How To
7 min read

How To Go Live On TikTok: A Complete Guide With Examples

Nicole Hankey

July 31, 2022

Introduction

Want to boost engagement with your TikTok followers? A great way to do that is by taking advantage of livestreaming! TikTok LIVE gives you a new way to interact with your audience, build a sense of community, and boost your brand’s overall engagement. 

How can you get started? We’ll break it down for you in our guide to getting started with TikTok LIVE!

Related: How to Get Started on TikTok: All You Need to Know

What is TikTok Live?

TikTok LIVE is the TikTok platform equivalent to Instagram, Facebook Live, or any other livestreaming service. It simply provides a way for creators to stream content live to their audience and set up an interactive online environment. 

Beyond helping you build a following, going live also presents opportunities to make money on TikTok for yourself and your favorite charities—making it an effective tool for brands, creators, and activists.  

How do I go live on TikTok?

To start your livestream adventure, you’ll need to make sure you meet a few requirements, decide whether to stream from the app or your computer, and follow a few simple steps to record. 

What are the requirements for using TikTok LIVE?

  • Have 1,000 or more followers (or try a simple workaround—more on that later).
  • Be at least 16 years old (based on the birthdate you provided when you signed up for your account). If you’re over 18, you can access more features like the TikTok Gifts feature. This will open up many more options to help you make money through TikTok.

Related: How to use TikTok for Business

How do I livestream on the TikTok mobile app?

  1. From the app, hit the + button to open the camera.
  1. Slide to the left from the menu under the red Record button until you find the LIVE option.
  1. Choose a title for your livestream.
  1. Add a topic and/or choose a nonprofit to support.
  1. Tap Go LIVE.
Screenshots from Wordstream and Kyla Liu.
  1. You did it! Welcome to TikTok LIVE.

How do I livestream on TikTok from my computer?

Streaming on TikTok is accessible from your computer, thanks to apps like Streamlabs. Simply follow the steps below, and you’ll be going live in no time. 

  1. First, make sure you’ve downloaded Streamlabs Desktop.
  2. Once installed and opened Streamlabs, follow the prompts to connect to a streaming platform. You can select TikTok from the dropdown menu and sign into your existing TikTok account.

  1. After logging in, find and click the green Go Live button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  1. This will open up a new window where you can input your TikTok stream key and URL (you can find these under the Transfer to PC/Mac option on the LIVE camera page in your TikTok app). 
  1. Fill out the options for other preferences, then hit Confirm & Go Live.

TikTok LIVE tips and best practices

Define your TikTok LIVE objective

Is your dream to get more followers? Why?

To connect on a deeper level with the followers you already have? Are you trying out a new product or feature? Are you hosting a giveaway or Q&A session? 

You can make your TikTok LIVE session whatever you want, but make sure you have a clear idea of your aim before going in. This will keep you on track and your audience engaged. (No matter your livestreaming goal, you always want to increase engagement!) 

Tip: If you need help coming up with original content for your livestream, try taking advantage of Copy.ai’s freestyle content generator

Find the best time to livestream

Hopefully, you’re already aware of your audience demographics and trends as part of your content marketing strategy. If not, spend some time with your analytics info to gain insight into your followers’ behavior. 

To maximize your livestreaming success, you’ll want to ensure you’re online when most of your followers are, so the most people are viewing your content. 

The best times to stream, in general, are in the morning (6-10 a.m.) and evening (7-11 p.m.) on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. 

Keep your setup simple

While you want quality production, there’s no need to overcomplicate things. All you should need for a remarkable livestream is yourself, your device, an environment with good sound/lighting, and any props/products you want to include in your video. 

You can invest in higher-quality mics and cameras if you want, but with a smartphone and computer technology these days, there’s no need for TikTok livestreams.

Choose the perfect background

You’ll want to ensure you’re front and center in your video, of course—and in front of a non-distracting background, if possible. Depending on your ideal aesthetic, you could opt for a blank wall, a greenscreen setup, or on-brand decorations. 

Don’t forget a sound (and light) check

When you go live, I’m sure you want to avoid the dreaded “We can’t hear you! Are you muted?” response from your audience. Ensure your mic is set up, connected, and working correctly before hitting record.

This is especially important if you’re using headphones or other third-party microphones. Sometimes these will have connection issues, or TikTok/Streamlabs might default to a different mic automatically. 

Lighting can also make or break your livestream, so it’s worth investing in quality LED lights to set the right mood and ensure your followers can see you. 

Ensure you have a stable internet connection

There’s no point in streaming if your internet is cutting in and out. Make sure you have a strong connection before you even start streaming so you don’t run into any frustrating technical difficulties.

Promote, promote, promote!

There’s no point putting all this time and effort into planning and running a livestream if no one ends up watching it. While it might still be good practice, it’s not the best use of your time or resources. To avoid this, try to promote your stream beforehand. 

Create some posts reminding your followers when, where, and why you’re going live, at least a few days in advance. Follow up a day, a few hours, and a few minutes before you start. Hopefully, this will help you gather a large audience ready to engage.

