If you're new to TikTok, you may be missing out on a huge platform for growth.
Last June, the app reached an important milestone: over 700 million monthly users. And with that number growing, now is the perfect time to learn how to use TikTok.
To get you started, this quick guide covers all the basics – from setting up an account to sharing your first video!
Use of TikTok
What is TikTok?
TikTok may seem like an overnight success story, but the video sharing social platform has actually been around for years.
Launched in 2016 by the Beijing-based parent company ByteDance, TikTok was an instant hit with Gen Z users in China. It wasn't until 2017, when ByteDance acquired another video sharing platform (Musical.ly), that it started in North America and Europe.
In 2018, TikTok had 55 million monthly active users. In 2021 the company is expected to reach 1.2 billion.
And if you thought TikTok was only for viral dancing or lip-syncing videos, you're wrong. There is so much more!
From jokes and life hacks to beauty tutorials and puppy videos, there's room for all kinds of content on the platform.
Ready for TikTok? To join Later 10-day challenge Learn How to Use TikTok and Create Videos That Get Countless Views!
How to set up your TikTok account
Before jumping into fun things like posting videos, you need to create a TikTok account and get familiar with the platform.
Step 1: Register
Visit the App Store or Google Play and download TikTok. When you open the app, you'll be on the For You page (also known as TikTok's homepage).
From there, go to the “Me” tab at the bottom right of the screen. Here you will be asked to log in with your phone number, email address or existing social media accounts.
Once you have an account, click "Edit Profile" to update your username and bio, add a profile photo, and a Link to your bio if applicable.
These simple changes are great ways to tweak your profile. When people visit your page, they immediately receive important information about your brand.
Ready to start? Learn how to set up your TikTok profile in this blog post!
Step 2: Check out the For You and Discover pages
As with most social media platforms, trends come and go quickly at TikTok. So if you want to take advantage of a trend, it is a good idea to act quickly.
The best way to find out what's hot every day is to scroll through the For You and Explore pages.
The For You page is algorithmically curated based on the videos you interact with, the accounts and hashtags you follow, your location and language preferences, and the type of content you create.
The “Discover” page is co-curated TikTok's algorithmthat does the job of finding trends for you. Here you can see popular hashtags, sounds and effects. Click on each trend to view its top videos or favorite it for later.
Step 3: Follow (and Engage With) Like Minded Creators
Are you trying to reach a specific audience? Think about what type of content, brands, and creators they are most likely to pursue and engage with.
After you finish your research, check out what these brands and developers are sharing on their TikTok accounts. And if they resonate with your brand, follow them!
This is a great way to learn more about your audience, familiarize themselves with the videos they love to watch, and find trend inspiration.
If you want to build an engaged community on your TikTok account, it's a good idea to actively engage with other developers in that community.
Fortunately, TikTok makes it easy with a series of icons to the right of each video:
- The first icon (a profile photo with a "+" underneath) takes you to a user's profile where you can follow them
- The second is a heart that you can tap to like a video
- There is a speech bubble that you tap to leave a comment
- Use the arrow to share TikTok videos with other platforms
- And there's a rotating, record-like icon that shows you the sound used in the video (as well as other videos that use the same sound).
take that free course Here's everything you need to know about TikTok for Business – from updating the latest trends to understanding the platform's powerful algorithm.
How to create content for TikTok
Don't worry about production quality as you prepare to shoot your first TikTok video.
A strong creative concept is much more important.
TikTok is known for its unrefined, imperfect, and authentic content – so you don't have to be a fabulous editor.
Part 1: Record Your First TikTok Video
Simply press the “+” button in the lower center of the screen to start. This will open your camera.
Using the icons on the screen, you can play around with the recording speed, set up a self-timer, add a sound or filter to your video, and familiarize yourself with TikTok's many in-app effects.
TIP: You can too Add sounds, text, Effects and stickers for your videos when you are done recording.
Part 2: Effects, Duets and Challenges
Once you understand the basics, you can make your videos more interesting by using effects, joining challenges, and dueting other popular videos.
At the bottom of the capture screen, you'll see the Effects button. Many of TikTok's key trends and challenges focus on these effects.
There can be a certain learning curve when it comes to performing challenges and using effects properly. So don't worry if you have to try a few times before you get it right.
You can also film duets – a popular feature on TikTok. Duets split your screen in half and allow you to record alongside videos from other creators. To create a duet, tap the arrow on an existing video, then click Duet.
Part 3: Uploading Your Content
Once your video is ready, the last thing you need to do is add a caption and hit "Post". You can also increase your reach by Add relevant hashtags and find your best time to post.
ICYMI: You can now schedule and schedule TikTok videos with Later!
Visually plan and schedule TikToks in advance. When it's time to post, everything will be sent to your phone!
How to use TikTok for your brand
We've said it before, and we'll say it again, there are millions of people on TikTok who love new, exciting, fun, and educational content. And tons of companies are already successfully offering branded content to these users.
The Branded items TikTok's performance is usually best leaning towards the types of videos that regular users upload – videos that benefit from trends and feel authentic.
Companies like this format The Washington Post and Chipotle collected 842,000 or 1.4 million followers on TikTok.
But you don't have to be a big, well-established brand with tons of followers to do well on TikTok.
Even an account with zero followers can go viral if its content resonates with enough people.
For example Tuyen Nguyen (@Lifewithtuyen) has amassed over 430,000 followers in less than a year!
Take on a challenge (or create your own challenge), show the human side of your brand with behind-the-scenes content, or join the life hack trend by creating how-to videos.
As with any other social platform, the best way to learn how to use TikTok is to experiment – don't be afraid to try new things. And with these basics, you are ready to go.
We can't wait to see what you create!
Are you ready to start your TikTok strategy? Sign up today to schedule and schedule all of your TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter posts from one easy-to-use dashboard!
Erica is a Toronto-based content writer with a penchant for alliteration and a background in public relations. Your dream is to climb Mount Everest. Say hello to her on Instagram – @ericasalvalaggio.