The Ins and Outs of TikTok and Who To Follow
Between watching hilarious lip-syncing vids #lipsync, discovering body-positive videos #allbodiesaregoodbodies, and getting the latest makeup tips #makeuptutorial, TikTok’s authentic, fun, and inspiring videos has me hooked. Here’s my guide to navigating the app and some top content recs for who to follow on TikTok.
How To Get Followers on TikTok
First up, when you join any new social platform it can be hard to know where to start. The easiest place is building out your own profile page. Complete your bio and make it fun and engaging. To grow your followers, post regularly and at peak times of the day. Engage with other TikTok users’ content to support them as this also encourages their interaction with your page and content. Try using recommended and trending songs in your videos, and always use trending hashtags too to make sure your content gets seen.
Another good tip is to stitch content. Adding a few seconds of someone else’s video to the start of yours—giving them credit of course, is a super fun way to engage with their community too. Check out the latest trending challenges, and put your own twist on it. And, most importantly, don’t take things to heart on TikTok. If your content doesn’t get the engagement you’d like, or if a post doesn’t work out the way you imagined it, that’s OK, you can always try again, there are endless possibilities for posts, and it might take you a while to find your vibe and voice.
How To Support a Cause On TikTok
TikTok isn’t just about posting videos, it’s also a force for raising awareness, promoting social justice issues, and supporting causes that matter to you. And, there are lots of ways the platform is set up for this. You can add donation stickers on your content to direct your viewers to a charity of your choice. Just open the Stickers menu and select the "Support Nonprofit" option. You can also follow your favorite charities and engage with their hashtag challenges, for example, the United Nation launched the world’s largest dance challenge #DanceForChange. And, you can create your own call-to-action content that promotes the causes you feel most passionately about.
How To Avoid Harmful and Trigger Content on TikTok
As with any social media platform, it’s important to set boundaries, so that you get the best experience from it. Like other social platforms, TikTok has an algorithm that’s designed to feed you new content that’s similar to content you’ve just interacted with. So, if you watch several videos that have hashtags associated with mental health issues or social justice activism for example, your For You page will slowly start to serve you content the algorithm thinks is related, which could contain potentially triggering topics. Try to keep focused on positive content that uplifts you, not topics that drag you down. If you do find yourself stuck in a spiral of algorithmically-generated trauma, you can train it to stop doing that by watching more positive videos, or stay off social media for a month while you practice a little self-care. If it gets really intense, you can delete your account and start fresh. You can also designate time limits for your social media consumption, and make sure you have device-free times too. Balance is everything.
Who To Follow on TikTok For Feel-Good Vibes
Activist and model, Amelie Zilber is a Young Ambassador for UNICEF who makes informational TikToks about various social and political issues. She also publishes the Two Minute Times where she breaks down today’s global issues to help everyone engage with what’s happening in the wider world. Follow Amelie @ameliezilber
Known for his short and relatable comedy skits that feature him playing out extreme versions of everyday scenarios, his videos often see him playing every character in the scene. Great for light-hearted relief. Follow Matt @mattheperson
Zahra has switched up the conversation on TikTok for the better posting content about her ethnic and religious identity. From rapid-fire musings on everyday life, skits about wearing a hijab, and videos trolling her brother, she’s relatable in every way. Follow Zahra @muslimthicc
Bunny & Alexis
A talking sheepadoodle? Well, almost. Bunny’s owner Alexis Devine has taught her to use a pretty complex system of word buttons to communicate what she’s thinking, and their conversations make for pretty epic TikToks. Follow their fun @whataboutbunny
Sharing lip-synching vids, comedic skits, and busting out some weird dance moves, model and actor Josh Richards is one of TikTok’s biggest stars. He also uses his platform to make a difference, raising awareness of climate change. Follow Josh @joshrichards
When 22-year-old Oneya Johnson joined TikTok he was homeless and living in his car in Lafayette, Indiana. Thanks to his brilliant videos in which he watches other people's content and aggressively yells positive messages and praise, he gained one million followers in just 24 hours. He’s now one of TikTok’s top accounts. Follow Oneya @angryreactions
Social justice advocate Noah Miller shares green screen videos, hilarious lip-synching reactions to pretty much anything, and uses his platform to highlight current civic movements and social issues that he feels strongly about. Check out his IG bio to access links to causes that he is currently supporting and follow him on TikTok @nmillz
Looking for even more inspiring content? Discover your new favorite podcast.