Should Your School Be on TikTok?
For colleges looking to connect with Gen Z, TikTok is an appealing platform as the generation makes up 60% of the video app’s base. When you consider that TikTok has 500 million active monthly users, that’s a vast audience of college-aged or about-to-be-college-aged users all in one spot.
So, should colleges take advantage of this platform? Like everything in marketing, it depends. Here are some things to consider before creating an account to promote your school.
Evaluate your resources – Developing engaging videos takes a lot of time, creativity and money. Assess if you have the resources needed to be active on the site. Consider if you’re going to want to also advertise on the site, as that will take additional marketing dollars.
Stay on trends – TikTok fosters an environment that moves quickly. Your team will need to be active on the site to stay on top of current trends. They’ll also need to be able to produce videos quickly to ensure that the college is relevant and part of the ongoing conversation.
Authenticity – Gen Z is looking for brands that are real. HubSpot notes that “appearing trustworthy and transparent” is a big part of communicating with this age group. If your university is going to connect with younger audiences on TikTok, it needs to be genuine or you run the risk of missing the mark.
Understand your goals – What is the goal of your TikTok account? Are you looking to attract potential new students and drive applications and enrollment? Do you want to provide a community for students that are already attending the school? Do you have another objective? Identifying this before kicking off is essential because it will guide what type of videos you create and post.
Find the right people – You’ll need a designated team (likely internal and external support) to keep an account like this active and engaging. TikTok isn’t a post-it-and-leave-it type of platform. Videos need to be monitored and someone needs to reply to comments and tags. You’ll also want to follow other accounts and engage within the platform by liking, commenting and re-sharing relevant content.
Types of TikTok Content
If your school decides to move forward, here are a few different types of content to weigh in relation to overall marketing goals:
Day-in-the-life – Shows what it’s like to be a student at the university. This is perfect for user-generated content (UGC) as you can select students to be ambassadors and show what attending the college is really like. Syracuse University was mentioned on Higher Ed Dive for their effective use of this type of video on TikTok.
Athletics and arts – Showcase extracurricular activities at the school and build school spirit.
Student groups – Putting a spotlight on a wide range of clubs and student organizations can be a good way to show there’s a place of belonging for a variety of backgrounds and interests.
Academic successes – Share wins across faculty and student work to help raise the profile and reputation of the school among the target audience.
Campus/department tours – Guide potential students through various parts of campus so they can see what it looks like.
Get on TikTok
Once you’ve decided that you have the resources to move forward and have established goals for your campaign, be sure to follow best practices to help your school stand out!
Learn more about the social media marketing and content marketing services offered at Beyond Fifteen that can help your college succeed on TikTok. You can also give us a call to connect with one of our TikTok specialists!