Should School Communicators Use TikTok?

digital media, social media

Should schools use TikTok

As a newer social media app dominates social media among Gen Z, the older generations of school marketers wonder whether they should follow the crowd of students. 

Over the past five years since its inception, TikTok – the under-60-second video-sharing app – has come to claim a spot among the social media giants. Among quintessentials like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, TikTok is the youngest. 

The app is also the most popular among those under 30: more than 62% of TikTok users are categorized in that range. As TikTok has steadily rested in the top ten most downloaded apps list for 2021, marketers’ heads turn. 

Assessing TikTok for School Social Media Marketing  

However, as a school administrator or educator, you may be unsure whether the platform is right for your social media plan. Though your target audience is definitely in line with TikTok’s demographic, you may feel that the app won’t make a difference in your enrollment numbers or engagement. 

Or, perhaps you are worried about your brand image and current and potential family’s perception of your school. Just as you’d evaluate other marketing tactics, this is a valid concern. Yes, it is important to keep up with students and parents, however, it is also important to do so professionally. If not done right, social media posts and even just participation can easily send the wrong message. 

Individual educators or teachers, in particular, have grown a community on TikTok called #TeachersOnTikTok. The light-hearted content from educators related to their job has become popular not only among the students and parents, but also among users outside of that particular school. 

One of these educators, Claudine James or as she goes on TikTok “@iamthatenglishteacher,” is a middle school English teacher who started posting on TikTok to creatively engage her own students in learning. Quickly, her videos on TikTok about grammar and spelling, grew an audience of more than 2.1 million people from 82 different countries. 


##simplesentence ##grammarpractice ##noun ##Adjectives ##Partsofspeech ##englishasasecondlanguage ##ESL ##ELL

♬ original sound – MsJames

Though the influence of Claudine over her school’s branding was accidental, it certainly supports how teachers can be a powerful agent in school marketing. 

However, Claudine’s story does not mean that TikTok is best for every educator or school. By reflecting on the following questions, you will be able to determine whether TikTok is right for you. 

Are you present on other platforms?

The first thing to evaluate before making the move to TikTok is your school’s current social media content and it’s engagement. Does your school have an active, engaging and effective presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? If the answer is yes, then it would make sense to explore expanding your reach to TikTok. If not, then work on building these social accounts before creating a TikTok account – remember: to see engagement and metrics rise, you have to be consistent with posting and social media is not a set-it-and-forget-it tool.

Who is your target audience?

As with any marketing strategy, the demographic you are trying to reach must be identified before assessing how you will most effectively communicate to them. It does not make sense to waste time on content that will not be seen by your target audience. 

Ask yourself who you are trying to engage, and specifically, how old are they? The majority of TikTok users belong to Generation Z (born in the 1990s-2010), so if you’re trying to reach that age group (young parents, older students or potential employees), it would make sense to create content that engages them specifically on TikTok.

Does it align with your school’s goal or purpose?

The next thing to consider is your school’s message and whether TikTok is the right channel to get that message across.

If your school is focused solely on using social media to communicate basic updates and news, then TikTok might not be the right fit. However, if your school is interested in generating more brand awareness or positive interactions with students and parents, TikTok would be a match. 

The power of the under-60-second video

TikTok is known and liked among many for the nature of it’s content. Why? Users find the 60-second videos to show a more authentic, relatable and silly side of creators. 

Communicating a fun and authentic brand image among students and parents is important. However, in recent years, a large portion of school communication and branding occurs online where it can be harder to humanize messaging and relations. 

All school marketers have the mission to authenticate branding and communicating. Taking to TikTok to unleash this could be your new best strategy. 

The School Comms Lab is all about incorporating your creative side to tell a genuine and compelling story. With that said, we fully support TikTok and its ability to do this IF you feel it aligns with your brand and the goals of your strategic communications plan. 

Below find the link to a School Comms Lab social media calendar template to help create a plan for your posts.

Here are some of our favorite schools and educators on TikTok!

In this video, the Rochester Institute of Technology amazes viewers as students in a lab turn rain into glass:


We love how Syracuse University embraces orange on their TikTok.

The School House TikTok brings together a community of educators and schools on TikTok.

This kindergarten teacher keeps it real on Tik Tok with relatable videos that will make students and teachers laugh out loud.

If your school is on TikTok, leave us your handle in the comments so we can check out your account!


1) Pick a TikTok template

Canva has free professionally designed TikTok templates that will stand out.

2) Create your video

Film yourself, upload the footage to the template, or switch up your style using the free video, graphics and images.

3) Add music or voiceovers

Layer your video with a fantastic track or record your voiceover.

4) Add text, animation, and effects

Once your video is in good shape, you can add things like text, animation stickers and more.

5) Download your video and share

Download your video from Canva and upload it to TikTok.

Comments will load here

leave a comment

Comments Form

Get the inside scoop!

Sign up here to learn more about ways you can market your school and tell the stories that attract your ideal customers, build brand awareness and help your school communications become more effective and efficient.

Thank you! Check your inbox.