We recently added TikTok to the many sources for our social walls. It was a logical move, considering how popular TikTok has gotten, not just for individuals but also for brands. Quite a few of our customers jumped on the bandwagon. It turns out that many of them couldn’t wait to embed TikTok videos on their social walls, websites and virtual events.
So, I figured it would be nice to talk to the early adopters among our customers to see what moved them to embed TikTok videos and what they as a brand are getting out of it. And then maybe that will inspire you, dear readers, to go for it as well.
Meet our TikTok early adopters
The customers featured in this article all come from industries where young people play a huge role, and they all use TikTok and have added it as a source on their social walls. Two of them are universities, and one is a mental health org. We have:
- City, University of London with an ongoing general social media wall embedded on the website
- Jack.org, who embedded their social wall in a virtual event platform
- Rochester Institute of Technology with an embedded event social wall
City, University of London goes TikTok
City, University of London is running a social media wall that includes a wide variety of social media sources, spanning the Twitter accounts of multiple departments as well as the university’s main Instagram account. As of recently, it also includes the uni’s TikTok profile.
They’ve been quite prolific on TikTok, posting content introducing the university and showing what’s happening around campus, career advice from alumni, as well as content created by current students.
We asked Esen Bozdagli, the Social Media Officer at City, University of London, about TikTok and the content City produces for the platform.
Social Media Manager at City, University of London
Esen: We launched a TikTok account in November 2021 with the main aim of engaging our current community and showcasing to prospective students that City is a great place to be. The social media team at City works closely with a number of student content creators to produce TikTok video content around university life, inspiring advice, and tap into emerging trends across the platform.
It’s been a great channel to connect with our community and showcase the fun side of the university, with student-led content proving to be authentic and engaging. We’ve noticed many students sharing City-related content on their own channels and always try to engage by monitoring these hashtags.
Esen: The videos look fantastic displayed on the walls and are a great way to liven up webpages, digital signage and group content for our social channels. With short-form video being a key priority for us, having the ability to display this effectively across numerous channels and platforms is really important. We’re thrilled to be able to do this with Walls.io.
City’s social wall is embedded prominently on the university’s website, showing all of City’s content from TikTok, Twitter and Instagram. Additionally, the university also uses separate social walls for specific university events and even displays them on digital signage displays.
Esen: We recently embedded walls onto our Social Media Directory page on the website and started using social walls on digital signage during key events, such as graduation and welcome week. Having the ability to connect TikTok to these walls is a great way to strike a balance between the fun and serious content posted across our institution’s social media platforms. We love using social walls to not only showcase our own content but to encourage our community to share their own City-related content using branded hashtags on Instagram.
While the graduation and welcome week social walls don’t feature TikTok content (yet?), they are set up to show a mix of City’s own and student-generated content pulled from various sources.
Jack.org goes TikTok
As a diligent reader of this blog, you already know Canadian mental health charity Jack.org from when we showcased their Do Something campaign. Jack.org has continued to use Walls.io for various events over the years, most recently for their 10th instalment of the National Jack Summit, the charity’s largest conference of the year.
National Jack Summit usually takes place in Toronto, giving young mental health activists a chance to come together and exchange ideas. This time, the event was held as a hybrid event, using the event management platform Hopin. Jack.org also embedded a social media wall on the event platform and added TikTok to the sources.
We checked in with Emma Middlestadt, Jack.org’s Digital Community Lead and our interview partner for the Do Something showcase, to get the lowdown on how Jack.org uses TikTok content.
Digital Community Lead at Jack.org
Emma: Our organization is youth-centric, specifically focused on young mental health leaders 15-25 years old, so we knew that we needed to be where they were (hello, TikTok), but more importantly, create a supportive, informative, fun, and engaging community in that space.
Furthermore, Jack.org’s TikTok content is created by the community it is made for: young people involved in mental health activism. And that’s why it lands so well.
