TikTok for
Influencers

In this guide we’ll cover everything you need to know to become a social media influencer on TikTok.

tiktok dancer male logo

TikTok is a social media platform that is massively popular with the Generation Z crowdnamely, teenagers and those in their early 20s. On TikTok, users create short videos of themselves lip-syncing, acting out a skit, performing a stunt or any variety of actions. This can range from baking cookies to responding to a dance challenge. TikTok clips are usually set to music, which is selected from the platform’s large library of sounds and song clips. Users add other effects to their videos, and the result is a meme-like clip that people love to watch and respond to.

TikTok also encourages collaboration between users with its popular duet feature. A TikTok creator can upload a lip-sync or any other video and allow others to create a duet with it. They do this by splitting their screen and singing a duet with them or performing other actions that go along with the video. When creators use duets, they tap into each other’s audiences, which is a very effective way of getting new viewers to their channels.

TikTok is a social media platform that is massively popular with the Generation Z crowdnamely, teenagers and those in their early 20s. On TikTok, users create short videos of themselves lip-syncing, acting out a skit, performing a stunt or any variety of actions. This can range from baking cookies to responding to a dance challenge. TikTok clips are usually set to music, which is selected from the platform’s large library of sounds and song clips. Users add other effects to their videos, and the result is a meme-like clip that people love to watch and respond to.

TikTok also encourages collaboration between users with its popular duet feature. A TikTok creator can upload a lip-sync or any other video and allow others to create a duet with it. They do this by splitting their screen and singing a duet with them or performing other actions that go along with the video. When creators use duets, they tap into each other’s audiences, which is a very effective way of getting new viewers to their channels.

tiktok dancer male logo

How to Set Up TikTok

TikTok is easy for creators to use, which lends to its appeal to the younger generation and encourages users to create more content. It’s also easy to set up your account and get started. Read on to find out how to get the TikTok app, create your account and set up your profile. We’ll also show you how to connect your TikTok to other social media platforms and find users to follow.

tiktok login screen

How to Create a TikTok Account

To create a TikTok account, you’ll need a valid email address or phone number. TikTok is available for download via five ways:

  • The App Store for iOS
  • Google Play for Android devices
  • The Amazon App Store
  • By scanning the QR code on any TikTok user’s page from your desktop
  • Texting yourself a link from the TikTok homepage from your desktop

Get the TikTok app by downloading it to your device. From your desktop, you can scan the QR code on any TikTok page or text yourself a link from the homepage.

tiktok get the app mobile
tiktok phone verification

When you scan the QR code with your phone’s camera, you’ll be redirected to the App Store or Google Play, depending on which device you have. The same applies when you text yourself the link. From there, download as you normally do for apps to your phone and follow these steps:

  1. TikTok will open, and a suggested video will start playing automatically. You can view videos without an account but you cannot post videos. To set up your account, tap the person icon that has the word Me under it in the lower right corner. Tapping the Me icon in TikTok leads to your profile page.

Tap the Me icon to set up your account.

tiktok video
  1. Choose the method you want to use to create your TikTok account. You can use:
    • Your email address
    • Your cell phone number
    • Your Facebook account
    • Your Google account
    • Your Twitter account
    • Your Instagram account

Create an account using your email or phone number, or sign up with one of your other social media accounts.

tiktok signup mobile
  1. If you choose email or phone, you’ll be asked for your birthdate. Keep in mind that TikTok’s policies require users to be 13 years or older.

Enter your birthdate.

tiktok enter birthday
  1. Choose to use your cell phone number or email address to continue. You’ll receive a confirmation code, which you’ll enter on the next screen.

Tap on Phone or Email to choose a method to sign up.

tiktok enter birthday
  1. Now you can set your password. It must be eight characters long, and it cannot contain special characters. You’ll see a checkmark turn pink when you’ve entered an acceptable password. Tap on the checkmark, and your TikTok account is created.

You’ll see a white checkmark surrounded by pink when you’ve created a valid password. Tap on it to finish creating your account.

tiktok password screen

Setting Up Your TikTok Profile

Your TikTok profile is where people go to find out more about you. A profile that accurately portrays who you are and what kind of content you create leads to more followers and a trusted influencer brand. Your TikTok profile includes:

  • Your profile photo
  • Your profile video
  • Your TikTok name
  • Your TikTok username
  • A very brief bio about you and your content
  • A link to your Instagram account
  • A link to your YouTube channel

All of these items are found on your profile page. To edit your TikTok profile, tap on the Me icon again, then tap Edit profile.

Tap on Edit profile to set up your TikTok profile.

tiktok edit profile
  1. Adding your TikTok profile photo. Your profile photo can also be referred to as your avatar. Choosing a photo of yourself as opposed to an object, scenery or other person is most effective for you as an influencer. It makes your account more recognizable and personal.This isn’t a hard and fast rule, however. If you do choose a photo other than one of yourself, make sure it is relevant to who you are and the type of content you’re producing. If you’ll be focusing solely on videos of cats, for example, you could choose a cat or cat-related photo. It’s also wise to ensure that the profile photo you choose is consistent across all of your social media channels for effective influencer branding. This makes your content easily recognizable, regardless of what platform a potential fan is on.To add or change your profile photo, you can either take a new picture or upload one from your device’s library. Tap on Change photo and follow the prompts to add a photo.

Tap on Edit profile then Change photo to add your profile picture.

tiktok user profile
tiktok change photo

Choose to take a new photo or select from your device’s photo library to create your TikTok profile photo.

To crop your photo, use two fingers to zoom in (spreading your fingers apart) or zoom out (pinching your fingers together). When you have your desired photo, tap Save.

tiktok choose photo

Crop your profile photo until it’s positioned the way you want it to be, and then tap Save.

tiktok photo crop
tiktok photo crop
  1. Adding your TikTok profile video. In addition to using a static profile photo, you can opt for a profile video. After tapping Edit profile, tap Change video this time. Then, from the dropdown menu, choose Change video again.

