In 2021, TikTok is everywhere, and it’s for everyone. Whether it’s a cool new sweatshirt, a foldable ring light, career advice, the best Amazon finds, or even what the campus of your dream school has to offer, there is a place for it on the platform.
For many, choosing a school can be challenging, especially as the world is moving towards post-pandemic times after the year 2020. With a massive platform like TikTok and a niche for every person and topic, it’s the perfect place to utilize the power of branding and video creation to bring awareness to what an educational institution may uniquely offer. Think of it like this: you’re a student, and you use TikTok for everything; what to wear, how to wear it, the best skincare routine, the coolest shoes at the moment, relationship advice, how to work out like a pro – it’s your comfort place. Now, you’re about to start searching for a school, or you have a few at the top of your list but are still undecided – so you go to TikTok. There, you find the account of your dream school, or of the school you’re not so sure about fitting in at. There are videos of resources available, how the library works, a guide to finding the best classes, getting across campus, using the online interface, advice on managing course loads, making friends, joining Greek life – everything is right there at your fingertips, and it’s somewhere you’re comfortable being.
As a school, the best part about utilizing a platform like TikTok is having the ability to use the content created across other platforms. Given how recognizable the video style is and how well it translates to users, it’s best to carry the content across different platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and even the school website with a resource tab.
1. It’s as simple as creating an account.
Upload a recognizable and branded profile photo for your institution, with a link to the school website in the bio, and a catchy headline for those clicking through. Be sure to link the school’s Instagram account to cross-promote and encourage followers to keep up with the content across their most used platforms. With TikTok, creators can typically expect to see about 10-20% of their followers converting to Instagram followers. From there, it’s about making similar, resourceful content to keep the audience engaged.
2. Time for your first video.
On TikTok, you have the choice between 15 and 60-second videos. If you need more time, the app recently added an option for 3-minute videos for longer content. After selecting the duration, it’s time to pick a sound. Trending sounds on TikTok, whether they’re the voice of another creator or the song hitting every radio station at the moment, can be the make-or-break for playing into the tricky algorithm. This algorithm, while still being studied and analyzed by many, finds a way to show user-specific content that is highly recent and relative to the videos that they like and interact with. When it comes to a creator or an educational institution, it’s important to make videos with these trending sounds and video styles to show up for the desired target audience. For an added trending tip, encourage current students or viewers to make similar videos with guides and advice about your institution that you can repost or respond to.
Tip: Be sure to make videos with good lighting, clean backgrounds, and don’t be afraid to put related text overlayed onto the video. Avoid using overly saturated or dull filters offered in-app, and instead make content that is comfortable and natural – not overproduced or scripted. With TikTok, the less it feels like an ad or promotion and more like advice from a friend, the better it will be perceived.
3. Hashtags, understanding your niche, and a cover.
Make a unique caption relative to the video, and include hashtags specific to the niche content being created. If it’s for a school, hashtags might include one or two trending ones at the moment, coupled with a few others like #schooladvice, #school[name], and #studentlife. Don’t be afraid to look at what others may be doing on the app. It’s a space for all, and using trending ideas from others is a great way to join the conversation. Lastly, choose a cover from a still shot of the video. Here, keep in mind that this will be shown on the feed of your profile page, so keep it clean and consistent with the covers of your other videos.
Now, you are on your way to becoming the next TikTok star, or maybe just the coolest school on the platform. TikTok can be a powerful tool when it comes to getting your educational institution in front of the target audience, and it’s more simple than it seems. Continue to get engaged by creating a new sense of online community with the encouragement of viewers to ask questions and the opportunity for them to be answered in the comments. Check out the University of Georgia’s way of utilizing TikTok for their students!
If you would like help with marketing for your educational institution, feel free to contact us. We offer a variety of services like social media marketing, digital marketing & analytics, marketing & brand strategy, and more to small and large companies.