TeacherLists Blog

Why Your District Should Be on TikTok

are you on tiktok

Photo: antonioguillem/123RF


TikTok has been shrouded with controversy over the past two years after catapulting into success in March of 2020. In the fall of 2021, TikTok was the source of students getting prank and challenge ideas to wreak havoc on schools and teachers across the U.S., earning the app a swarm of negative media attention. Reports of such incidents subsided after TikTok removed the videos and seemingly banned certain words and phrases from being searched in relation to the challenges. 


Yes, TikTok has received a bad rap, and in many ways, rightfully so. However, the algorithm-based social media platform has proven itself to be a surprisingly good tool for district leaders to communicate with families. Here are 5  reasons to get your district on TikTok now, and even more ideas to get you started!


It’s not just a kids’ app anymore

If you asked anyone in 2019 what they thought TikTok was, they’d probably say a “dancing app for kids,” and back then, they’d be right. But in 2022, it’s not just for kids anymore. In fact, TikTok launched a parental control feature that lets parents connect their account to their child’s account. This means they can change their child’s privacy settings remotely, but in order for it to work properly, the parent needs a TikTok account themselves. 


This leads us to some interesting data. In the United States, 80% of TikTok users are between ages 16 and 34. While we usually think of TikTok as a kids’ app, the data also shows it’s gaining more momentum with an adult audience as it grows. If your district’s social media presence is meant to connect you with parents and families, it’s a good idea to get on the TikTok train now. They likely already have accounts.


The algorithm works with your location

When you agree to TikTok’s terms and conditions (with cookies and everything you allow it to access), TikTok uses your posting location and language preferences to customize your experience with the app. Don’t freak out– TikTok knows your region and IP address, but not your exact location. You can turn the GPS tracking off on your phone if it makes you nervous. In regards to your district, this means TikTok will actively try to connect you to other accounts near you– increasing the chances of those in your district seeing your content!


You can monitor activity related to your schools

As mentioned earlier, schools across the country were subject to pranks and challenges, and even just the threat of such activity made schools brace for impact. Strangely, many challenges and pranks were hoaxes that never went anywhere, and there was never any trace of the threat existing on the platform. That doesn’t mean you should assume that’s always the case, though.


One of the biggest reasons to be on TikTok is so you can see firsthand what’s going on. With access to what’s trending in schools near you, you can better understand and assess potential threats, challenges, or pranks so you can prepare your schools accordingly. It’s better to stay on top of these situations instead of reacting to them after the fact. Safety first, always! 


It’s easy to cross-post

You probably know how important it is to post semi-regularly on Facebook and Instagram so you stay in the algorithm’s cycle. Taking your TikToks and moving them to Facebook and Instagram is an easy way to ensure your posts are favored whenever you have an important message to get out. 


For example, Instagram’s equivalent to TikTok is Reels– they use the same short video format, making it easy for you to download your TikToks and upload them as a Reel to Instagram. Now you have content on all your social platforms, and you only had to make one video. You know what they say– work smarter, not harder!


It’s fun!

At the end of the day, social media is supposed to be a fun way to engage with your community, and TikTok is a great way to do that. 


Not sure what to post? No problem! We have some great ideas to get your TikTok account going:

  • Back-to-school must-haves
  • Promote your district’s school supply lists
  • Weekly “Teacher Takeovers”
  • Highlights of recent events (athletics, plays, field day, prom, etc.)
  • Summer reading suggestions/picks
  • Holiday and break reminders
  • End-of-year thoughts and thank yous
  • Fundraiser awareness
  • Reminders to sign up for sports teams, clubs, and other after school activities as deadlines approach

Originally posted 2022

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