The Definitive Guide to Launching a Successful TikTok

tik tok mobile

The chances are high that in the last year, you’ve heard about everyone’s new favorite app—TikTok. According to Business Insider, this digital giant has quickly been on the rise and has upheld its title of “The Most Downloaded App” with over 1.2 billion downloads worldwide. 

When you open up the app, you will scroll to see a flood of entertaining activity that is nearly impossible to stop watching—from funny pets to people lip-synching, to publications like The Washington Post showing a must-see, behind-the-scenes look into their fun office life. There’s something for everyone. 

If you’ve been wondering what this popular video-sharing app is all about, you’ve probably heard from the social media gurus that you need to get started on TikTok. Right. Now.

We understand the fear of missing out, especially with all of the hype around this new social media platform. Whether you are a millennial, a boomer, a zoomer or a brand, this is your breakdown on how to launch your own successful TikTok.

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Screenshot via Avital Shtapura

1. Use Trending Hashtags

Hashtags play a major role for creators on TikTok and act as a great way to get in front of more people. On the discover page, there is a lineup of the current top trending hashtags on the platform. The hashtags consist of challenges, jokes, funny effects and other culturally relevant themes. Under the trending hashtags, you can scroll for a while (which is, let’s be real—hours) to see the top videos under that hashtag at the moment. However, you are not limited to only creating videos that apply to that list of idea starters—TikTok is an anything-goes-type-of-app that lets your creative heart fly. Use the currently trending hashtags as a launchpad.

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Screenshot via Avital Shtapura

2. Use Trending Music in Your Videos

It has never been easier to include music in your videos than through the TikTok platform. When uploading content, you can attach trending, newly released and featured music to your videos, conveniently broken down by genre. As a bonus, you should create your own “sounds,” where other creators can use your sounds in their videos. By clicking the moving disc at the bottom of your video, you can watch the videos made by other creators on the app who used your “sound.” This introduces a virality factor that is unparalleled on other platforms. 

An epic example of someone utilizing this feature is the viral sensation Lil Nas X. According to Billboard Music, after people were first introduced to his “Old Town Road” song on TikTok, it shattered music records and became the longest-reigning number one hit in the 61-year history of the Billboard Hot 100. Use this function to audio-brand your content and reach new audiences.

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Screenshot via Avital Shtapura

3. Edit Your Videos in the App

TikTok is extremely user-friendly for creators because all content can be created within the app. There is no need for third-party editing software or fancy Photoshop skills. Adding captions to your videos is a great tool for narration and you can even edit the amount of time a caption is displayed on the screen. You can also include music and effects all with a touch of a button natively on the platform. Use these organic tools to build your content.

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Screenshot via Avital Shtapura

4. Discovering the “For You” Page

The “For You” page, located on your homepage, features creators who you don’t follow—yet. This is a great way to find new videos and, hopefully, where your videos will be featured if the algorithm picks them up as viral. Make sure to tag #fyp and #foryoupage in your caption copy for a chance to be featured here.

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Screnshot via Avital

5. Things to Remember Before Hitting “Upload”

The copy on TikTok is limited to 100 characters, so your captions should be thoughtful but concise to give the gist of the video in a few sentences. The sweet spot for a successful TikTok video length is around 15 to 30 seconds. And don’t forget your crucial hashtags.

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Screenshot via Avital Shtapura

6. Engage with Other Creators Through Duets and Reactions

TikTok has included a great feature to engage with your friends and favorite creators. By clicking the three dots on the right side of your screen, you can “duet” or “react” to videos, adding another creative dimension to the videos you love to watch. By clicking the moving disc at the bottom of your uploaded video, you can see other users who have reacted to your own videos.

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Screenshot via Avital Shtapura

7. Read and Respond to ALL Comments

Community management is crucial on social media. As on every platform, responding to comments is the best way to engage with your followers and see what they liked (or didn’t like) about your video. This is the main way to build a close-knit community with your followers and ultimately bring so much value to your audience. This also helps the creative brainstorms and lets you in on what your audience would like to see from you as a creator.

Read Next: The Best TikTok Challenges That Went Viral in 2019 (So Far)

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