Aug 19, 2021 - News
Minneapolis' vaccine message goes viral with TikTok videos
screenshot from minneapolis city viral tiktok
A cheeky post on vaccine hesitancy has been viewed more than 200,000 times. Screenshot: @CityMinneapolis/TikTok

The city of Minneapolis' latest effort to urge residents to get their COVID-19 shots is going viral.

Driving the likes: Pro-vaccination posts to the city's TikTok account have racked up hundreds of thousands of views and tens of thousands of likes on the social media platform in recent days.

Why it matters: TikTok can help governments and public health authorities reach younger people who might tune out other, more traditional PSAs.

  • State data shows vaccination rates among teens — and even those under age 49 — lag older populations.
  • While TikTok doesn't give a breakdown of audience by age, Jordan Gilgenbach, Minneapolis' social media officer and star of the @cityminneapolis account, said most of the comments come from the under-35 set.

Of note: The city of Minneapolis was one of the first government agencies to join TikTok back in 2019.

What they're saying: "I've got a very targeted audience that is at big risk and has the tools to be at less risk, and isn’t taking advantage of it," Gilgenbach told Torey.

The bottom line: While individual doctors (and anti-vaxxers) have attracted large followings, many municipalities and public health authorities remain wary of the platform's more casual vibe. Gilgenbach thinks that's a mistake.

  • "There's so much potential here for brands to be relatable in a way that feels organic to the platform, that's not boring," he said.
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