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Learn to use TikTok like a pro in 13 steps

Do you want to know what TikTok is and how it works? Have you heard about the fashion app and want to know how to make videos?

Here I am going to explain everything you need to know to use TikTok like a professional.

1- What is TikTok and what is it for

If you’re still wondering what TikTok is and what it’s for, I’ll make it easy for you: it’s an app for making short videos up to 1 minute long.

The app is available for both iOS and Android and is not as new as you think. TikTok is a remake of another app that already existed and was quite successful, Musical.ly.

What most attracted the attention of Musical.ly was making videos lip-synchronizing with some funny sound. Does it ring a bell? Yes, it is one of the TikTok options.

The app originates from China where its name is Douyin. It is owned by the ByteDance company that launched it in 2016 but it was not until 2018 that it became very popular around the world under another name, TikTok. When did you meet her?

2- How to use TikTok

The first thing you should know is that you can use TikTok without signing up. You have to download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play to enjoy really funny videos. 

The bad thing about using TikTok without registering is that the application cannot know what you like and what you do not, so it will not offer you the videos that may interest you the most.

It changes the TikTok experience a lot when you already register and the algorithm understands the videos that interest you the most.

But if you want to take a look and see how TikTok works, remember that you can always use it without registering.

3- How TikTok works

TikTok has two distinct timelines on the Home tab: Following and For You .

FOLLOWING is located on the left side and presents content from the accounts you already follow, it would be like the timeline of Instagram or Facebook.

FOR YOU is visible on the right side and the content is endless so you don’t leave the application. Here you can watch videos that the TikTok algorithm thinks you might be interested in. 

As you swipe and interact with these videos, the algorithm learns what you like. It takes into account the time you watch the video and if you interact with likes, comments and shares.

The more you interact, the better the TikTok algorithm will understand what you like and offer you a better experience in the application. 

I’ll give you my example, at first I saw the typical videos of young people dancing and doing challenges and now I hardly get that content. The content I watch the most is the one I interact with the most: funny cats and dogs or fitness exercises. I assure you that the experience changes a lot and it is difficult to leave Tik Tok.

When you use the app for the first time, they show you some random videos since they don’t know your tastes .

As you interact, you will like the For You videos more and more.

TikTok offers a wide variety of content (and growing) so you’re bound to find something entertaining for yourself.

4- How to make videos on TikTok

The great value of TikTok is its videos. The big difference with other social networks is that you can add background music, change the speed of the video (speed up or slow down) and add a voice filter to move the lips at the same time as the audio. The latter are the funniest and funniest videos on TikTok.


To record the video is as easy as going to the + icon that you find in the bottom bar framed in black.

Once on the recording screen, you can choose up to a maximum of 15 or 60 seconds of recording. You will also see the options to slow down or speed up, but don’t worry because if you don’t do it at the time of recording, then you can add it in the video edition.

In addition, you will see on the right side the icons to rotate the screen, speed, image filters, beautify your face in the video (I really like the white teeth effect) and a timer to start and end the recording without pressing the button.

The React feature allows Tik Tok users (called tiktokers) to film the reaction to a video. The video on which you are going to react appears in a small window and what you want to record in full screen.

The Duo function is another of the most viral. It consists of recording a video next to another in the form of a shared screen. You can create really funny videos with this option.

5- Which video format works best

TikTok video format is vertical, it occupies the full screen of the mobile phone.

Although you can also share videos horizontally, it is recommended that they be in vertical format. You have to know how to adapt to each environment.

The duration of TikTok videos is a maximum of 60 seconds, although the average is less than 15 seconds, something similar to what Vine was .

In addition, the videos are played in a loop so that you never want to leave the application. And they get it. It is quite addictive.

6- Descriptions and Hashtags on TikTok

TikTok also has the ability to use hashtags and they are highly recommended to expand your reach on the social network.

Unlike Instagram hashtags, TikTok hashtags cannot be separate. TikTok hashtags are included within the 140 character description , kind of like Twitter or LinkedIn. 

Therefore, you should think very carefully about what you are going to write and if you are going to prioritize the message or the hashtags.

I like that it delimits the text in the description so much. Quick and direct.

As with other social media, you should ideally use smaller, more general hashtags . The combination of all the hashtags makes a perfect mix to reach more audiences.

The more users interact with your video, the higher it will rank within the different hashtags.

The description appears at the bottom throughout the video playback . This is important to keep in mind when editing the video.

At the bottom you can not put important messages or images because they will be covered with the description and hashtags. 

7- Trends in TikTok

One of the bottom tabs on Tik Tok is Trending . There you can find a list of current trends and a search engine so you can find everything you are looking for.

The variety of trends includes hashtags, lip sync songs and audio, funny videos and memes.

Some of the most popular songs to make videos on Tik Tok are Candy by Doja Cat, Tusa by Karol G and Nicki Minaj, Dance Monkey by Tones and I, Goteo by Duki, Woah, Blanco by J. Balvin, Bounce or Lalala .

One of the most followed accounts on TikTok is that of the twin sisters @twinmelody, @lauralp21, @monismurf or @lolaliitaaa, but look for the topics that interest you the most and follow accounts of that style.

