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TikTok for Dummies - How to get started and take off now.

With 1 billion monthly active users, there is a high possibility that many of your members use TikTok on a daily basis. In this article we will guide you from the first time you log in, all the way to creating your first TikTok video.


We split this article into several sections so feel free to skip to the section that best matches your TikTok readiness:

+ Learning the Interface

+ Getting started

+ Creating your first Video


Learning the Interface


TikTok’s interface is surprisingly similar to Instagram, which means that if you had previous experience using Instagram then you would find it easier to navigate TikTok.


Right after opening the TikTok app and signing up, you will be greeted by the Home tab. Here you will find the main feed of posts, split into two categories.


Home Tab


1. On the top, you can choose between the ‘Following’ feed which is a collection of the latest posts from the accounts you follow, and the ‘For You’ feed which is a collection of videos selected according to what you previously liked. The more time you spend on TikTok the more tailored the ‘For You’ feed becomes to the kind of videos that interest you.


2. On the side you can find the follow, like, comment and share buttons as well as a unique TikTok feature which allows you to see all videos which use the same song or soundtrack.


3. At the bottom you will see the navigation bar.


Navigation Bar

1. The first button on the navigation bar is the Home screen.


2. The second item in the navigation bar is the discover tab which allows you to search for users, videos, sounds, and hashtags. This will be especially useful when getting started in order to find other users and get a better understanding of how you can use TikTok in your organisation.



3. Next is the creation tab which we will explain in-depth in Creating your first Video section of this article.


4. The fourth item is the Notification Tab where you will get notifications about updates to your account and your followers. At the top right you can find your inbox where you will be receiving any direct messages that other users send you.



5. The final tab is your profile where you can edit your account, view your videos, and interact with your liked and favourite videos.



Getting started


Before you create your first video, we would recommend you take some steps to prepare your account and familiarise yourself with the culture and the various trends on TikTok.


Step 1: Set up your profile picture, username, and bio. To make sure that your TikTok account is recognisable by your members, you can use the same name and picture as your other social media,. Don't forget to link your TikTok profile to your Instagram or YouTube channel to get your members to visit and follow you there as well.


Step 2: Follow and monitor other similar organisations. This will allow you to not only find potential ideas for your posts but also get a glimpse of what has worked in the past for them by looking at their likes, shares, and followers in several posts and comparing their engagement.


Step 3: Spend half an hour browsing TikTok to get a feel of the culture and what kind of videos people are attracted to. At the start, the 'For you' feed is not yet customised with your preferences which means it is a relatively unbiased way to take a glimpse at what is successful or trending at the time.


Creating your first Video


Now that you are familiar with the interface and you have some content ideas, the time has come to make your first TikTok. First you need to navigate to the Creation (middle) tab.


Recording:

1. On the top you can select sounds or music to be playing during your recording so that you can coordinate your movements with the audio. This is a popular technique for lip-syncing or dancing TikTok videos where you need to listen to the sounds while recording.



2. On the right there are camera options such as a timer, filters, and the speed of the video you’re recording (slow motion or sped up).


3. To the left of the record button you can add effects to your recording. This effect will be applied only to the videos that you will record while the effect is activated. Using effects is a very popular way to record videos on TikTok and you can use them to make your videos funnier or even try some unusual, creative ideas.



4. To the right of the record button, you can upload your own videos and images.


5. Underneath you can set the duration of your video and if you need some inspiration you can always choose to start with a template.



6. A very important feature of TikTok is that you can record multiple short videos that will be automatically connected in the order they are recorded. Doing this is as simple as starting and stopping your recording multiple times. This means you can create scenes that are connected but were shot in different locations, periods, or even days. We recommend you take advantage of this feature to create stories and show the passage of time in your videos.


Pro tip: If you record a clip and you need to wait before recording the next part of your video, you can save it as a draft and come back to it later. You can access your drafts from your profile.


While recording you can keep track of how much time you have left from the blue bar on the top. You can also delete the last clip you recorder with the arrow next to the record button.



Once you have collected all of your videos, press the check icon to the right of the record button to continue.


Editing:



This next window is where you edit your video.


1. On the right you can add filters, adjust the length of each clip, add funny voice effects, record a voice-over as a narration to your video, trim the video and adjust the volume level for all the sounds, music, and audio.


2. On the bottom left you can add more music, sounds, effects, text, and stickers to customise the video and enhance the narrative and accessibility of the story.


3. When you are done editing your video, press next to the bottom right of the screen to move on to the publishing window.


We would recommend spending some time experimenting with all the options and try to find creative ways to tell a story that will be entertaining and captivating.


Publishing:



The final steps are simple but important to make your video more discoverable.


1. Add a caption that describes your video and gives any additional information needed.


2. Add Hashtags and tag other accounts. This will increase the exposure of your post and the chances of it being shared. Take some time to make sure that the hashtags you are using - other than your personal ones - are relevant.


3. On the top right you can choose a cover for your video which allows you to customise how your profile feed will look like.


4. Then you can add a location to make it even easier for people to find your video, select who can view it as well as choose how people can interact with it.


5. Underneath you have to option to cross-post it automatically to another account which will attract your existing followers to your new TikTok account.


6. The button at the bottom left is where you can save your draft videos and resume working on them later.


7. When you are happy with everything you can then click post and you're done.


Congratulations! You now posted your first TikTok video. The most important thing to remember when trying to increase your engagement is that consistency and relatability is the key to a successful TikTok account.





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SMOOVEmedia Ltd

We're a membership engagement consultancy built for the now. SMOOVEmedia came from our directors pronunciation of the word "movement" during his campaigns as a union officer. We've been serving and enabling the sector since 2011.

Our mission: 

To enable the growth of charities, social enterprises, & membership organisations. 

We want to build the best social movement in the history of time.

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