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How To Go Live on TikTok

how to go live on tiktok

TikTok has over 1 billion active users worldwide. And according to a 2022 study, one in five live streaming users watches TikTok LIVE, with 62% of that group watching it every day.

Going live on TikTok is a brilliant way to engage your audience, gain new followers, and boost brand awareness. It can help you grow your business on TikTok faster, while having some real-time fun at the same time.

Read on for a comprehensive guide on going live on TikTok, including top tips from successful TikTok creators.

What is TikTok LIVE?

TikTok LIVE is a live streaming feature that allows creators to communicate with their audiences in real-time. Creators can use the LIVE video format for various purposes, whether it be a Q&A session, a tutorial, or a product announcement.

What makes LIVE videos different from regular TikTok videos is their social and interactive nature, as livestreams tend to be less formal. Not only can viewers participate in a conversation directly with a creator by writing comments or joining the live stream as a guest, but they can also send virtual Gifts to a creator during a LIVE video.

@creatorportal

Get your viewers excited for your LIVE with these tips for navigating LIVE gifting. 🎁 #CreatorPortal

♬ original sound – Creator Portal

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

To go live on TikTok, you need to be at least 16 years old, and have a minimum of 1,000 followers on the platform. Additionally, to receive virtual Gifts during a LIVE video, you must be aged 18 or older.

What if I don’t have 1,000 followers?

Currently, it is not possible to host a TikTok LIVE if you don’t meet the 1,000 followers requirement. However, you can join someone else’s live stream as a guest (more on that below).

How long after hitting 1,000 followers can you go live?

If you’ve managed to get your TikTok follower count above 1,000, the LIVE option should be activated immediately. If you can’t see the LIVE option on your TikTok account, wait for a a few days before trying again or contact TikTok support.

Still unable to go live? This could be the reason.

If TikTok believes that you have violated the TikTok community guidelines, it may temporarily or permanently ban your account. You will be notified of the decision and have the chance to appeal if you believe you haven’t violated the guidelines. 

If TikTok has placed a ban on your account, you won’t be able to go live until the ban is lifted, so this could be one of the reasons why the feature is not working for you.

How to go live on TikTok in 6 easy steps

1. Log in to the TikTok app. Tap the Create icon (the + sign at the bottom of the screen).

2. Using the bottom navigation, swipe all the way left to find the LIVE tool.

3. Choose an image and a title for your LIVE video. Select an attention-grabbing cover image and title for your live stream to draw in viewers and encourage more people to watch.

4. Press “Go LIVE” to start your livestream. You’ll get a 3-second countdown before the stream starts.

5. Once you’re live, you can tap on the three dots to change your settings, such as flipping your camera, filtering comments, and adding moderators.

6. Tap the X at the top left to end your LIVE video.

@creatorportal

Reply to @tiktokcreators Curious about how to go LIVE? Let @jennymartinezzz walk you through it. #CreatorPortal #TikTokTutorial

♬ original sound – Creator Portal

How to customize your TikTok LIVE

When you go live on TikTok, you can access a number of features to customize your live stream. Tap the three dots at the bottom right of the screen to:

  • Use different effects
  • Flip your camera
  • Filter comments
  • Add up to 20 moderators

Keyword filters can help block potentially negative or hateful comments during a LIVE video. Hit the Settings tab in the LIVE launch screen to add up to 200 terms, or turn off comments altogether. Hosts and moderators can add words to the list throughout the live stream, so you can monitor the chat as you go.

How to add moderators to your TikTok LIVE

To keep its users safe, TikTok has also introduced the option to add moderators to TikTok LIVEs. 

Whenever you go live, you can add up to 20 moderators to help ensure a positive experience for you and your viewers. Moderators are there to help you monitor your live streams, so that you can focus on delivering great content, rather than worrying about unwelcoming or abusive comments.

More specifically, moderators can help:

  • Monitor comments
  • Mute and block users
  • Moderate debates and discussions

To add moderators to your TikTok LIVE, follow the steps below:

1. Press “Go LIVE” to start your livestream.

2. Tap on the three dots at the bottom right and find the Moderators section.

3. Tap the Add user icon at the top right and select the user(s) you want to make a moderator. 

4. If you want to take any moderator off your live stream, simply tap Remove next to their name.

@creatorportal

Wondering how TikTok works? It’s Q/A time! We’re here to bust some myths about mass reporting, LIVE bans and more! #CreatorPortal #HowTikTokWorks

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How to join someone else’s TikTok LIVE

TikTok is all about sharing and collaborating with others, so why not try joining someone else’s TikTok LIVE? To connect with another user, follow these four steps:

1. Log in to the TikTok app. Tap the LIVE icon at the top left corner of the screen.

2. Find the live stream you want to join, so you can submit a request to collaborate.

3. Go to the comments section and tap the Multi-guest button (the icon that looks like two figures side-by-side) to send a request to the host.

