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Tiktok Etiquette: The Dos And Don’ts

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  • Tiktok Etiquette: The Dos And Don’ts

TikTok is an increasingly crowded medium, so gaining followers is a real challenge with so much competition. If you plan on developing your profile, regardless of whether it’s professional or strictly personal, it’s important to understand how this social media platform functions.

Crucial to your TikTok success is discovering which kind of content is the most popular with TikTok users. It’s also important to know what doesn’t work and what is not appreciated.

TikTok is ideal for those with the creative skills necessary to produce short, entertaining videos. With social media constantly evolving, it’s difficult to keep up with best practices and TikTok etiquette, particularly if you are not a frequent user or just beginning with the platform.

Every social media platform has its own set of written rules. In TikTok’s case, users are provided with Community Guidelines that list what is strictly forbidden and any consequences should they violate the rules.

But social media platforms also have unwritten rules of etiquette. If you infringe on one of these rules, you may not only look bad and lose followers but there may be a backlash that goes viral. If you are on TikTok for business purposes, this can be highly detrimental to your success.

Here are some of the top TikTok etiquette recommendations to help you get the most out of your TikTok social media presence.

tiktok etiquette

Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

DO: Separate Your Personal Page from Your Business Page

If you are building your business and your brand, you need to keep a peek into your personal life separate from your professional activities. Don’t confuse the two. Make sure that the kind of content you are sharing for your business is pertinent and consistent even when entertaining.

This will aid potential clients in deciding which page to follow. It will prevent friends and family that follow you to keep updated and in touch, from receiving promotional content and likewise prevents clients from watching your cat steal food from your plate despite the “cuteness” quotient.

If you are blogging for your business, links should be visible on your TikTok business profile, whereas your cat’s comic antics will be limited to your personal profile unless you have a pet supply business.

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Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

DO: Keep Your TikTok Profile Updated

It’s important that you complete your social page, particularly if you’ve created it for business purposes. When someone views your social page for the first time, you want to make a good impression to keep them returning. Incomplete profiles appear amateur and unprofessional even for would-be influencers. Make sure you have completed all the profile information with special attention to your contact info. Upload a professional-quality photograph to complement your page.

DO: Think About What You Want to Share and Why

Whatever it is that you post, it’s going to make an impression on potential clients or followers. Think carefully about what you want to share with customers or with social media friends. You are constructing your social media image to reflect on who you are trying to reach, what kind of content is acceptable on the platform, and what type of content will enhance your professional image. Is your content making you appear as an expert in your field? Is it entertaining? Does the content have value for social media users? Are you building a social media advertising campaign?

DO: Be Real!

Due to so much fakery and filtering on the internet, users respond to what is real. Show your real self. Having a great day or a really bad one? Need help? Share the real you, including gaffes and mistakes. A sense of self-irony and the ability to laugh at one’s own errors are appealing because they are easy for users to identify with. We all have bad days. Whatever you do, don’t try too hard!

Perfect videos aren’t necessarily going to win you followers. If you make a mistake or are less than perfect, users can identify and will appreciate you even more.

When building a business advertising campaign, keep in mind that human content that is unfiltered is the road to follow. Users tend to attack messaging that appears fake. Showing the resolution of a shared problem with your product will be much more effective than just promoting it.

DO: Focus on Your Message from the Start

Your message should grab a viewer’s attention within the first seconds of your video. Don’t wait until the end of the video to share what you want to say. Videos that don’t get their message out immediately may not be watched in their entirety. Keep it short, sweet, and snappy. Most users only dedicate a few seconds before scrolling on. Remember that TikTok is an entertainment social media platform, so you’ll need to blend in to get noticed. If you’re using TikTok for business advertising purposes, you’ll still need to entertain.

DO: Make Sure Your Message Is Original

Original content is crucial to building a following. You don’t want to be a photocopy of someone else or someone else’s message.

DO: Become Acquainted with TikTok Users

Follow what’s trending on TikTok so you can familiarize yourself with your audience. This is especially important if you are using social media platforms for advertising purposes. Good knowledge of what is trending will aid you in creating business ads that draw in potential clients.

DO: Post on a Regular Basis

How often should you post on TikTok? This will depend on whether it’s your personal or business profile. The more you post, the greater chance there is that you’ll be noticed. Most of the big Tiktokkers will post at least once every two days.

For a business presence, plan on posting several times weekly if not every other day. If you post rarely, you’ll miss chances to increase your brand’s visibility. If you post all the time, you may put off potential clients. Consider your TikTok presence a necessary and important part of your work schedule.

DO: Have Some Fun!

TikTok is the perfect vehicle for fun bite-sized videos, so do try to enjoy yourself. After all, some fun can be contagious whether for business or personal purposes.

