UOW Creative Internship – Project Beta

This blog post was written as part of BCM 325 – Future Cultures, as studied as part of my Digital & Social Media major at the University of Wollongong.


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.

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Video Transcript

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.

 

11 thoughts on “UOW Creative Internship – Project Beta

  1. Hey Elena!

    This was a really great DA project. I know you guys have been working very hard on TikTok and it’s definitely a tricky platform in many ways (since, as you mentioned, it’s still very new).

    You described the project very well and it’s good how you included the engagement growth numbers in the beginning as it definitely draws the viewer in quickly.

    I agree that UOW Creative has been a great way to get a feel for that particular work and it’s been a great learning experience in many ways. As discussed over Zoom, I think seeing on Twitter who has a TikTok account is a sure way to reach the target audience. Also, if there are local high schools, art programs, even dance schools, we found that those were good ways to reach the audience as we just went into their following and started following those people. Many of them were high school students who could potentially be interested in attending UOW at some point.

    Best of luck with the rest of your DA and I can’t wait to see the content you guys create on the next platform!

    Like

  2. Also, I found this really good article on the future of TikTok. Just a few key points from it…
    -The platform is part of a “meme culture” (finding a funny video first = earning “social capital”)
    -It’s a way to keep up with pop culture (eg. trending music)
    -In China, TikTok is more than just a pop culture outlet but rather a way to reach and engage with young Chinese consumers

    View at Medium.com

    I also didn’t know this, but you can buy coins on TikTok to send virtual gifts to other users…
    https://blog.hootsuite.com/what-is-tiktok/

    Like

  3. Hi Elena,

    You have generated some really good growth on your TikTok account in the small time you have been working on it. I can relate to your struggles with TikTok. I am also trying to create an audience on this new platform.

    I think you could try and do ‘take over’ with some students similar to how UOW Students on Instagram do. This could be interesting to see what a day in the life of an online student is.

    You could run challenges for uni students like in BCM325 to participate in, if you set the challenge and then tag you in their posts you can then repost and this takes the pressure away from you trying to always create engaging content. You could create a very specific hashtag like #UOWcreative2020 that way you can define who is from UOW and who is not.

    I did some research on how to grow on TikTok and these are some tips that may help you:
    Follow at least 50 of the most famous TikTok accounts.
    Engage with other universities on TikTok. I saw that you are following some but perhaps look outside of Australia.
    Try and promote TikTok on the other platforms you are working with inside LHA.
    Perhaps you can try overlaying a filter on all of your videos so your feed is consistent and people can tell it is UOW without reading who posted.

    I am struggling to make the connection between your DA and the DA task which is to consider the future in the next 5, 10, 25, or 50 years.

    Perhaps you could post content related to the future of UOW. You could promote them for next year, and try and reach year 12 students that may want to study in the future at UOW.

    I think the week 12 lecture on the futures of content may be of interest to you.

    For some reason the hyperlinks didn’t work:

    https://www.instagram.com/uowstudents/
    https://buffer.com/library/instagram-takeover
    View at Medium.com

    Thanks
    -Bodhi

    Like

  4. Hey Elena

    This is a great opportunity for students to further their skills especially if they want a career in this field for the future.

    You mentioned Tik Tok is quite hard in the sense that you can’t target one particular audience and understand who your demographic is. I found a couple of great links that could help you in regards to promoting UOW better on this platform. Firstly a great way could be launching a hashtag challenge to get other students on board. This could be great as Tik Tok is all about hashtag challenges and its quite easy to go viral. Or if this is quite complex you could get involved in already existing viral Tik Tok hashtag challenges. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/340216

    TikTok also has a fairly level playing field when it comes to achieving viral status on the app. Unlike Instagram or YouTube, even accounts with zero followers can get millions of views on a new video. Content really is king on TikTok. And alongside the huge potential for brand awareness and reach, make sure you are utilising the link in bio feature to generate traffic to the UOW site.https://later.com/blog/tiktok-marketing/

    All the best with your internship Elena.

    Like

  5. […] Elena’s topic is different and focuses on her journey with the UOW creative internship. The project seemed to be working well and the team had a great sense of direction, although Elena mentioned the struggle with Tik Tok which is a relatively new app that has only been introduced recently as a marketing tool. I was able to link her good sources which further discusses how Tik Tok can be used to its full extent in understanding your audience and more importantly reaching them. I touched on the importance of putting the UOW link in the bio which is only a new feature introduced that many businesses are making use of. I also further discussed how the sole purpose of Tik Tok is the viral hashtag challenges. I suggested creating one could be a good idea or furthermore involving themselves in the other viral hashtag challenges. This is great because Tik Tok is a relatively level playing field and allows for anyone to go viral. […]

    Like

  6. Hey Elena, I’ve loved seeing the work you and the team at UOW Creative have produced!

    You mention Tik Tok and using it in more of an algorithmic sense rather than just aimlessly posting as many users do simply for enjoyment. An idea for further engagement and a slightly different direction is to jump on, or even create your own “challenge” video that could harvest the video’s of various different ways that students all over the country and the world learn during COVID-19. Think business rather than personal, which by the sounds of things, you are already doing. The following link displays examples of how other brands have successfully used Tik Tok to promote their businesses… https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/brands-on-tiktok

    Additionally, I think that limiting your content to UOW students might actually not work in your favour as you are reducing your target audience by a substantial amount. Maybe you can broaden that to University students rather than just UOW students.

    In terms of other social media platforms as a generalized bubble, a marketing technique I found called the “honeycomb model” sets out the main forces behind social media presence and can highly influence engagement. The model is explained in more detail here: https://www.targetinternet.com/the-honeycomb-model-for-social-media-strategy/

    Keep up the good work, I’m excited you see more!

    Like

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