TikTok is a social network where users post short videos with simple special effects and background music and start live broadcasts.
How TikTok works and why it’s so popular
The app was launched in China in 2016, and it’s called Douyin. Then an international version appeared, and in 2018 TikTok merged with Musical.ly in a deal worth $1 billion. The capitalization of the entire company is estimated at $50 billion. In the summer of 2021, the number of active TikTok users (those who open the app at least once a month) exceeded 1 billion people.
TikTok is most famous for its “Challenges”: when you shoot a video of something specific – like an acrobatic stunt, a dance, or an image change. This often resembles a flash mob, when everyone repeats the same action. All the videos within the challenge are signed with the same hashtag.
Hashtags in TikTok are more important than on Instagram or Twitter: they allow you to unite in groups and entire communities. For example, sports fans follow the hashtag #KeepingActive. Both hashtags and challenges help gain views and new followers. Another way to promote your blog is to be featured in the recommendations on the home page.
TikTok recommendations are a stream of videos that are selected based on previous likes, views, and comments. They also take into account geolocation, video content, sounds, and hashtags. Only videos from 16+ creators are included. Recommendations are compiled with the help of AI, which analyzes user preferences.
How to become popular in TikTok
TikTok is popular with a young audience: almost half of its users are between the ages of 16 and 24. Unlike Instagram, the videos here are more like music videos, with a plot and funny tricks. The service was originally developed as a platform for dancers and performers. However, now there are new formats for which you don’t need special skills.
Recommendations here replace the usual feed: most often users don’t subscribe to famous bloggers but go to the main page in search of new interesting videos.
To get into recommendations more often, you need to keep track of trends: popular Challenges and Hashtags, music hits, new filters, and special effects for videos. At the same time, originality and “trendiness” are more important than the quality of shooting, and outrageous content is more popular than useful content.
Here are some tips on how to get into TikTok recommendations:
- Understand trends
- Use humor
- Hashtags are your friend
- Keep it short
- Encourage interaction
- Understand your audience
- Use TikTok’s tools
- Be (tastefully) controversial
- Walk away
Short clips of up to 13 seconds, with an original script – even if you’re participating in a challenge – are best watched. The app has basic tools for video editing and processing, music overlay, AR masks, and filters.
You can also use third-party programs and apps for video processing and more suitable effects.
How to make money in TikTok
And here is the most interesting part of this article – how can you make money while doing what you love at TikTok?
The main source of profit for bloggers is advertising. Sometimes brands launch their own Challenges, involve popular bloggers, or organize giveaways. You can even create your own filters and special effects and increase engagement through branded superlikes.
Quite a few popular tiktokers are young people who are under 20 years old, but they’re already actively contracting with companies and brands to promote their products in their commercials. For the most part, these are actors, dancers, and singers who have become famous through their videos on social networking sites.
TikTok has its own currency – TikTok Coins or “coins”. You can earn these coins by streaming, promoting music tracks, and participating in Challenges. The coins can be exchanged for real money.
There is also a useful article on TikTok gifts that also cost a specific amount of TikTok coins.
In TikTok, you can make good money even if you only have 10-20 thousand subscribers, which isn’t the case with YouTube or Instagram. It’s all thanks to the same guidelines: they are designed in such a way that the popularity of a video isn’t affected by the number of subscribers of its author. In order to place ads, you need to apply for an advertising account and pay a minimum amount of $500.
However, small companies and startups have a harder time here, although TikTok has launched a special support program for small businesses: links to the site cannot be attached, and advertising works better for recognizable brands.
That’s basically all you need to know in order to start making money on TikTok. Of course, there are pitfalls everywhere, but no one is immune to them, and creators have to deal with all kinds of difficulties. However, if you love your business, sooner or later you will succeed in it.