From the dropdown menu, choose Change video again.

Choose a video from your device’s library that features you or represents your content well. You’ll then drag the bars surrounding the video clip to choose the clip that you want to use as your profile video. Press Save when you’re done.

tiktok change video

Choose a relevant six-second video clip to use as your profile video.

tiktok crop video

Pro Tip: When you add a profile video, followers and potential followers can view it on your profile page. Your profile photo will be displayed on your TikTok videos to identify who is posting them. If you want your profile photo to appear on your profile page as well, you’ll need to remove your profile video.

Remove your profile video in order to display your profile photo on your profile page.

  1. Adding your TikTok name and TikTok username. When you create your account, TikTok automatically assigns a name and username to you. For influencer marketing purposes, you’ll want to change both so that they’re more personal and recognizable or, in other words, on-brand. If you already have other social media accounts, it’s very helpful for you to have the same, consistent name across all of your channels. This makes it easier for your audience to recognize you, find you and build a relationship with you.

    Your TikTok name can be the same or different from your username. You can use your real name for either or just one, or not include your real name at all. Your username will be preceded by the “at” symbol (@). Take a look at these examples of influencer names and usernames for inspiration:

zach king tiktok profile

TikTok influencer Zach King uses his real name for both his TikTok name and username.

lucas and marcus tiktok profile

Lucas and Marcus Dobre-Mofid use their first names as their TikTok name and @dobretwins as their username. Twin creators are quite popular on TikTok. If you are a pair of twins, including the word twin in your name or username is very effective for getting higher keyword search results.

jannat zubair tiktok user profile

Indian actress Jannat Zubair Rahmani uses the same configuration for her TikTok name and username.

Your TikTok name can contain 16 characters, including spaces. Your TikTok username can have up to 24 characters. The characters can only be letters, numbers, underscores and periods. You can change your username, but only once every 30 days.

tiktok name
tiktok username
  1. Creating your TikTok bio. Your TikTok bio is a brief, 80-character description of who you are and what you’re all about. When written effectively, it helps TikTok browsers turn into your followers. Your bio lets others see at a glance what your focus or personality is and what type of content they can likely expect from you.Your TikTok bio is also an appropriate place to put mentions to your other content or social media accounts or make announcements. TikTok does not currently allow links in your bio or videos, but you can write the name of your account without a hyperlink. Your bio can also be a catchy quote that you identify with.Don’t worry about making a complete sentence for your bio. Get your most important keywords and ideas out there that tell other users about you. Consider the following bios from TikTok influencers as you design your own. Your bio appears under your username in your TikTok profile.
gil broes tiktok

Gilmher Croes’ TikTok bio is simply “ART.” Gil is an Aruban actor and model known for his artistic, comedic lip-syncs on TikTok and the YouTube channel he shares with his brother Jayden.

nisha guragain tiktok

Nisha Guragain achieved her influencer status rapidly when her TikTok lip-sync to the song Mujhe Yaad Hai Aata went viral. Her TikTok bio is her Instagram handle, where she reposts her TikTok videos and has 33.6K followers.

liza koshy tiktok

Actress, comedian and YouTube star Liza Koshy points viewers to her channel as well as her Instagram account in her TikTok bio. She has 17.9 million followers on Instagram and 17.7 million subscribers on YouTube.

jay croes tiktok

Garima Chaurasia is an Indian model and social media influencer. For her TikTok bio, she uses an inspirational quote and shows people where to find her on Instagram. She has 1.7 million followers on Instagram and posts her modeling photos and TikTok videos there.

garimachaurasia996 tiktok

Jayden Croes’ TikTok bio is more complex than his brother’s, leading viewers to his Instagram and YouTube accounts. He also adds a quote and emoji to describe himself.

Connecting Your Instagram Account to Your TikTok Account

Adding your social media information to your bio is a very effective way to direct viewers to your additional content, especially content that is monetized. TikTok also provides a direct way to connect your Instagram account and YouTube channel to your TikTok account. This feature allows you to quickly and easily repost your TikTok videos to these two platforms.

TikTok’s built-in video editing tools are an excellent resource for making your Instagram Stories. Repurposing your TikTok content to other social media platforms like Instagram also saves you time and effort and broadens your audience reach. To connect your Instagram account to your TikTok account, follow these steps:

  1. After tapping the Me icon at the bottom right of your screen, tap Edit profile. Then tap Add Instagram to your profile.
tiktok profile
tiktok profile instagram
  1. Enter your Instagram login credentials (phone number, username or email) and password, and tap Log In. Alternatively, you can login to your Facebook account to connect to your Instagram account by tapping Continue with Facebook.
tikton instagram login
  1. To upload your TikTok video to Instagram, you have two options. You can save it to your device’s library, and then upload it when you’re in your Instagram app. Or, you can upload it directly to Instagram from your TikTok app.
tiktok instagram
tiktok facebook

For a video that you’ve just made but haven’t posted yet, you’ll see options for sharing your video to additional platforms at the bottom of your screen.

