Third Sector Awards: Best Use of Social Media – Using TikTok to reach younger audiences for Citizen’s Advice

Awarded to a charity or charity organisation that creatively used social media to tell a story about its work, raise awareness of a campaign, or even combat negative attention.

Best Use of Social Media – Using TikTok to reach younger audiences for Citizen’s Advice

What was the aim?

Citizens Advice aims to provide free, impartial and confidential advice for everyone – whoever they are and whatever their problem. However, research found that 16- to 25-year-olds had very low awareness of the brand. The charity wanted to reach out to younger people, raising awareness while also connecting and engaging with customers of the future.

What approach was taken?

With half of TikTok users aged 16 to 24, the platform was identified as a key channel, allowing Citizens Advice to talk to a younger audience in a way that was relatable to them. As TikTok is a relatively new social media channel, Citizens Advice had little guidance or best practice to call upon, so it took a 'test and learn' approach. A video for National Consumer Week led to posts on a wide range of topics relevant to the target age group, chosen after speaking to young people across the organisation.

The digital communications team led the approach, drawing on ideas and developing content in collaboration with other teams. It created an efficient sign-off process to take advantage of emerging trends, and was able to educate senior leaders, most of whom had never heard of the channel. Recognising the need to improve the representation of diversity within its videos, the team has recruited a diverse panel of people from across the organisation to help create content.

What was the impact?

Citizens Advice’s TikTok audience grew to exceed 24,000 in six months. Its most successful post so far was seen more than 358,000 times and received 27,000 likes; its overall content has been liked more than 918,000 times, with one video even gaining media coverage. TikTok has grown to be Citizens Advice’s second-biggest platform in terms of reach and its biggest platform in terms of engagement.

What did the judges say?

“It had a real sense of purpose and clearly has the right tone of voice to capture attention – brilliant.”


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