How Tik Tok took over this year’s Election Simulation

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One new feature dominated multiple candidacies in this year’s Election Simulation: the growing social media platform, Tik Tok. In particular, the Trump and Biden teams used the platform to build their campaigns throughout this fall’s simulation. Trump and Biden have created viral Tik Toks such as, “Obsessed,” “223,” “Ride It,” “Walked In,” and “That’s My Type.”

“With the popularity and rise of tik tok as a social media platform, my campaign team thought it was a good way to reach out to the voters…  because [they] are fun but can also be educational,” said Han Gao, who played Joe Biden in the Election Simulation. 

Candidates made these videos highly interactive; their topics included shoutouts, “roasts,” and promotions for their campaigns. The candidates even featured students in their videos, strengthening their relationship with their target audience.

Togay Atmaca, who played the role of Donald Trump and went on to win the Republican primary, said, “Making tik toks brought me closer to my supporters more than anyone else. In fact, while I’m going back and forth with some of my competitors, the people are always there to hype me up or give me ideas for new Tik Toks.”

Both candidates gained popularity in and out of school. The Biden campaign posted a Tiktok that went “viral” with over 1,000 likes and almost 50K views. Trump followed suit with one Tik Tok  getting over 1,000 views.  

Togay said, “They were most effective when trying to get eyes on you and your campaign, and once they were there you needed to rely on different ways to actually let the people know what you represent.”

Even alumni were a part of the fun. User nxltean on Instagram commented, “I graduated and these posts still entertain me” on one of Donald Trump’s posts. 

Photos courtesy of Togay Atmaca and Han Gao.

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