If you haven’t heard of TikTok, where have you been?
It’s the new social media platform that has been creating a lot of buzz in 2019.
Merging with another popular app called Musical.ly in August 2018, TikTok has over 500 million active users worldwide – that’s more than LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
TikTok was the most downloaded app in the Apple Store ahead of social media giants such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.
For dog owners like me if who have become frustrated by Instagram’s algorithms and the inability to get photos shared to a wider audience, TikTok has been a welcome arrival.
Before I divulge 10 of my best tips and tricks, here’s why I was inspired to start a TikTok account for my dogs. In the past year, their following has grown to 1.4 million.
Why I decided to start a TikTok account
Having grown Alaskan Klee Kai’s Instagram account @lifewithkleekai to 23,000 followers on the photo-sharing app, I’ve seen my progress stunted in 2019. My photos are getting less interaction.
In March 2019, I researched the next big social media apps on Google. TikTok kept popping up so I decided to download and start an account.
Initially, I used the app sparingly as I got to grips with the creating video content, as well as using the hashtags and trends to my advantage. When TikTok UK contacted me about getting more involved, I attempted to post more but I still spent a lot of time on Instagram.
In August 2019, I made the decision to invest a lot more time creating content on our TikTok channel. We grew from 18,000 to 40,000 in two months, helped by one of my videos going viral.
However, it was in November that I really saw growth. Working hard to create videos around their daily challenges as well as putting together cute videos of my dogs being dogs, my following rocketed to over 200,000.
TikTok has been a great relief from the attrition of posting on Instagram. While creating beautiful videos is of benefit, there’s less of an emphasis on stunning images. Instead, you can introduce more humor, fun and storylines. It’s much more versatile than Instagram, while music plays a bit part.
If I’ve managed to convince you to give TikTok a try, here are my tips and tricks to get start on good footing on the video-sharing app.
10 TikTok Tips and Tricks
1) Find your niche
It’s easy to say, but not always easy to do. Finding your niche can be the key to your success on TikTok. It could be undeniably adorable photos of your dog. It could be your dog acting derpy. It could be telling a story about your dog in 15 seconds. It could be quizzing your followers about your dog, or explaining to your followers why they should get a dog. The opportunities are endless. You’ll quickly get a feel for what your followers like.
Personally, I love TikTok’s challenges. It’s a bit like Instagram’s #weeklyfluff or being featured on a big dog account such as Dogs of Instagram. However, it’s better. TikTok launch a new challenge every day of the week. There’s a theme to the challenge, which gives you a steer on the type of video you need to create. There are usually around 33 challenges that feature on their discover page. If you make the top eight videos, you’re videos will appear in the featured videos. By achieving this, you’ll get more eyes on your videos, more likes, more comments and possibly more followers.
3) Viral sounds and songs
When I first joined TikTok, I turned to songs that I liked or suited the video I was posting. However, over time, I’ve realised the best course of action is using sounds and songs in the featured sounds section. You’ve probably heard of tracks such as “Ride It” and “Woah” going viral thanks to TikTok. The app ranks the most popular songs on TikTok and by using these sounds, you’re more likely to get more eyes on your video as people search videos using the song.
4) Reply to comments
Engagement can help to give you a better chance of getting your clip in the featured videos for the challenges. I’ve noticed by replying to comments, especially in the first hour of your video being published, you’re more likely to get on the #foryoupage (more on this shortly). Aside from trying to beat the algorithm, you’ll find your fans love to receive replies from big accounts.
5) For You Page
If you join TikTok, post a video that starts to get some traction, you’ll almost inevitably receive a comment saying “for you page”. When you launch the app, your homepage has two channels: following and for you. Following displays the videos of the accounts that you follow. For You is a collection of videos that TikTok believe will appeal to you. By getting into someone’s For You Page, you’ve got a chance to gain some more followers.
6) Post at least three times a day
Although Instagram suggests you should share photos or videos at whenever you want, most people will advise to post once a day. TikTok is different. Forget about concerns of losing followers because you post too much. I usually post three or four times a day. Once you do so at a regular frequency, you’ll find your videos tend to do a lot better. Of course, you may want to do more than one video to try and achieve success in TikTok’s challenges.
7) Watch other content
I believe in being original – but watching other content can give you inspiration. More importantly, you can get an idea of potential trends that could end up becoming challenges. By creating a video before the challenge hits, you have a great chance of being featured in the top-eight videos.
8) Use the hashtags
Although TikTok do challenges with a specific hashtag, you shouldn’t limit yourself to one hashtag. You’ll want to use four or five different hashtags, definitely using a #foryoupage, perhaps incorporating hashtags for current or past challenges, while you can use hashtags that are eternally popular, such as #petsoftiktok.
9) Stick to 15 seconds
On occasions, we’ve ventured to use 60 second clips. However, we’ve found that these don’t tend to do well. It makes sense. TikTok’s success is down to their snappy 15 second videos rather than longer clips. Our advice would be to keep it short and sweet.
10) Use the special effects
TikTok has a lot of special effects that users can avail of. You can have lots of fun with these special effects when you create your videos. From time to time, some of TikTok’s challenges will incorporate special effects.