“Am I too old for TikTok?”

You’re likely not!

TikTok is a fun and trendy way to get newer eyes on your brand. Listen to this episode for tips on expanding your brand’s reach.

Episode Highlights

  • My love-hate relationship with TikTok (and why I love it now!)
  • What’s been working so far with my TikTok
  • Tips to get started or optimize your TikTok

Resources and Links



Kirsten 0:02

You're listening to the creative teacher podcast, a show for busy teachers looking for ways to engage, inspire and make an impact in their teacher businesses. I'm Kiersten, a teacher business owner who is all about simple and actionable tips, strategies and resources that result in wins, big or small. If you're looking for that extra spark of creativity, you've come to the right place. Let's dive in together.

I never thought I would be saying this. But I recently revived my tic tock account. And I've got to say that I'm loving tick tock even more than Instagram. And I'm going to share with you my limited experience on the platform. I'll give you some background information on my tic toc. And how I decided to challenge myself in the fall of 2023. And I'm also going to be sharing with you what's been working for me and some tips to help you get started or help you with your own tic tock.

I felt like as a millennial, I was a little too old for tick tock I felt like it was for Gen Z years or just people who had a huge following. But you if you are kind of in my boat you feel like I'm way too old for tick tock Instagram is more my thing I highly consider that you give this episode a listen and see what you can do about starting or reviving your own tick tock. So to start off, I did have a tick tock of course, when it was the thing in 2020, we were all quarantined. I opened up a tick tock account. But this was more for personal reasons. It wasn't like I was just starting out with my business tic tock account or anything like that I was just kind of seeing what was going on there. And very, very inconsistent on it over the course of that couple of years. And so in 2022 I believe I just went ahead and just deleted the account. I was like, I don't really I'm not really I'm not consistent at it. I don't really know how to use it. And I just left it at that. So for over a year I went without a tick tock not really on it. Or, of course I get links to tic TOCs and I could watch it from there, but I never created an account from that. And that all changed in the summer of 2023 I had listened to a couple of presentations regarding Tik Tok. And I had also seen posts in teacher seller communities on Facebook, just sharing about how they would have a post basically go viral and then they get a lot of follows or they get a lot of sales and for a specific resource and how it could be you know, depending on what you do with it could be a pretty good way for new people to learn about your business. So it's really a great brand awareness component of your business. So that in combination with the fact that I really wasn't feeling it on Instagram, just a lot of different reasons. I was like there's not a lot of engagement. My growth has been pretty stagnant. So maybe I'll give this Tiktok a try. So I created an account and I was able to use my handle again since it had been deleted so luckily I did not have to like have a completely different handle or anything I was able to snag the southern teach as my handle again. And I started from zero was like back to the basics very beginning. I did get some tips based on those presentations about how you do want to optimize your profile so that people will do no like, okay, if I'm on this profile, if I come across your profile, what am I here for. And that is where I kind of optimized it with certain keywords such as upper elementary and social studies resources, the state I live in the grade levels I teach, and I also just have my TPT store, I currently at the time of this recording don't have a link. And I don't don't really want to even go into the process of getting, there's a way you can submit approval for having that link without having 1000 followers, which is the minimum before you can have a link. And I just did not feel comfortable adding in my EIN number and all all these different things. I'm like, I do not want people having all of this information. So I'm just keeping it super simple. There is the ability to link your Instagram. And so that's good enough for me, if people are interested, and they like my tech talks, they can always hop onto my Instagram and then from there go into clicking on any relevant links that I have to my store. So it is not like a dead end or anything like that. So I'm fine with it the way it is. Anyway, going back to my initial experience, I decided at the very beginning to challenge myself to post a tic toc every single day for the month of September, just not stopping just doing one a day. And that's what I did. And it was really just a mix of doing what I just felt in that day. It was very go by the flow like, let's see what I can think of today. I started out with videos I had already recorded that were from reels. So one thing I did here is that based