Community and Entrepreneurship - 4H Association's Path to TikTok Success

The Finnish 4H organization is renowned as a significant employer of young people and promoter of entrepreneurship. Well-targeted communication, carefully selected content, and genuine interaction with followers grew the 4H Association's TikTok channel from zero to 12,000 followers in a year.

4H in Finland operates nationally as a politically and religiously neutral organization that helps children and young people find meaningful activities and diverse hobbies. One of the organization's key activities is the 4H enterpreneur program, where young people aged 13–28 can practice small-scale entrepreneurship within a safe and guided framework. The 4H TikTok account is built around this operational concept and the promotion of youth entrepreneurship.


Interest in creating a TikTok account was sparked while drafting the activity plan for 2023. But what would be the right angle that would advance 4H's strategic goals and appeal to the youth enjoying TikTok? This was deliberated by Mari Pöyhtäri, Communications Manager at 4H Finland and Aino Heininen, Communications Specialist.


Mari Pöyhtäri 4H

"For us, it's clear that communication in social media must be goal-oriented like all other forms of communication. Before diving into TikTok, we were present on platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and X, each with a defined target audience and purpose," Pöyhtäri explains.


With an organization operating with just two permanent and one temporary communications professional and on a modest budget, the correct allocation of resources is vital. A message from YouTuber and former 4H entrepreneur Joose Soini suggesting a collaboration in TikTok came just at the right time. Pöyhtäri and Heininen decided early on that the available budget would be invested in high-quality content in collaboration with Soini, relying on organic distribution instead of paid advertising. The 4H TikTok account was launched in February 2023.


Aino Heininen 4H"Smooth cooperation with Joose has been the foundation for everything. The process includes monthly meetings, ideas on content from both us and him, and sharing feedback openly. The fact that followers and views have been gained almost entirely organically is evidence of succesful content. We have only conducted one small advertising experiment on TikTok," Heininen reveals.


  • Key numbers of 4H Finland TikTok account from 2023

    Number of followers: 11 146 (5 Feb 2024)
    Impressions: 1,95 million
    Average engagement rate: 5,5 % 
    Number of posts: 89
    Percentage of views originating from TikTok out of all channels of 4H in Finland: 70 %


    Source: Retriever's media analysis of 4H's publicity in 2023.

Presence builds trust

In addition to video content that engages young people, 4H focuses on interaction with followers. Interaction makes it visible that 4H is a trustworthy organization also in the world of social media.


"The volume of questions and comments and the time it takes to respond to them was initially surprising. However, we feel it is paramount to be present and respond when a young person takes the time to ask us questions and shows interest in our activities and topics. Since our videos reach a large audience, responding to comments is not just answering to one individual but spreading information to a wider group, which increases impact," Heininen explains.


Joose Soini ja Vili Parkkonen

Joose Soini (left) has produced all the videos for the 4H Finland TikTok channel. He has also highlighted other young entrepreneurs on the channel, one of whom is 4H entrepreneur barber Vili Parkkonen (right).


Data-driven Decision-making with Retriever

The 4H Association utilizes Retriever's services for editorial media monitoring,  social media listening and annual publicity analyses produced by a media analyst.


"Daily reports and the analytics tools in the platform help us understand where and how 4H is being talked about. All staff of the association can subscribe to media and social media monitoring notifications. With Retriever's service, we can also provide reporting to our partners," Pöyhtäri says.


The annual media analysis report produced by an analyst delves deeper into the publicity. These insights are presented to the staff, the management team, and the representative assembly, which is the organization's highest decision-making body.


"We are really satisfied with the annual analysis produced by Retriever's analyst. It provides us with actual data to support decision-making on where to invest and where not. Measuring communication with media analysis also challenges us and encourages us to do things even better," Pöyhtäri and Heininen explain.


4H in Finland's Tips for Succeeding on TikTok

  • Carefully choose your social media channels and focus on those. Define a clear goal for the use of each channel and limit the theme of content and the target audience.
  • Content production requires planning and time. Invest in finding a skilled content producer, either from within your organization or externally, and ensure sufficient resources are available for content production.
  • Even a small organization has the opportunity to succeed on TikTok. Engaging content can lead to organic success without necessarily needing paid advertising.
4H in Finland is a nationwide, politically and religiously neutral youth organization formed by the Finnish 4H Federation and 185 local 4H associations. The organization supports the children and young people growing into working life, entrepreneurship, and active citizenship. In 2023, there were 2,300 young people operating as 4H entrepreneurs. The combined turnover of 4H businesses was 3.76 million euros. 

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