Every year, higher education is challenged by recruiting a new generation. In the last several years, it was a millennium. This time it’s the Z generation.
Gen Z and Millennials are different, and it’s not just side pieces and skinny jeans. Gen Z treats money, brands, and authenticity differently and demands that brands share their ideals and create less polished content.
With this change, Higher Ed has to consider campus beauties and talking main videos. Instead, marcomm teams need to find opportunities to show students in real situations, talk about real things, and share real experiences.
While TikTok is neither the latest nor the most popular social channel, it is shaping the generation of content consumption.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a “destination for short-form mobile videos”. It’s like YouTube, except for the vertical and bite-sized.
This is something controversial forum popularity is growing rapidly, especially when everyone is stuck at home during COVID locking. Today, there are more than a billion active users a month in the world, and in the United States alone, 100 million TikTok has quickly become a leading trend, influencer and niche platform (Hootsuite).
TikTok gets into college
According to the rolling list of universities At TikTok, Higher Ed institutions use the platform in hopes of connecting with GenZ by raising awareness and “connecting and engaging with Gen Z audiences in a fun and enjoyable way.”
It is no surprise that universities are paying attention. 41% of TikTok users are aged 16-24, which is a higher level demographic.
Are you thinking of TikTokia for your university or Do you need inspiration? Here are ten great examples to get you started.
Indiana University of Bloomington [@iubloomington]
Campus tours were a hot topic in 2020, especially how the hell to move higher personal trips into virtual experiences? Enter IUBloomington and Ryerson University.
@aubloomingtonwelcome to BLOOMING🌸TON♬ Someone who loves Basstrologe Bootlegia – mthekyng
The IU shows us an example of how fast video can highlight campus areas with a catchy piece and, in an affordable format, vertical video. While Ryerson highlights places featured on TV shows around the campus and surrounding areas. Under his eyes, Ryerson.
@ryersonuCatch up on Ryerson’s neighborhood with these popular TV shows! 📺 ## Ryerson ## ryersonuniversity ##TV ##series ## Netflix ## prime ## Toronto♬ HARD DRIVING – TopTarGuit
What a great way to bring campus life to prospective students!
Brigham Young University [@cosmo_cougar]
@HelsinkiIf this hits your guy! Go VOTE ME as the mascot of the best university! Link to bioon! #fyp #for you #foryoupage # backhandspring♬ original voice – Ryanwach
University of Northern Arizona [@nauathletics]
@nauathleticsFollow the NAU athlete, Emily Rodabaugh, as she takes us through the day in her life! 🏀 #fyp #student athlete #day life #northernarizonauniversity♬ Up Beat (married life) – Kenyi
Athletics and researchers are sometimes inseparable from university campuses and student-athletes, who make up almost half a million students In the United States alone, there are sometimes both students and campus influencers. So whether it’s Cosmo the Cougar from Brigham Young University (BYU) showing its dance business, or the University of Northern Arizona showing the daily life of a student-athlete, TikTok content can be a great way to show how athletics and academics come together.
Campus health and safety
University of Florida [@uf]
@ufGator treatment kits are now available on campus for students. A face and UF ID are required for pickup. Details: welcome.ufl.edu #gatorswearmasks♬ DESCRIPTION – Lize Mynhardt
University of Syracuse [@syracuseu]
@syracuseuto stay safe, it only makes sense! Video credit: @ amandachau15 #fyp #for you♬ Any song – kozico0914
Campus health and safety are students ’priorities every year, but especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Prospective students now consider health and safety before applying. As for current students, you know how difficult it is to reach students and get them to pay attention to the university’s official communications. That’s why we included the University of Florida’s #GatorsWearMasks and Syracuse University’s wellness package on our list as great ways to start conversations about health and safety in a fun and engaging way.
Content created by students
University of Limerick [@universityoflimerick]
Student-generated content is one of the most trusted types of content among prospective and current students. At the University of Limerick in Ireland, their “Some Good News” series brings attention to important topics, praises amazing organizations and efforts, and provides updates on important things happening on campus. What a great, fast way to deliver campus news!
@universoflimerickThe good news: Finale 🌞💚#somegoodnews #iris #college #positivity♬ original voice – University of Limerick
Reduce anonymity to students
Boston University [@bostonu]
@bostonuA guide to moving from your dorm during a pandemic! #bostonuniversity #boston #college #it #fyp #tips #out #covid #onlineschool♬ Morning Path – Board-Man
We know it’s hard to get messages to students through typical university channels, and even harder to get those same students to do something boring than do a dormitory move check. Boston University believes TikTok can help. See BostonU’s very quick and easy checklist for students. Can you think of other cases where a typical query could be disrupted by TikTok content?
University of Georgia [@universityofga]
@suomimeemitWhere do you want to hit the books, Bulldogs? #Please #fyp #college #uga #tiktokuniversity♬ Original audio – UGA
What was your favorite destination to study on campus? Why? Study places are a great way to show potential students around and give them a feel for academic life on campus. The University of Georgia uses a combination of chill music and beautiful “lowkey” research dishes to present its campus. This is such a great way to look “behind the scenes” for both potential and current students.
University of Chichester [@universityofchichester]
@HelsinkiCome to Hogwarts 🧙♂️ #Hogwash #chiuni #chichester #not you #for you #podcast♬ original sound – Chi Uni
There is so much content in Higher Ed. Every department, department, college, school and office creates content. So why not spray content and use it in TikTok? That’s what the University of Chichester did with its podcast series. With 32 percent of Gen Zs classifying themselves as regular podcast listeners, this is a great idea to attract students.