Everything you need to know about TikTok! The short and sweet version

July 7, 2022

Jayde Robertson

When TikTok first debuted on the social media world in 2018, no one could have predicted how powerful it would become. But what exactly is TikTok?

TikTok is the world's seventh-most popular social platform, with over 2 billion downloads (and counting! ). Still, it has an outsized influence on the cultural zeitgeist since it's the app of choice for the hyper-influential Gen Z. TikTok is responsible for culinary trends, a new wave of famous pooches, 2000s nostalgia, and of course, a host of influencer’s careers -  depending on your point of view.

So - what is it?

TikTok is a social media platform that focuses on short videos.

Many people consider it a smaller version of YouTube, with videos ranging from five to 120 seconds in length.

TikTok calls itself “the leading destination for short-form mobile videos” with a mission to “inspire creativity and bring joy.” (Loving the confidence here!) TikTok, crucially, places content discovery at the center of its experience. The TikTok algorithm curates a never-ending stream of videos for you on the For You Page. The video feed starts playing as soon as the app is launched, immediately enticing users.

TikTok is centered on unique content that is mostly intended for enjoyment. This is a fantastic way to portray the brand in a more personal and genuine light. It can also serve as a showcase for the resources you have to help build differentiation and brand memory.

TikTok - In a nutshell
Making the platform work for YOU

What can you do on TikTok?

Watch - or create videos

The TikTok experience revolves around videos. They can be uploaded or generated in-app, with features such as stop and start recording, timers, and other tools. There is also the option of live streaming. Visual filters, temporal effects, split screens, green screens, transitions, stickers, GIFs, emoji, and more may all be added by users.

Jump on the musical train

The app's large music selection and connection with Apple Music give it an edge over the competition. Creators can use playlists, videos, and other tools to add, remix, store, and discover songs and sounds.

Interact - virtually, of course.

TikTok users can follow accounts they like and give videos they like hearts, gifts, comments, or shares. A user's Favorites section can contain videos, hashtags, sounds, and effects.

Understanding the algorithm.

  • Hashtags don't influence “virality” or “reach”
  • Using trending songs with 0 volume helps boost videos
  • Don’t make continuous series but have a more interconnected series that have the same topics
  • The more “different” the content the bigger the reach
  • Bring in elements that are authentically yours
  • The first three seconds of the video are the most important and eye-catching

TikTok for Higher Education.

On TikTok, university content should be a mix of academic and non-academic. Your academic content can be bite-sized and focused on quirky or unusual issues related to your areas of expertise, keeping you on-brand.

Non-academic content, in our perspective, is where the real engagement prospects are. This should be focused on the student experience as well as other services provided by your universities, such as well-being assistance and career guidance.

Freeing your Institution from a corporate mindset.

This essentially means presenting your university's brand in a different way than you are compelled to do on other platforms. Universities should avoid employing logos or other marketing assets, according to TikTok. Allow academic expertise and student experience to speak for themselves instead.

Content Ideas for your Institution.

  • Campus/Institution tours
  • Student interaction/interviews
  • Showing off how different and interesting your institution is
  • Relatable content/impressions
  • Interesting information/history snippets
  • Student-generated content

Are you a marketer curious to learn about the aspects that affect our industry?

Or do you want to tap into our expertise to sharpen your tactics? Look no further than our free downloadable resources. We work hard to research our content - and offer it to you - free of charge.