How to be successful on TikTok? The social media platform works slightly differently from others, as each new video is hidden from “news feeds” for the first 2 hours after posting, to ensure that it goes viral organically, rather than those from accounts with the most followers always appearing first when a user logs in.
So how should a sporting property best use the platform? Is it ok to just sync the same sort of content – e.g. best plays, news and information – than you do elsewhere?
One sporting federation who is taking a different approach to great success is the FEI. They recently gained their 1 millionth video like on the platform (in less than one year of usage) – but even some of the people liking their videos may not realize that the FEI are using TikTok! That is because their account on TikTok is completely different from their usage elsewhere. They instead use an alternative brand, “My Horse World Club”. This is described as “A place for young riders & horse enthusiasts” and is therefore working really well to gain followers and interactions from users who are interested just in the horses, rather than necessarily fans of equestrian events and competitions.
This strategy is definitely paying off, with the FEI’s most engaged with post – on any platform – in 2021 so far coming on TikTok. This post from April, showing the 30 day transformation of a young horse, achieved an Engagement of 62.000 and over 235.000 views! The average Engagement on a video from the My Horse World Club channel receives an Engagement of 12.000 – which is 4 times the average Engagement on a video posted by the FEI on Instagram!
The Head of Digital at the FEI, Stéphane Schwander, said that:
“Although it marked a change in direction in the FEI’s overall social media strategy, My Horse World Club is a unique way to bring young people together around their shared passion for the horse. We wanted a platform that would showcase the dynamic and vibrant nature of this new generation of equestrians. This is why we felt it was necessary to create an equestrian brand entirely dedicated to young people that would respond to their digital expectations, and allow for easy and creative expression.”
With the Olympics coming very soon, it will be very interesting to observe if other Federations take the lead from the FEI and make the effort to do something different on TikTok!