on metadata, tick tock can tell if you just completely downloaded it from reels and just uploaded it to tick tock so I didn't want to do that I wanted to do something where it was actually recorded on my phone or in another app just so that it gets as much reach as possible. And I did a lot of voiceover. So I didn't even show my face until maybe the seventh sixth or seventh reel. So I really started out like super like just repurposing a lot of what I had already on my phone. So that was really cool to see, I got a lot of reach from that, or, you know, in my version, I'm sure people can get like 13k views and every tick tock but I was like happy with oh, I've got 800 views, I've got 1000 views. So that's good. You know, it was a good start. And so I did end up completing my challenge of going in and going having a tick tock every day in the month of September. And I kind of realized by the end of the month that I like Tik Tok a lot more than Instagram, it's just a really fun platform, once you get used to it and get the hang of things. Just seeing all the different videos that come up, you know, interacting with a lot of the funny trends that are on there. And I don't feel as old because there are plenty of people older than me on tick tock, and they're rocking it. So one thing I did realize is that I get more reach on the TIC TOCs that I show my face or I use a specific app. And I'll talk about that in a second. But just going into what has really helped for me is number one, utilizing apps to help me create fun and engaging content. One of my favorite apps to use for tic tock videos is cap cut, it's free. And you can basically get some templates and it's like cut outs of people. There's one of Will Ferrell and he's typing on a computer. There's one from the Titanic, she's saying it's been 84 years, you know, that kind of stuff. So there There's Mr. Rogers, there are literally templates for anything and I kind of got inspiration just in that moment just looking through trending templates. And I'm like, okay, I can kind of pair this with like a situation in teaching or social studies related or even just relevant to the time of year and then I put it in. So that always did really well. In addition to that, just having a hand on like okay, I'm looking in my for you section and I see a lot of different trending sounds and audios that I like to save. And I try to think okay, how can I put my spin on it for my niche for upper elementary social studies? How can I kind of tweak it to make it my own So one example is that cough that like I am very sick cough, there have been plenty of TiC TOCs made from it that sound and so I did one about it was just the caption says, when cold and flu season hits in your elementary classroom, and it's that sound. And of course my face is on it. And I'm just kind of like trying to make sure not to get sick of you know, based on the tick tock, but it's really cool to kind of really play around with it, honestly. But then I'm also leaning in towards what is working, what's getting the most views and likes and follows. At the time of this recording, the one that got the most follows that I pinned, it's at over 11k views, which is crazy. But the text on the screen is when I hear elementary teachers don't have time to plan for social studies. And it's to the sound audio of Eminem. And I don't even know in the moment I was just like, what if I just run down the stairs, like I don't even know the thought process. But I was just like listening to the music over and over again. I was like, let's run down. And then at the end, where it says, Well, this looks like a time for me. And so I'm running, I timed it so that by the time I reached the bottom of the stairs, I'm the I'm saying this looks like a time for me kind of going into like, Hey, I'm here to help you with your upper elementary social studies lesson plan. So it's been a fun journey. And it's, of course, limited experience. I'm not putting down like 1000s and 1000s of followers. Right now I'm at 61, which is fine for me, because I'm enjoying the journey. I know it isn't something that's gonna be like overnight success unless one of my posts goes viral. Maybe that'll happen it could one of them already kind of had. And that's the cool thing about it is it's and I also notice something different from Instagram is that usually Instagram, once that post is posted, there's not a lot of traction after that, but then I'll with tick tock, I'll get some bursts of people liking a post that I had posted, like two weeks ago or a month ago. And there are people who will go in and like they'll discover me and they'll just like a bunch of different things. But it's been really really, really fun to be over on tick tock and just do something different. Now as in regards to what to do with it like Mark your Are you going to monetize tick tock? likely know, the main thing about it is brand awareness. This is the very top of the funnel, I feel like and I heard this from an episode from two people. Their podcast is marketing and margaritas. And they put it really well it was kind of like how tic tock is like that top of the funnel, where people are