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How to get started with TikTok

It felt like just the other day when the popular conversation was about deciding whether one should start a TikTok account or not, and if TikTok as a platform is even relevant for most people. However, it seems as though the masses are joining TikTok or at least interacting with the platform and giving it a chance to succeed. 

What we’ve noticed in popular media is that cultivating a unique audience is comparatively easier on TikTok compared to some other platforms, and we’re seeing experts and brands are starting to utilize the power and potential of TikTok. At the same time, it’s still easy to gain a following and authority in a particular niche or subject. 

If you want to get started with TikTok, fear not – we’ve got you covered with a step-by-step guide on how to get started!

Sign Up with TikTok

The first thing you need is a pair of earphones or a headset. Failing that, put your speakers on blast. The point is you need sound to enjoy TikTok. 

After that, it’s time to download the app and SI. As soon as you’ve signed up, you can start browsing videos immediately. We recommend that you sign up for your own TikTok account as soon as you get started to save yourself the trouble of having to do it later. Please note that you’ll need to log in to your account before you can post anything that you’ve created.

To sign up for a TikTok account, you need to enter your phone number and email address, or you can opt into signing up with a third-party such as Facebook. Don’t be alarmed – the app will automatically assign a random username to you. This username can change, depending on if you’ve used your email or phone number. 

Don’t worry – you can change this easily by tapping the icon in the bottom right corner that resembles a human body. After that, select ‘Edit Profile’, and you’ll be able to enter a unique nickname, as well a short bio about yourself, a profile picture and even a profile video. 

You should also know that TikTok accounts are made public by default, meaning that anyone can view your profile and posted videos. To add privacy to your account, click on the three dots in the top right corner of your profile to adjust this setting.

Use the TikTok app

Now that you’ve done the initial TikTok signup, your next step is to start browsing the platform – and this involves watching some more videos. The TikTok app has two primary feeds that you’ll need to consider – these are For You and Following. 

Swipe left, and you’ll see Following, as you might expect from its name, is a place to look for content from people that you’ve chosen to follow. 

Swipe right, and you’ll see For You. For You is a feed of videos that is similar to the Instagram Explore page and is generated by a complex algorithm to recommend videos that you’ll like.

No matter which feed you choose, you should know that TikTok is seamless and never-ending – you can keep swiping for hours, and you’ll surely be entertained. 

Located on the right of TikTok videos are icons. The first one is a link to the profile of the content creator who posted the video. The heart is kind of like an Instagram like and indicates that you enjoyed the content. Then, there are comments to follow. Finally, a right-facing arrow is used to share TikTok videos to other platforms. This arrow functions similarly to Instagram sharing, except it can be used across different platforms. Finally, the spinning record icon is an indicator of the song user in the video. You can click on this to see more information about the song, including the title, artist and other popular videos that feature this song. 

If you dislike the video you’re watching, you can also press down hard on the video button to press ‘Not interested’, and the algorithm should learn from your choices. 

Filming and Sharing TikTok Videos

Are you ready to start sharing your videos or TikToks? 

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Tap the plus sign at the bottom of the screen to open your camera and reveal a record button in red, kind of like Snapchat.
  2. Before you begin recording, you can add music so that you could dance, sing, lip-sync or interact with the song of your choice. If you want to film something first and foremost, you can start without choosing a song and add it in at a later stage. 
  3. Drawing from its spiritual cousin Snapchat, you can add a lot of augmented reality effects to your videos. You can change the colour of your eyes, or add a filter and distort your face if you want to! To do this, tap ‘Effects’ on the left-hand menu to start looking through all of the effects options.
  4. There is a tab called ‘The World’ which includes effects that are designed specifically for the environment, such as a large piece of food that can appear on your table. There are even special effects that are designed exclusively for your pet dog or cat.
  5. Don’t forget the Beauty button located to the right of the recording screen! It can do things like gently remove shadows from under your eyes. 
  6. Under this is the Filters menu, which is numbered instead of named. 
  7. Finally, you can see the timer, which lets you record without holding down the record button continually. It can make intricate choreography possible – and you’re sure to see a lot of this on TikTok. 
  8. Like it’s predecessor Vine, there’s a time limit for TikToks. The clips can only be up to 15 seconds long. However, you can join four clips together for a total of a 60-second recording. You can also upload something which has been recorded externally and edit it afterwards. 
  9. Notifications on TikTok

After you’ve signed up on TikTok and posted a few videos, you can see how many people have viewed them by checking your profile numbers. You can tap the notifications icon on the home screen (located at the bottom) to see your comments and likes. You can also see who has viewed your profile or even followed your profile. 

One thing to note is that TikTok sends a lot of push notifications on the regular; so you may want to turn off TikTok notifications from your device’s menu if you don’t like seeing too many phone notifications. TikTok will also alert you when specific popular creators are live streaming – which isn’t available for everyone. You can tip creators with virtual currency, also known as TikTok coins. Creators often host sessions for their fans in exchange for TikTok coins, which can be partially exchanged for local cash. 

TikTok Duets

As with other social media platforms, you have to engage with your audience and other creators – it’s not enough to only post content. Social interaction is significant in TikTok.

One way you can build a following is by having a duet with other TikTok creators. A duet on TikTok is like a parody or imitation of a TikTok video, kind of like what you can see on YouTube. You can connect with a more extensive creator in your niche/subject, and you could benefit from their audience if you decide to do this. 

You should know that TikTok does include a messaging feature, so it’s quite simple to connect with other like-minded creators while using the app. 

Even though Duets are fun, the most critical interaction you should be focusing on is engaging with your audience. Through responding to comments and starting casual conversations, you can forge strong friendships with people who like your content, and you could eventually turn them into your very own follower community.

How often should I post on TikTok?

Just like any other platform, TikTok favours consistency. The more you post regularly, the more the algorithm will help you gain an audience.

Since you’re new to TikTok, it’ll take some time to gain a large audience. Therefore, your best bet is to be consistent and post a lot to gain views. 

Some of the platforms most popular content creators post at least once daily. TikTok videos can be straightforward since the video length is so short.

By choosing to produce your videos in smaller batches, you can focus on building your presence on TikTok without burning yourself out!

We promise that it’s worth the effort of signing up with TikTok!

Conclusion

TikTok is trending at the moment – and for a good reason. Its seamless scrolling provides hours of entertainment no matter which genre or niche you enjoy. 

After you’ve signed up for TikTok, you can jump right into creating your content. 

In addition to what we’ve covered, TikTok has many extra features – and the best way to discover these is to spend a good chunk of time playing around in the app.

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