Since its global launch in 2017, TikTok has expanded exponentially and the number of users in the UK is predicted to reach a staggering 15 million by 2025.
This seismic growth has seen TikTok morph from being the go-to platform used by under 25s to create lipsync music videos to becoming the increasingly popular tool used by influencers and businesses to grow their brands.
But can edtech firms reach teachers on TikTok?
Find teachers on TikTok
With billions of views of #learnontiktok, #teacher and #teachersoftiktok, the education community is alive and well on TikTok.
Growing numbers of teachers are using the platform to share and look for new lesson ideas or ‘how-to’ style content to support their classroom teaching.
Teachers have become popular content creators too, such as Mrs J Primary, a primary teacher in Wales who regularly posts videos offering lesson tips and recommendations for teaching resources. There’s also mrsreandpsheteacher whose thousands of followers tune in to find teaching advice and lesson ideas for their students.
Partnering with influencers on TikTok is one sure fire way to gain traction on the platform (see @kjbr0wn’s partnership with the Premier League for inspiration), but there are a number of other methods too.
So how can education brands use TikTok to raise awareness of their products and services in the teaching community?
What content does well on TikTok?
What makes TikTok different from other social media platforms is that the algorithm does not consider the number of followers an account has when distributing content. This means that all video clips created have equal potential to go viral – whether the account posting them has a million followers, or none.
This offers brands a good opportunity to engage with teachers beyond their existing loyal customers and followers on social media.
One of the main advantages of TikTok is that alongside the paid advertising route, content can also be created relatively quickly and with little or no budget.
But corporate language and imagery won’t work well on this platform, so limit your branding and marketing content to the company profile page.
TikTok users love content that is:
Experimenting with different content types will help you to see what works best for the target audience you want to reach.
If you want to include TikTok in your organisation’s marketing strategy, get started with these four ideas for creating content that gets your brand noticed.
Create content that teachers need
The first and last rule for success on any social media platform is to create content that resonates with the people you’re trying to reach.
Whether your products and services help teachers to manage workload, tackle classroom behaviour or make lesson planning easier, creating content that helps them address the issues that matter to them is always the most effective way to encourage meaningful engagement, rather than just views or likes on your posts. So, stay clear of focusing on your products. Instead focus on tips or advice.
While the organic reach of TikTok can be huge, the greater the engagement with teachers on your brand’s posts, the more likely they will be seen by other teachers so relevance is everything.
Make use of hashtags
You can quickly start getting traction for your content by using trending hashtags that are relevant to your brand. These might include #ukteacher, #primaryteacheruk, #eyfs or #ect to name but a few.
Hashtags not only make it easier for teachers to find the content they are searching for. They also help the algorithm to more accurately understand what sort of content you have created and who will want to see it. But don’t overdo it. Three to five hashtags per post works best for TikTok but you can use more.
You can also create your own hashtags to include as part of a new campaign. If it’s attached to a regular activity, such as the monthly release of free resources for teaching maths, the repeated use of a relevant hashtag will help direct teachers viewing a post to the wider series. This will help to increase recognition of the hashtag along with awareness of the brand over time.
Trend jacking – which incorporates a popular meme, song or challenge that’s already trending – can be a great way to boost a brand’s presence on TikTok.
Take the ‘TeachTok’ trend, which encourages discussion on TikTok about many aspects of teaching. A teacher might record a ‘point of view’ style clip as part of the trend to show how they deal with different situations such as managing a noisy classroom or encouraging quiet students to contribute to a class debate. Teachers might also jump on trending events, such as the global release of the Barbie movie, to share their thoughts on planning lessons around inspiring women and girls in history or create content for teaching PSHE in schools. As the trend grows, more teachers join in and add their content and perspectives to build a vibrant community where people can find valuable resources.
Edtech companies can tap into the active teaching communities on TikTok by creating content around trending themes that add value to teaching, such as how to reduce workload or make classrooms more inclusive. Companies could gift their resources to teachers on the platform too or invite teachers to speak at or attend events they are hosting by commenting on relevant posts.
TikTok is renowned for fun challenges that can go viral. They are often dance related or add humour and many teachers embrace the challenges, much to the delight of their pupils.
But there are other types of challenge brands can jump on the back of too. One example is the #madepossiblewithadidas challenge created by the sportswear brand.
The challenge encouraged users to post videos beginning with the question, “show me something you thought was impossible before you did it”. Each clip users posted in response told its own story of triumph, from overcoming illness to running a marathon, and the hashtag #madepossiblewithadidas was included. The campaign generated a plethora of content which went viral with many thousands of views and shares, which raised the profile of the brand.
Education brands could adopt a similar strategy to start a challenge such as the best lesson of the year or most creative use of technology in the classroom. Adding a relevant hashtag will galvanise the teaching community to engage with the brand and share their own experiences.
Respond to comments
TikTokers are active when it comes to commenting on the content they see on the platform and brands that are happy to respond will get the best engagement.
Answer questions about your product or service, or even respond to a funny comment with a witty reply. This can be a great way to engage teachers and encourage them to follow your brand.