Tap on the Instagram icon to redirect your video to Instagram. Then, tap Post.

tiktok instagram redirect
  1. When you want to upload a video from TikTok after it’s been posted, first locate the video in the bottom section of your profile page. Get to your profile page by tapping the Me icon.Tap on the video you want to post, then tap on the three horizontal dots on the right side of the screen
tiktok profile
tiktok private video dog

A Share to screen will pop up, and you can select the destination for your video. If you don’t see the Instagram icon, tap the Other icon.

tiktok video dog other

Connecting Your YouTube Channel to Your TikTok Account

Uploading your TikTok videos to your YouTube channel is a natural way to repurpose your TikTok content to an additional social media video channel. That way you can reach a broader audience and build your content library faster. Follow these steps to connect your YouTube channel to your TikTok account:

  1. After tapping the Me icon at the bottom right of your screen, tap Edit profile. Then tap Add YouTube to your profile.
tiktok profile
tiktok add youtube
  1. Enter your Google username and tap Next.
tiktok signin google
  1. Enter your Google password, and tap Next.
  1. If you have multiple YouTube channels, choose the one you want to connect. On the next screen, tap Allow.
tiktok allow google

When you connect your YouTube channel to your TikTok account, a YouTube icon appears next to the Follow button on your profile page. TikTok users can tap this icon to go directly to your content on YouTube with one tap. The same benefit applies when you connect your Instagram account to your TikTok account.

tiktok youtube

After you connect your YouTube channel to your TikTok account, upload your own content to YouTube using the same process as uploading to Instagram. Only this time, choose your YouTube icon instead of Instagram, of course.

Finding TikTok Users to Follow

At the top of your home screen, you’ll notice two sections: Following and For You. The For You section is a curated feed of TikTok videos that the app thinks you’ll find interesting. The Following section contains videos by TikTok creators that you are following. Tap on Following to begin adding people to your follow list so you can watch their videos and keep up with the new posts.

Tap Following to find other TikTok users to follow.

One way to add people to your list is to connect the TikTok app to your device’s contacts. Your contacts that have a TikTok account will show up on your list once you tap the section that says Connect contacts to find friends.

tiktok contacts

Find people in your contacts list that are already on TikTok.

You can also find TikTok users to follow by tapping Discover at the bottom of your screen. Scroll through the curated list of trending hashtags to find topics you’re interested in. As a prospective influencer, it’s helpful to follow other users and influencers who are producing content that is similar to yours. That helps expose their audience members to your content, which should be interesting to them. It also lets you see what other influencers are doing to succeed so you can get insights from their experiences.

tiktok contacts

Tap the Discover icon to find interesting TikTok creators to follow.

tiktok discover

Use the Search feature on the Discover page to find people to follow too. Type in a topic or use a TikTok username if you know it. The results will be organized into the following categories:

Top

See the most relevant TikTok users and videos that relate to the keyword you entered.

Here are the Top results for your keyword.

tiktok users

Users

This is a list of TikTok users related to your keyword.

This result displays the TikTok users related to your keyword.

tiktok users

Videos

Here you’ll find a list of videos related to your keyword.

Videos related to your keyword are grouped in this search result.

tiktok videos

Sounds

Sounds in TikTok are audio clips of music. When you find a sound you like, you can choose to add it to your Favorites list so it’s easy to access later. Do this by tapping on the ribbon icon.

Sounds (audio clips) related to your keyword are displayed here.

Add sounds you like to your Favorites list by tapping on the ribbon icon.

tiktok sounds videos
tiktok music sounds apple

Hashtags

These are frequently used hashtags that contain your keyword. Tap on any hashtag to see videos that contain that hashtag.

This search result filter shows hashtags related to your keyword. Tapping on a hashtag brings up videos.

tiktok hashtags
tiktok hashtag videos

Become a TikTok creator

How TikTok Works

While some social media platforms support text and photo content, TikTok is a place to post short videos. TikTok videos can be between three seconds and 60 seconds long, and the default length is 15 seconds. In this section of the TikTok influencer manual, we’ll define some of the unique language used in TikTok and the service’s various features. We’ll also outline how to create and edit videos in TikTok as well as how to upload videos you’ve shot without using the app.

Charli D'Amelio influencer tiktok
ben johnson tiktok influencer
loren gray tiktok influencer

Understanding TikTok Features

We’d like to help you streamline your progress toward being a TikTok influencer by defining some key terms relevant to the platform. We’ll tell you want each feature means and how to use it.

Saving a Draft

If you make a video using a TikTok app but don’t want to post it right away, you can save it as a draft. Do this by tapping Drafts instead of Post after you’ve finished editing your video. Your drafts are saved in your TikTok video library in the Drafts folder.

Tap Drafts instead of Post to save your TikTok video for later instead of posting right away.

TikTok Post Screen

Your video drafts are kept in your Drafts folder located on your TikTok profile page.

TikTok Edit Profile Drafts screen

Liking a Video

When you enjoy a TikTok video, like the video by tapping the heart on the right side of the screen. The more likes your video gets, the more it will trend and be seen by a wider audience. Liking a video also tells TikTok’s algorithm that the viewer wants to see more of the same type of content.

Pro Tip: Assess your most-liked videos for their content, length and other features. Create new content with similar, desirable features to grow your audience on TikTok.

TikTok users tap the heart icon on your video to Like it. This video by @comedy_tryhard has 102,000 likes.

Tiktok video post with heart icon selected

If you really like a video and want to watch it again, you can add it to your Favorites. While the video is playing, long press it and choose Add to Favorites. Access your favorites by tapping the ribbon icon next to Edit profile on your profile page.

Long press a video, then choose Add to Favorites when you want to save it and watch it again.

TikTok Add to favorites screen

Press on the ribbon icon on your profile page to access your favorite TikTok videos, hashtags, sounds and effects.

tiktok user profile favorite video icon
tiktok favorite videos

Disliking a Video

When a video shows up in your For You section that has content you don’t want to see more of, dislike it. Dislikes tell TikTok’s algorithm what to keep out of your feed. To dislike a video, long press it and choose Not interested.

Long press a video and choose Not interested when your TikTok feed shows you content that you don’t like.

TikTok Not interested video options screen

Making Videos Public or Private

As an influencer, you’ll want your account to be public instead of private so that you can grow your audience. However, you may have some videos that you want to keep private. Marking a video as private makes it accessible only to you. There are two ways to do this.

TikTOk Dog Video
TikTok dog video privacy
TikTok Privacy settings
TikTok Privacy settings

If your video is already posted, open the video and tap on the three dots. Choose Privacy Settings. Tap on Who can view this video. Choose Private.

