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The Social Media Creator’s Guide to TikTok

In recent months, the popularity and social impact of the app TikTok has exploded, leaving social media creators wondering how they can take advantage of the platform as a source of revenue 💰.

In fact, just weeks ago TikTok launched TikTok for Business, an opportunity for brands to use the platform for marketing purposes.

But what exactly does this mean for influencers and content creators, and how should they go about developing a marketing strategy on the app 🤷‍♂️?

For social media creators asking these questions and similar ones, I’ve created the official Your Social Media Lawyer creators’ guide to TikTok:

Q: Okay, I’m behind. What IS TikTok? 💭

A: If you have no clue about TikTok, don’t worry – you’re not alone! 

What was just months ago widely considered a Gen Z phenomenon has now attracted people of all ages – including celebs like Will Smith and Mariah Carey!

After absorbing the Music.ly app back in 2018, TikTok became the ultimate destination for short form videos up to 60 seconds ⏱️ long. Home to creative content like performance art, DIY tutorials, and transformations, TikTok has evolved into an epic storytelling platform.

Upon opening the app, users are automatically presented with a video on the “For You” page, which shows content based on user activity and the TikTok algorithm.

Then, much like Vine and Instagram, users can navigate vertical TikTok videos by scrolling down on their devices. They may also choose to “heart” ❤️ the videos or leave a comment, or view the most recent videos from the people they’re following.

For those who choose to post videos, TikTok comes with seemingly endless filter options, from beauty filters to distortion and green screens.

Q: Got it. So how can I make money from this? 💭

A: Brands have several options when it comes to earning revenue from TikTok:

1. TIKTOK ADS

If you want to promote your brand on TikTok the “official” way, you’ll have to request access to TikTok for Business here. Then, you can use the TikTok ad manager to run ads on the app 📱.

However, even within TikTok ads, you still have several more options to choose from to determine the type of campaign you run. For example, you may choose a brand takeover, hashtag challenge, or AR content, all of which come with different strategies and goals.

Once you’ve determined which type of ad you’d like to run, you can organize logistics including budget, target demographics 👥, and more within TikTok Ad Manager. Plus, you can use TikTok’s creative tools including the Video Creation Kit and TikTok Ad Studio for help creating your ad.

Finally, after you’ve created and posted your ad, you can monitor its performance on your business account.

2. TIKTOK INFLUENCER ACCOUNT

While ads are definitely revenue-driven, you don’t necessarily need to spend thousands of dollars 🤑 on a TikTok ad campaign to make money from the app. Instead, social media creators can simply use the platform to promote their brand and increase their following!

For example, some influencers such as JoJo Siwa had a strong following before joining TikTok, and have chosen to use the app to gain followers. 

On the other hand, some TikTok stars such as Addison Rae got their big break on the app! In fact, since gaining millions of followers, Addison Rae has signed with the WME talent agency.

Ultimately, if you want to grow 📈 your business with a TikTok account, you must simply be willing to create the kind of content the users love. 

From trending dances 🕺 to hashtag challenges, very specific types of videos go viral on TikTok. Therefore, if you want followers, you must be willing to meet their demands.

3. TIKTOK CONSULTING  

That being said, if you don’t feel TikTok is right for your brand but you still want to be involved, there are plenty of influencers and businesses looking for TikTok consultants to run their page.

As a social media creator, you understand how to adapt specific strategies on different platforms – and that’s something you could easily make a business out of 💪!

For example, 27-year-old Sean Young, who has over one million followers on the platform, actually runs the TikTok account for America’s Funniest Home Videos as well as several celebrities!

According to Vox, the young influencer makes over $10,000 each month from spending just four hours a day on the app 😲!

Therefore, if you have a knack for social media but aren’t quite sure TikTok is a good home for your brand, that doesn’t ❌ mean you should avoid the app altogether. 

Instead, take the time to learn the ins and outs of the platform and see if you could advise others on their strategy!

Q: What else should I know about TikTok? 💭

A: Perhaps the most important thing social media creators should know about TikTok is that it caters to a younger 👧 audience.

More specifically, TikTok is intended for children ages 13 and older, and is extremely popular among Gen Z, or adolescents and teens born in or after 1996. Therefore, the platform has extensive Community Guidelines that strictly prohibit ⛔ offensive and inappropriate content.

In other words, if your brand is intended for more mature audiences – even if it doesn’t violate community guidelines – you’re probably better off focusing on a different platform.