How New Story Charity Went Viral on TikTok with Sierra LaDuke

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In our first episode, you’ll hear how New Story Charity went viral on TikTok (and no, the videos didn’t involve any silly dance moves!)

Social Media Manager Sierra LaDuke and I unpack how New Story creates their social media content strategy, behind the scenes of two of their viral TikTok videos, and how they redefined what social media success means to them. This conversation is sure to spark so many fun conversations for your organization. Enjoy!

Apple | Spotify 

How to look for unique content moments when you’re in the field 

With such a bold goal in front of them to make housing more accessible, New Story Charity leverages social media to build its thought leadership and raise brand awareness. And sometimes, this happens in real-time while they’re in the field, which can be as often as every other month.

Social Media Manager Sierra LaDuke was fresh off a trip to El Salvador where they celebrated 16 families moving into two different communities. While the scene was chaotic and hectic with the Minister of Housing being present, you may be surprised to hear that the New Story team didn’t have a specific content strategy going into the trip. No two move-ins are alike.

Instead, Sierra’s team takes an opportunistic approach to content creation, whether it’s noticing the little details (like the one family who decked out their patio with plants), or others whose homes stood out with a unique window design. It’s about noticing where they can tell a creative and meaningful story.

If you’re out in the field like Sierra and juggling multiple hats of photographer, videographer, and brand designer, make it your goal to collect as much content as possible. You can turn those pictures and videos into a content goldmine that you can tap into and repurpose long-term.

Testing educational and serious content on TikTok – it works!

There’s a common misconception that TikTok only consists of funny, silly, and goofy videos. Yet New Story Charity created moving, educational videos that went completely viral – one of them to the tune of over 500,000 likes and more than three million views.

Take their Rods of Hope video for example. There’s a compelling phenomenon behind steel rods in Latin America. When lower and middle-class families would build their homes, they’d leave the steel rods exposed to make future expansion easier, as they dreamed of one day having a second or third story added.

The video became a powerful, yet polarizing conversation starter. In the comments, viewers were either arguing about the meaning of the video or openly sharing their own story and how much it resonated with them.

How did they do it? It was as simple as filming the content on a phone and finding a Google image to use a green screen in post-production. And you don’t need to strive for perfection. Sometimes it’s the “raw, janky kind of edits” according to Sierra, that fare better than a super polished video.

As you’re evaluating your own TikTok content strategy, consistency is key and TikTok will reward you for sharing videos on a regular basis. Keep a bank of inspiration and ideas and if you have a team, don’t be afraid to tap into them, too!

Redefine what social media success looks like based on your organization’s goals

When you create a social media strategy for your organization, what goal do you have in mind? Is it to generate a staggering engagement rate on your post, or to showcase the incredible impact that you’re making in the world?

While Sierra would love to launch a Discord community for their organization, it’s not something she’s prioritizing right now. You have to be thoughtful and intentional about which platforms you’re on, and what you have time and energy to pour into.

TikTok helps New Story Charity not only build brand awareness but attract donors too. Viral videos often get picked up by other media outlets and re-broadcasted to thousands or millions. The chances of it being seen by a donor becomes higher than ever.

Viral content can even work as a funnel for a nonprofit, especially when a child sees an impactful video and tells their parents about it.

Sierra’s ask on today’s episode is around leveraging social media as a lead generation tool for major gifts. It’s a creative, different take on how you can define social media success. Do you have any insights in this area? Connect with Sierra in the links below or slide into her DMs!

Notable Quote from Sierra

“That’s what I love about TikTok, is that raw, janky kind of edits that resonates with the audience. You can really throw something together and people enjoy it more than a super polished video.” – Sierra LaDuke

Resources & Links

Learn more about New Story Charity and their mission to house 1 million people by 2030.

Follow New Story Charity on Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.

Check out New Story Charity’s viral TikTok videos: Rods of Hope and Housing Project Gone Wrong

Connect with Sierra LaDuke on LinkedIn.

Learn about Seed Spot and its incubator programs for entrepreneurs.

Check out Duolingo’s TikTok account.

Are you making costly mistakes with your social ads strategy? RSVP to my new masterclass, How To Attract Recurring Donors Without Social Media, and learn my #1 secret for copy and content inspiration!

Want to make Missions to Movements even better? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram. Be sure to tag @positivequation so I can connect with you!

  1. This is amazing. We have been thinking of trying Tik Tok and this really makes us want to even more. Thank you for sharing.

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