How to Go Live on TikTok: A Step-by-step Guide

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How to Go Live on TikTok: The Definitive Guide


By Amanda Demeku

Updated on January 25, 2023

5 minute read

Lights, camera, action! 🎥

Published July 2, 2021

Stay on top of the biggest social media marketing trends!

Ever wondered how to go live on TikTok? You’re in luck.

Not only does going live increase engagement and reach, it’s also a great way to spark real-time fun and connection on the app. 

Whether it’s through BTS content, Q&As, or teasing upcoming product launches — the opportunities for TikTok Lives are endless.

To get you started, we’re sharing a step-by-step guide to going live on TikTok, plus 10 best practices — straight from TikTok HQ.

What Is a TikTok Live?

TikTok Live is a feature that lets users engage with their audience via video, in real-time.

From cooking sessions to makeup tutorials, TikTok Lives offer brands and creators a new way to extend their reach and connect with their existing community, too.

Plus, as an added bonus, users can send gifts to creators during live streams, which can then be exchanged for cash (more on that later).

FYI: You can plan and schedule your TikTok videos in advance with Later's social media management tools — sign up today:

How to Go Live on TikTok: A Step-by-step Guide

It’s time to start broadcasting! Here’s how to go live in four simple steps:

Step #1: To access TikTok Live, open the app and tap on the “+” camera icon:

A step-by-step guide on how to go live on TikTok - camera

Step #2: Select the “LIVE” option from the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen:

A step-by-step guide on how to go live on TikTok - live

Step #3: Choose an image, write a title for your broadcast (you can change this later), add a topic (optional), and the live stream’s goal:

A step-by-step guide on how to go live on TikTok - edit

Step #4: Tap “Go LIVE” and your followers will get a notification that you’re going live:

A step-by-step guide on how to go live on TikTok - go live

To exit the live stream, press the “X” at the top-left corner of the screen to stop recording.

TIP: Once you’re live you can flip the camera, add effects, filter comments, and even add moderators (up to 20).

How Many Followers Do You Need to Go Live on TikTok?

When it comes to accessing TikTok’s Live feature, not everyone can play ball.

In order to take part in the live format, TikTok has two requirements:

  • Brands and creators must be over the age of 18

  • The account must have over 1,000 followers

Can You Make Money on TikTok Live?

Short answer: yes.

For creators, you can earn money through Gifts — a feature that lets followers support you by sending virtual gifts (which can be exchanged for funds) while hosting a live video.

TikTok Lives are also the perfect opportunity for brands and creators to promote their products and drive serious sales.

In fact, 50% of TikTok users have made a purchase after watching a TikTok Live.

And if you're not up to hosting your own Live, brands and businesses can also sponsor a creator's TikTok Live — tapping into an already engaged community. Cha-ching.

10 Best Practices for Going Live on TikTok

To help your content shine, TikTok has provided a list of tips to consider when developing your Live strategy:

Best Practice #1: Timeslot 

Go Live when your audience is most active on the platform. 

Your best shot at landing on TikTok’s For You page is by streaming when they’re online and scrolling. 

TIP: To discover when your audience is most active on the app, bookmark this post: The Best Time to Post on TikTok in 2023

Best Practice #2: Length of Time

There’s no time limit to Lives, however TikTok recommends a sweet spot of 30 minutes.

Best Practice #3: Stay Active 

Post a video prior to your live stream. That way if a user sees your video during the live broadcast, a special icon will appear that lets them enter your stream directly, win-win.

Best Practice #4: Lighting

Good lighting can make a subtle yet major difference to the quality of your video

When setting up your Live, film in a well-lit area with natural lighting or consider using a ring light.

Best Practice #5: Sounds

Keep background noise to a minimum. 

Make sure to broadcast from a quiet place so users can hear you without distractions.

Best Practice #6: Internet Connection

A steady Internet connection is key to hosting a successful stream. 

Invest in the best and make sure to test before you go live!

Best Practice #7: Camera Angle

Too much movement can lead to a shaky (and dizzy) stream experience.

Find a steady position for your phone or camera and lock it in place for the duration of your broadcast.

Best Practice #8: Plan It Out

While you don’t need a script, it is beneficial to have a solid plan of attack for your live stream in order to stay focused. 

Consider cue cards, or mapping out a series of talking points to keep you on track.

Best Practice #9: Engage Your Audience

The best part of a TikTok Live experience is interacting with your followers in real-time. 

Keep an eye out in the chat and respond to comments, questions, or requests to really connect with your viewers.

Best Practice #10: Moderate Your Live

Creators have the option to filter comments, mute viewers from commenting, and block someone from their live stream. Goodbye, trolls.

Going live can be a great way to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and even drive conversions.

But more importantly, it lets you connect with your community and engage with them on a more intimate level.

So, go live on TikTok and watch the views (and engagement) roll in!

Later’s Best Time to Post tool is available on all paid plans. Upgrade now to find the best days and times to go live on TikTok for maximum engagement.

Plan, schedule, and automatically publish your social media posts with Later.

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