just kind of like scratching the surface. And it's just like all the fun stuff just capturing people in like a hook. And then from there you have you know, people clicking on that Instagram link and they kind of see a more, it's more curated. So you really don't have to overthink tic tock is something like I am not always in makeup for tiktoks. I like how you can kind of go in a little bit deeper with Instagram. I'm not still at this point, trying to get people to start like buying my resources immediately. I'm just getting you know, that's kind of the next part is it's a little bit more curated, there's nice cuter graphics on my Instagram and you can click in and more people are converting to listening to my podcast episodes or blog posts and stuff like that. And downloading my lead magnets I get a lot of leads from Instagram as well. So I kind of like how you know there are younger teachers, a lot of younger teachers out there, like my sister in law is one of them. She's on Tik Tok all the time. And you can get a lot of people who may not be on Instagram as much just a new audience a new audience getting into your realm or your sphere. So that's why I think it could be a really great benefit is having just that brand awareness in general. I have had people inquire and like ask for links, which is really cool. But I know that's not my focus. It's just really to have some fun. So that's my experience with tic tock and I'm just going to share with you some best tips for teacher sellers. If you feel like you're too old to be on Tik Tok. You definitely aren't. I'm in my 30s Like I'm not I'm not like this super tic tock expert, but I do have some tips to share with you. So the first tip is to understand the platform. It's spend some time just browsing if you already aren't already, browse, explore tick tock understand some of the trends, the type of content that performs well. I love how it's just really, really casual, like people are just on there. They're not here. They're not all curated. It's not like Pinterest. It's not like Instagram, it's really just come as you are. And also, as far as going into the teacher seller niche, pay attention to popular education related accounts for inspiration. See how you can make your own twist in your own specific niche. Speaking of niche, the second tip is to define your niche. So figure out your target audience and niche within that you know, thinking about what you're selling, or what you want to focus on selling. This will help you tailor your content and connect with the right people. Right now, I'm really mainly focusing on social studies, I do sell ELA resources, but I'm really really hitting on, I sell Social Studies resources. And then of course, people will have stumbled upon Oh, wow, they also have ELA resources is icing on the cake. So just really focus on one thing, don't just throw everything in the kitchen sink at them, like try to see how you can carve your own little spot and just make yourself unique just like you would do with your own TPT store or your Instagram, the same would be said for tick tock the third, create engaging content, keep your videos short and engaging. Now, something that I've heard recently from tick tock themselves is that they're trying to encourage people to do longer, like 62nd, tic TOCs. But I've also heard like 10 to 15 seconds. So really in that realm, but it seems like tick tock is possibly prioritizing those tic TOCs that are maybe like one or two minutes. So you can go on there and talk about a blog post that you had written or even just kind of think about a social media post on Instagram that did well that could be a chance that you can go just talk about it, you can do voiceover even go do like a little walkthrough for one of your resources. All of those are just great ways to think about the type of content. So I showcase my resources, I try to do a lot of like, here's some of my resources, here's what I offer, then I also do some fun content that is like, you know, engaging and relatable and funny. So that's where Cap cut comes into play. I love using those templates, it's really fun to find some, you know some of my favorite shows and kind of incorporating it with funny things that happened in the classroom or just in teaching in general, not just social studies. And just also consider using tick tock trends like sounds or music, I have a business account so I am limited in the sounds that I am able to play I can't just like Instagram, I can pick any basically any audio and you know play it. However, it is not the same with tick tock but it isn't limited. I wouldn't say like, oh, I can't play really cool audio, I have business. There are some fun sounds that are trendy. And so it just really depends on what you're trying to look for as far as audio but if you have the business account, which I recommend, if you're a TPT seller, it is not a make or break situation like you'll find good audio to use. The fourth tip I have is be authentic, be yourself. Authenticity resonates with viewers and Tik Tok users appreciate genuine content, real content, it's like you don't have to put on makeup all the time. You can be as