Affirmation Expands Outreach to TikTok
Throughout its history, Affirmation: LGBTQ Mormons, Families & Friends has embraced new opportunities to connect with the LGBTQIA+ Latter-day Saint community, whether with a printed newsletter sent through the postal mail, early online discussion boards, our various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
And now, TikTok.
Affirmation posted its first video to TikTok just before the 2020 Affirmation International Conference, which was held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions. The video was a fun promotion of the conference, opening with Joel McDonald, Affirmation’s director of operations, peacefully sleeping and then waking to rush to get ready to attend and then realizing the conference was virtual, and there was nothing to do to get ready, other than to register.
@affirmation.lds The Affirmation International Conference starts 9/12. Info & registration at conference.affirmation.com #gaymormon #gaylds #lgbtqmormon #mormon #lgbt ♬ original sound – Affirmation
“Like so many in the United States, I downloaded TikTok during the height of COVID-19. At first, I thought it would be a passing phase,” shared Joel. “But I found myself spending more and more time scrolling through videos. I saw my friends starting to do the same. My feed also shifted from fun dance videos to videos on topics I was interested in.”
Today, TikTok is being downloaded more than Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Tiktok has been the most downloaded app in the United States since 2021. Facebook and Instagram, both owned by Meta, have introduced similar video formats to try to compete with the rise of TikTok.
Affirmation didn’t post to TikTok again until August of this year to promote the 2022 Affirmation International Conference with a personal invitation from Affirmation President Nathan Kitchen.
In October, Pew Research published an article detailing the growth in the number of adults getting their news from TikTok. According to Pew, 10% of all adults now report getting their news from TikTok, which is triple the amount reported in 2020. For adults aged 18-29, the number reported is 26%, up from 9% in 2020.
“Whether you consider TikTok being a source of news a good or bad thing, it can’t be argued that the platform has become a significant source of information, especially for young adults,” Joel reasoned. “When you consider how important it is for Affirmation to be visible as a source of support for the LGBTQIA+ Latter-day Saint community, especially young adults, engaging on TikTok is a must.”
Five days ago, Joel posted a TikTok sharing Affirmation’s mission and vision and responded to questions. When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came out in support of an amended version of the Respect for Marriage Act, Joel quickly shared Affirmation President Nathan Kitchen’s statement as a response. In the last week, the number of followers of Affirmation on Tiktok has increased from about 20 to almost 200.
“From now on, we will include TikTok as we publish content online about Affirmation’s work to accomplish its mission of creating worldwide communities of safety, love, and hope for LGBTQIA+ individuals, their families, and friends where connections can be made with others who understand the challenges of being at the intersection of being LGBTQIA+ and a Latter-day Saint,” Joel shared. “We’ll experiment with various formats and tools to improve and increase our outreach on the platform.”
While currently available on TikTok in English. TikTok accounts in Spanish and Portuguese may follow.
How You Can Help
As is true on any social media platform, Affirmation’s ability to reach a wider audience on TikTok is helped when you engage with our videos. If you’re on TikTok, follow our account and then like, comment, save, and share our videos.