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    How to go live on TikTok and engage your followers

    Going live on social media is a great way to connect directly with your audience, answering questions and getting feedback in real time. This is why going live on TikTok should be a major part of your TikTok marketing strategy.

    However, getting access to TikTok LIVE has a few stipulations, the main one being that you need to have at least 1,000 followers. In this article, we’re going to walk you through how to go live on TikTok, how to use TikTok LIVE to engage your followers, plus a secret way you may be able to get access to this feature even if you haven’t yet hit 1,000 followers.

    Let’s get started.

    What is TikTok LIVE?

    TikTok LIVE is a feature that lets you stream live broadcasts on the app. This creates an opportunity to interact with your audience in real-time. Like your regular TikTok videos, you can add filters and effects using LIVE.

    Going live on TikTok creates a more informal and engaging way for you to connect with your audience. Your live video can be anywhere from a few minutes long to share a quick announcement to an hour or two for a live shopping sale, Q&A with your followers, or even some kind of live show you create for your audience.

    The biggest difference with LIVE is that the video streams in real-time and can be any length. Meanwhile, regular TikTok videos can only be up to 10 minutes long and are pre-recorded before uploading to the platform. Additionally, there are certain restrictions on who can use LIVE, while every user can upload a regular video.

    How to go live on TikTok and engage your followers

    Source: TikTok

    How many followers do you need to go live on TikTok?

    There are two main criteria you need to meet to get access to the TikTok LIVE feature. These stipulations are how to get live access to TikTok while fully following the platform’s rules and community guidelines:

    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    • Must have 1,000 followers

    While we’re going to cover a work around that may help you get live access without hitting that 1,000 follower milestone, this method is more foolproof. Check out our guide on how to get more TikTok followers before trying out the potential “hack” in the next section.

    How to go live on TikTok without 1,000 followers?

    There is a way that some TikTok users have been able to get access to TikTok LIVE without hitting that 1,000 follower threshold. However, keep in mind that this is a “hack” that some users promote, and we recommend doing it the real way—through TikTok marketing and engagement so you can reach 1,000 followers as quickly as possible.

    But if you’re restless (which, believe me, we understand) and want to try out this option, here are step-by-step instructions on how to get live access to TikTok when you have less than 1,000 followers.

    1. Go to your account settings

    Step one is to head to your TikTok profile and tap the hamburger menu (three parallel lines) in the top right corner. Then, tap Settings and privacy to access your account settings.

    A screenshot of your profile menu in TikTok

    2. Tap “Report a problem”

    In your account settings, scroll down to the Support & About section. At the top, tap Report a problem.

    A screenshot of the Settings & privacy menu in TikTok

    3. Look at the options under “LIVE”

    There are a number of sections available under TikTok’s help section. Tap the LIVE header to look at some of the LIVE-specific options.

    A screenshot of the support options available in TikTok

    4. Tap “Hosting LIVE”

    Previously, there was a simple I can’t start a TikTok LIVE option that you could choose. The fact that this interface is updated may be due to an overall update, or it could be due to TikTok catching onto this “hack.”

    However, the best course of action now will be to tap the Hosting LIVE option to access more relevant queries.

    5. Tap “How to start a LIVE”

    There are several queries under Hosting LIVE that are relevant to starting your own live video. The best one to choose will be How to start a LIVE, though you may also want to test out Other hosting LIVE issues.

    A screenshot of TikTok LIVE-specific help desk options in TikTok

    6. Submit your request

    Once you tap How to start a LIVE, you’ll be greeted with a message showing you the steps you need to take to start your own TikTok LIVE.

    A screenshot showing the TikTok support page for "how to go live"

    However, it also details what to do if you feel you meet the eligibility but don’t see the LIVE option. In this sense, it’s a bit of an honor code. But you can still try to submit a request even if you don’t have 1,000 followers.

    Follow the instructions, then if the LIVE option is still not there, take a screenshot. Then tap No under Is your problem resolved? Once you do that, a Need anything else? link will appear.

    Tap that to get access to this feedback box:

    A screenshot of the feedback box in TikTok

    In the box, you can write something like, “I can’t access TikTok LIVE. My followers are asking me to go live. Can you please enable it for me?” You’ll also be able to attach the screenshot that proves you don’t have LIVE access.

    From here, you’ll simply have to await TikTok’s decision. The only foolproof way to gain access to TikTok LIVE is by growing your follower count, but hopefully this works for you!

    Once you do have access to TikTok LIVE, you can move onto the next section.

    How to go live on TikTok step-by-step

    Now it’s time to take TikTok LIVE for a spin. If you’re familiar with TikTok and you’ve gone live on other social networks, you should have no trouble learning how to livestream on TikTok. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to go live on TikTok.

    Step 1: Tap on the “+” button to open the camera. This is the same button that you use to record or upload your regular TikTok videos.

    Step 2: From the navigation bar at the bottom, swipe and then select the option to go LIVE. If you don’t see this option, you may not be eligible to access the feature yet—see the above section to circumvent this.

    A screenshot showing the TikTok LIVE interface

    Step 3: Next, add details about your LIVE such as the title, add any filters you want to use, and make any other adjustments before you go live. Those details will give people an idea of what your stream is about. The right title and thumbnail could convince people to watch your TikTok LIVE even if they’ve never heard of you before.