If you’ve just created a video and are about to post it, tap Who can view this video and choose Private.

TikTok Settings screenshot
TikTok Private setting

Creating a Duet

Making duets on TikTok is one of the platform’s unique and most effective features. It encourages collaboration with other users, creates a sense of community among viewers of related duets and helps increase your audience. Before you post a video to TikTok, you can allow it to be used for duets by other TikTok users.

When you approve of people using your video to create a TikTok duet, turn on Allow Duet and React before posting. Make sure your video is set to Public as well, not Private.

TikTok Post Duet post settings

You can make a duet with any TikTok user that you’re following. Tap the Me icon to get to your profile page, and tap Following.

Tap the red Follow button in a TikTok user’s profile page to follow them.

tiktok user profile
tiktok profile following
tiktok profile following
tiktok user profile

Go to your profile page and tap on your Following list. Tap the friend’s profile picture that you want to do a duet with, then choose one of their videos.

tiktok video
tiktok share video
tiktok share video

After the video opens, tap the Share icon on the left of the screen. Next, tap Duet. The screen will split, and you can add effects before starting the video if you like.

Turn the camera to face you so you can time your actions to those in your friend’s video. You can delete sections of video and start over whenever you want to. Add effects at the end as well. When your duet video looks the way you want it to, post as usual.

In this example of a TikTok duet, @zsmitty and @masonpayette sing a song together.

tiktok duet video

In this TikTok duet, @homeskooled times his moves perfectly so they coincide with @philwgreen’s moves. He makes it appear as though @philwgreen is walking into @homeskooled’s TikTok screen.

tiktok video duet

@hantaraki and @mxmtoon dance together in this TikTok duet.

tiktok dance duet

Part of @maverickbaker’s influencer strategy is to create videos that are easy to create a duet with. He puts the phrase “duet?” in his description so it comes up in search results when TikTok users are looking for videos to collaborate with.

tiktok video post

Downloading Video

To download a video to your device, open your video in TikTok and tap the Share icon, then press Save.

Activating Digital Wellbeing

TikTok’s built-in wellness features help you limit your screen time and control the type of content you see. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to your profile page.
  2. Tap the settings icon (the three dots at the top of the screen).
  3. Tap Digital Wellbeing.
  4. For Screen Time Management: Tap Screen Time Management. Choose your time limit, which is either 40, 60, 90 or 120 minutes. Tap Enable Screen Time Management to turn it on. If you reach your time limit, TikTok will automatically sign you out, and you’ll have to enter your passcode to continue using TikTok.
  5. For Restricted Mode: Follow steps one through three, then tap Restricted Mode. When you tap Turn on Restricted Mode, you’ll be prompted to set a four-digit passcode. This passcode will remain valid for 30 days, at which time you’ll need to change it again. Use the passcode to turn off restricted mode. When restricted mode is turned on, TikTok will limit the type of content you can see that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

How to Make TikTok Videos

The TikTok app provides an all-in-one process to create, edit and post videos within the app. Its video editing tools are extensive with features such as color filters, slow motion, stickers, text, voice alterations, sounds and a lot more. Follow these steps to make a TikTok video:

  1. Tap the plus icon at the bottom of your screen
  2. Choose any of the effects you want to add to your video. Some are available only before you shoot your video, while others are available both before and after. Access the following tools that are available before you start

Sounds

This icon is located at the top of your screen. Tap it to discover TikTok’s massive library of song clips. Each clip shows a time stamp, so you’ll know if it’s long enough for your video. Sounds are organized by musical genre, such as country, hip hop, Latin and electronic. You’ll also see a list of trending sounds, new releases, featured and more. Add sounds that you want to reuse to your list of favorites by tapping the ribbon next to it.

tiktok sound options
tiktok sound options

Camera view

In the upper right corner of your screen, change the camera to be forward facing or facing towards you in selfie mode.

tiktok camera view record

Speed

Tap the speedometer icon to choose how fast or slow your video will display. The 1x setting is normal speed. Choose 2x or 3x to speed up your footage, and 0.5x or 0.3x to give a slow-motion effect. After you’ve shot your footage, you can change the speed on certain sections or for the entire video.

tiktok camera view record

Beauty

Tapping the magic wand icon turns on the beauty tool. It’s an augmented reality (AR) tool that gives an airbrushed look. The beauty tool can make skin look smoother and hide blemishes. Tap the magic wand again to turn the beauty tool off.

tiktok camera view record

Filters

TikTok’s filter options are akin to having an advanced digital camera in your hands. Tap on the filter icon (three circles in a pyramid shape) and scroll through the choices to find the effects you like. You can do this before and after you shoot your video. Use the filter categories to help you make your selection. You can choose from portrait, landscape, food and vibe modes.

tiktok sound options
tiktok sound options

Countdown

In the TikTik app, you record a video by holding down the red record button for the duration of your video. You have another option though by using the countdown timer. Before you shoot your video, slide the 60s under the red record button if you want your video to be between 16 and 60 seconds long. Keep it at the default 15s if you want a video that’s 15 seconds or under.

Choose the maximum length you want your video to be by sliding to 60s or keeping it at 15s.

tiktok sounds timer

Next, tap on the countdown icon, which looks like a clock with a number three on it.

tiktok sounds timer 15s

A countdown screen will pop up that lets you mark how long your video will be. Slide the marker to your desired length. To control the countdown, tap on 10s to give yourself 10 seconds before the video starts shooting. Or, keep it at the default 3s to give yourself three seconds.

