Should universities be on TikTok?

Should universities be on TikTok?

In this blog article, we will explore the pros and cons of universities using TikTok, providing insights into the potential impact of this platform on their recruitment, branding, and overall engagement with prospective students. We will also examine successful examples of universities that have effectively leveraged TikTok to achieve their social media goals, highlighting the strategies and approaches that have contributed to their success.

Should universities add TikTok to their social media strategy?

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Whether or not universities should add TikTok to their social media strategy depends on a number of factors, including their target audience, their overall social media goals, and their resources. However, there are a number of potential benefits that universities can gain from using TikTok, and it is a platform that is worth considering. 

Pros and cons of universities using TikTok


  • TikTok has a large and engaged user base, especially among Gen Z. 
  • TikTok can be a great way to reach prospective students and current students. 
  • TikTok can be used to create engaging and shareable content that can help to promote the university's brand. 
  • TikTok can be a great way to connect with alumni and other members of the university community. 


  • TikTok can be a time-consuming platform to use. 
  • TikTok can be a difficult platform to measure the ROI of. 
  • TikTok can be a risky platform to use, as there is always the potential for content to go viral in a negative way. 

Overall, the decision of whether or not to use TikTok is a decision that should be made on a case-by-case basis. Universities should carefully consider their target audience, their overall social media goals, and their resources before making a decision. 

Additional factors to consider when making a decision about whether or not to use TikTok

  • The university's culture: If the university has a fun and creative culture, then TikTok may be a good fit. However, if the university has a more traditional culture, then TikTok may not be the best platform to use. 
  • The university's budget: TikTok is a free platform to use, but there are costs associated with creating high-quality content. Universities should budget for these costs before launching a TikTok account. 
  • The university's staffing: Universities should have the staff in place to manage their TikTok account. This includes someone who can create content, someone who can respond to comments, and someone who can track analytics. 

If a university decides to use TikTok, there are a few things they can do to be successful: 

  • Create high-quality content that is relevant to their target audience. 
  • Be consistent with their posting. 
  • Engage with their followers. 
  • Track their analytics and measure their results. 

TikTok can be a powerful tool for universities when used correctly. By carefully considering their target audience, their overall social media goals, and their resources, universities can make an informed decision about whether or not to use TikTok. And if they do decide to use TikTok, they can take steps to ensure that their account is successful. 

Related article: HubSpot Announces Partnership with TikTok for B2B Lead Generation 

Cases of successful university TikTok accounts

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Harvard University 

Harvard University has an active TikTok account with over 240.2k followers. The account is run by a team of student and faculty volunteers who create a variety of content, including: 

  • Student life videos: These videos showcase the many activities and events that take place on Harvard's campus, including sporting events, concerts, and student organizations. 
  • Academic videos: These videos introduce viewers to Harvard's academic programs and research. 
  • Alumni videos: These videos feature Harvard alumni who share their experiences and advice with prospective students. 
  • Hashtag challenges: Harvard often participates in popular TikTok challenges, such as the #Harvard2024 challenge, which encourages students to share their thoughts on their upcoming college experience. 

Harvard's TikTok account is a successful example of how universities can use social media to connect with prospective students and build a strong brand reputation. 

University of Michigan 

The University of Michigan has a vibrant TikTok account with over 64.4k followers. The account is managed by the university's Division of Communications and Marketing and features a diverse range of content showcasing the university's academic excellence, student life, research achievements, and commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

Here are some examples of the University of Michigan's TikTok content: 

  • Student success stories: Videos highlighting the accomplishments of current students, from academic achievements to extracurricular involvement. 
  • Faculty interviews: Insights from professors and researchers, shedding light on their work and the university's academic strengths. 
  • Campus tours: Virtual tours of the university's stunning campus, giving prospective students a glimpse into the academic and social environment. 
  • Research breakthroughs: Explainer videos and demonstrations showcasing the university's cutting-edge research in various fields. 
  • Diversity and inclusion initiatives: Videos highlighting the university's efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus. 
  • Trendy challenges and dances: Participation in popular TikTok trends and challenges, adding a fun and engaging element to the university's content. 

By utilizing TikTok's creative potential and engaging with its audience, the University of Michigan has successfully established a strong online presence, attracting prospective students, fostering a sense of community, and enhancing its brand reputation. 

University of Sydney 

The University of Sydney, a distinguished institution in Australia, has also embraced TikTok as a platform to connect with its audience, showcasing the university's stunning campus, diverse student body, and academic excellence. With over 52.2k followers on TikTok, the University of Sydney's account, known as @Sydney_Uni, has garnered popularity for its innovative and engaging content. 

Here are some of the key elements that contribute to the success of the University of Sydney's TikTok account: 

  • Highlighting campus life: The University of Sydney's TikTok account effectively captures the beauty and vibrancy of the university's campus. Videos featuring campus tours, scenic views, and student activities provide a glimpse into the dynamic and engaging environment that awaits students at Sydney. 
  • Academic excellence: The University of Sydney's TikTok account also highlights the university's commitment to academic excellence and research innovation. Videos featuring faculty members, student research projects, and groundbreaking discoveries demonstrate the university's dedication to pushing the boundaries of knowledge. 
  • Creative storytelling: The account's content is not just informative; it's also entertaining and engaging. Videos featuring creative storytelling, humor, and trendy challenges capture viewers' attention and make the university's brand more relatable to its target audience. 
  • Active community engagement: The University of Sydney's TikTok account actively interacts with its followers, responding to comments, participating in challenges, and encouraging user-generated content. This engagement fosters a sense of community and encourages followers to become active participants in the university's social media presence. 

By showcasing the university's unique identity, values, and offerings, the University of Sydney has successfully leveraged TikTok to enhance its brand reputation and foster a strong online presence. 

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