Welcome to TikTok 101
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You may have seen viral TikTok videos on TV or have heard about funny TikToks from friends or family. But, what is TikTok and why is it so popular?
In this post, we’ll give you a quick TikTok 101 lesson. We’ll discuss what it is, how TikTok works and if you should be on the platform too.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is yet another popular social media platform that has gained millions of active users over the course of the last few years.
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, you can only post videos on the platform. No pictures or text, unless they’re included in your video.
How does TikTok work?
When you sign up for a TikTok account, you’ll be prompted to choose a few interests and connect with friends you already know.
After a quick profile setup, you can start watching a never-ending stream of videos!
These TikTok videos are usually short, lasting about 30 seconds to a few minutes.
What do typical TikTok videos consist of? You'll find all sorts of content from various industries. In all honesty, the sky's the limit as to what you can find on TikTok.
TikTok posts are not just restricted to plain video recordings. Users can add pictures, text and greenscreen-type backgrounds.
People can get really creative on TikTok, and you'll find tons of amazing content that goes viral overnight.
Next, we’ll break down several features to understand how TikTok works.
Your TikTok profile page
When you sign up for TikTok, you automatically create your own account. You can post your own TikToks and display a little information about yourself in the bio at the top of your profile page.
You’ll also be able to choose a username and profile picture to establish yourself on the platform.
If your account is set to public, you can easily gain followers who will be notified whenever you post new content.
The “For You” page
The “For You” page is basically TikTok’s homepage screen. It uses an algorithm to determine what posts are shown - all unique to you.
The purpose of the “For You” page is to help you match with content that you may enjoy. Posts on the “For You” page may come from accounts that you currently do not follow.
Just like most social media algorithms, the more you interact with the content, the better the algorithm works in your favor.
So, when you’re scrolling through TikTok, go ahead and “like” posts that interest you. You’ll get more similar content on your feed.
On the other hand, if you’re scrolling through TikTok and come across content you’re not interested in, just tap and hold the center of the video. A window will slide up that allows you to report offensive content or simply mark it as “not interested.” When you do that, similar content will be removed from your feed.
As you continue to use the app, you’ll eventually find that the “For You” page is insanely attune to what you want to see.
The “Following” page
The purpose of the “Following” page is to consolidate all of the new TikTok posts from accounts you follow.
You’ll probably really enjoy this page since it’s a constant stream of content from your favorite accounts.
In this section, you can check out individual profiles and deep dive into their previous posts. Otherwise, you can hit the heart button, post a comment, save a TikTok or share it. If the TikTok has music, you can check out the track used in the post as well.
Pages of other TikTok users
Whether you use TikTok’s search tool or you click into accounts that you already follow, you can explore pages of other TikTok users.
When you enter one particular page, you'll find all of their previous TikTok posts. Many TikTok users establish themselves in a specific niche. So, you can expect to see a selection of similar videos on someone's profile page.
The Search feature
Looking for something specific in the TikTok app? Search for it!
You’ll find this feature in the top right corner of the screen. Click on the magnifying glass icon.
You can search specific TikTok accounts, trends or explore what TikTok suggests for you.
The TikTok Live feature
Just like other social media platforms, you can “go live” on TikTok.
These live sessions are the perfect opportunity to interact with people who follow you (and even those who don’t). TikTok Lives can last longer than your normal TikTok posts.
Depending on the account, TikTok Live hosts and their viewers can exchange gifts, money and opinions.
TikTok Lives are the perfect way to get social in real time with other users. If you’ve never hosted a Live before, read our post about how to rock your first TikTok Live!
How to browse on the TikTok app
TikTok makes it really easy to browse on the app. In fact, you may find yourself spending several hours - late into the night - watching hundreds of TikTok videos.
All you have to do is… sit there and watch! Even if you do nothing, the app will jump to the next TikTok post for you. Can you see how easy it is to spend hours on TikTok?
How to make videos on the TikTok app
TikTok makes it pretty simple to create your own content. All you have to do is click the “+” icon at the bottom of your screen.
From there, you can record a video or take a photo. You can also use existing videos and pictures that you have on your smartphone. TikTok enables you to add effects, filters and other enhancements.
Once you have your own TikTok account, we encourage you to play around in the app. See how creative you can be with your posts!
Are you missing out?
TikTok is way more than just a stream of short videos. Let’s look into what kinds of opportunities you can find on the TikTok app.
Personal opportunities on TikTok
If you just have a personal account on TikTok, you can use the app to entertain you for hours on end.
You also can find tons of educational and inspirational posts on a daily basis.
As mentioned before, the more you use TikTok, the better the algorithm will be at picking the perfect content for you. Soon enough, you'll open the app to a long stream of posts that are exactly what you want to see.
If you save TikTok videos in your account, you can always return back to them for later reference. For example: If you saved an amazing vegan taco recipe, you'll get instant access to that post right when you need it.
Business opportunities on TikTok
If you're a business owner, you might want to know how TikTok works in regards to growing your business online. All kinds of businesses are already on TikTok! Every day, they create engaging content for their target audience.
TikTok poses a unique opportunity to reach out to potential customers in a fun and accessible way.
You can really diversify what kinds of content you put out on TikTok. For example: Educate potential clients on how to solve a problem. You could also create a TikTok video to debunk common myths about your industry.
From an ecommerce perspective, TikTok posts that show product demos could be exactly what customers need to move forward with a purchase.
Before you dive into savvy TikTok marketing, take a look at some of your competitors on the app. Take note of what kinds of content they're putting out - or what kinds of content are missing.
All of this information can help you craft a lucrative TikTok marketing strategy that leads to high engagement, stronger traffic and more conversions for your business.
Educational opportunities on TikTok
TikTok is a great place to learn new things. If you search the popular TikTok hashtag “#edutok,” you may find the exact guidance you need for a DIY project, homework help or a new, exciting recipe.
The educational component on TikTok doesn't stop there. Just by using TikTok’s search tool, you can learn more about nearly any topic you're interested in.
Money-making opportunities on TikTok
There are so many money-making opportunities on TikTok. If you're looking for a way to monetize the time you spend on TikTok by creating viral posts, check out our marketing analysis of the most popular TikTok videos.
And… If you’re ready to start curating your own amazing content, Mojo is here to help!
Mojo makes it easy to produce stunning visuals that excite your followers (and perhaps, helps you go viral). Come see the magic!
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