#KnowYourGrowth Social Media 101: TikTok



The #KnowYourGrowth: Summer of Social Media workshop was a 4-workshop series that provided a deep dive into today’s biggest social media platforms: Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok. As a follow-up to that series, we’ve created these Social Media 101 guides for each platform to help you grow your brand and expand online. 

What is TikTok?

TikTok has been around since 2016, but it really started taking off during the pandemic. The entire world was at home, burning through episodes of their favorite shows (for the fifth time) and looking for something new to fill the content void. People were immediately hooked by TikTok’s viral trends and how simple it was to record, post, and reach millions. With its endless feed, short-form videos, and powerful algorithm, TikTok quickly became a place where anyone could pick up their phone and get creative. 

Key Best Practices 

Follow the “Stop, Watch, Surprise” format
  • Stop: You have about three seconds to get people to stop scrolling and watch your video, so the beginning has to be interesting enough to capture the viewer’s attention immediately.
  • Watch: Create some buildup in the middle of the video. You can tell a story that keeps people guessing, or show an art piece in the making so people want to stick around until the end.
  • Surprise: Now that you’ve captured the viewer’s attention, you have to provide a surprise that’s worth waiting for. It has to be so good that people want to watch the whole video over again and share it with all their friends. 

Bulbasaur’s feet can tell us where to find them #frogs #pokémon #animals #learnontiktok #biology

♬ original sound – MinuteEarth

Participate in what’s trending

If you’re new to TikTok, jumpstart your growth by participating in trends. Spend even a little time on the app and you’ll see what sounds, challenges, and themes are going viral. Then put your own spin on them to make it more authentic to you. 

Post multiple videos daily

There’s no limit to how many times a day you can post on the platform. Each video is treated individually in the algorithm and your videos are seen across all time zones. That means you can share as much as you want without worrying about the “best time” to post. But remember, quality still beats out quantity.

Use trending sounds in your video 
  • Songs from all eras, genres, and countries trend on TikTok daily. You can get eyes on your videos by using hashtags and trends, but you can also go viral by using a sound. If your post is one of the top videos using a specific sound, you’ll pop up under that sound’s page, which means even more people can discover your content.
  • Original sound vs. official sound: When you edit a video off platform with a sound included, your video will be posted with an “original sound.” Official sounds are confirmed sounds by TikTok that have been verified and linked to the specific artist or trend. Choosing an official sound typically leads to more exposure because people can find your videos simply by scrolling through a popular sound. 
  • Be yourself: People love following authentic creators who keep it real and honest. When viewers feel like they can relate to you, they’re more drawn to your content. 

Step inside @durandbernarr’s song writing process. #Creator #PatreonCreator #FYP #FY #HowTo #MusicHowTo #TikTokMusic

♬ original sound – Patreon

Patreon Growth Tips for TikTok

  • Link your Patreon in your bio: When videos go viral on TikTok, you have high exposure to a large global audience. When they see your video, they’ll probably go to your profile. This is a good chance to include either a bio link highlighting all your socials or a singular link going directly to your Patreon. 
  • Provide previews of what you offer: Create short videos highlighting your work and what you do for your Patreon community that are linked to viral sounds and trends. This creates curiosity and will make viewers want to learn more about what you offer on your Patreon. 

A message to creators from @cindychendesigns #Creator #patreoncreator #FYP #FY #creatoreconomy #officejob #creativework #creatorcareer


Tiktok Posting 101

  • Format: Create videos in vertical format.
  • Music: Add songs to your videos directly from the app to increase your chances of virality.
  • Descriptions & hashtags: Include relevant descriptions and hashtags to put your content in front of the right audience.
  • Thumbnail: Choose the most captivating thumbnail to get viewers to watch your videos.
  • Sharing: Share your posts on your other social platforms to increase reach.
  • Length: Videos can now be up to three minutes.
  • Posting time: There’s no “right” time to post due to the app’s global reach.

How to Monetize on TikTok

Creator Fund: Rewards creators for creating TikTok videos.
Creator Marketplace:  Collaboration platform to connect brands and creators on TikTok.
Live Gifting:  Allows viewers to send creators virtual gifts. 

Additional Resources for Editing 

For additional resources, please check out our other social media guides on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter to improve your social strategy.