TikTok, the new rave no one wants to miss out on
How colleges can use TikTok to optimize their students experience
By Itzel Macias Ibarra
It is no secret that TikTok has taken social media over by storm. The app, which has over 1 billion active users, now has PR and marketing professionals scrambling to make sure they do it right. With the app's popularity still being moderately new, brands and marketers are still figuring out how to optimize the app to benefit them. And with the platform's ability to reach audiences such as Gen Z, it is no surprise to see universities hopping on the TikTok bandwagon. I mean, who wouldn't want to do a fun dance to a good song?
Why colleges need TikTok
Colleges need TikTok for the sole reason that most of their students are Gen Z. According to Wallaroo, Gen Z, which are between the ages 16 and 24, make up 60% of the app's users. This means that the majority of TikTok's users are either heading to college or are in college. Because there is so much room to grow, this makes the perfect platform for universities to connect and build a relationship with their students. TikTok is also a helpful way to reach and engage with students as content tends to be more light-hearted and entertaining as opposed to more deliberate information that may go on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
TikTok strategies every college should know
Despite TikTok being so young, there are strategies to making your content engaging and fun. The first strategy would be to identify trends and make them your own. TikTok is notorious for having viral trends. One day the whole app is doing the Renegade, and the next, everyone is participating in the Adult Swim trend, creating nostalgic and intricate videos. Whatever it is, put your spin on it. The second strategy would be for colleges to make sure their content is personal and authentic. Many colleges have quirks and history that make the school more personable. By creating content around these features, students will feel more connected to the school. And one of the last strategies would be for colleges to be consistent with their posting. By posting regularly, students will feel inclined to follow and keep up with the account.
Schools doing it right
Some schools that have excelled with their TikTok presence are Baylor University and Louisiana State University. These accounts have excelled by making relatable content such as dorm tours, campus tours and providing other tips. They have also made personable content, such as one by LSU in which they referenced material and inside jokes that only those who are familiar with the school would understand. By combining these strategies along with their consistent posting, both schools have been able to grow their TikTok presence and will only continue to grow.
TikTok is not like other social media platforms. With its ability to reach different audiences, it makes it the perfect app to create fun and engaging content that will resonate with followers.
About the Author
Itzel Macias Ibarra is a student at the University of North Texas, where she is majoring in journalism with a concentration in public relations and a minor in merchandising. Itzel is hoping to start a PR career once she graduates from school in December 2021.