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How to reach teachers on TikTok

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?

Absolutely.

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:

  • Authentic
  • Informal
  • Helpful
  • Fun

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Trend jacking

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.

  1. Embrace challenges

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.

  1. 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.

Download our white paper for more guidance on how to influence schools or contact us to find out how we can help you get results like these, which we’ve achieved for other clients.

Image by antonbe from Pixabay

Seven ways to avoid PR mistakes in 2023

2023 has kicked off with a bang and your PR team will be chomping at the bit to create great content and pitch out new story ideas to get your product or service mentioned in the national and education media.

When batteries are recharged and the creative juices are flowing, you can go off with all guns blazing in the first weeks and months of a new year.

But it’s worth looking at these seven steps to avoid PR pitfalls, get campaigns off to a flying start and achieve the results you want.  

 

1. Make sure your PR delivers on your business goals

Your PR team could be doing a great job crafting messaging that resonates with senior leaders and teachers and getting your product or company name mentioned in the publications, podcasts and blogs they go to for information. The digital skills of your marketing people are crucial for generating imaginative product launches that generate sales leads too.

But blending PR’s ability to build an audience’s trust in your brand with the focused and measurable strengths of marketing can be a powerful combination to help you meet your business goals in 2023.

Read our blog  and find out how you can use PR and marketing to build your reputation, shift opinion towards your brand, and achieve your business goals.

2. Plan, plan, plan

Approaching PR in an ad hoc way with little or no firm plan on what you want it to achieve for your business is a high-risk strategy that is unlikely to get you the results you want.

While an element of flexibility is essential for responding to the changing news agenda and shifting education marketplace, a good PR plan is the linchpin for co-ordinating the efforts of your PR and marketing and ensuring the activity they engage in actually delivers for your business.

The grounding for a successful PR plan comes from asking yourself some tough questions. These are outlined in our blog, along with our top tips for planning a great year for your PR campaigns.

3. Don’t leave keywords to chance

Whether your company supplies software to schools, training for MAT leaders or student record systems to universities, there are some common keywords and phrases the people you want to reach type into search engines when they are looking for solutions to the challenges they face.

Including these keywords in your online content will get your company name higher in the search list and make it easier for people to see how your products and services can help.

But how can you find out which keywords your audiences uses to source information online?

Check out our blog on keyword research and find out which words and phrases you should be using in your online articles and news pieces to reach the right people and put the information they need into their hands.

4. Don’t stifle creativity

When your PR or marketing team has a great idea for a campaign, is there a tendency to step back from activities that are considered to be a bit wild or crazy in favour of what’s been done before?

Make 2023 the year that you consider pushing the boundaries a little more. Even if you end up tweaking the original wild idea, injecting some fresh thinking into your PR could help you stand out from the crowd and take a successful campaign to the next level.

Get some inspiration from our short video and avoid overthinking or stifling the true creativity in your organisation this year.

5. Be ready to manage a PR crisis

No organisation is immune to a PR crisis. If the unthinkable happens – a call from a journalist who has uncovered a major fault in your product, or from a customer who says your products have corrupted their data – you need to be ready.

We have created the Complete Guide To Crisis Management For Brands & Startups in the Education Sector to help you act fast and protect your brand.

6. Get ready for Google Analytics 4

Add 1st July 2023 to your PR calendar as this is the date when Google Analytics 4 will replace the Universal Analytics platform.

But don’t get caught out. You will need to start putting the groundwork in place for the change now as you won’t be able to access your historical data after that date.

Read our blog on what to expect and what you should be doing to get the most from GA4 into and beyond 2023.

7. Don’t miss out on a prestigious award

The new year is a great time to consider entering an education award, such as the TES School Awards or the Bett Awards. An award win – or even a place on the shortlist – can bring added recognition for your brand and demonstrates to prospective customers that your product or service is among the best in class.

Writing an award winning entry can take time, but we’ve done some of the hard work for you here by outlining what you can do to give you the best chances of award success.

 

Read more about the fantastic results we have achieved for our clients and contact us if you’d like our help to deliver PR success for your organisation.

 

Photo by Tara Winstead

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