our content, and what better way to do that then through learning! To quote Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Ready to take your TikTok content to the next level? Tune in to our free 30-minute video workshop where you can learn how to grow our business on TikTok!

Stay on top of the biggest social media marketing trends!

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