Tap Start countdown when you’re ready to begin. Recording a TikTok video using countdown is especially helpful when you want to use a tripod or other prop to hold your device steady. It also allows you to stand farther than arm’s length away from your device to make your video.

tiktok countdown

Flash

Tap the lightning bolt icon to turn the flash on or off.

tiktok flash

Video Editor

In TikTok’s video editor you’ll find a seemingly endless library of tools for editing your videos. Access them by tapping the colorful icon to the left of the red record button. The effects are organized into categories, such as trending, interactive and funny, to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for. Play around with the various effects, which include anything from a Christmas countdown to a fog machine to an effect made just for your cat.

tiktok video editor
tiktok video editor trending

Once you’ve chosen your desired effects, you’re ready to record your video. Do so by pressing and holding down the red record button or using the countdown feature. The app lets you record your video in segments by holding down the record button and then releasing it to stop recording. Press down again when you’re ready to continue recording.

To delete a segment that you’re not happy with, press the white back button. Choose Confirm when asked if you’re sure you want to delete the last segment.

tiktok delete button
tiktok delete segment confirm

When your recording is as you want it to be, tap the checkmark located to the right of the record button. You can now make additional edits to your video. Along with the filters, speed and music features, explore these additional video editing tools:

tiktok record

Volume

Tap on the music icon to change the sounds as well as the volume. You can individually adjust the volume of your original recorded sound as well as the soundtrack.

tiktok delete button
tiktok sound original soundtrack
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tiktok text

Text

Add a message to your video and sections of your video. The text editor gives you a choice of fonts, colors and placement. When you’ve finished writing your text, tap Done. Use your finger to move the text to the desired location on the screen. You can even rotate it in any direction, pinch it to make it smaller or expand to make it bigger

Sticker, emojis and GIFs

Tap the smiley icon to pull up TikTok’s library of stickers, emojis and GIFs. Choose the effects you want, then follow on-screen directions to change the duration of the effect. Just as with the text, you can also move each item around the screen and make it smaller or larger.

add sticker tiktok
tiktok sticker emoji

Sound effects

Sound effects are applied to your original sound (not the soundtrack). Examples of effects are helium, vibrato and chipmunk, all of which change the recorded person’s voice. Access sound effects by tapping the round icon in the top right corner of the screen.

tiktok sound effects
tiktok sound effects

When you’ve got your video looking just the way you want it to, tap the Next button. Now you’re almost ready to post your video or save it as a draft. Configure the following first:

tiktok record

Hashtags

As with other social media platforms, TikTok hashtags help users find your content that is related to their interests. Adding hashtags to your videos gives your content a better chance of being discovered by more people.

To add hashtags, tap #Hashtags. TikTok will suggest some trending hashtags that you can choose from. You can and should also create your own hashtags. Hashtags should be related to what is in your video so people who are interested in your content are led to it.

Hashtags should not be misleading. Adding a trending hashtag in hopes of getting views will only frustrate viewers when they discover their time has been wasted by viewing irrelevant content. This has a negative effect on your influencer status.

To choose effective hashtags, you can use TikTok as a tool. Start typing in a keyword related to your content, and TikTok will list hashtags with the corresponding number of views next to them. Choose those that have high views and are relevant to your video.

Friends

Tap @Friends to tag any of your TikTok friends that you want to connect to your video.

tiktok friends video
tiktok police officer video

Describe Your Video

Add a caption to your video that describes what is happening, asks a question or makes a comment. Above are a few examples. Your hashtags and friends’ names will be listed below your description.

tiktok cat video
tiktok girls run video gym

Select Your Video Cover

A video cover is the thumbnail that you want displayed when your video is static. Before posting your video, tap Select Cover under the current thumbnail.

Tap Select Cover to change your video’s thumbnail.

tiktok post select cover

Toggle the frames to choose the one you want for your video’s cover. Tap the white checkmark when your desired cover is selected. Your cover will now be changed, and you can post as usual.

tiktok select cover toggle

Permissions

Choose how you want users to interact with your video by adjusting its permissions. These include:

    • Who can view this video. Choose Public, Friends or Private.
    • Allow comments. By default this is on. To turn off comments, slide the circle so it’s no longer green. The more comments you have, the higher your video usually ranks in searches. But if you have sensitive content or another reason for not wanting others to comment, you can turn comments off.
    • Duet and React. Turn this on if you give permission for people to create a duet with your video or react to it. By default, this is off. Making duets is an effective way to increase engagement on your account.
    • Save to album. When turned on, your video will be saved to your TikTok library so you can access it later. This feature is on by default.
tiktok post permissions

Now you’re ready to post your video. You can either:

  • Post the video directly to TikTok by pressing the pink Post button.
  • Save your video to Drafts by tapping Drafts.
  • Share your video to other platforms by tapping an icon from the list of choices, such as Instagram, SMS, Snapchat and so on.
tiktok post video

How to Upload Videos to Your TikTok

Want to upload a video from your device’s library to TikTok? Perhaps it’s longer content that you shot, and you want to edit the video to upload shorter sections of it. You can do this in your TikTok app by following these steps:

    1. Tap on the Plus symbol in the middle of your screen.
    2. Your camera will turn on, ready to take a video. Instead of shooting a video, however, press on the library icon to the right of the red record button.
    3. From your library, choose the video you want to add to TikTok. Clip the video into a segment up to 60 seconds long, and tap Next.
tiktok mobile navigation

Pro Tip: By tapping the Multiple icon that appears when you’re browsing your library, you can upload several videos at once.

  1. Add any effects you want to the clip, and tap Next.
tiktok video effects
tiktok video
  1. Configure the permissions, description, hashtags and tagged friends the way you want them, then tap Post. If you don’t want to post your video to TikTok right away, tap Drafts instead to save it in your video library.
tiktok video post

Creating Content on TikTok

With teens leading the wave of influencers on TikTok, it seems the best way to establish an influencer brand on the platform is to just be yourself. TikTok is a platform where humor and quirkiness supersede sophistication. TikTok videos go viral when they’re fun, snappy and hold viewers’ attention for the short three to 60 seconds that they run.

As we’ve mentioned, TikTok’s algorithm does not favor a person’s number of followers as much as it favors a single video that’s getting a lot of attention. If you keep your content interesting, upbeat and fun, you will draw attention to yourself.

