The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!
From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

Microsoft Education TikTok

Finalist in Education


We launched Microsoft EDU TikTok to engage a new and quickly growing teacher audience on the platform. Teachers have taken to TikTok en masse and have adopted it as their de facto preferred platform for sharing their passion for education, with some developing into venerable influencers. We recognized this movement early on; in fact, at the time of channel planning in spring of 2021, the hashtag #TeachersOfTikTok had 8B views... today it stands at over 18B views!

Our goal is to win over the hearts of the teacher community by inserting ourselves in this burgeoning TikTok niche, leading with authenticity and value. We bring our mission statement to life, "Empowering every student and educator to achieve more".

Strategy and Execution

We know teachers aren't on TikTok to talk to brands. Heck, no one is on TikTok to talk to brands. Our strategy was founded on what they are there for. An extensive strategic investigation informed several key insights and implications, the most important being that teachers are on TikTok to talk to one another. Our opportunity as a brand was to give them a place to do so.

To test the waters before launching our owned channel, we ran a creator-led campaign on TikTok called #TeachItForward in the spring of 2021 (see recap video). With 12 real teacher creators, the campaign drove over 1M views, over 100k engagements, averaged an 11% engagement rate, generated 3.6M views of our hashtag, and drove extremely positive sentiment. Evaluating what resonated best helped inform our content pillars and reinforced our notion that being teacher-first was the way to go. We even engaged the top performing creators for our always-on program upon launch.

Knowing our platform had to be T2T (teacher to teacher), we landed our positioning on 'The Teacher's Lounge'. This meant our TikTok would be for teachers, by teachers. And in a world of remote and hybrid learning (at the time of launch), teachers were undoubtedly needing a teacher's lounge more than ever.

Our strategy was to focus on content that would resonate with K-12 teachers, with a longer term plan to expand to include other education audiences such as higher ed professors, principals and eventually students.

Content Pillars

We developed content pillars that we call the 3E's: Enlighten, Encourage and Entertain. All of our content falls under one of these pillars, and ensures we show up with a mix of content that informs our audience about our offering, cheers them on and provides a relatable laugh.

Our Manifesto

Being a teacher is not an easy job. They show up every day because they love what they do, but that doesn’t mean it’s without its challenges, especially of late.​ Our goal is to give teachers on TikTok a virtual Teacher’s Lounge where they can share their stories, confirm they’re not alone in it, get support and find helpful tricks and take a break from the demands of the job. Heck, they may even crack a smile or laugh out loud.​ Microsoft EDU's TikTok page is inclusive, diverse and representative, the Microsoft Education Teacher’s Lounge isn’t just for one kind of teacher, it’s for every teacher. In short, it’s a hub for teachers that just happens to be hosted by a brand.

Content Streams

In order to bring Microsoft's commitment to diversity and inclusion to life, we focus on content from teachers themselves. Our always-on creator program provides authentic content from a set of quarterly-rotating teacher TikTokers. With guidance from our team, they make content that speaks directly to our audience in a way that feels relevant real. We also create custom content to filter into our profile in order to bring quick-hitting trends to life and for when we need greater control over content. Last but not least, high quality user-generated content further diversifies our presence and drives up our level of authenticity. With the large majority of our content created by teachers, The Teacher's Lounge comes to life.


In the four short months since we launched in August 2021, performance blew away our expectations. With over 362k followers and an average engagement rate above the high-end of brand averages on TikTok (10% vs. 3-9% average), we've also seen highly positive sentiment and teachers exploding with engagement. Be it a comment alluding to a heart-warming post or a stitch from a teacher inspired by our call to action, we've succeeded in creating a community on the platform that celebrates education, and we're far from slowing down.

The metric speaks volumes (no pun intended), with 37.4M views1.3M likes, 5.3k comments, and 6.6k shares from launch in August through the end of 2021.

As one of the first Microsoft brands on TikTok, we helped create the blueprint internally at Microsoft and quickly rose to one of the top three most engaged and followed accounts in the Microsoft ecosystem.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Microsoft, Ayzenberg


Entry Credits