As mentioned in my Project Pitch I have been working with the Laws, Humanities and Arts faculty’s marketing team for the University of Wollongong as a sort of intern and helping to manage and run UOW Creative’s social media channels. This is an update on that project. A transcript for the video is available at the end of this post.
As mentioned, I have moved between working as a moderator, content creator, and analyst for UOW Creative’s TikTok channel. Since TikTok is a relatively new digital platform that has risen to immense success outside of China in only the last year or so, there is currently no marketing industry standard accepted analytics tool to help content creators determine how to maximize audience engagement and reach. Instead, we are left to look what limited data is easily available through the app and try to work from there. If I am to (potentially) work in the field, making these connections myself will be invaluable as there are sure to be more new platforms in the future.
Social media platforms have been known to change their algorithms frequently, sometimes without informing users and sometimes causing drastic changes to the reach and engagement of content creators’ posts. Therefore, being able to see changes in patterns of behaviours and adapting one’s approach to better suit the altered algorithm. Therefore, the ability to make connections while analysing engagement with content on social media is both useful for working with new platforms, and useful for working with current and updating platforms.
Of course, seeing patterns and making connections while making analyses is a valuable skill in any field and this project has helped me develop this skill, allowing it to help me prepare myself for potential future careers.
For my BCM325 DA I’ve been working with LHA Marketing and some other students to manage UOWCreative’s official Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok accounts to help promote the university and faculty. I’ve been assigned to the TikTok team and have moved between the roles of moderator, content creator, and analyst.
When we took over the UOWCreative TikTok account in mid-March it was still super new and only had 2 posts, with 22 followers, and a total of 17 likes. Now less than two months later it’s sitting at 81 followers, 47 posts, and 1501 likes. So we’ve seen an increase of 59 followers, 45 posts, and 1484 likes.
We’ve been making content by observing trending tags and trending music on TikTok and using them in our own posts, creating content that is relevant or relatable to university students, and then looking at what did and didn’t work with those posts to help guide how we went about future posts.
One of the pieces of feedback I got on the pitch for this DA was to look into reposting the TikToks of other students. This is something that we’ve definitely been doing, but there’s definitely been problems. We can’t always tell who on TikTok is from UOW and who is not, and we want to keep our reposts focusing on people actually from the uni. Not every student post is relevant or appropriate for our uses so our pool to draw from is even smaller. So far we’ve mostly been reposting things from students that we’re able to recognise through BCM Twitter.
UOWCreative is still super new on TikTok but we’ve been trying to foster a UOW community on there with the help of the Twitter team who’ve been promoting us on their channel. We’ve been seeing some small results on this but there’s a lot of room for growth, and most reposts are coming from the same few students’ accounts. We’ve also found that the algorithm on TikTok doesn’t seem to favor reposts very highly and they tend to have very low reach, but we’re determined to keep sharing student work between our other posts.
This student led social media program that LHA Marketing is running is incredibly new, and there was a lot of staff in the university who were extremely hesitant about handing the reigns to students. But, we’ve been very successful and the powers-that-be are very happy with our results, so the program has been green-lit to continue through the break and into next semester for any students interested in signing up for it. So we’ve helped initiate a program that future BCM students will hopefully find super helpful in the years to come.
On a personal level I was interested in the program to gain experience for potential employment in the field, and I definitely think this DA has been good for that. We’ve been making weekly reports and discussing with LHA Marketing and the other teams to try to figure out how to maximize engagement and trying to work out and take advantage of the still newish TikTok algorithm. This would be a super useful skill when working with emerging platforms and changing algorithms while working in the industry.
The team rosters will be shuffled around soonish, and I believe I will be moving on to a new channel, so we’ll find out how much of what I’ve learnt so far will be applicable across platforms.