Tik-Tok is a community for everyone. What makes it so unique, I feel, is the infamous algorithm. It’s kind of like the secret Krabby Patty formula. You can find anything on Tik-Tok, which is why I think someone said that Tik-Tok is becoming the new Google. I really hope that's not true!Kourtney Diggs, North Carolina Central University Class of 2025, studying mass communication with a concentration in broadcast media (ABOVE: Photo by Jade Wilson)
A Great Introduction
Rising junior Kourtney Diggs was hoping to learn about social media, event promotion and networking during her summer internship in the Nasher Museum’s Marketing Department. In her first two days, she experienced all three. She created an Instagram reel using a fast-motion technique to promote the Nasher Community Day on Saturday, June 3. Then she attended the event and captured an Instagram Live video that attracted 1,378 views. In her video, visitors dance to music played by GRAMMY Award-winning producer 9th Wonder, children line up for cotton candy and visitors enjoy temporary tattoos.
“This was,” Kourtney said, “a great introduction to a wonderful summer.”
ABOVE RIGHT: Photo by Jade Wilson
To Tik-Tok or Not to Tik-Tok
Throughout the summer, one of Kourtney’s projects was to study the feasibility of a Nasher Tik-Tok page. She researched Tik-Tok pages for about a dozen art museums, including such peer institutions as The University of Michigan Museum of Art and larger municipal institutions like the Perez Art Museum of Miami and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She noted trends that gained traction on the popular app and brainstormed ways that art museum content could link to those trends: New to the Collection, Art History in 60 Seconds, A Day in the Life, Mini Curatorial, Behind the Scenes and more.
In a presentation to the Nasher staff, she talked about researching Tik-Tok, her “top secret confidential project.” She outlined possible goals and potential pitfalls for launching the museum’s first-ever Tik-Tok page.
“We’re trying to drive more in-person visitors,” she said. “Introduce Tik Tok to the Nasher’s fun, engaging educational programs, showcase the diversity of collections and exhibitions, and increase engagement on our other social media platforms which include X, formerly known as Twitter, and Instagram.”
The algorithm is key: A person’s interactions on Tik-Tok—likes and reposts—will attract content the person is likely to enjoy. “The algorithm rewards being consistent on Tik-Tok because the more you post the more likely you are to show up on someone’s ‘For You’ page. From then on, that exposure just kind of spreads out, or does its thing.”
Kourtney cautions that Tik-Tok has certain disadvantages: cyber bullying, addiction, privacy and data issues, fake news and information. “They’re kind of similar to the risk and cons of any social media platform. No big difference.”
Kourtney recommends finding a Tik-Tok niche. “So that’s already done for the art museum. You’re going to be an art world Tik-Tok, you’re going to be a museum Tik-Tok.”
Be prepared for trial and error, Kourtney said. “That goes for all social media platforms. That’s something that the Marketing Department is already familiar with curating a positive follower interaction, a lot of different comments.”
The most important advice, she said, is to be consistent.
ABOVE RIGHT: Photo by Jade Wilson
I plan on finishing my last two years of college strong. I plan on figuring out what I want to do specifically within my career path I take broadcast classes this semester so now I'm figuring out if I want to be in front of the camera or behind the camera so also getting some more multimedia marketing skills with great opportunities like the one I played at the Nasher expanding my portfolio.Kourtney Diggs (ABOVE: Photos by Jade Wilson.)
Charmaine McKissick-Melton Communications Fellowship
This summer, Kourtney Diggs was one of about a dozen “Dr. Mac Fellows” at Duke. For ten weeks each summer, as part of the Charmaine McKissick-Melton Communications Fellowship, NCCU Mass Communications majors are embedded in working communications offices throughout Duke University – from the medical center to dining services, from documentary studies to university communications. Fellows gain real-world work experience: interviewing, writing, recording and strategizing with close supervision and coaching from professional staff. Students obtain a glimpse into possible careers, create published works to add to their professional portfolios, and connect with references and mentorship they can draw on for years to come.
The Dr. Mac Fellowship is part of a cohesive summer internship program overseen by the Nasher Museum’s Academic Initiatives Department.
Ellen Raimond, Associate Curator of Academic Initiatives, and Gabrielle Tenedero, Museum Educator for Student Engagement, have professionalized the internship program that begins with matching students with supervisors in the marketing, education, curatorial, registrar and development departments. Students get to know one another and Nasher staff during lunch meetings, outings to nearby art museums and galleries and professional development activities that give them a glimpse into a museum career.
These women are so inspirational! And to be able to have this experience with them—it was very comforting to have peers that have similar passions in the arts. Everyone's just super ambitious. It was very inspiring.Kourtney Diggs