4. Wait for the host to accept your request. The host can invite up to five guests to their LIVE video — the guests can be viewers or friends.

@tiktoklive_us

ICYMI: You can now throw your own virtual show or celebration with Multi-Guest Seat Expansion. Creators can go live with up to 5 guests — that includes viewers or friends!

♬ original sound – tiktoklive_us

How to co-host a TikTok LIVE with someone else

You can also invite someone else to co-host a TikTok LIVE with you. Here’s how to access the feature:

1. Press “Go LIVE” to start your livestream.

2. Tap the +Hosts button at the bottom left.

3. Invite other users to co-host the LIVE video with you.

@creatorportal

Liven up your LIVEs with these fun content features to try. #CreatorPortal

♬ original sound – Creator Portal

What are the benefits of going live on TikTok?

While it can initially feel intimidating to go live in front of an online audience, TikTok LIVEs can bring a host of benefits to your brand. Here are just three pros of getting in front of the camera:

Connect with your audience

One of the key benefits of live streaming is getting the opportunity to connect with your audience in real-time. TikTok LIVE gives your fans and followers a direct link to you and your brand, allowing them to ask questions, take part in discussions, and share their thoughts and feelings with you.

Live streaming also adds a sense of authenticity to your marketing efforts. While you can do some planning before going live on TikTok, you can’t necessarily edit or airbrush the live stream, and you can’t anticipate everything that’s going to happen. But that’s what makes live streams special — your audience automatically feel a deeper, more real connection to you and your brand.

Your audience wants to know that there’s a real person behind all the content they see, and TikTok LIVEs allow you to show who you are and what you’re all about, giving your business a relatable face.

Boost brand awareness

What better way to get word out about your brand and your products than a live stream? Going live on TikTok allows you to reach a wide audience, increasing brand awareness and encouraging viewers to find out more about you.

There’s a dedicated LIVE section under the Home tab, where anyone can stumble across your live stream — even if they’re not part of your existing audience or follower base.

Pro tip: Make sure to include a clear call to action (CTA) to direct your viewers to take the next steps after your LIVE video — whether that’s following you, signing up for your newsletter, or shopping your digital product.

Show off your skills

TikTok LIVE is the ideal place for showing off your skills to your audience. You can establish yourself as an expert in your niche by answering your audience’s questions instantly and sharing your knowledge on your chosen topic. If you can show that you’re capable and confident in what you do, you can win more followers and even customers down the line.

Wondering if you can earn some cash on TikTok? Grab this free guide on how to make money on TikTok for tips and advice.

7 tips for going live on TikTok

If you’re new to TikTok LIVE, here are some tips to help make your first live stream a success.

1. Plan your LIVE before you start

If you’re going live on TikTok for the first time, it would be a good idea to plan ahead before you hit “Go LIVE.” While you won’t be able to plan every single minute of it, as your LIVE will probably be shaped a lot by the comments you receive, you should think about what your core topic is, what you’re going to cover, and who you’re trying to target.

Define your audience 

It’s helpful to define your audience before you go live on TikTok. Figure out who you’re trying to speak to and why. That includes key demographics, your audience’s pain points, and the problems you’re going to help them solve.

If you are clear on who your target audience is, you will find it easier to tailor your content to what your viewers want to see, and attract more relevant followers in the process.

Pick a topic and format

Before you go live, choose a format for your live stream and a core topic you want to cover. There are many ways to engage your audience with TikTok LIVE, including:

  • How-to live streams: Teach viewers how to do something with a tutorial-based stream that gives them new knowledge or tips and tricks.
  • Doing a live challenge: Tap into viral TikTok trends by doing a live challenge to get your brand noticed.
  • Hosting a Q&A: Encourage viewers to engage with your live stream by asking them to comment with questions and answering them in real-time.
  • Giving a behind-the-scenes tour: Offer a look into your business with a behind-the-scenes tour of your workspace, filming setup, or anything else that may be of interest.
  • Interviewing creators or experts: Collaborate with others by hosting a live interview. Make sure you invite someone who’s relevant to your audience, and ask meaningful questions that your audience wants to know.

Make an outline

Once you’ve decided on a topic for your TikTok LIVE, create a rough outline. This helps ensure you stay on track during your live stream instead of going off on a tangent. Having a rough outline also gives you something to refer back to in case you your mind goes blank.