8- Add links to TikTok

Can you add links on TikTok? Yes but not within the videos.

If you want the option to add a link to the video and swipe up like in Instagram Stories or Snapchat, in TikTok it is not possible.

What you can do is add two links in your biography: the one from your Instagram profile and the one from YouTube.

One of the surprising things about TikTok is that it is not afraid of competition. They give it so much the same that it even gives you the option to put links to its two main competitors (YouTube and Instagram) in your biography at first sight.

Also, it allows you to easily share your tiktoks on Instagram Stories . This has been one of the causes of its success and virality, especially in this first phase of discovery.

You can also type a link in the bio description , but you can’t click the URL . They can always go directly to the Internet browser to find it. 

Remember that you have a maximum of 80 characters to write an interesting biography.

9- Statistics on TikTok

If you want to grow on TikTok, you must control the statistics it offers you. To do this, you must first activate them in Profile > Privacy and Settings > TikTok Pro . You answer two questions and you already have access to the statistics from that moment.

The Statistics section in TikTok offers 3 tabs: Summary, Contents and Followers.

In the Summary tab you can see the number of times your videos have been viewed (views) in the last 7 or 28 days.

You can also see the number of users who started following you in the last 7 and 28 days in Followers.

The content tab shows videos posted in the last 7 days, from newest to oldest.

In addition, you can see the 9 most popular videos in the last 7 days.

If you want to see more statistics, you must open the video in your profile and click on More (…) and Statistics to see more specific data.

This is when you can see specific statistics for each video:

  • Day and time of publication
  • number of likes
  • Number of comments
  • Number of shares
  • Total playback time
  • Total Views
  • Average viewing time
  • Traffic source types (for you, profile, following, sound, search, hashtag)
  • audience location

In the Followers tab you can see the number of users who follow you and statistics on gender, locations, the time and day they are most connected (activity), and the most popular videos and sounds among your followers.

10- Live broadcast on TikTok

Do you want to broadcast a live video on TikTok? You will have to wait until you have more than 1000 followers to be able to do it. 

Each social network has its own rules and on TikTok live shows are not for everyone, you have to get it.

It can be easy to get your videos seen now that TikTok is going viral. But it is not the same that they see your videos to that they follow you. You will have to work hard on the strategy for this.

When you go live, you’ll appear in your followers’ feed with an alert at the top and in notifications.

Also, your followers can share your direct so it can have much more reach than you think.

What happens to the live video after it ends? He disappears forever, forget about him. You can’t save the live from TikTok like you can on Instagram. 

11- Earn money on TikTok

When you reach 1000 followers and you can already make live videos, you will also have access to monetization.

Users can purchase virtual gifts within TikTok by purchasing different in-app coin packs with real money.

Virtual gifts, which are mainly emoji stickers, can be used to reward creators for their content. 

Gifts can be converted back to real money . If your live broadcast manages to attract thousands of people, more opportunities to get money if each of them contributes while you broadcast.

Another way to make money on TikTok is with influencer marketing. As with influencers on Instagram or other social networks, you can search for brands that want to pay you.

Any way is good to get a brand that pays you money for promoted content. Either through intermediaries such as influencer agencies, you go directly to look for them or they contact you themselves.

In order to make money as an influencer on TikTok, you need to create great content and attract a large community.

If you want to know how much you could earn with your TikTok videos, try the Influencer Marketing Hub money calculator, which is a good money calculator.

12- How to verify your TikTok account

Just like other social networks, it is not easy to get verified on TikTok. You must be a known and popular character to be a verified account.

It is true that the blue check gives you an air of notoriety but do not be discouraged if you are not a verified account.

The important thing is that you focus on creating great content.

Learn how TikTok works and keep sharing interesting videos. Constant work will lead you to the long-awaited verification of TikTok.

13- TikTok FAQ

Surely you have many questions about TikTok, here I solve the ones that my clients ask me the most:

How to save videos in your gallery

Do you want to save a video from TikTok? Here it is not as simple as on other networks like Instagram where you can save videos without publishing them.

In TikTok you can save videos that you have already published. Follow these steps

Share on the arrow and then click on Save the video  

How to delete a video on TikTok

Do you want to delete a video from TikTok? If you have regretted it and no longer want your video to be seen, follow these steps:

In the video select the share arrow and then tap the trash can icon . At the moment, it is not possible to delete more than one video at a time.

If you want to know more than 20 frequently asked questions about TikTok, answer your questions in the full blog article.

14- Conclusion

If you don’t use TikTok yet, you should consider it. It may not be for you or your business, but you have nothing to lose by learning how it works.

If TikTok disappeared tomorrow, you would be left with learning new skills such as creativity, video editing and concise message transmission.

Take advantage of the good reach that there is now on TikTok to reach new followers and customers.

Do not wait for TikTok to be filled with users as is currently the case on Instagram where, every day, it is more difficult to achieve a good reach.

With this How TikTok Works guide, you’ve already learned the basics and intermediates to navigate the most promising app today.

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