Testing, testing

As mentioned earlier, you want to do everything possible to avoid technical difficulties during your stream. One way to do this is by doing a test run. Set up everything like you would if you were going live, but just do it for yourself (or a small, pre-selected audience) to ensure it all goes according to plan. 

Be yourself

People crave real content—after all, there’s plenty of fake, inauthentic stuff out there. You are unique, and you bring your individuality to the table, so don’t cover it up! Be authentic and genuine, and your followers will appreciate getting to know the real you.

Consistency is key

The algorithm caters to consistency, so try to do regularly scheduled livestreams to capitalize on this. Create a content schedule to keep yourself on track as you would with your other posts. 

End with a call-to-action

Don’t leave your viewers hanging. 

Instead, leave them with an actionable step they can take to further engage with you or support your brand. Whether subscribing or following, leaving a comment, saving a video, or making a purchase, it’s totally up to you. But make sure you’re using this valuable opportunity to prompt your followers to take action. 

Avoid banned or trigger words

While there isn’t a list of words to avoid, most content creators on TikTok try to eliminate swear words (especially in captions or other text) to cater to the algorithm. Also, be a decent person and stay away from any slurs or hate speech. (Do we even have to say this?) 

TikTok LIVE inspiration and examples

Host a Q&A session

This is a great way to get your audience to engage with you during your livestream. TikTok recently introduced this feature, and they even offer a guide to incorporating it like an expert!

Go on a shopping spree

You can do this one in a couple of different ways. If you have your store or products to promote, this is a great way to showcase your offerings and give potential customers an interactive tour. If you are a content creator in a specific niche, this option is a great way to take advantage of some of your affiliate partnerships or simply let your followers know what you’re currently into. 

Check out this example of one way to incorporate live shopping into your TikTok streams.

Behind-the-scenes tour

Here’s a fantastic way to give your followers a look behind the curtain, if you will. Let them see your life off-screen—whether that’s an inside look into your business, home, or anything else. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look from SNL.

Live giveaways

Running a giveaway or promotion? Do it live! This can be a great way to build a following and introduce your audience to your brand simultaneously. Here’s an example from Splattblasters

Product drops

Unveil a new product live with your followers and get their reactions in real time.

Highlight your workplace culture

If you run a business or want people to see what your workplace is like, this is the move for you. It can be a great way to show your audience what it’s like at your company, how you structure things, what your employees/coworkers think, and more. Here’s an example from Middleton Meyers.

Collaborate with another creator or brand

Collabs can boost your reach and grow your following, all while raising awareness about your brand or page. Check out this example of brands collaborating with TikTok influencers to get some inspiration. 

Live demonstrations

TikTok LIVE is an excellent place to demo something—a product, a craft, a recipe, a tutorial, anything. Here’s a list of a few creative ideas to get you started:

  • Host how-to tutorials for popular apps or products.
  • Try out new recipes.
  • Participate in the latest TikTok trend.
  • Create or join a contest.
  • Create or join in on a challenge.

Frequently asked questions

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

Unfortunately, TikTok currently restricts LIVE to users with at least 1,000 followers. If this leaves you out, though, don’t worry! We’ve got a hack for that below. 

How long can a TikTok LIVE be?

Up to 60 minutes. However, you should aim to keep it shorter, with a sweet spot of around 30 minutes. 

How can I use TikTok LIVE without 1,000 followers?

  1. From your account page, tap the hamburger menu in the top-right corner to go to your settings.
  1. Tap “Report a problem.”
  1. Tap “I can’t start a LIVE.”
  1. When asked if your problem was resolved, select No.
  1. In the “Send us your feedback” box, write something to the effect of: “Hi there, I cannot access TikTok Live. Could you please enable it for me?”
Screenshots from Wordstream and Kyla Liu.
  1. Hit send, and you should have access to TikTok LIVE in about two days.

Are my TikTok LIVE videos saved?

Yes. TikTok saves your LIVE videos so you can download them and make them available for replay. 

Does going live on TikTok help you get followers?

Yes! Livestreaming on TikTok can help you build your following by introducing new people to your content. 

Can I go live with someone else on TikTok?

Yes, you can invite someone else to co-host a livestream with you.

  1. From TikTok, hit the + button as usual to open the camera. 
  2. Find and choose the LIVE option from the menu at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Hit Go LIVE.
  4. Once your livestream screen pops up, hit the button in the bottom left to see your Viewers.
  5. From here, you can see suggested hosts. 
  6. Tap the Invite button next to a user’s name and wait for them to accept it. 

Are there moderators on TikTok LIVE?

They simply monitor TikTok content to ensure it adheres to community guidelines. You have nothing to worry about as long as you follow the rules!

Conclusion

There you have it: the essential guide to going live on TikTok! Hopefully, now you’re equipped with the tools and tips you need to reach livestreaming success in no time. Make sure you meet the minimum LIVE requirements, perfect your setup beforehand, and be yourself. 

And don’t forget—if you need a little help with the content piece of going live, try out Copy.ai’s free AI writing generators to help you get past that pesky creative block! 

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