US Jewish groups should use TikTok more - opinion

With the average TikTok user checking the app eight times a day, the platform is disrupting the way people discover and consume information.

 THE WRITER speaks about the power of TikTok marketing (photo credit: EDUARDO FELDMAN/ADAYINTHELIFE.PHOTO)
THE WRITER speaks about the power of TikTok marketing
(photo credit: EDUARDO FELDMAN/ADAYINTHELIFE.PHOTO)

TikTok is the fastest social media platform to hit a billion monthly active users (MAU). And let’s face it, it’s no shock to anyone. The highly engaging, fast-moving and (let’s face it again) addictive platform leverages the power of authentic, unfiltered, short-form video content.

With the average TikTok user checking the app eight times a day and a shocking 40% of Gen Z preferring TikTok to Google as their search engine of choice, the platform is disrupting the way people discover and consume information.

So what does this mean for the American Jewish community?

Firstly, going viral isn’t just a dream anymore. It’s a very likely possibility. With the incredibly high organic reach TikTok provides, anyone on the platform can reach millions of people. If you play your cards right, that is. This creates an opportunity to distribute educational information, share meaningful points of connection and showcase stories from your community.

I’ve been active on TikTok for two years now. I’ve gained 55,000 followers and over 13+ million views on my content. Heck, I even opened my own TikTok marketing agency called Pink Chili. But to this day, I’m still blown away by TikTok’s reach and potential. Here’s a snippet into its explosive power: During Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021, I spent many nights sprinting to the bomb shelter in my Tel Aviv building’s basement. One day, I decided to film my experience running to the shelter and share it on TikTok.

TikTok app logo is seen in this illustration taken, August 22, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)TikTok app logo is seen in this illustration taken, August 22, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)

The results:

• 4.3 million views;

• 791,000 likes;

• 11,900 saves; and

• 5,700 shares.

That one video reached more people than any of the big news channels did that week. Let alone that month.

So, why did a TikTok from an average person have more reach than some of the biggest media channels and companies in the world?

Ready for it?

a. It was real.

b. It was vulnerable.

c. It was – you guessed it – authentic.

This leads me to my second point: Show don’t tell is the future. Instead of shoving stats and sentences jam-packed with buzzwords, video content allows you to capture and depict the emotions of your reality.

In my previous example, I was able to transmit energy through a screen in a raw, real way. I didn’t have to say “This conflict is complicated and innocent people on both sides are hurting”. I showed that.

The hard part for many organizations? On TikTok, there’s no hiding behind corporate language or curated narratives. On TikTok, what you see is what you get. And a lot of times, companies are so paralyzed by their brands and fears, they forget to create with their hearts.

But Gili from Pink Chili, isn’t this just a fad? Is TikTok really worth my time right now?

Thirdly, it’s not going anywhere. TikTok is here to stay. I’m confident that TikTok or at least short-form video content is the future of social media, communication and knowledge transmission. And the more we distance ourselves from it, the more we distance ourselves from the world. The truth is, it’s not going anywhere.

It’s only getting bigger and more powerful. And with the rise of antisemitism and Jewish hatred spreading to all corners of the world, we have a real chance here to connect, educate and influence.

The writer, who made aliyah four years ago, owns Pink Chili, a social media agency specializing in TikTok marketing. She is a content creator/influencer on TikTok, focusing on life in Tel Aviv, being an olah and opening her own business. You can find her at www.pinkchili.io/ and www.tiktok.com/@gilifromphilly.