Nov. 11 2019 11:00 AM

There’s a new social media platform that could help us connect with consumers.

TikTok is a global social network based on video content that started in China. The audience is mostly younger people (under 30 years old), and it is around the size of Instagram with about 1 billion users.

It's still really new, but if you are looking to reach young people, have some cool videos (cows, big machinery, farm life, and so forth), and want people to know more about where their food comes from, this might be a good platform to jump into.

How do you use TikTok?
It's fairly simple. You just need to install TikTok (iphone or android) on your mobile phone. You don't need an account to start viewing videos, but you can set one up. Once you have an account, TikTok will start sending you videos that you may want to see. The app will get smarter about this the more you use it.

How do you post a video to TikTok?
If you use Snapchat or Instagram, you are going to find the user interface to be similar and user-friendly. You can create a 15- or 60-second video or upload an existing one. TikTok will let you add effects similar to other networks.

One big difference is that when you post a video, it can be shared, downloaded, and made into a gif by users. They actually encourage this type of behavior.

You can also layer sound over your video; other networks have a hard time with this. You can create audio mash-ups or choose from TikTok's massive song library.

How do others see your video?
Hashtags, like with Instagram, are used by others to find your videos. It's good to do some research for your hashtags — #foryou and #foryoupage are used to get on the TikTok front page. Here are some about farming: #dairyfarm, #dairyfarmer, #dairyfarming, #farmer, and #farmerlife. There are some #undeniablydairy videos as well.

What are users doing?
They are creating videos by competing in hashtag challenges or posting fails, humor, memes, duets, slo-mo, and so forth.

What could you do as a dairy farmer?
This is an opportunity to share your farm life and where food comes from in a fun new way. Since it's a fledging network, there aren't a lot of brands. It’s mostly people trying to entertain one another by sharing their lives, but there is a lot of weird humor and inappropriate pranks, so be prepared.

To see some samples of videos from TikTok, click on Number 1 or Number 2.

Need help getting started in social media and connecting with consumers via digital tools? Your local and national dairy checkoff can help. Please reach out to them via dairy.org or contact me at don.schindler@dairy.org. If you would like to learn more about your national dairy checkoff, you can join our Facebook group or visit dairy.org for information.


Don Schindler


The author is a Senior Vice President of Digital Initiatives at Dairy Management Inc.

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