real as you get. And don't be intimidated by people who may be like very curated, like, I know, I see some teacher tic TOCs that are like, it looks what looks like a picture perfect classroom. And that's you know how they do things. You don't have to be that way people will still like your content, if you're just like, you know, like just real about things if you want to be. The fifth tip is using hashtags. So the great thing about tick tock is your captions don't have to be these long winded things. You can for the most part, keep them pretty short like a couple sentences. And it is of course important to add relevant hashtags that are not only relevant but trending to increase the discoverability of your content. So if you are trying to focus on upper elementary math, you might want to do like upper elementary as a hashtag or math resources or teachers of Tik Tok. Decide which you can do some hashtags research if you want. decide which ones are trending just so people there could be more eyes on your content because you never know. You could also create a unique hashtag for your brand to encourage user generated content. So maybe you've been on Tik Tok. For a while you've got a good amount of followers, you can create your own content such as like the you know, have a hashtag of your podcast or hashtag of your TPT business. Just so people can kind of add their own things and use those hashtags. The sixth tip I have for you is to engage with your audience. Of course, if you are getting a comment, you need to definitely respond like it, like do everything you can just to foster a sense of community. You can also highly I highly recommend engaging with other educators and other Tik Tok users to expand your reach as well. And be genuine about it. Of course, like if you think like a tick tock is funny or relatable. And it's somebody else that might be in your niche, or just another teacher, seller or teacher in general, comment on it, connect with them, because other people who are also following them will see that they may try to you know, snoop around, I do that all the time. I like, look at funny comments. And I'll like click on their profile, like, oh, who are they, you know, and sometimes I end up like, learning more about them. But that's just a way to kind of expand your reach, and also just connect and engage with who is reaching out to you. Okay, tip number seven, stay consistent, post regularly to stay relevant, keep your audience engage. Tick tock likes every day. So tick tock, can be done every day. But it doesn't have to be you can do multiple times a week. And then again, of course, you don't have to play in and out like, it's up to you of how you want to do it. You can have it curated with all the captions in place and planned out. And or you can just kind of fly by the seat of your pants. But going into the next tip is to learn from analytics, use the analytics from the platform to track your performance and videos, see what's working well and adjust your content strategy accordingly. So if you are seeing which tic TOCs are doing really well lean into that, and you can plan out a little bit if you want, you can plan out not a lot. But just kind of stay into what is working are shorter captions, working our our tic TOCs showing your face working our tic tock showing your resources working better. It really could depend from person to person. So there isn't a set way of knowing what type of content to put out there. It's really just a case of like testing it out experimenting and having a little bit of fun to see what is working. And that's what I've been doing. So hopefully you can hear the enthusiasm in my voice as I share with you about tick tock because it is really a fun platform. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would and I hope to continue that as well. It does help a lot to have somebody helping me with it. I have somebody helping me with a content calendar. And she posts she's so wonderful. She has like ideas and captions and hashtags. And it's a really great way to kind of stay on top of things is hiring somebody out to help you with some type of content calendar or some type of content strategy. Shout out to Cassandra, she is amazing. But you can totally do this on your own if you'd like. You can take it slow and maybe post three to four times a week or two to three times a week. To get a little bit more traction. It does help to post daily, but again, it does not you do not have to overthink it, you can reuse just the main thing is not overthinking it and have fun. All right. Well, hopefully you enjoyed this episode about tick tock and my experience and hopefully these tips help you to get the courage to start one or pick one back up and dusted off. Because I definitely think it is something that could be a lot of fun for you. Alright, hope you have a wonderful week and I will talk to you again next week.

Thanks for listening to the creative teacher podcast. If you enjoyed listening to today's episode, feel free to subscribe and leave a review. I'd love to hear your feedback. You can also follow me on Instagram at the southern teach dot designs. Have an amazing day.