How often should you post? Making a video five times a week is a suggested content creation frequency on TikTok. But once or twice a week can also be effective. Keep in mind that one amazing video can catapult you to influencer status faster than 20 mediocre videos. Quality over quantity is always the goal with any social media marketing strategy.

Establishing yourself as an influencer on TikTok can happen overnight with a viral video or it can take time. To help inspire you, we have additional tips for becoming a TikTok influencer:

tiktok create content

Make a video series

Create related posts over days, weeks or months that tell a story or have a common theme. This will grab viewers’ interest and motivate them to follow you so they can keep coming back for more.

Collaborate with other influencers

Creating a duet, making a video with or commenting on and liking another influencer’s videos will increase your visibility to their audience. These viewers will hopefully join your audience as well. Connecting with other influencers also helps you perfect your craft as you pick up helpful tips and techniques. It also forms a sense of togetherness, which the TikTok community appreciates

Indian TikTok influencers Lucky Dancer and Arishfa Khan often collaborate on TikTok videos together in person.

tiktok post

Use other social media platforms

Repost your TikTok videos to Instagram, YouTube or any of your social media accounts or websites you have. This gives you the potential to increase the number of people who see your content. You can also provide a link in your social media accounts back to your TikTok page.

Be Positive

TikTok overall is a positive, supportive community. A quirky, cringy video can go viral for its uniqueness instead of being an outcast. No matter what the platform, though, people appreciate positive, uplifting content and tend to avoid negative content. TikTok is meant to be fun and a place where people can be free to be themselves.

Comment on other people's videos

This gives your profile more visibility and can lead to people watching your videos and making comments on them too.

Engage with your audience

When users comment on your videos, reply to them. Have meaningful conversations, and make sure your viewers know you appreciate them.

Use TikTok's video editing tools

With a wealth of free tools at your fingertips, you can make great content without going outside of the app. TikTok’s extensive library can help you make a variety of engaging films or create a theme that is unique to your brand.

TikTok Influencer Best Practices

Using proper platform etiquette on TikTok involves knowing how its features work and abiding by the platform’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. The platform’s opening statement in its Community Guidelines provides an excellent guide for understanding influencer best practices on TikTok. It reads:

“TikTok is a place for your creativity and expression. It’s also a global community of people looking for a fun, welcoming experience.”

As further stated in its guidelines, any content that is harmful, discriminatory, misleading or otherwise inappropriate is strictly prohibited. You must also be careful not to infringe any copyright laws. For instance, any songs, footage or other material that has copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights cannot be used without permission from the owner. TikTok maintains copyright agreements with the music labels that provide audio clips for the platform. It renews these agreements regularly so that TikTok creators can have free use of the sounds offered on the platform.

TikTok Next Level Program

Although very little published information currently exists for TikTok’s Next Level Program, we want to take a moment here to mention it. Formerly called the Creator Program, the Next Level Program is presumably a resource to help TikTok creators establish their influencer status on the platform. While TikTok provided a way to enroll in the program as recently as August 2019, it currently does not offer this function.

However, TikTok’s Creator Program Terms of Service outline the program’s benefits to creators. They are:

  • A dedicated community manager: a person assigned to a creator to help with non-technical account issues
  • In-app activities: advanced notification to creators about upcoming campaigns, hashtag challenges and other programs by TikTok and its partners
  • Insights: feedback from a community manager about the creator’s content and advice for improvements
  • Invitations to exclusive events: extended to the creator by TikTok or its partners
  • Merchandise: promotional merchandise offered to the creator from time to time
  • Early access to features: the creator is offered access to beta testing and upcoming product features

Reports indicate that the Next Level Program has been around for a while, but it’s possible it never fully got off the ground. It may be a defunct resource, but it’s at least worth keeping an eye on in case it does resurface again. It could be a helpful resource for creators looking to establish their influencer brand on TikTok.

Popular Influencers on TikTok

With its roots in the music industry, TikTok influencers are largely singers, or at least lip-syncers. They are often lifestyle content creators who use comedy to express themselves and appeal to their audiences. Since TikTok appeals so much to Generation Z, many of its influencers are teens, some of whom may be considered kid influencers.

TikTok is a fun platform where creators don’t take themselves too seriously. That being said, we can pick out TikTokers whose content generally falls into certain categories. We’ll start with the musicians and dancers and branch out to beauty, fashion and food. Take a look at some TikTok influencers who are doing it right.

loren gray tiktok avatar

Loren Gray - Music Influencer

She started out on Musical.ly in 2015 at the age of 13 “because all her friends were doing it,” according to Seventeen. She’s widely followed on YouTube where she posts music videos and vlogs about her life to 3.63 million subscribers. Her fans started calling themselves angels. Gray decided to adopt the tagline and now calls her followers the “Angel Squad.” This builds a sense of community, which encourages fan loyalty.

Gray is an active Instagram user as well, with six accounts total. Some are private for her friends, and others feature her dogs. But her more commercial account has 17.9 million followers. She uses several music platforms to attract a wider audience to her music, including Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, Google Play and iHeart Radio. Gray also stays in touch with her fan regularly on Twitter.

On TikTok, Gray has 34.8 million followers and 2102.5 million hearts. She’s the most-followed creator on TikTok as of late 2019, reports TTMetrics.

loren gray tiktok profile
baby ariel tiktok avatar

Baby Ariel - Music Influencer

She has 29.8 million followers and 1,628.9 hearts on TikTok. Her real name is Ariel Rebecca Martin. She made history on Musical.ly by being the first person to reach 20 million followers on the platform. She places just under Loren Gray in most-followed on TikTok.

Ariel is a singer and dancer whose influencer status on these platforms has led her to roles with the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Forbes named her among the top entertainment influencers in 2017, and Time Magazine called her one of the most influential people on the Internet.

