We know that TikTok is where students are right now (don’t believe us? TikTok has straight-up cults forming; they’re that passionate), and with an estimated 200 million+ UK 16-25 year olds flocking to the content-first platform, and the average user spending 52 minutes a day on it, it really is a no brainer. But how can you, as an institution, exist on this infamously quirky app, while staying true to your brand, messaging and mission? 

It’s all in the strategy and we’re here to give you some insight into just that.

Our advice: 

Keep it simple. Keep it student.

Think about what your students care about and what they’re interested in. How can you add value with your content, messaging and brand to students’ lives and experiences? 

The thing with TikTok, as opposed to any other platform, is that the whole app is focused on ‘me and my experience’. It’s a content-led, user-first platform, typically from a single point of view. And your content, whether it’s advertising or general brand videos, needs to adapt that style too. You won’t get away with posting videos of your campus, or studio-lit interviews with professors and staff. It’s got to be that individual student experience, native to TikTok, to really cut through.

The first place to start? Study Tubers and Study Influencers

Authentic, true and relatable. Give your students the floor, pass them the mic. Creating that first-person student perspective is near-impossible to replicate, without forming an alliance with actual students.

Okay, you’ve kept it simple. You’ve kept it student. Now what? 

Don’t sell. Solve.

It’s not and should never be about ‘what we’ve got and how we can tell the world about it.’ It’s about helping people, guiding and inspiring. Solving problems. 

Think about your students first and what problems they’re confronted with, whether personally or study based, and centre your strategy around them. How you can add value to their lives and the world, and how you can help them with these problems. 

We’ve seen it since the coronavirus disruption kicked off; focus has been placed on universities to not simply sell their courses, their campus or lifestyle but instead help, support and solve. And you should take those lessons through with you post-Covid and onto TikTok.  

We know through Student Hut’s Insights Tracker, students face many anxieties right now; mental health and wellbeing, accommodation and university experience to name just a few. 

88% of students are concerned about their mental health. But one in 10 students are now unable to access mental health services from their university. 

Almost 30% of students living with housemates during lockdown feel uncomfortable with their living situation.

Now; what is your edge, what can you offer, what can you do to help fix these problems? Can you create messaging and content around issues with online study? Or around success? Or future careers? Or fitting in? 

Connect through communication and your understanding of students’  experiences. Speak your own truths and provide information on what’s unique to your institution and students. And engage with solutions and guidance for the problems they’re facing.  

If you want to find out even more about TikTok and how to attract students through this powerhouse app, we have an TikTok advertising and content masterclass just for you at our Think Student Online event (5 Nov) and you can access them directly by saving your (free) seat here.

Article by

Eleana Davidson Native Author

Eleana Davidson

Senior Marketing Executive