How to get started on TikTok

How to get started on TikTok

So you’ve decided that TikTok is a tool your business can benefit from – great!

Not yet sure that TikTok is right for your business? Read Does my business need to use TikTok?

Now, how do you get started on TikTok?

First off, make sure you have…

  • A deep understanding of your customers and your niche 
  • Time and resource dedicated to creating content, engaging with your audience, and keeping up with TikTok trends
  • Oodles of creativity, originality, and personality

Before you jump straight into creating and posting content, explore and enjoy TikTok as a consumer rather than a creator.  Get a feel for the type of content that’s popular, find out what other creators in your niche are doing, and start to understand how your target audience use TikTok. All this insight will be invaluable when you come to plan your own content. Once that’s done, you can get the ball rolling and get started on TikTok.

The logisitics

The great thing about TikTok is that authentic content performs well, and this means you don’t have to spend time and money on highly-produced, super polished content. But you do want your videos to be easy to understand and a pleasure to watch. With that in mind, all you’ll need is…

  • A decent camera; one on a smartphone will do
  • A microphone if you can get one; some earphones already have a mic attached, or pick up a small lapel mic. Investing in a small mic is worth its weight in gold for the difference it’ll make to your audio quality
  • Good lighting; ring lights can be picked up online for a small sum, or just make good use of windows and natural light
  • A clear background; try to keep backgrounds free of too much clutter that will detract from the message of your video

How to create quality content on TikTok

It’s absolutely essential that your content provides value. The value you provide could be entertaining, informative, or a mixture of both. Sharing information could look like; product demos, Q&As about you and your business, user reviews, tips on how to get the most out of your product or service, or inside industry info. And all this means being generous with your knowledge; the key to building trusting relationships online is openness and authenticity.

The magic ingredient for your TikToks is something that ‘stops the scroll.’ TikTok is an addictive platform with endless content for users to scroll through – so you need to grab viewers’ attention quickly and give them a reason not to scroll. The first few seconds of your videos are crucial; almost two thirds of all TikTok videos with the highest clickthrough rate highlight their key message or product within the first 3 seconds.

There are a few ways you can do this; pose a question to raise curiosity or create suspense, say something surprising or shocking (perhaps a controversial opinion about your niche), or make a promise to provide information you know your target audience will value – just make sure you deliver on that promise to avoid frustrating your audience and making them feel they’ve wasted their time. Almost as important as ‘stopping the scroll,’ is encouraging your viewers to watch until the end. The algorithm will rewards accounts that manage to do this. And remember that TikToks are fairly short-form – a maximum is about to beof 3 minutes – so keep your messages short, snappy, and simple.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun with your content. TikTok is a creative, playful platform and its users value being entertained as well as informed. The ScrubDaddy account is a great example of how to make content about an everyday product genuinely enjoyable to watch.

Once you’ve explored the app and have some inspiration for your own TikToks, start off by storyboarding a couple of ideas then dive in and film a few short videos. Remember, you don’t have to post everything you create when you’re getting started, but the more you create the more adept you’ll get at using the app’s functionality. So produce as many videos as you can at first, and choose the best to add to your posting schedule.

When it comes to creating a content schedule, make sure you commit to posting regularly on a schedule that you can stick to religiously. There’s no point in starting out all guns blazing only to crash and burn after a few weeks. TikTok values highly active accounts, so one post a day is a good place to start; but only commit to this if you’re confident you can keep it up!

Features and functionality

By its nature, TikTok is fast-paced, trend-led, and interactive. There are a few features you’ll want to get to grips with (some unique to TIkTok and others you’ll recognise from other social platforms). Play around with each of these in your first catch of content creation:

  • Stitches and duets – to jump on a trend and respond to another TikTokker’s video
  • Trending sounds – to get your message across in an engaging way and increase your content’s visibility
  • Hashtags – to make sure your content is hyper-relevant to the people you want to see it
  • Captions – to improve the reach and accessibility of your videos
  • Close-ups, zooms, GIFs, and fast-cuts – to add movement, action, and momentum to your videos

How to get engagement on TikTok

Once you’ve created a load of great content and begun posting it, all you need to do is wait for your audience to come to you…right?

Actually, it’s not quite that simple. Social platforms are so named for a reason – they thrive on two-way interaction. So your account needs to be about more than just the content you put out. You need to actively search for and engage with your audience. Make use of the search function to find people talking about your niche and get involved in the conversations; with comments and your own video responses.

Liking and commenting on videos will increase the visibility of your account and show your audience that you have a personality and a point of view. Stitches and duets are another great way to demonstrate that you’re using the app to facilitate conversations – rather than to just broadcast your own messages.

Good luck!

Once your account is up and running, keep experimenting, play with trends, and of course test, test and test again. The more you post, the more you’ll learn about what type of content is the most effective. So keep learning, and keep making tweaks and changes to your approach as your account matures.

Need help or advice on how to get started on TikTok?

Get in touch for a so-strings chat about how I can help you get started using TIkTok to achieve your business goals.

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