TikTok is a video sharing social networking service that has been available in the United States since 2016. It uses short-form videos anywhere from fifteen seconds to one minute long in a variety of categories. The videos tend to be a hybrid between entertainment and infotainment depending on what you’re looking for.
It’s quite remarkable how varied the content is which is delivered by an ever-changing algorithm that learns more about you & your interests during each session. TikTok has two feeds that supply videos to your app. The ‘For You’ feed is suggested accounts that you may have interest in based on your preferences or past viewing habits. Your ‘Following’ feed is filled with accounts you are subscribed to that have released fresh content. You can toggle back and forth between the two with ease.
One of the reasons TikTok has become more popular with content creators is that the video content on TikTok ‘lives’ longer than many other social platforms. In fact some creators have seen their content become viral weeks or months after it was originally posted. And of course, there’s a few different ways to make money on TikTok.
Fun Facts About TikTok
TikTok is available world-wide and currently there are 40 languages you can tap into for the service. While TikTok is not the only platform designed to share short videos, there is something about the app that is setting itself apart from others. Here are some fun facts about TikTok and the people who use it:
- 50% of users are under the age of 34
- Content ranges on the scale from raw, real, funny, to shocking
- The average TikTok user is on 52 minutes per day
- 60% of users are female
- 26% of users are 18-24
- Millennials and Boomers are adding the TikTok app at an alarming rate
TikTok is More Than Dancing and Comedy Bits
Tiktok is much more than fifteen seconds of dance moves. In many ways, TikTok is taking the lead in producing influencers. TikTok “influencers” seem to go viral with alarming speed and often times see a surge in their followers over night from a single video.
The app is ever evolving, and new categories are beginning and growing all the time including alternative lifestyle categories, DIY and upcycling, business, and behind-the-scenes looks at industries typically off-limits to insider information.
Who is Using TikTok?
The stats suggest most of the users are between 18-35, but those numbers are changing every day as every age group enjoys the benefits of TikTok.
Though it is certainly entertaining, it is also a smart business tool.
In the past year TikTok has generated millions of dollars in revenue for its users in a wide variety of ways. From being an influencer to linking to goods and services, the potential to earn via TikTok is pretty amazing since there is not cost associated with the platform.
In the end, there’s no drawback to TikTok.
The learning curve for making videos is fairly easy and the potential to generate revenue is easier and cheaper than similar platforms. Having an account is as easy as downloading the app, and since it’s been around a while, there are plenty of tutorials on how to maximize your account.
TikTok is a relatively new social networking platform that may be a smart business move to get noticed and make money.
Cons & Concerns
Main Concern: Security
While as of 2021, ‘cybersecurity experts say using TikTok is about as safe as other social media platforms. However, it does collect & use more personal data on it users than others. Because of this, Insider recommends users: Don’t overshare, Make your account private, Don’t allow other users to find you, and Don’t let other users interact with you.’ Source
Main Con: Creating Video
While you can now schedule TikToks, many people don’t want to go through the hassle of creating engaging video content. For some, this makes TikTok low hanging fruit – meaning there’s less competition. It’s up to you to decide if the effort is worth it. If you’re already creating Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, or were just interested in trying out some short-form video content, then this can be a good place to experiment.
Ways to Monetize TikTok
While it is possible to earn income from TikTok, there are also other benefits that may not translate to instant dollars in your bank account, but can be equally lucrative. Here are some ways you can benefit from TikTok:
- Merchandise, affiliate links from companies you endorse
- Sponsored posts / ads
- Growing accounts and selling them
- Freelance / social media manager opportunities
- Donations via cash apps
- Sell additional, exclusive content through Patreon or other memberships
- Coin donations during TikTok lives
- Creator Fund through TikTok
- Promote existing business
- Develop a brand & sell your own merch
Whether you use TikTok for personal or business use, there are a lot of ways to use your profile for profits.
Use Money-Making Links
Your bio is an important part of your TikTok account.
You can list a brief description of your qualifications, intent for your account or anything that helps a follower identify you and what you do. You want to use it to create access to more information about you and your business and offer opportunities to profit. Be strategic with your bio. Make sure it’s catchy, informative, and shares the information that gives you credibility and sets you apart from other creators.
You can also link to your website, linktree, or other landing page in your bio.
If you have multiple resources, link to your website and create a landing page with other links to your business assets. From one link your followers can access a variety of links or a landing page with one call to action.
If you don’t know how to create a webpage, use a service like Linktree or LIKEtoKNOW.it. These platforms offer you a way to direct followers to content you have affiliate links for. These are great for apps like TikTok and Instagram that only allow one link in the bio. You can use your social networking platform to generate a buzz or excitement about products you use and give followers a way to buy them, earning you a commission and passive income.
Add your relevant, money making links that you reference in your videos or captions to your one landing page or linktree. Choose your links carefully to make sure they lead to the most profitable ways to connect.
Important note: Not all links will be available to every account. Some links require a minimum of 1,000 followers or more before you can use some commission-based links. The good news is, TikTok has lower follower minimums than other platforms like Instagram. Use your account in the meantime to build your followers and share valuable content so you reach the minimum number of subscribers fast.
Not all Profit is Money – Unexpected Benefits of Viral TikToks
When it comes to business, the bottom line tends to be profit. Why else would you be in business if it isn’t to make money? Well, not all profit is money. Sometimes there are hidden resources that are as good as…or better, than money.
TikTok has the potential to create a buzz about you and your goods and services. These can lead to resources that you may not have imagined. Some TikTok influencers have seen rampant and unexpected benefits that have incredible value. Take a look:
Mikayla Nogueira– Makeup artist influencer: Mikayla started out on TikTok simply as someone who loves makeup. She began an Instagram account sharing tutorials in 2013 and only gained 43k followers. On TikTok she has amassed over 3.7 Million followers. Since coming to TikTok, she has earned over a million in income, products and other goods and services.
Mikayla has not only monetized her TikTok account she has benefitted from hidden resources like: free products, collaborations, and exposure to people in her industry she would not otherwise been able to access. She is now beginning to branch out into other areas of interest to her followers, including mental health issues she manages.
DogFace– One TikTok account took the world by storm with a simple video showcasing Nathan Apodaca drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail while riding a skateboard with Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams playing in the background. The back story was his car broke down on the way to work and he simply wasn’t going to let his situation get the best of him. Well, his zen-like attitude catapulted him to TikTok fame triggering a series of copy-cat videos with some pretty famous people.
Ultimately, he was given a new truck from Ocean Spray after his video caused a spike in consumption of their product.
While the majority of videos do not go viral, many do. It isn’t unusual to get thousands of views on videos and the ratio of influencers on TikTok tends to be higher than other platforms as in Mikayla’s case where she had infinitely more traction on TikTok than Instagram.
In short, there are a lot of possibilities to generate income and other resources from TikTok. Developing your account could lead to a profitable experience.