The Aquarium of the Pacific is using popular social media app TikTok to educate its fanbase of 340,000 followers after one of its videos went viral during the coronavirus crisis.
The Aquarium of the Pacific, the largest aquarium in Southern California, closed its venue earlier this year in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The aquarium joined TikTok in January and had just 160 followers until March. After one of their videos went viral during the closure, the attraction’s fanbase grew on the platform.
Madeline Walden, social media coordinator for the Aquarium of the Pacific, told Signal Tribune: “We try to make every single video, not just the cute stuff that would necessarily get the likes, but to tell a story and have some sort of conservation message or something that educates.”
Giant Pacific octopus goes viral on TikTok
In addition to TikTok, the Aquarium of the Pacific has been offering webcams, online exhibits, and guest speaker videos, as well as family-friendly activities and educational content.
“It was really important to the leadership of the aquarium to be able to continue our mission and vision of connecting people with ocean education,” said senior manager of aquarium communications, Claire Atkinson.
“Just because our doors closed to the public didn’t mean that we stopped our mission.”
In one video, which had 5.7 million views and 1.2 million likes, the aquarium’s giant Pacific octopus Godzilla enjoys a toy boat full of tasty mussels.
Dancing sea lion attracts 1.9 million views
Wow, sea lions can really dance. #aquariumofthepacific
Another video, which had 1.9 million views, reveals a dancing sea lion. Footage of the closed aquarium garnered 1.2 million views.
“Kids and parents are stuck at home together. A lot of people are looking for educational content online and ways to keep their kids engaged,” said Atkinson.
The Uffizi Gallery in Florence also launched on TikTok during the coronavirus pandemic, sharing videos of classic artworks dancing to modern music.