TikTok 101

It’s impossible to miss: TikTok. It’s the world’s hottest and newest social media platform with over a billion active users, but it’s also a new frontier for social selling.

With a new platform comes new tips, new features to learn, and so much more. Use this post as your official TikTok information headquarters: including everything from what the app is, to who uses it, and how YOU can use it to further your personal brand.


TikTok is first and foremost a video-sharing app created by ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet technology company. It features licensed music and video-editing features that allow its creators a new type of video content unprecedented on other platforms.

It’s unsurprising that as TIkTok’s popularity grew, brands began gravitating towards the platform. Especially given its unique algorithm that allows content a longer shelf life, social selling has taken on an all-new format in the app.

With the right tools and mindset, TikTok can become a game-changer for building your online community and revolutionizing your social selling strategy.

Elements of a TikTok

As a video editing platform, TikTok has introduced elements that are new to any of the existing social media apps.

The main elements of a TikTok include:

  • Added Text: text that you overlay on your videos
  • Subtitles: auto-generated using the audio from your video, can also be turned on and off
  • Caption: descriptor text for your video, may include a Call to Action (CTA), and where hashtags are located
  • Playlists: the option to organize your videos into playlists by topic, genre, etc.
  • Follow Button: appears on the right side of a video, under the profile circle in the main feed
  • Like Button: similar to the Instagram like, this little heart appears on the right side of a video, although you can also “like” a video by double-tapping your screen
  • Comment Button: below the Like button, click the comment bubble to leave your thoughts on a specific video
  • Share Button: below the Comment button, the Share feature allows you to send videos within the TikTok app, on other social apps, via messages and more.
  • Audio: located in the bottom corner, this icon shows the licensed music, user-created audio/original sound associated with a video

What is TikTok?

TikTok was adapted originally from retired social media app Musical.ly. The content from Musical.ly was influenced by a popular social app at the time, Vine, and featured short, 15-second karaoke and lip-syncing clips to pop music. When TikTok was born, its content grew to include longer videos (now up to 3 minutes) and content from a variety of topics – not just music-centered clips.

Who uses TikTok?

TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users and in 2021, became the first non-Facebook (now Meta) Company app to exceed 3 billion downloads globally.

Since its release in 2016, it has surpassed Twitter, Pinterest, Telegram, Reddit, and Snapchat in monthly active users.

As far as demographics go, 60% of TikTok’s users are ages 16-24, specifically Gen Z. This makes it an app that is slightly dominated by the younger population, unique from other social media apps that have a more diverse age range of users.

How do I use TikTok for my business?

Creating a TikTok marketing strategy requires time, dedication, and thoughtful planning. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be breaking down each aspect of TikTok from the business side of things, showing you everything from how to post a video to driving a community that generates sales.

Be sure to request a demo today to complete your social selling strategy across all platforms!

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