Adding 50K TikTok Followers Per Month With Tailored Brand Messaging

TikTok
October 1, 2020
News & Media

Key Takeaways


Brand Positioning — Reinventing Your Brand with Platform Specific Content: The Washington Post has repositioned their brand personality on TikTok as a light-hearted and humorous news outlet by creating TikTok specific content, which is in stark contrast to their serious, matter-of-fact persona on other social platforms. The Washington Post may be repositioning themselves on TikTok to appeal to the high number of 18-24 year old users on the platform (34% on web & app). This provides The Washington Post with the opportunity to develop brand awareness with this younger generation and possibly help drive website visits and newspaper subscriptions. Consider where there are opportunities to connect & build brand awareness with the next generation of your consumers. Don’t be afraid to showcase a more outgoing brand personality on platforms such as TikTok.

Organic Social Tactic — Drive Website Traffic Through Link In Bio: The Washington Post uses TikTok to help drive traffic to its website. This is accomplished through the use of short videos which describe the article topic and include a CTA in the caption to check the link in their bio for more information. The Washington Post regularly updates their bio link to maintain freshness and ensure that they are providing topical information. Look for ways that you can use your social channels to direct user attention to other areas of your digital ecosystem, such as product pages, blog articles, and so on.

Content & Messaging — Bite-Sized Content: On TikTok, The Washington Post transforms their news articles into bite-sized, humorous video clips, which make news articles more easily digestible for the Gen Z and Millennial audience. The videos act as a teaser to the full length news article to incentivize viewers to click through to the website. 

Organic Social Tactic — Brand Personification: The Washington Post humanized their brand by building their TikTok personality around Dave, who is now infamously known as the “Washington Post TikTok Guy Comma Georgia”. Putting a face to the brand helps increase brand recognition and helps your audience establish a deeper connection with your brand. Consider personifying your brand on platforms such as TikTok, where the audience is significantly younger compared to other social platforms.

The Washington Post has built a consistent brand personality across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & YouTube as a serious, matter-of-fact publication that focuses on news and politics with the slogan “democracy dies in the darkness.”

TikTok

Though, on Tik Tok, The Washington Post has taken a different route—reinventing their brand to be more lighthearted and funny while still educating people about top news stories (with the slogan “we are a newspaper” to educate those unfamiliar with their brand).

Brand Reinvention

On both App* & Web, The Washington Post’s is largely concentrated in the 25-34 age range, with notable concentrations in both the 18-24 & 55+ age ranges as well (especially on the Web).

TikTok’s audience on App* & Web concentrates more heavily in the 18-24 age range than The Washington Post. Due to this demographic difference, The Washington Post may be reinventing their brand on TikTok, as it presents them with the opportunity to connect & build an early relationship with the high proportion of Gen Z users on the platform.

TikTok - Demographics
*Based on Google Play data only

The Washington Post gained 51K followers on average per month on TikTok from July to October of 2020. This is comparable to the Washington Post’s growth on Instagram pre-COVID for the same period in 2019.

Post Gained

Washington Post’s TikTok is run by Dave Jorgenson who is known as “The Washington Post TikTok guy.”

Dave Jorgenson
Click to view.

Dave is a video producer, editor, and writer for The Washington Post. Similar to other media outlets such as Buzzfeed’s The Creators Program, The Washington Post is building their TikTok personality around Dave who has fully embraced his creator role as the “Washington Post TikTok Guy Comma Georgia” (the title is from this video). Dave uses the title for his personal accounts as well, such as on Twitter.

Click to view.

All of The Washington Post’s TikTok posts include Dave who creates skits about current events such as the election and COVID-19, in a format that is relatable to Gen Z and Millenials.

Dave

There are numerous strategies that Dave & The Washington Post are using to increase the virality of their posts:

Dave Posts

The Washington Post takes trending articles and transforms them into bite-sized and humorous video clips for Gen Z & Millennials to consume and stay up-to-date with the news. The videos are easy to understand and makes “boring” news fun and entertaining.

Click to view.

The majority of The Washington Post’s videos fall into the following categories:

Topical
Videos that address current meme-able events that occurred recently.

@washingtonpost

Vice President Mike Pence had a fly on his head during the #VPdebate

♬ original sound - We are a newspaper.

Educational
Videos that educate viewers on a certain topic in an easy to follow format.

@washingtonpost

George Floyd was stopped by police or charged at least 19 times in his adult life, according to records, friends, and family. #GeorgeFloyd

♬ original sound - We are a newspaper.

Article Spotlight
Videos that highlight an article with a CTA in the caption to go to their bio to read more.

@washingtonpost

Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 267 into law in 2015. Read more about housing segregation at the link in our bio. #Houston #GeorgeFloyd

♬ original sound - We are a newspaper.

Trends
Putting their own spin on a sound or type of content that is trending.

@washingtonpost

It’s ok to just read the news online.

♬ original sound - Francesca

News-Oriented
Providing updates on big/trending news topics in a fun and engaging manner. 

@washingtonpost

House Speaker Pelosi & Pres. Trump want to pass an economic stimulus package but Senator McConnell wants to wait until after the election #stimulus

♬ I Write Watermelons Not Sugar by DJ Cummerbund - DJ Cummerbund

The Washington Post also drives traffic to their website from TikTok through their captions, by directing viewers to check out the link in their bio to learn more about the topic being discussed in the video.

Caption
washingtonposts, The Washington Posts


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