Our New TikTok Success: Digital Storytelling as the Future
Making digital media accessible to everyone is a big priority when creating content here at Texas Civil Rights Project and including digital storytelling through video content is key to our strategy.
My name is Gabriela Mata, and I am the Content Creator at TCRP! Over the past few months, I launched TCRP’s TikTok account from scratch. Utilizing the power of digital storytelling, I have worked with my colleagues at TCRP to grow our TikTok following from zero to over 3.7 thousand followers, and have garnered over 50 thousand likes on our content.
In this blog, I will discuss how we leverage both visual and audio storytelling to connect with our audience in a more personal way- essentially breaking the 4th wall of the nonprofit world, and why we believe that digital storytelling is the future of social media.
Creating video content with digital storytelling components is an art that uses various creative mediums like video, audio, images, and text to tell stories that inform your audience while keeping them captivated. The goal of digital storytelling is to engage the audience on a personal and emotional level and to create a connection that inspires action.
Through our creative short-form video content, our audience is also able to meet the people who make up TCRP as we share more about who we are and why we’re in this fight. We’ve had many of our attorneys and advocates get on camera to speak firsthand on projects they’re working on in order to keep our audience in the loop on what TCRP faces on the front lines of liberation.
Roberto Lopez, TCRP Beyond Borders Senior Advocacy Manger with Kassandra Gonzalez, TCRP Beyond Borders Staff Attorney, and TCRP Beyond Borders Senior Staff Attorney Erin Thorn
By allowing our audience to hear directly from our attorneys and advocates, our audience is able to witness the passion and frustration that motivates us. Especially if we’re filming in critical moments that capture the feelings we experience.
Through digital storytelling, we’re able to establish a sense of trust that can help us counteract any disinformation or misinformation that is being spread online.
TikTok is also known for its comical and trendy content, and we have found that laughing through the struggles really reaches people too! Using humorous or light-hearted content also helps humanize us as an organization. We’re able to show that in work like this, we are still able to find joy and laughter when appropriate.
Miguel Rivera, TCRP Voting Rights Senior Advocacy Manager and Roberto Lopez, TCRP Beyond Borders Senior Advocacy Manager
Digital storytelling through short-form video also tends to be more inclusive. We’re able to reach folks with language that is accessible and less intimidating. In addition, because the content is also auditory, people can listen to the information being distributed rather than read it, which could be a barrier for some.
We do face some challenges in the realm of digital storytelling on platforms like TikTok, such as: the algorithm, digital burnout, quick turnarounds, working around busy schedules, and coming across as authentic and genuine using trends or audio.
We also grapple with questions like: How can our content stand out and hold our audience's attention without exploiting the trauma of our clients?
To overcome these issues, we work on crafting strategic and intentional narratives. We also take advantage of creative ideas to beat the algorithm and make the greatest impact, all while remaining principled and true to our mission of creating a Texas where all people can live in dignity, and without fear of injustice.
Despite the challenges, digital storytelling through short-form video content remains one of the most powerful tools to share our message and mobilize supporters. As society becomes increasingly digital forward, it’s clear that digital storytelling will continue to play a vital role in our spaces.