How to use Tik Tok

With over one billion installs, Tik Tok is becoming the next social platform everyone is flocking to.

Tik Tok is a popular social media app that allows users to watch, create, and share 15-second videos shot on your mobile. With its personalised feeds of quirky and creative short videos, the app is characterised by its addictive quality and high levels of engagement. Besides adding effects like filters, background music, and stickers to their videos, users can also collaborate on content even if they’re in different locations and create split-screen duet videos.

I first started using Tik Tok in February 2020 and am already loving it! If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that I have uploaded a few videos to my account already.  One of the things I love about this platform is the humour… especially at this time of national pandemic, its nice to laugh out loud every time I log on.

How does it work?

For me, just like with any other social media platform, I played around with it.  I would lay in bed when the kids are asleep and have a go learning as I go along.  The more you play around the more it becomes easy to use.

1.Download the app and sign up.

Go to the App Store or Google Play and download TikTok. When you open it, TikTok makes it pretty easy to sign up. You can do an instant sign up with Facebook, Gmail, or Twitter, or add a standard username and password if you don’t want any of those accounts connected. If you are active on Facebook or Instagram, try to have the same username if you can.

 2. Set up your profile.

Once you’re logged in, you’ll instantly be brought to the feed of videos. Tap the icon in the lower right that looks like a person’s outline to see and edit your profile. Once you enter your profile, tap the Edit Profile button, then select a profile photo or video. You should also add your username and bio information. If you want to show off your other social media profiles, you can link up your Youtube and Instagram pages. If you’re a business, this could be a helpful way to advertise your other visual platforms.

3. View the video feed

Now that you’ve set up your profile, tap back to the first tab which shows you the video feed.  If you don’t have any followers yet, the app will send you random trending videos. As you begin following and interacting with more people, your feed will become more personalised to your interests.

4. Like, comment, or share videos you enjoy

When you find a video you like, you can tap the heart to like it or the speech bubble to comment on it. To share the video, press the forward sign underneath the comment symbol to see your sharing options. These symbols are all located on the right side of the video.

5. Search for videos and accounts 

Tap on the second tab called ‘Discover’, or magnifying glass to enter the app’s search area. On this tab, you can either search out accounts or videos, or you can look below the search bar to see videos and music by trending topic.

6. Follow users via videos or search 

If you want to keep up with a great video creator, you can follow them by pressing the icon that includes their profile picture and a plus sign above the heart button on their video.  Try to follow people that you can relate to just in the same way you would on Instagram.

7. Set up your shot and pick out special effects

Tap the center tab or the + sign to enter camera mode. To face the camera in the right direction, tap the Flip icon in the top right. On the right side of the screen, you’ll also see icons for the following:

  • Speed: Allows you to record your video in slow motion or sped up.
  • Beauty: An AR filter that can hide blemishes and smooth out your skin.
  • Filters: Lets you change the color filter of the camera.
  • Timer: Allows you to set an auto-record countdown if you want to film hands-free.

8. Music and Effects

On the top center of the camera screen, you’ll also see music notes with “Add a Sound” next to them. Tap this to choose the musical overlay or sound effect that you want to work with OR what I generally do is save the music from a video I’ve seen if I know I want to use it. to do this, tap on the music circle bottom right of the screen and tap on ‘Add to favourites’.


The same applies for effects.  If you see a video you like the effect on, click on the name of the effect in the bottom left corner above the other text from the video and also add this to favourites.



8. Record the video.

Once you’re ready, press and hold the red record button. You can either record your video all at once or in pieces. If you want to fit different shots in each video or record it in pieces, simply hold the record button for each segment, then let go, then press and hold it again when you’re ready for your next shot.

Don’t want to hold your record button the whole time? Before you enter record mode, you can also use the timer to give yourself enough time to prop up your phone and pose in front of it before it starts automatically recording and also make sure it stops at the perfect timing for your next shot…



9. Make final edits and add a caption to the video

When you’re done recording the video, you’ll still be able to add a musical overlay, filters, and other basic special effects. You can also add stickers and text overlays on top of the video which are very self explanatory – a bit like Instagram stories in this way.

When you’re done, press Next. You’ll be directed to a page similar to Instagram’s post page where you can add a caption, relevant hashtags, and account handles of others. You can also set the privacy of the video, turn comments on or off, allow duets or reactions, and tap “Save to Album” to download it to your phones photos.

If you aren’t ready to post yet, just press the Drafts button at the bottom left to save it for later.

There are also duets and challenges to do which are also really fun.

A Few Tik Tok Takeaways

  • Have fun with the special effects. There are a ton of ways to zest up your video, and audiences on TikTok expect it. So play around and experiment with them.
  • Embrace the music. Most videos on the platform have some type of song or sound effect in the background.
  • Film a few videos with multiple shots. This will make it feel more interesting and active.
  • Don’t be afraid to show a lighter side or a sense of humor. People come to this platform to be entertained.
  • Use trendy hashtags and try out a challenge video. Then, include relevant hashtags in your post caption so your video shows up when people search it.

The best way I have leant to use this app is by literally just having a go.  Put your account to private for a while whilst you play around, and have FUN with it.  This is not instagram… imagery does not need to be perfect, it’s more about entertainment and being really creative.  I have laughed so much since using this app – and realised that people all over the world are hilarious and very talented.

Hope this helps!

Louise x


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