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8 TikTok Use Cases for Improving Student Engagement

Whether your institution is on TikTok or not, it should be no surprise that it is the platform where your students are most active. When you walk around campus, you’ll probably notice students doing synchronized dance routines or songs in front of their smartphones.

However, they’re also using it to spread information or awareness of certain topics. For example, a freshman from West Virginia recently created a video educating others on what it’s like to live with Tourette syndrome. She now has over 2.5 million followers. And many in higher ed are embracing what TikTok has to offer.

One economics professor at the University of Houston went viral posting short, 60-second lessons from his profile. Yet, higher ed has yet to take advantage of opportunities with TikTok. When fully utilized, this platform can help strengthen student engagement.

Here are eight creative use cases to help your institution break into TikTok.

Communicate important deadlines

Have an upcoming deadline? Forget the spammy email or that big banner on your website. Meet your students on the platform they’re going to spend the most time on. Create a creative TikTok that will elicit a reaction from your students (and most importantly, get them to follow the deadline).

Not only are you more likely to get your students’ attention, but it will also show off your personality and prove that you truly understand your students. If you can find student volunteers or interns that are willing to help you make this, even better.


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Provide valuable how-to’s

If your emails are flooded with the same questions and aren’t sure how to answer them all, then TikTok may be the answer you didn’t realize you needed. It’s no secret that students are more likely to retain information better if they’re entertained.

You can get started on TikTok by figuring out which topics your students are asking about most and creating a quick video answering the question. You’re not only saving your staff time, but you’re also helping your students get the support they need significantly.

Create recruitment videos

TikTok tends to increase in popularity with younger students. That’s why, as much as your current students might be addicted to TikTok, it doesn’t hold a candle to the amount of time high school students spend on social networks.

Keep in mind that students can tell when TikTok engagement is forced or that you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re going to spend the time trying to make the platform work for you, it should be genuine with a good understanding of what high school students want to learn about your institution.

Promote policy updates

Here’s another example of where changing the medium can make all the difference. Let’s say you want to quickly communicate a snow day or let students know that the process for studying abroad has changed.

You should want your message to be one that gets its point across and won’t get ignored. Communicating your policies via TikTok is a sure-fire way to get your message to as many students as possible in a way that isn’t intrusive.

Inform students of campus events

TikTok is great for driving students to your events. You can showcase some of the school spirit and make a convincing appeal for them to attend. This extends to concerts and sporting events as well.

Ask your athletes or performers to help out with a quick 30-second pitch, and you’ll be on your way to getting some more traction for the upcoming event.

Leverage the voice of the student

Let students hear from other students directly. There’s no better channel to promote your current students than TikTok. Use the platform to provide perspectives on everything including campus life, classes, and provide an inside look for prospective students to learn what it’s like to attend your institution.

Leveraging students on TikTok gives your institution an opportunity to connect meaningfully with students on their terms. It forces your marketing to move from stock student quotes on your website or newsletter to real-time insights from students on a medium that allows them to be themselves.

Generate leads

The last time we wrote about the advantages TikTok can provide, we mentioned that lead generation ads can be used as a marketing tool to collect information in-platform and entice them to learn more about your institution.

Younger students won’t necessarily want to engage with you on your website. TikTok provides an avenue for you to collect rich student data and know which content they’re engaging with most. This ultimately allows you to provide more meaningful interactions with prospective students.

Make classroom material more engaging

TikTok provides an engaging medium for professors to educate while entertaining students. It’s also useful for students looking for new classes to get a feel for the professor’s personality. Instead of blindly searching through a student catalog, they can now watch videos of a short clip to get a feel for the class and be more confident with their decision.

TikTok is rapidly becoming a vital channel for higher education as students start spending more time on the app. If you haven’t already, now is the time to start capturing student attention in a meaningful way. It will go a long way in showing students that you want to connect with them and can be a productive tool for driving student engagement.