BID® Daily Newsletter
Mar 2, 2022

BID® Daily Newsletter

Mar 2, 2022

Should CFIs Use TikTok For Marketing?

Summary: TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms and community financial institutions should strongly consider using it for marketing. With 689MM users worldwide, opportunities abound to reach new customers and expand brand awareness. We offer more reasons to consider this platform, along with TikTok’s content creation guidelines.

Today is National Read Across America Day and the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Started in 1998 by the National Education Association, this is a day of celebrating the joys of reading in schools, libraries, book stores, etc. Read-a-thons and author readings are traditional ways to celebrate today. But, don’t be surprised if a TikTok video appears today too, as savvy educators know this social media platform is impactful, especially with the younger crowd.
Some might ask “What is TikTok?” and “How is it different than other social media channels?” TikTok, owned by a Chinese company ByteDance Ltd., is a growing social media channel that caters to short, snappy videos. It encourages users to be as creative as they can in 1-3 minutes, thus the name was chosen to represent that. The social networking service is full of tricks, jokes, dance, tutorials, and entertainment.
Hitting 1B users worldwide in September 2021, TikTok offers an important opportunity for community financial institutions (CFIs) to present information in fresh, fun ways. Reaching this audience could help you grow your customer base and increase brand awareness, among other things. Here are some other reasons (that may not be as obvious) to consider using TikTok as a marketing tool, along with guidelines about creating TikTok content.
Learn from TikTok

TikTok doesn’t enjoy the popularity of Facebook, which is still the world’s biggest social media site. Even so, its numbers are impressive. It’s growing 5.5x faster than other sites and has become the second most downloaded app, after WhatsApp. With about 80MM people using TikTok every month, TikTok’s popularity is unmistakable and allows CFIs to get a glimpse of the wants and needs of its users.
According to Statista, over 47% of its US audience is made up of Gen Zers, which contributes to the belief that TikTok is for younger people. While Gen Z accounts for the largest portion of the user base, 20.3% of TikTok users are in their forties. So, using this social media platform would not limit you to only the younger demographics.
Still, the platform’s popularity with Gen Z gives CFIs a unique opportunity to learn more about younger people and their preferred ways of interacting with businesses. It’s also a chance to develop relationships, build loyalty, and establish your institution as a source of accurate and helpful information. Having a TikTok presence allows your CFI to open the door to ongoing conversations with people who might not be your target customers now, but will be soon.
CFIs are using TikTok

One $300MM-asset CFI in SC started using TikTok to attract more younger customers, as its customer base is skewing older. The institution uses a brand ambassador to create content that is fun and engaging, similar to influencer videos.
Another CFI in GA has added TikTok to its social media strategy recently and is learning which financial topics to use more broadly with a small test group of people.
For a $570MM-asset CFI in OK, one single post on TikTok provided them with a half million views on TikTok. The institution gained followers and definitely increased its brand awareness.
How to make TikTok content
  1. Select a name. If you’d like to try out TikTok, you need to first secure your institution’s name on the social media platform. This is a fairly easy process, but you may need to be creative if your institution’s name is already taken, especially if you have a more common name like First State Bank.
  2. Create content in small content bites. No social media campaign succeeds without the right material, so you’ll want to specifically design content (or recast existing social media content) for TikTok. Think short and direct. TikTok started with one-minute videos and moved to also allowing three-minute videos in 2021. At either length, you’ll need to offer information in small, tightly-focused bites. Present your offerings in direct relation to the needs a viewer might have. Be transparent and authentic.
  3. Consider employing humor. Ideas that might otherwise seem too silly for a financial institution can be TikTok hits and help you in connecting with TikTok users. You may even want to try animation or highlight your colleagues’ fun, friendly sides. Building fun TikTok content together can be a great way to involve lots of people at your institution too.
  4. Choose financial topics that will do well on the platform. Financial education, personal financial advice, micro-investing (especially if your CFI includes a wealth management offering), and cryptocurrency are all good potential choices. 
Following your peers and local businesses to get a sense of what they’re putting on TikTok can also help you generate ideas. Think about what you and your colleagues would enjoy watching and check out what videos have the highest number of views. Aim for content that’s relatable, shareable, and genuinely likable. This is a place to emphasize fun, while you connect with potential customers.
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