Are you finally giving TikTok a shot? If you’re new to the app, there are a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid at all costs.
While some can be applied to any social media platform, most are specific to TikTok and its audience.
1. You don’t join the trends.
When I think of TikTok, trending sounds and challenges immediately come to mind. After all, that’s what the platform is known for.
In fact, many see TikTok as the fun, unfiltered, uninhibited friend of the tighter, more polished Instagram.
With that in mind, being successful on the platform means using special effects, dubbing trending sounds, adding popular music, and participating in challenges and dances.
Of course, it’s essential that you establish brand guardrails to ensure that you don’t engage in anything that could damage your credibility. Also, not all trends will align with your messaging or brand values; in that case, skip it.
There’s another trend around the corner.
2. You are not watching TikTok videos.
How can you thrive in an environment you don’t understand? The TikTok space has a very specific energy and to enter it, you should first take time to ingest it.
Once you get a feel for what’s successful on the platform, you can start playing around with your own content, experimenting with themes and styles to see what your target audience responds to.
However, the work does not stop there. You should always scroll through TikTok while on the platform. This is how you:
- Get inspired for future videos.
- Discover trends.
- Get information from competitors.
3. You don’t get to the point.
There’s nothing worse than watching a video, waiting for the hook, and it never comes.
On TikTok, your video can only be up to three minutes long. However, you only have a few seconds to convince viewers to stop scrolling and view your content.
Here are some ways to maximize your video:
- Start talking immediately – The first seconds are key, don’t let them pass without any sound or movement.
- Have a catchy caption – This will give viewers a clear understanding of what your video is about and what they can earn by watching it.
- Use a trending sound – If a sound goes viral, you won’t have to work as hard to keep your audience’s attention. They already know what to expect and are anticipating what your unique vision is.
4. You are uploading horizontal videos.
Similar to Instagram, TikTok is a vertical app.
This means that videos must be 1080 by 1920 pixels to display properly. If your video is horizontal, it will be reduced in size and bordered with thick black lines that are not aesthetically pleasing.
This not only hurts the quality of your video, but also how it is perceived by viewers.
5. You are ignoring your comment section.
Social media is about building a community. This is no different on TikTok.
Your comments section is currently one of the only ways to engage your audience as the platform still offers limited community building features.
As a result, your comments section is where your audience is likely to ask questions, share their thoughts about your videos, and tag their friends. Use this opportunity to connect with them, start conversations and encourage them to take the desired action.
6. You are using a business account.
If this were any other social platform, not having a business account would be a huge mistake. On TikTok, there are actually some disadvantages to having a business account, specifically for small businesses.
The main thing is that you may not have access to trending music and sounds, which is an important component of increasing your brand’s reach.
While the business account offers insight into data, the inability to use trending sounds is a major roadblock to success on the platform.
As a result, small businesses should focus on creating and testing a personal account before moving to a business account.
7. Your content is inaccessible.
In 2019, a Verizon study found that most mobile viewers watch videos without sound. Without subtitles, your videos are missing a key part of the story.
However, the most important reason for having content is to make it accessible to all users, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Captioning is a simple yet effective way to ensure you not only increase your audience, but also ensure inclusion.
8. You’re overselling and undersharing.
This can be a symptom of taking yourself too seriously on a notoriously unserious platform. Or rather not understanding the platform you are on.
Regardless of the main reason, posting high-selling content is unlikely to attract your audience to TikTok. This audience is known for wanting relatable content that appeals to them and their daily lives.
While the occasional promotion is definitely welcome, making it the core of your content isn’t the best strategy. Instead, switch to creating content that highlights the lifestyle of your target user.
Be inspired by their challenges, pain points and interactions. Then use it to fuel your creativity. You will find that your content will be more aligned with your audience and will likely perform better.
9. You’re posting sporadically.
If you want to build momentum on any social platform, you need to stick to a consistent posting schedule.
This is key for several reasons:
- When viewers land on your profile, they can explore your content and get a clear idea of what your brand is about.
- The more you post, the more information you can get from your viewers.
- A regular posting program can build a strong follower base as they know what to expect from you and the type of content you will be sharing.