    As you can see below, the thumbnail is the first thing that will catch the eye. The title of the LIVE video tells people what the stream is all about and further entices them to tune in.

    A screenshot showcasing various live videos

    Step 4: Once you’re ready to start your TikTok LIVE stream, tap on the red “Go Live” button at the bottom of your screen. That’s it. You’re finally going live on TikTok. During your broadcast, you’ll have the option to add effects and filters or flip your camera. TikTok even lets you add moderators or turn commenting on or off.

    TikTok LIVE tips and ideas for better engagement

    Since the ultimate goal of going live is to engage your audience, here are a few TikTok LIVE tips and ideas to help you drive better engagement.

    1. Interact with your audience

    The whole point of using TikTok LIVE is to engage with your audience. And more often than not, the live chat box is often bursting with questions from viewers. For example, the following TikTok LIVE showcasing someone painting pots is getting a lot of questions from viewers.

    A screenshot of a TikTok live and its comments

    Source: TikTok

    So take the opportunity to actively interact with them. Respond to their comments or answer their questions in the live to let them know that you’re engaged, which could get them to reciprocate. You could even have entire livestreams dedicated to Q&A sessions.

    Answering your audience’s questions is especially important during livestream shopping sessions. Viewers might have questions about the features and other product details before deciding to buy the item. So make sure to proactively respond and interact with relevant questions and comments.

    2. Hold a discussion around a specific topic

    One effective way to keep your audience engaged is by holding a discussion around their topic of interest. Choose a topic that’s relevant to your audience and use it as a subject of discussion for your LIVE session.

    You could then add your commentary or ask viewers to pitch in their thoughts, experiences or viewpoints. This is a great way to spark engagement among your viewers and get them to tune into the whole livestream.

    3. Give shoutouts to your top fans/viewers

    When you publicly acknowledge your biggest fans, it makes them feel valued. This gives them more reason to continue engaging with your TikTok LIVE.

    Give your top fans or viewers a shoutout during your livestream and let them know you appreciate them. This is especially important if a viewer sends you a Gift. Make sure you publicly thank them, which might even inspire others to also send you Gifts.

    Gifts are a great way to make money from TikTok. Viewers can exchange currency for coins in the TikTok app, and then use those coins to buy gifts. Look at the options offered below underneath the LIVE video:

    A screenshot showcasing the virtual gifts in TikTok LIVE

    Source: TikTok

    Creators can then exchange the Gifts they receive for income. Although each Gift isn’t typically worth much, the more often you go live and receive Gifts, the more you’ll be able to make.

    4. Provide a look into your creative process

    The spontaneous and real-time nature of LIVE offers a great way to take your viewers behind the scenes into your creative process. Use your livestream to show them what you’re working on or how you typically create your content.

    For example, an artist could launch a livestream as they make a new art piece. A food content creator could livestream their trip to the grocery store as they pick up items for a new video. If you’re running a TikTok account for your business, you could also give viewers a tour of your store or your factory.

    5. Start out strong

    The first few seconds of your LIVE session give people an idea of what to expect. So avoid starting out with uncertainties such as, “Can you hear me?” or similar phrases. Instead, start out strong with a cheerful and structured greeting to welcome your viewers and make them want to keep watching.

    Some tips for how to kick off your livestream include:

    • Recap a recent video on a similar topic
    • Introduce yourself and your role at the company
    • Tell a funny, but relevant, story
    • Talk about your business
    • Use an icebreaker

    6. Make the most of a moderator

    While responding to your audience is important, that doesn’t mean every comment deserves an answer. Paying attention to rude or harassing comments can ruin the whole vibe of your livestream. Instead, have a moderator remove inappropriate comments and maintain a safe and fun environment.

    7. Choose your timing wisely

    It’s not likely that you’ll attract tons of viewers if you go live while everyone is sleeping or at work. Make sure you go live at a time when your audience is most likely to tune in.

    Use the Sprout Social TikTok analytics report to find out which post timings work best on the platform. This will give you a better sense of the right time to launch a TikTok LIVE.

    A screenshot showing Sprout Social's TikTok analytics

    Restrictions on TikTok LIVE

    You don’t need to have a creator or business account to go live on TikTok. However, there are some age and follower count restrictions to access the TikTok LIVE feature. That means most users should be able to use the feature if they meet the minimum age requirement and have the minimum follower limit.

    Users who are at least 18 years of age can launch a TikTok LIVE. It looks like the age limit used to be 16, but it must have been raised recently. TikTok’s support article now states that users must be at least 18.

    While 13-year-olds can have an account, they’re limited to the TikTok for Younger Users ecosystem and can’t go live. This is one of the many measures that TikTok has in place to keep the platform safe for users of all ages.

    In addition to meeting the minimum age requirement, we’ve discussed how you should also have at least 1,000 followers on TikTok to go live. So if you plan on using this feature—and don’t want to test the “hack”—you need to start by growing your following.

    Ready to go live on TikTok?

    Now you know exactly how to go live on TikTok and how to use the feature to boost engagement. You can further improve your TikTok strategy by closely monitoring your TikTok analytics to see what works with your audience.

    The post How to go live on TikTok and engage your followers appeared first on Sprout Social.

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