TikTok 101: All you need to know

Create unforgettable video clips and become a TikTok master…

22 May 2020

TikTok’s an app that’s taking the world by storm. Chances are, you’ll already have seen TikTok video clips on the TV or popping up on your social media feed.

Kids love TikTok but make no mistake - it’s great fun for us grown-ups too. So, how easy is it to master? And what exactly is it, anyway? Here’s all you need to know…


What is TikTok and how does it work?

TikTok is a video-sharing social network app. It lets you shoot short video clips (usually 15 seconds long), add loads of cool filters and effects, then share them with your fellow TikTokers.

One thing that makes TikTok so special is that you can add your favourite music and sounds to your video clips – so you can lip-sync along to songs, create your own dance routines, act out comedy sketches… or anything else you can think of. Kids love doing all the sing-along and silly stuff, but you can create more serious content if you prefer. For example - if you’re into gardening or DIY, you might want to create short guides and tutorials to help out others.

Then it’s all about sharing. Post your video and others can view it, comment on it, and (hopefully) like it.


How do I create a TikTok video?

Simply download the app onto your device (it’s free from Google Play or the App Store). Then create an account, write a few words about yourself in your bio, and you’re ready to start creating sensational TikTok videos.

If you need some inspiration, sit tight and watch a selection of videos that automatically appear on your display. Or tap the ‘Discover’ option at the bottom of the screen, and search for stuff you know you’ll be interested in. Type in the name of a song, movie, TV show, footie team or hobby, and check out the ideas that others are coming up with.

Okay. Suitably inspired and ready to have a go yourself? Let’s start by creating a quick and easy lip-sync video, where you sing along to one of your favourite songs.

  1. Tap the ‘+’ sign at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Tap ‘Sounds’ at the top of your screen.
  3. Choose a song you know the words to by heart!
  4. Tap ‘Effects’ and choose one. ‘The Squad’ is a really fun one to start with, so scroll down the page of ‘Trending’ effects until you see it. Here’s what it looks like:


  1. Now start filming yourself. Look right into your selfie camera, tap the big red button and sing along for 15 seconds.
  2. All done. If you’re happy with the results and want to publish it, tap ‘Next’, and ‘Post’.

Congratulations. Your first TikTok video is now live for the world to see!

With a little bit of practice, you’ll soon be creating TikTok videos that are really worth watching. And when you get to that stage, you’ll want to be seen by as many people as possible. Here’s how to improve your chances of doing just that…


How do I become more popular on TikTok?

We can’t promise that you’ll ever go viral and have millions of followers. But if you follow a few ‘good housekeeping’ rules you should easily be able to increase your popularity.

Work on your bio. Your profile creates a powerful first impression on TikTok, so make sure you sound friendly and approachable. List all of your likes and hobbies, so that others who share your interests will follow you. Try and go for a short and memorable username – if you’ve got a long one that’s difficult to remember, it won’t help you gain followers.

Use hashtags. If you’re a regular Instagram or Twitter user, you’ll be well up on this already. Add relevant hashtags to your videos, so anyone interested in the subject can find it. If you’re stuck for hashtag ideas, just think about the first words you’d use if you were searching for a similar video.

Jump on the latest trends and issues. Topical videos are always popular, so look out for the latest trends and don’t be shy about jumping on them. TikTok has a search page that shows off all the trending hashtags - for example, #workingfromhome tips are popular right now.

Practice, practice, practice. The most popular TikTok videos all have a quality look and feel to them. We’re talking slick edits, smooth transitions and lip-syncing perfection. Yes, they’re obviously home-made… but they’re all made well. So, if you want to get up there with the best, you’ll need to hone your skills. There are loads of effects to try out, so spend some time playing them. Plus, you’ve got the option of adding text and stickers after your video’s finished recording. Be hard on yourself, and don’t accept anything less than a perfect take!

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