Emma: Additionally, TikTok is the only social platform where we let our network of young leaders fully take the wheel (with guidance, of course), and that has resulted in really authentic, entertaining content that makes our online community that much stronger, and accessible to the youth we’re trying to reach.
Emma: It was exciting for us to be able to embed our TikTok content on our social wall for our recent National Jack Summit because it meant showcasing the incredible work of our brilliant, caring, and charismatic young leaders directly to their peers, adult allies, and collaborators. Not to mention, TikTok content adds so much extra life and fun to a social wall!
Rochester Institute of Technology goes TikTok
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) joined TikTok back in 2019 and started producing content to appeal to future students while they are still in school. Dave Tyler, the Director of University Social Media at RIT, told us more about how RIT uses TikTok.
Director of University Social Media at Rochester Institute of Technology
Dave: At RIT, we’ve been on TikTok since June of 2019. We jumped on it early because we saw an opportunity to reach out to new audiences, particularly the younger generation flocking there because they would be applying to college in 3, 4, 5 years.
It took some time for us to find the right formula. We try to be light-hearted and funny but also show off the things that make RIT unique. It’s not necessarily about hopping on the hot trends for us. It’s about connecting our audience with RIT. I’ve long thought that nobody really wants to see your admissions department doing a dance; they want to know what makes your school exceptional. We try to carry that into our TikTok making.
We have been very lucky. In November of 2019, we struck gold with a viral video of some of our glass-making instructors pouring molten glass through a strainer that made it look as if it was raining glass. The video has 11.2 million views so far and is, to my knowledge, the best performing TikTok posted by a college or university.
RIT has been running various social walls over the years. This time, they decided to include their TikTok videos on two social walls, including the one they had set up for “Imagine RIT.” Imagine RIT is a “Creativity and Innovation Festival” showcasing various innovative projects created by RIT students to an audience of students, faculty, and staff.
Dave: We just started adding TikTok to our social walls because it’s a great way to show off that content. We recently had two premiere RIT events where we wanted to highlight our content. The Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival brings thousands to campus to show off our students’ creativity and innovation. And commencement brings families together to celebrate their graduates and their accomplishments.
What we love about how these brands use TikTok
First of all, it makes total sense for brands and organisations who want to appeal to a younger audience to use TikTok. Go where your target group is, after all. But it’s also very difficult to get TikTok content right, and all three of these brands have totally understood that.
One colossal pitfall for brands on TikTok is trying to create content their social media managers and marketers might have aged out of. (And I say this as a marketer who’s definitely ageing out. 😉)
Authenticity is key
Jack.org solves this problem by going straight to the target group and handing the TikTok account over to actual young people who know this platform inside and out. Doing this helps brands stay away from awkward content produced by adults desperately trying and failing to nail Gen Z or TikTok lingo (I’ve seen too many brands do just that and, no, I’m not naming any names) but, instead, get the type of content on their profile that resonates with the target group and gets the trends just right.
City, University of London does a similar thing by collaborating with student creators, who already know their way around TikTok and the content that works best on the platform. Meanwhile, RIT chooses to forgo the viral trends entirely and instead creates TikTok content that presents and represents the school, which is another excellent option for brands.
Short-form video content is a great way to show what’s going on at an organisation, and our customers are keenly aware of that. Both RIT and City show off various activities available at the university — from beekeeping to skydiving — to attract new students.
It’s also a great way to show future students what kind of people go there now. For example, I really love this TikTok by RIT because it presents such a diverse range of students.
Now, how do you go about embedding your TikTok videos on your social wall? Lucky for you, it’s super easy.
Assuming you already have your Walls.io account and your TikTok account set up, go to your Walls.io dashboard and navigate to your Sources tab. You need to connect your TikTok profile to your account first. Select TikTok, enter your profile URL, and click Connect.
You’ll be asked if you want to authorise Walls.io to access your profile information and public videos. Hit the Authorise button and then click Add to confirm. And, voilá, your TikTok content will now show up on your social wall.
If you want a more in-depth guide to setting up TikTok for your social wall, check out our other articles about Tiktok: