How TikTok Works: A Practical Guide For Beginners
TikTok is one of the most popular social networks of the moment, used above all by young and very young users who share short videos, participate in community challenges and interact with each other with likes and comments. More and more influencers, public figures and celebrities are using this platform to keep in touch with their followers, and even for entrepreneurs opening a TikTok account can be an opportunity to expand their audience and attract new customers on their own.In this article, we will explain what TikTok is and how it works, how to get started, and how to use it to promote your business .
All your friends do nothing but talk about TikTok , one of the most popular social networks of recent times, through which it is possible to create particularly engaging videos characterized by a short duration, but also by filters, effects, music and much more. . The possibility of making videos of this type is definitely for you but, unfortunately, you do not yet know how to use the TikTok app and therefore you have not yet ventured into the enterprise .
How do you say? This is exactly how things are and would you like some help to do so? So don’t worry, you have just come across the right tutorial and at the right time: in the next chapters of this guide, in fact, I will explain in detail all the procedures relating to the use of this social network, starting from the installation of the app and from registering an account. After that, among other things, I will explain how to see and interact with the videos and I will show you how the editor included in the app works, in order to help you create videos that can capture the attention of other users of the social network.
Having said that, if you can’t wait to start now, sit down comfortably and just take a few minutes of free time to carefully read all the procedures I’m about to explain to you. You will see that, by following my instructions in detail, you will be able in no time at all to master the operation of this famous social network. At this point, all I have to do is wish you a good read and, above all, good fun!
To help you get the most out of TikTok, we’ve put together a quick guide to show you how. A list of instructions that will guide you through setting up your profile, videos, and adding special effects …
How to use TikTok
The best way to learn more about the app, its user base, and the type of content that engages audiences is to start producing your own posts on a personal or business account.
However, if you are a marketer who has never used a niche social platform before, TikTok can be quite difficult to navigate. We also had a hard time understanding how it worked when we first logged in last year.
To help you get the most out of TikTok , we’ve put together a quick guide to show you how.
Here is a list of instructions that will guide you through setting up your profile , shooting your first video , adding special effects, and using challenges or duets . to interact with other users.
Configure your account
1. Download the app and register.
Go to the App Store or Google Play and download TikTok . When you open it, TikTok makes it easy to sign up. You can sign up instantly with Facebook , Gmail or Twitter or add a standard username and password if you don’t want one of these accounts to be linked.
2. Set up your profile.
Once logged in, you will be immediately taken to the video feed . We will show you how this works in step three. But first tap the bottom right icon that looks like a person’s profile to view and edit your profile .
Once you’ve entered your profile , tap the Edit Profile button , then select a profile photo or video. You also need to add your username and bio information. If you want to show your other social media profiles, you can link your Youtube and Instagram pages . If you are a business, this could be a useful way to advertise your other visual platforms.
Searching for videos and engaging with users
3. View the video feed,
Now that you’ve set up your profile, tap again on the first tab showing the video feed.
Think of this feed as Twitter , but where video is the main content. If you don’t have followers yet , the app will send you random trending videos. As you start following and interacting with more people, your feed will become more personalized based on your interests.
4. Like, comment or share the videos you like.
When you find a video you like, you can touch the heart to like or the comic to comment on it it . To share the video, press the forward sign under the comment symbol to view sharing options. These symbols are all located on the right side of the video.
5. Search for videos.
Tap on the second tab or magnifying glass to access the app’s search area. In this tab, you can search for accounts or videos, or you can look under the search bar to see videos by trending topic.
6. Follow users via video, search and TikCode.
If you want to keep up with a great video maker, you can follow them by hitting the icon that includes their profile picture and a plus sign above the heart-shaped button on their video.
If you already know a TikTok account or a person you want to follow, you can search for them in the search bar and then press the ” Users ” filter. You can also find them by scanning their TikCode . This can be useful for brands or people who want to promote their TikTok channel channel on other websites or in the physical world. It can also be great if you meet a friend in person who wants to add you.
To find your TikCode , go to your profile and tap the icon with four squares at the top right.
To scan another TikCode , go to the search tab and tap the square scan button next to the search bar.
When the scan screen opens, press and hold it on the TikCode you want to scan. The scanning process will begin immediately, so you don’t need to press any other buttons. Within seconds of the scan completing, you will be sent to that person’s profile. If you have a screenshot of a code, you can also press “Photo” in the top corner of the scan page to upload and scan the code.
How to publish on TikTok
7. Set your shot and choose special effects.
Tap the middle tab to enter camera mode. To face the camera in the right direction, tap the Flip icon in the top right. On the right side of the screen, you will also see icons for the following:
- Speed: Record slow motion or fast motion video.
- Beauty: an AR filter capable of hiding imperfections and smoothing the skin.
- Filters: Change the camera’s color filter.
- Timer: Set a countdown for automatic recording if you want to film hands-free.
Music and effects
At the top center of the camera screen, you’ll also see musical notes with “Add a sound” next to them. Tap this to choose the music overlay or sound effect you want to work with.
At the bottom of the camera, you’ll also see an Effects icon on the right and an upload button on the left, in case you want to record your videos outside of the app.
When you tap the Effects button, you’ll see a wide range of AR filters and other special effects that can enhance your face or surroundings. You can also choose a video overlay-style filter here.
In the black bar below the camera, you can set the time limit for your video or tap Photo template to create a photo slideshow instead of a video.
8. Record the video.
When you’re ready, press and hold the red record button. You can record your video all at once or in pieces.
If you want to insert several shots into each video or record it in chunks, simply hold down the record button for each segment, then release it, then hold it down again when you’re ready for your next shot.
Don’t want to hold the record button all the time? Before entering the recording mode, you can also use the timer to give yourself enough time to hold the phone and lay in front of it before the automatic recording begins.
9. Make final changes and add a caption to the video.
Once you’ve finished recording your video, you’ll still be able to add a music overlay, filters, and other basic special effects. You can also add stickers and text overlays at the top of the video.
When finished, press Next. You will be taken to a page similar to the Instagram posts page where you can add a caption, relevant hashtags , and account handles of others. You can also set the privacy of the video, turn comments on or off, allow duets or reactions and tap “Save to album” to download it to your smartphone photos.
If you’re not ready to publish yet, hit the Drafts button in the lower left to save it for later.
10. Duets with other users.
See a music post you love? Do you want to join the person who made it? TikTok lets you respond with a Duet video . To use this previous Musical.ly feature , find a video you want to duet with, hit the Share button to see the sharing options, then hit the “Duet” option in the bottom middle row.
The camera screen will appear next to the video. From there, you can hit the record and sing along, dance, or do whatever you want to the music.
To show you what a finished product looks like, here’s a great example:
If you write a post and don’t want anyone to duet with you, you can tap the ” Duet / React Off ” button on your Post page before posting it.
11. Take part in a challenge.
Like other social media platforms, you will sometimes see videos with hashtags for “challenges”. A challenge is when a video post, company, or person encourages users to film themselves by doing something strangely specific, like opening the lid of a bowl for Chipotle without hands. Participants then film themselves performing the action and have the name of the challenge in their post posts.
There are usually no winners in a TikTok challenge , but the hashtag could help you get more followers or views as people find you when searching for the hashtag.
How the TikTok algorithm works
When a new social network enters the world scene, one of the first objectives is to try to understand how the algorithm works to bring its contents to the attention of the target audience . We can not help but ask ourselves the usual question: how does the TikTok algorithm work?
Attention . When it comes to algorithms, there is no right or wrong answer: each one reports information captured using the social network through tests and experiments.
The most important section of TikTok is that of For You (also known as Discover ), basically an inexhaustible feed where contents are proposed based on the interests of the individual user. Among the parameters used to select the videos to show, the TikTok algorithm takes into account the following:
- Viewing time: is the content used partially or totally? Is it seen multiple times?
- Interactions with the content : likes, comments, shares, duets, saving a video on your account … even stopping the video is an interaction!
- Interactions with other content : what other accounts does the user follow? Who do you choose to get in touch with?
- Account settings : details such as the language or country of origin influence the contents proposed by the TikTok algorithm;
- Recurring elements : Does the user often interact with videos that have the same music? Or is he always looking for the same hashtags?
Many content creators have chosen to land on TikTok thanks to its algorithm that aims to provide content of interest by giving space to everyone, without paying too much attention to the number of followers. The simplicity with which it is possible to collect views and followers is one of the many reasons why the social network has become so popular and in such a short time.
Some tips for TikTok
Yes, TikTok might seem like a pretty weird platform right now, but it could be a great tool for engaging younger audiences. It’s only a year old, and it’s also a great place for video experimentation.
For shooting your first videos, here are some tips to help you create unique and engaging posts:
- Have fun with special effects. There are many ways to make your video exciting, and audiences on TikTok expect it. So play and experiment with them.
- Use music. Most of the videos on the platform have some kind of song or sound effect in the background.
- Filming a few videos with multiple shots. This will make him feel more interesting and active.
- Don’t be afraid to be funny . People come to this platform to have fun.
- Use trendy hashtags and try a challenge video . Then, include relevant hashtags in the post caption so that the video appears when people search for it.
- See what other brands are doing . While your business might not need to jump on TikTok for now, videos posted by other brands might inspire some ideas for your strategy.
Want to know more about TikTok ‘s backstory and what it could mean for brands? Check out this post. If you are interested in discovering other emerging platforms, we also have this great guide for you.