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Photo by Juan Camilo Navia on Unsplash

DO: Get the Sound Right

Don’t post only images. As a video platform, the sound is a full-fledged partner in what you are communicating. Songs can go viral when recurring on the TikTok platform and TikTok has a music bank including those songs topping the charts to funny voice overs or popular memes. Choose trending sounds when choosing the audio soundtrack for your video. Be careful about using audio from your own video as opposed to TikTok. This can get your video removed for copyright infringement.

DO: Be Helpful to Your Audience

Three-quarters of what you post should be informative or entertaining in nature, after all, you’re not producing TV commercials to sell products. If you are building a product brand, keep the sales pitch to less than 20% of the content of your postings.

DO: Make Content as an Actual User When Promoting

If you are building an advertising campaign, TikTok audiences will respond and interact with an actual user of a product or service as opposed to mere advertising. Ensure your content is “in-feed” in style to stimulate interaction with TikTok users.

DO: Try TikTok Tools

TikTok offers several creative tools like Smart Video to assist you in designing your content for the platform. Why not try them out?! Be careful when using filters as many may not perform to expectations when going viral. Try one at a time and use it briefly to enhance.

DO: Dedicate Time to Interacting with Your Followers

Content is great, but nowadays it’s not enough to keep your followers following. If you receive inquiries, consider answering. Do you want a recommendation for something or somewhere? Ask your followers what they think. If someone promotes your page or post, make it a point to say thanks. It’s important to build connections even when online. Being nice pays off and can grow your audience through positive exposure. TikTok rewards users for engaging on its platform. The more comments and likes for other users’ videos, the more possibility there is that they will land on your page with your views increasing.

DO: Give Credit

Good TikTok etiquette includes attributing credit when it is due. Include the original account in your post if you are sharing someone else’s work or post. Thank anyone who credits you. This is a great way to connect.

DO: Be a Sport. Show Good Sportsmanship with Criticism

Expect criticism at some point. You may be posting about a controversial issue or promoting a product that some people don’t like. Whatever you do, don’t hide, and avoid becoming defensive. If your reaction is oversized, it can go viral immediately. When on the receiving end of criticism, keep an open mind and try to resolve the issue. Keep followers updated.

DON’T: Gripe! Resist Complaining!

Trolls don’t really fit the TikTok platform which is filled with good vibes. Bad days are a fact of life but avoid ranting on social media especially if you are trying to build your brand.

If you are on TikTok for business purposes, complaining about customer feedback or interactions may only give the appearance of being unprofessional. Thank customers for critical feedback. Let them know you’re interested in improving your business practices and provide updates as you work to resolve any issues.

If you find yourself involved in controversy personally, keep an open mind. Stand your ground but in a courteous and positive manner.

DON’T: Repeat Content Incessantly

Imagine yourself as a follower who sees the same thing over and over in some form or another. You won’t be very inspired to watch or follow. Look for new things to post about or put a new twist on what you are posting. Update your content at least once a week to prevent users from experiencing “ad fatigue”. Constant repetition of the same ad can cause users to just swipe past. Look for a fresh creative angle when preparing new promotional content.

DON’T: Overuse # Hashtags

Hashtags can connect your video to others about the same topic. They are the fastest way to search social media content with the potential to increase visibility and followers. If they are used to excess, your post may be ineffective or appear to be spam. Also, using generic hashtags may find you lost in video cyberspace. If you have a target audience, especially for businesses, select a hashtag that will zero in on your desired target group. Descriptive hashtags like #HairMakeover will indicate what’s going to take place and pique interest. Invent clever titles and captions to grab attention.

DON’T: Repost YouTube Videos

The TikTok marketing algorithm will immediately recognize if a reposted video is not from an app and will block views. Original content is a must here.

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Photo by Josh Rose on Unsplash

DO: Post without Great Expectations

Even with most creative bite-sized videos, don’t expect to see humongous numbers of followers immediately. You may get lucky and see a substantial increase in followers immediately, but in some cases starting off will be slow going. Share with the intent of making connections, then slowly build your social media reputation. TikTok can help you connect with followers and build your reputation.

DON’T: Worry About Your Numbers

If one of your goals is to grow your network, know that you are in for the long term. This will require effort over an extended period. If you prioritize quality over quantity with engaging content, your audience will grow as word gets around and your posts are shared.

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Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

The TikTok Wrap Up

Unique, authentic, and entertaining videos will spell success as a TikTok user, whether you are an individual social media presence or integrating TikTok advertising as a business marketing strategy.

TikTok may appear to be the land of silliness, but it is among the top social networks globally with explosive growth potential. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, keep in mind this unwritten TikTok etiquette “Dos and Don’ts”. Have fun, and before you know it, you’ll be racking up likes and increasing followers on the global stage.

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