TikTok Goes the Race Clock


From the May issue of Swimming World Magazine, Ashleigh Shay looks at how TikTok has been utilized.

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Much like the rest of the world, Swimming World hopped on the TikTok trend in 2020. The inaugural Swimming World TikTok video went up on July 5, 2020. This video focused on tagging the teammates that have your back.

Since then the Swimming World TikTok channel has more than 7,000 followers and over half a million likes. The channel has featured Paralympic swimmers, Olympic gold medalists, and the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

The majority of Swimming World’s TikTok videos are entirely created by our social media interns. Our interns take initiative by hopping on trends, relating to #swimmerproblems, and more. Interns are tasked with creating and posting a TikTok video one to two times per week depending on the schedule. 

“[Working on the TikTok channel was] of the best experiences I’ve had in the workplace,” said Swimming World Intern Allison Cho, a junior at Pepperdine University. “Even though we are working remotely, [the Swimming World internship] allowed me to work on social media in a professional setting, and the culture is very positive and welcoming. Everyone on the team is encouraging, and they are always trying to help you succeed.”

While the Swimming World TikToks have covered a variety of topics, a select few garnered the most engagement. Those topics included:

  • Teammates pulling on your leg 
  • Having a lot of suits
  • Tech suits
  • Nonswimmers vs. swimmers
    • Focusing on how swimming is harder than anyone else thinks it is

It is also important to note an impressive milestone for the account. In February, Firestone High School senior Mia Nagle created our highest viewed TikTok to date. Racking up over 1.3 million views, the quick clip features a swim meet, a swim dad, and NFL selection Sunday. Combined with the views from Instagram, that video has been viewed over 1.4 million times.

“When creating a TikTok, it’s important to have fun and be current while connecting to your audience,” said Nagle. “For my viral video, I used a trending event – NFL Sunday – and related it to a swim meet and a common dreaded event, the 500 free. This strategy allowed me to obtain a wide audience from football fans and swim fans, which helped drive up the views on the video as a result. This blended strategy is what I credit to my success.”

TikTok has also provided a new avenue for advertisers. In conjunction with FINIS, the Swimming World marketing team created a video for their Smart Goggles, powered by Ciye. The video has had nearly 100 hours of watch time, reached over 12,000 accounts, and been viewed nearly 14,000 times. The video saw increased success on the Swimming World Instagram account as well. 

Compared to other social media platforms, like Facebook, TikTok is in its infancy at Swimming World. Its growth, however, continues to rise month over month. The video views range from 400,000 to over a million views per month. The audience continues to grow month over month as well. Looking ahead, much like during the Olympics, the World Championships provide another opportunity to center content around.