TikTok launched in 2017 and started gaining popularity in 2020 with a lot of young people across the world taking part in creating short videos. Since then, the platform has grown and is starting to see people from all ages and backgrounds gathering on TikTok to produce short videos, longer videos (up to 10mins), stories and also live streaming.
One of the reasons that TikTok has been so popular is because individuals can create authentic videos, with little to no content production experience at all. All that matters is your voice and your message. The TikTok algorithms have also be set up to push anyone’s content to a wide audience, as long as the correct key words are used. Most creators, even if they have less than 500 followers can still manage to have high engagement on their videos if it is engaging enough. however, gauging what will be engaging enough is not always so easy but not impossible as trial and error will help a creator to understand their audience more.
As of 2023, TikTok now has 1.1 billion users with 850 minutes per month spent on TikTok per user. The platform allows young people from the age of 13 to have an account with access to limited features up until the age of 18.
So, what does this mean for your church?
If you and your church have been wondering how to reach more young people online, TikTok could be your answer! While TikTok might not be right for every church for various reasons, if engaging young people is what you want to achieve then you should consider TikTok. Recently youth festivals and Christian unions have been hearing testimonies of young people who discovered Jesus for the first time or reconnected with the faith via content that they engaged with on TikTok, some of these young people have also progressed to seeking out and attending their local churches.
So how can you use TikTok to reach young people on their journey of questioning? How can you encourage them and eventually invite them into your church building? Especially if you are in a city that has a university, this could be worth considering.
Examples of some great TikTok accounts that we have found for your inspiration:
We have compiled some ideas on how you can use TikTok for your church:
1. TikTok is a great platform to show off what you have to offer. You can create short, catchy videos that show your key services or community outreach programmes in action, or give a behind-the-scenes look.
2. Use TikTok's music and sound features: one of the things that sets TikTok apart from other social media platforms is its focus on music and sound. You can use this to your advantage by creating videos that are set to popular songs, or by using the platform's sound features to create unique audio experiences. This can be a great way to make your content more engaging and memorable.
3. Utilise TikTok's editing tools: TikTok has a range of editing tools that allow you to create professional-looking videos even if you don't have any video editing experience. You can use these tools to add text, filters, and special effects to your videos, which can help you make your content stand out.
4. Engage with your audience: TikTok is all about building a community, and one of the best ways to do that is by engaging with your followers. Respond to comments, ask for feedback, and create content that speaks to your audience's interests and values. This will help you build a following on the platform.
5. Keep an eye on trends: TikTok is all about staying current, so it's important to keep an eye on what's trending on the platform. You can use the platform's "For You" page to see what kinds of videos are getting the most engagement, and use this information to inform your own content strategy.
6. Have fun! TikTok is a platform that's all about having fun, so don't be afraid to let your personality shine through in your videos. The more authentic and genuine you are, the more likely you are to connect with your audience.
TikTok tips and tricks:
- When you are creating your videos, ensure that you are adding a title to your videos as well as captions. TikTok does not promote accounts, however it promotes individual videos. This means that it picks up your content based on keywords and presents this content to people it recognises will most likely engage with your content.
- When uploading your content make sure you are also using the most popular hashtags such as #Christiantiktok #Jesus #God #Faith #wordofencouragement #wordofwisdom #biblestudy
- One of the best ways to create content without a lot of work is by cutting out a small clip from your services, adding music in the background, adding captions and a title.
Examples of accounts that might be of interest:
In conclusion, TikTok can be a powerful platform for your church in 2023, especially when trying to connect with a younger age group. There are endless possibilities for what you can do on the platform, so experiment and have fun! Remember this will not be the right platform for everyone, however it will be useful for those that are looking to explore another platform for their evangelism and discipleship of young people.
- Sam Frawley, Social Media Officer