While planning is essential, stay away from scripts to avoid having your TikTok LIVE feel forced and awkward. Trust in your ability to improvise, and allow your live stream to deliver on the spontaneous feel your audience is looking for.

Choose your time slot

To set your TikTok LIVE up for success, check when your audience is most active on the platform and schedule your live stream for those times. Don’t forget to consider time zones for international audiences.

Keep it short

When planning your LIVE, think about how long you want your stream to be. While the length is really up to you, limiting your live stream to around 30 minutes is generally best practice on TikTok.

2. Promote your LIVE

If you’re planning to go live on TikTok, make sure to promote it in advance on your TikTok feed and other channels.

You can promote your TikTok LIVE across your social media platforms, through your newsletter, and even on your website. Invite as many followers to tune in to your live stream for maximum impact.

Pro tip: Before you go live, post a video on your TikTok feed to boost engagement. That way, if a viewer comes across your recent post while you are hosting a LIVE, they can see that you’re live and can immediately join your stream.

Want to get your TikToks noticed? Download our free TikTok SEO Cheat Sheet for tips to get more visibility for your content.

@creatorportal

Reply to @tiktokcreators Trust us: These LIVE hacks are worth the wait. @jennymartinezzz #CreatorPortal #TikTokTutorial

♬ original sound – Creator Portal

3. Set the stage

Even if you’re just filming from your bedroom, it’s important that you have the proper setup before going live on TikTok. That means thinking about your lighting, background, camera, and internet connection before you get started:

Background

Before you start your LIVE, take a look at what your background is going to look like on-screen. What impression are you trying to give your viewers? Choose a background that reflects your brand and the image you’re trying to convey.

Lighting

It’s important that your viewers can see you clearly, so check your lighting too. A ring light is ideal for creating even, flattering lighting that will make your LIVE look more professional, wherever you’re streaming from.

Sound

It doesn’t matter how good your content is, if your viewers can’t hear you, your LIVE is going to drop like a ton of bricks. Make sure you have clear sound quality with no distracting background noise, so that your viewers can actually hear what you’re saying.

Camera angle

Investing in a tripod for your phone can make all the difference to your live streams. Position your camera on a stable surface at an angle that frames your face nicely in portrait view. Say goodbye to shakiness! 

Internet connection

Make sure you have stable internet connection before you go live to minimize the risk of losing viewers due to poor connection.

@creatorportal

Reply to @tiktokcreators If you have the time, we have the LIVE tips. @jennymartinezzz #CreatorPortal #TikTokTutorial

♬ original sound – Creator Portal

4. Choose the right cover image and title

First impressions matter on TikTok, so it’s important to carefully consider the title and cover image for your TikTok LIVE. Unless you’re an established creator on the platform, you’re going to have to put in some effort to entice people to watch your LIVE video. An eye-catching cover image and title might just help draw viewers in. Take a look at the top LIVEs on TikTok right now, and see what’s working for other creators.

@creatorportal

@matt_and_omar are dropping the keys to success for going LIVE on TikTok. See you there? 👀 #CreatorPortal

♬ original sound – Creator Portal

5. Engage your viewers

The best LIVE hosts interact and engage with their audience throughout their live stream. To encourage your viewers to stick around and keep watching, ask questions and respond to comments as you go. This gives your viewers the feeling that they have a direct connection to you.

6. Include a clear call to action

Make your LIVE count by including a clear call to action during your stream and before you sign off. Direct your viewers to take the next steps after watching your stream — like hitting follow, heading to your website, or signing up for your newsletter.

Whatever your CTA is, make sure it’s straightforward and repeated more than once during your LIVE. The idea is to hang onto your viewers after your stream, and not let them drop off your radar as soon as they’ve finished watching.

7. Connect with other creators

To expand your audience and make your LIVE extra effective, you can also collaborate with other TikTok creators or partner with brands. TikTok LIVE lets you join other users’ live streams, so why not take advantage of it? 

Link up with like-minded creators or experts in your niche and co-host a TikTok LIVE together. This gives you the opportunity to connect with their audiences, boost your brand awareness, and create a more dynamic and fun LIVE experience.

Think you’re ready to go live on TikTok?

If you have 1,000 followers and you’re over 16 years old, there’s nothing to stop you from going live on TikTok. Follow the tips in this guide to make a great first impression to your followers. Now, take a deep breath and hit Go Live!

Follow The Leap on TikTok and Instagram for more content creation tips. We also make a newsletter.

elizabeth harris
About the author

Elizabeth Harris

Elizabeth Harris is a content marketer and copywriter with a passion for helping businesses get the most out of their content, helping to educate, inspire, and engage audiences.
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