5 Trends to Try on TikTok This Month

Digital Marketing

Last week, Metric welcomed our creative director Lindsay’s daughter to the office for Take Our Kids To Work Day (an annual day for Grade 9 students to shadow an adult in their lives and learn about different career opportunities). While she was here, we took advantage of her Gen Z brain - and social media skills - to come up with this list of trends private and independent schools can leverage on TikTok (or Instagram Reels or YouTube Shorts) to market your school this month to a key demographic of middle school and high school students.

  1. Taylor Swift

Taylor is full stop the biggest news of the day - and there have been literally millions of TikTok posts based on her latest music, her lyrics, and her upcoming tour. One of the biggest trends of the moment leverages a line from her first single: “It’s me, hi. I’m the problem, it’s me.” - and Taylor used it well in her own YouTube Shorts content. Schools can use this to feature different teachers and their deep specialties or humorous quirks (think: an English teacher with a massive book collection, a science teacher with a collection of nerdy tees, or even a fun angle like a Head of School who is known to be addicted to coffee). The key is to phrase a positive quality in a negative way to fit the sound and the humour. Ask a fourteen year old if you’re not sure.

  1. Other Trending Songs

One of the big hits on TikTok right now is ‘Made You Look’ by Meghan Trainor. One way to use it could be to feature the pretty and distinctive features of your campus (think: impressive buildings and outdoor spaces, a new theatre space, or even a new uniform). Another idea is to show off your school’s arts programs by featuring a series of moments (think: a piece of a dance routine, a student finishing up a painting or sculpture, or a band or drama performance on stage). Some songs also have trending choreography to go with them - and if it’s appropriate for your audience and your brand, these could be replicated by groups of students (or even teachers). The key is to jump on these trends quickly - while they are still relevant - and to pick ones that allow you to speak to your school’s differentiators.

  1. Che La Luna

It’s trending right now to use this old school Italian style sound and hand gestures to talk about things that ‘just make sense.’ This student at an elite private university in Spain used it well to show off some of the things that make their school great - like new tech, an amazing location/view, and healthy snacks, with a joke about the crowded hallways thrown in.

  1. Hallway Interviews

This trend doesn’t use music - and it can be incredibly simple to pull off, because it’s meant to feel loose and organic. Try sending an outgoing student out onto campus with a low budget micro-microphone and show them asking different students questions that are a mix of funny and real (think: what’s our mascot’s name, what’s your favourite part about our school, what’s your favourite club that you’re in, what sound do you think our mascot makes, which teacher is the most fun). Here’s a fun example from a series called ‘Haley in the Hallway.’

  1. Skill Check

Similar to the hallway interview idea, this idea has an ‘interviewer’ go out and simply ask a series of students to all perform the same action - like these cheerleaders. 

A few additional Gen Z tips to keep in mind when developing content for TikTok:

  • Don’t overproduce the videos. Content that looks organic and not professionally produced is more likely to be watched because it doesn’t feel like an ad.

  • Don’t wait too long to jump on a trend. Sometimes, a TikTok trend is born and dies within days - and once you’ve missed it, it’s gone forever.

  • Match the trend. Use the ‘right’ font, music, gestures, phrases, and tone to help your content feel authentic and appeal to social media savvy teens.

  • Match the platform. Brands have rules and guidelines - and those are important to protect and maintain - but you’ll need to figure out the ‘right’ tone for your brand on a platform like TikTok that is inherently less formal than other marketing platforms, and even other social media platforms.

  • It’s okay to post your content in a few places. TikTok makes sense because that’s where these trends are pulled from, but it’s becoming common to cross-post the content as an Instagram Reel.

  • Don’t forget about this influential audience. Students as young as 4th and 5th grade are forming strong opinions about where they’d like to go to school, and they’re doing their own research through social media. Platforms like TikTok are becoming the default search engine for Gen Z, and they’re using it like we use Google. 

  • Consider getting your Gen Z students involved. Teens who are immersed in these platforms speak the language organically and know about what’s trending. Think about ways to engage them in actually creating content for your school (with some guidance and oversight). They are the true experts in how to reach their peers.

Learn more about marketing to Gen Z from our partner Edwards Co.

At Metric Marketing, we develop measurable and practical strategies to help private and independent schools like yours to make the most of your marketing efforts. We'd love to discuss your private school's marketing requirements with you. Contact us today to speak with our marketing professionals or sign up to receive more marketing tips in your inbox.


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