Ariel makes full use of other social media channels to reach and maintain her audience. Her YouTube channel features her music and lifestyle videos, which she posts fairly regularly to her 3.07 million subscribers. On Twitter, she has 1.05 million followers and 9.4 million on Instagram.

babyariel tiktok profile
awez dabar tiktok avatar

Awez Darbar - Dance Influencer

He is one of the older influencers on TikTok, born in 1993. He’s a professional dancer, actor and choreographer from India best known for his amusing videos and his dancing skills. He first posted videos on YouTube, then gained influencer status on TikTok by posting comical lip-sync videos. He was also very popular on Musical.ly before the two merged. Darbar has 19 million followers on TikTok and 1.72 million subscribers on YouTube.

This influencer uses Instagram to repost content from TikTok to his 3.5 million followers. He has additional social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter, but focuses his attention on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram for connecting with his audience.

awez tiktok profile
lucky dancer tiktok avatar

Arhan Khan - Dance Influencer

He goes by Lucky Dancer on TikTok, where he’s been posting content since he was 14 years old. He has 13.9 million followers who enjoy his dance and lip-sync videos. This dance influencer from India was born in 2002, works as a model and often collaborates with other Indian influencers. He actively uses Instagram to post his modeling photos and repost TikTok videos. Khan’s Instagram account has 2.1 million followers, and he’s very active on Facebook and Twitter.

luckydancerlucky tiktok profile
kristen hancher tiktok avatar

Kristen Hancher - Beauty Influencer

She shares makeup tutorials and entertaining videos on TikTok as well as YouTube. She’s known for her elaborate style and provocative personality, wearing different colored wigs regularly, showing off her shopping hauls and making comical lip-sync videos. Her influencer status has led to acting roles on Brat TV and a member of YouTuber Jake Paul’s Team 10 squad. Kristen is also active on Instagram, where she posts modeling photos and reposts of her TikTok content. She has 1.11 million YouTube subscribers, six million Instagram followers and 23.1 million TikTok followers.

Kristen started her influencer career livestreaming on YouNow then moved to Musical.ly in 2015 at the age of 16. She gained over 20 million followers on Musical.ly before TikTok bought it.

kristen hancher tiktok profile
nagmaa tiktok avatar

Nagma Mirajkar - Fashion Influencer

Her influencer fame came solely from TikTok, according to Business Insider. She uses the platform to post fashion and style tutorials, dance videos and humorous lip-syncs and sketches. Mirajkar started out on Musical.ly, but didn’t gain a strong following until it merged with TikTok, where she became the first Indian woman to be verified (crowned). Her personality is warm and approachable, and her habit of engaging directly with her audience helped her create a loyal following. Mirajka has 11.1 million followers on TikTok and 1.7 million followers on Instagram.

nagma tiktok profile
riyaz aly tiktok avatar

Riyaz Aly - Fashion Influencer

Riyaz Aly

He has 23.4 million followers on TikTok. He’s a young Indian actor and fashion blogger who was born 2003. He’s famous for his dancing skills and humorous personality, which earned him the Crowned Muser title on TikTok. Aly often uses the duet feature of the platform, collaborating with other influencers. He repurposes content and posts his modeling photos to Instagram, where he has 5.1 million followers.

riyaz aly tiktok profile
Burak Özdemir tiktok avatar

Burak Özdemir - Food Influencer

He is a Turkish chef and restaurateur. His entertaining style of preparing foods and his constant smile have earned him influencer status on social media. He posts his cooking demonstration videos on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. His followings include 71K on Facebook, 220K on Twitter, 12.1 million on Instagram and 10.3 million on TikTok.

cznburak tiktok profile

Measuring Success on TikTok

Using analytics to measure your success on TikTok helps you create better content and grow your audience effectively. When you can view trends related to your account, you’re able to identify the characteristics of your content that are getting attention. With that information on hand, you can make more of the same successful videos.

In the same regard, when you use analytics to identify content that didn’t go anywhere, you’ll know what to stay away from. This helps you avoid wasting your time and effort on creating content that won’t be beneficial to your influencer status.

TikTok ProAccount Analytics Tool

TikTok has its own analytics tool, which is available to all users by signing up for a free ProAccount. Follow these steps to set up your TikTok ProAccount

  1. From your profile page, tap the three dots at the top right corner of your screen. This is your Privacy and Settings tab.
TikTok Profile
  1. Choose Manage my account.
tiktok privacy and settings
  1. Choose Switch to Pro Account.
    .
tiktok manage account screen
  1. Choose Continue.
tiktok pro account
  1. From the list of available options, choose the category that best describes you and your brand. Options range from public figure to beauty/fashion and government/politics. Tap Done when you’ve made your selection.
  1. Your Analytics tab is now in your Privacy and Settings section
tiktok analytics

TikTok’s ProAccount analytics give you insights about your content and followers over the past seven to 28 days. Details include:

  • Video Views: shows the total number of times your videos were viewed within the selected time period
  • Followers: tallies the number of users who started following you
  • Profile Views: the number of times your profile was viewed in the given time period
  • Video Posts: shows all of the videos you’ve posted within the time period, arranged from newest to oldest
tiktok post analytics

Pro Tip: Detailed analytics on individual videos appear if you tap the three dots on a video when it’s open and select Analytics. You’ll find information such as total play time, average watch time, type of traffic source and audience demographics.

  • Trending Videos: your top nine videos with the fastest growth in number of views
  • Gender: the distribution of your followers according to their gender
  • Top Territories: the distribution of your followers according to where they’re located

How to Make Money on TikTok

TikTok does not currently have a direct way for creators to make money from its platform like other social media platforms. A YouTube influencer, for instance, can sign up to run ads on their videos once they meet certain criteria. YouTube then pays the influencer for the number of ad views their videos bring. Influencers on Twitch, can earn money through subscriptions, ads, game sales and a variety of other methods directly from the platform.

