How to Get Started on TikTok: Gaining Views and Followers

John Beaton
May 9, 2022
Last Updated On

Social media is changing, and marketers who are well-accustomed to the status quo risk being left behind. Marketing efforts to date have been focused on refining existing strategies on established platforms, however the industry’s shift towards social entertainment as the primary driver of social engagement means that the old way of doing business will lead to declining engagement and plateaued growth. Just as the origin of social media meant that marketers had to move fast to build an audience, so too does this new era of entertainment.

TikTok has over one billion monthly active users. Not only that, but one in four TikTok users cannot be found on any other social channel. These factors mean that marketers looking to expand their audience should be looking at TikTok as their next opportunity. TikTok is a different ball game compared to other channels, as content is served based on user preference and algorithms, rather than social networks or brands they choose to follow. It is less of a social platform, and more of an entertainment platform. While there is much to learn, this also offers brands the opportunity to reach users they have never been able to reach before by making high-performing, entertaining content. To help you get started with growing your TikTok account, Dash Hudson has outlined the basics of registering and creating content.

How To Make a TikTok Account

It all starts with downloading the app. While TikTok offers a web-based client for browsing, you will be doing most of your filming and editing directly on your phone.

  1. Once you’ve opened the app, tap Profile in the bottom right of your screen.
  2. Follow the steps to create your account, ensuring that you designate your account as a business account. Learn more about TikTok for Business.
  3. After your account is ready, all you need to do is fill in your profile information and get started with planning your very first TikTok.
Dash Hudson on TikTok

How To Start Getting Views on TikTok

Success on TikTok comes down to audience preferences, which change regularly. Experimentation is key to figuring out what works for your brand. Although there is no step-by-step playbook for finding success on the channel, there are some general themes that you should be aware of when it comes to making your first TikTok video and developing your TikTok marketing strategy.

1. Format

TikToks are fast-paced, witty, and really good at condensing a lot of information into a short-form format. Although the channel has expanded the maximum video length to 10 minutes, most of the videos you see trending keep it less than a minute long. A good best practice to follow is to keep your content as brief as possible in order to ensure viewers stay to watch the whole video. You can view your engagement metrics by using TikTok analytics.

2. TikTok Sounds

One of the first things you will notice when scrolling through TikTok is that videos play with the sound turned on automatically. Sound is central to the TikTok experience, and brands and users are always putting their spin on trending sounds in order to make an impact. Read the blog we’ve written about TikTok Sounds to learn more about how important they are in your strategy.

3. TikTok Trends

Users discover your content by scrolling through their feeds and tapping on trending hashtags that they’re interested in, and the best way for you to maximize your view count is by taking advantage of TikTok trends and making content you know viewers are looking for. Trends come and go quickly, so make sure you start filming as soon as you identify a trend you want to be a part of.

4. Experimentation

No one knows what’s going to catch on next. By staying up to date on all of the latest sounds, trends, and new features introduced by the platform, your brand will be in a strong position to be a part of the next great thing on the entertainment channel. Many brands also see older content get picked up by the algorithm months after being posted, so keeping an eye on which videos of yours are going viral on TikTok at any given moment will give you an idea of what you should be doing next. Trying your hand at TikTok influencer marketing may also boost your view count, as influencers come with established audiences, and they serve as an important link between users and brands.

Disney Parks on TikTok
image credit: Disney Parks

How To Start Getting Followers on TikTok

Regardless of how many followers your brand has, you will be able to find an audience through TikTok’s algorithm by making great content. That being said, earning followers certainly doesn’t hurt either, and we have outlined the tactics your brand needs to be aware of to start creating a community of loyal followers on TikTok.

Consistency

TikTok moves fast. Users can scroll from one video to the next in a matter of seconds, and it’s important for your brand to be a regular presence in people’s feeds in order to make an impact. Thankfully, lo-fi video is the preferred format here, and you don’t have to spend nearly as much time producing TikTok video as you would for other channels. You just need to pick up your phone and start recording.

Providing Entertainment

The most-followed brands on TikTok put people front and center, even if their brand is traditionally more product-focused on other channels. TikTok users are able to make a better connection with other people, particularly in content that is relatable or funny. Many brands also choose to have a regular cast of stars in order to develop a sense of familiarity that leads to continued engagement. Read our blog on creator marketing to learn more about how brands are thinking more like creators, and also partnering with them on content.

Brand Values

Users are served entertaining content whether they follow many accounts or none, which means following brand accounts is less of a priority than it is on traditional social media platforms. In order to inspire a user to follow you, you should figure out ways to demonstrate your brand values and make a compelling case for why users should follow you for more content. Brands with a sustainability ethos will find that they earn more followers when they lean into their brand values, for example. TikTok users don’t respond well to strong sales pitches, but by making a case for why your brand is different, you’ll be able to pique their interest.

Maybelline on TikTok
image credit: Maybelline

FAQs

How do I start getting paid on TikTok?

For creators wondering how to start getting paid on TikTok, once you earn 100,000 authentic video views you will be eligible to join the TikTok Creator Fund, which delivers payments to top creators based on views and authentic engagement, rather than ad revenue.

How do I get verified on TikTok?

It is not possible to buy TikTok verification, and there is currently no application process. TikTok accounts are verified by the TikTok team based on credibility, which is decided on a case-by-case basis. The best way to ensure that your account becomes verified is to post regularly, and link to your TikTok account through the media or via your website.

How do I delete my TikTok account?

If you want to delete your account, or start fresh with a new account, you are able to do so in your profile by selecting “Settings and privacy.” After tapping “Manage account,” you will see the option to delete your account. Follow the instructions on your screen, and then your account will be deleted.

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