The rise in popularity of horticulture on social media platform TikTok
TikTok has recently been the subject of many discussions and news topics due to its undeniable influence on popular culture and the younger generation. From influencing the outcome of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s trial, popularising internet influencer Andrew Tate as well as creating innocent trends about dogs, popularising makeup products and “Booktok” which has helped make 2022 one of the most lucrative years for the publishing industry.
After overtaking Google as the top search engine, TikTok’s influence on its users is undeniable. It is a space where there is an audience for everything and anything, the stranger and more niche the better, where the user is shown content that they would not necessarily interact with otherwise. DIY hacks, house and garden transformations, plants and horticulture as well as foraging are other forms of content that have taken the platform by storm. TikTok is giving airtime to creators and is giving them a voice, while also influencing their audience to take interest in hobbies and topics they haven’t shown interest in before.
A great example of booming success on TikTok in foraging is Alexis Nikole Nelson, a black “Plantrepreneur” who posts videos about foraging to her 4.1 million followers, has appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel Show and has done her own TED Talk. You can read the Guardian article here.
Other accounts such as Green Genie Landscapes have accumulated over 4.9 million views of their landscape design transformations, gaining over 500,000 subscribers. This account is one example of content that comes up after searching “landscape gardening” in the search bar. They use popular ‘sounds’ on the platform that feed into the algorithm and give their videos a more expansive reach if that person interacts with other videos containing that specific song or audio snippet. There are also videos explaining the cost of the work that has been done to their outside spaces, videos of beautiful gardens, orangeries, greenhouses, and even businesses advertising monthly beginner boxes to grow vegetables and herbs at home. The adverts are narrated by a young man, perfect for attracting a younger audience. Other content includes beginner guides for growing flowers, how to start a gardening business as well as hacks for grass growth.
Considering that almost 50% of TikTok users are below the age of 30, this platform is perfect for interacting with the younger generation and influencing them to get involved with gardening and horticulture, but also just to cultivate their general knowledge about the industry when they wouldn’t necessarily be influenced otherwise. It is also enabling diversity within the industry by giving a voice to those that wouldn’t necessarily have the same access and opportunity and to see the success they usually would, which then creates role models and representation for the younger generation from minority groups who see that they too have a place within horticulture.