While this is not yet true for TikTok users, you can still find ways to make money on the platform. Consider the following ideas for monetizing your TikTok account:

Connect with brands that will pay you to create sponsored videos. Many companies look to social media influencers to help them reach a broader audience for product sales. Since influencers create a close relationship with their followers, brands are happy to pay TikTok creators to mention their products or services in their videos. For instance, perhaps a TikTok influencer says they like to drink a certain brand of soda. The influencer’s followers are more apt to trust the influencer’s opinion and try the brand themselves.

Connecting with a brand is a simplified process when influencers and brands use IZEA, an influencer marketing platform. IZEA does all the legwork of matching TikTok influencers up with brands that would be a natural fit. Influencers can also reach out to brands directly, and brands can do the same. Some examples of how an influencer can add sponsored content to TikTok include:

  • Brand or product placement in a video
  • Simple advertisement
  • A brand takeover
  • Brand collaboration

When you create sponsored content on TikTok, you must clearly let viewers know that it is sponsored content. This is a requirement of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and applies across all Internet platforms. On TikTok, using #ad is usually sufficient, reports MediaKix. A search for #ad on TikTok brings over three billion results, so there are definitely users on the platform making money from sponsored content. Musical.ly used to pay up to $20,000 per sponsored videos, and TikTok rates are likely similar, reasons Money.

Direct your TikTok traffic over to your monetized platforms. Because it’s comparatively easier to gain a large following on TikTok than on other platforms, you can use this to your advantage. Think of these examples:

  • Connect your Instagram account and YouTube channel to your TikTok profile. This gives TikTok users a way to tap one button and immediately land on your other accounts, which are on monetized platforms.
  • If you have a self-branded clothing line, wear your merch in your TikTok videos and use the description to tell viewers where they can get it.
  • If you’re a singer and have released a single, showcase your song on TikTok and tell viewers where they can download the audio track.
  • Add the name of your blog on your TikTok bio or videos. Viewers will see the affiliate links, sponsored posts, digital downloads or merchandise you’re offering for revenue purposes.
  • Market the products you sell in your Etsy or online store in your TikTok bio and videos.
  • Use the same username or handle across all of your social media platforms so that people will recognize you from your content on TikTok.

Partner with industry-leading food, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands.

TikTok is a young social media platform compared to contemporary giants like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. The social-sharing platform was created by Chinese technology company ByteDance. It launched in the United States in 2017 and was competing with the likes of Facebook and YouTube for users just a year later. Get to know some additional facts about the video platform with this outline of the history of TikTok.

March 2012

Yiming Zhang founded ByteDance in China. At the time, Zhang was a serial entrepreneur with a degree in software engineering and was credited with forming several successful startups. Over the next several years after its inception, ByteDance went on to create multiple successful global platforms. These platforms included sites for video sharing, social media, news and more.

September 2016

ByteDanced launched Douyin in China. TikTok would become the American twin of Douyin a year later.

August 2017

ByteDance launched TikTok in the U.S. Douyin was massively successful in Asia.

November 2017

ByteDance acquired Musical.ly for about one billion dollars.

August 2018

All Musical.ly accounts were migrated to TikTok “to provide a unified user experience,” explains ByteDance.

September 2018

TikTok had more monthly installs from the iOS App Store than YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. More than one million videos were viewed daily on TikTok a year after its launch.

October 2018

ByteDance became the world’s most valuable privately backed startup with a valuation of $75 billion, according to Bloomberg. Its backers included Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. Also funding Bytedance were KKR & Co., an American global investment firm, and General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm based in New York. The $75 billion figure knocked Uber into second place with a valuation of $72 billion, reports The Verge.

November 2018

Facebook launched its Lasso app in an effort to compete with TikTok. It was a short-video sharing app directed to teenagers, similar to TikTok.

December 2018

By the end of 2018, the TikTok app had been downloaded over a billion times. TikTok’s algorithm is at least partially credited for its booming success in just a year after its launch. ByteDance doesn’t divulge the algorithms it uses for its platforms, but we do know they’re dependent on artificial intelligence (AI) recommendation engines.

February 2019

Despite Facebook’s attempt to compete with TikTok through Lasso, TikTok continues to grow rapidly. From its launch in November 2018 until February 2019, Lasso was downloaded by about 70,000 users in the United States. Within that same time frame, TikTok was downloaded by 39.6 million Americans, reports CNBC.

On February 27, 2019, TikTok changed its age policies to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Users must be age 13 or older to create a TikTok account. The change was in response to the company receiving a $5.7 million fine for violating the act by collecting data from children under 13.

March 2019

TikTok grew 70 percent since March 2018, with 188 million new users. A large portion of this growth was due to the platform’s increased popularity in India with about 88.6 million new users in the country. Additionally, while teens dominated TikTok’s audience, its use by adults grew 5.5 times over 18 months to reach 14.3 million adults by March 2019.

June 2019

TikTok showed that it can catapult teenagers into influencer status. Examples include the following teens who create entertaining lip-syncs on TikTok and subsequently released singles using their own voices, as reported by Vox:

  • 16-year-old twins Lisa and Lena: 32 million followers
  • 16-year-old Lauren Gray: 29 million followers
  • 16-year-old Jacob Sartorius: 19 million followers
  • 18-year-old Baby Ariel: 29 million followers

On July 8, 2019, ByteDance announced that TikTok had 1.5 billion monthly users worldwide. That represented a growth of 500 million people from January to July 2019.

September 2019

TikTok became the number one non-gaming iPhone app in the United States.

November 2019

TikTok made itself available in 155 countries and 75 languages. Ninety percent of all TikTok users used the app every day. This is significant when compared to the fact that 75 percent of all apps that are downloaded are used once and then forgotten, reports Oberlo. Also, 68 percent of TikTok users watched videos by other users, while 55 percent uploaded their own videos.