Going Live on TikTok: Steps and Pitfalls to Avoid

Brands, businesses, and influencers are using TikTok Live to connect with audiences, promote products, and grow their communities. But how do you go live on TikTok, and what steps should you take? Here’s a straightforward guide on going live on TikTok.

Going Live on TikTok: The Essentials

  1. Community Guidelines: TikTok’s community guidelines still apply when you go live. The videos are monitored, and any violations will be flagged. The guidelines include prohibitions on illegal activities, adult content, and false information. Make sure to review the rules beforehand.
  2. Age Requirement: You must be at least 16 years old to go live. This is determined by the birthdate you provided when setting up your TikTok profile. TikTok is strict about protecting minors on the platform.
  3. Copyright: Be mindful of copyright issues, especially with music. TikTok permits a broader use of music than Instagram and YouTube, but you cannot use music that isn’t in their library or purchased. For instance, unauthorized background music may lead to your video being taken down or the sound being muted.
  4. Follower Requirement: To access TikTok Live, you need to have over 1,000 followers. Attempts to bypass this requirement generally do not work and can result in violating TikTok’s community guidelines. For example, my account @charlisays, which has over 1,000 followers, has access to live streaming, while @contentworks, which does not have enough followers, does not have the LIVE tab on the video upload menu.

Brands, businesses, and influencers are using TikTok Live to connect with audiences, promote products, and grow their communities. But how do you go live on TikTok, and what steps should you take? Here’s a straightforward guide on going live on TikTok.

Going Live on TikTok: The Essentials

Before we get into the details, let’s cover some fundamental aspects of TikTok Live. You need to understand these before starting your live stream.

  • Community Guidelines: TikTok’s community guidelines still apply when you go live. The videos are monitored, and any violations will be flagged. The guidelines include prohibitions on illegal activities, adult content, and false information. Make sure to review the rules beforehand.
  • Age Requirement: You must be at least 16 years old to go live. This is determined by the birthdate you provided when setting up your TikTok profile. TikTok is strict about protecting minors on the platform.
  • Copyright: Be mindful of copyright issues, especially with music. TikTok permits a broader use of music than Instagram and YouTube, but you cannot use music that isn’t in their library or purchased. For instance, unauthorized background music may lead to your video being taken down or the sound being muted.
  • Follower Requirement: To access TikTok Live, you need to have over 1,000 followers. Attempts to bypass this requirement generally do not work and can result in violating TikTok’s community guidelines. For example, my account @charlisays, which has over 1,000 followers, has access to live streaming, while @contentworks, which does not have enough followers, does not have the LIVE tab on the video upload menu.


The LIVE tab is not available on the video upload menu bar for Contentworks.

However, for @charlisays, the LIVE option is available:

How to Go Live on TikTok

If you meet the criteria mentioned above, going live on TikTok is simple. Here’s a quick guide:

  1. Open TikTok on your phone and tap the + at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Swipe to Live and tap it to open the Live screen.
  3. You will see prompts for the title, topic, goal, and image. The title has a 32-character limit, so keep it short and engaging. The Live Goal feature allows you to earn money through TikTok credits. You can set a goal for a charity or a personal savings target. Choose an icon that represents your goal; this icon corresponds to real money if you’re over 18. Select your icon wisely based on your audience, as fans often give smaller donations. Setting a goal is optional and might not be necessary for brands.
  4. According to TikTok, “TikTok Rewards is a referral program designed to express our appreciation to the vibrant TikTok community worldwide. Eligible users can access various TikTok rewards and benefits through this program.TikTok explains: “The TikTok Rewards is a referral program to show our gratitude to the global community of TikTokers. Eligible users can receive TikTok rewards and benefits.”
  5. Get ready to go Live! Once you hit the button, your followers will receive notifications and can join your stream. You can invite up to 20 co-hosts to join you, and manage various features in real-time such as flipping the camera between selfie and front-facing, applying effects, and moderating comments.
  6. Your TikTok Live session can last up to 60 minutes, but TikTok recommends sticking to 30 minutes to better capture audience attention. Personally, I find even 30 minutes quite long, so it’s best to use that time only if you can maintain engagement throughout. (Stay tuned for Live ideas!)

Once your Live video ends, the replay will be accessible from the LIVE Center. From there, you can watch, download to your device, or delete the replay as desired.

Here’s how you can access your LIVE replays:

Before diving into TikTok Live ideas, it’s crucial to understand what you should steer clear of:

Going Live without a clear plan or direction.
Streaming a corporate PowerPoint or other dull presentations.
Failing to notify your followers or promote the Live session on other platforms.
Broadcasting without a purpose or objective, even if it’s just to engage with your audience.
Neglecting to interact with your viewers by acknowledging comments, answering questions, and thanking participants.
Missing the optimal time slot; avoid going Live when your audience is likely asleep or occupied with work.
Overlooking technical considerations; ensure your video has minimal background noise, clear audio, and adequate lighting. Test your sound and internet connection beforehand to ensure a smooth broadcast.

  • Navigate to your profile in the TikTok app.
  • Tap the Menu button at the top of the screen.
  • Select “Creator tools.”
  • Choose “LIVE Center,” and then tap on “Replays.”

Mistakes to Avoid on TikTok Live

Before diving into TikTok Live ideas, it’s crucial to understand what you should steer clear of:

  1. Going Live without a clear plan or direction.
  2. Streaming a corporate PowerPoint or other dull presentations.
  3. Failing to notify your followers or promote the Live session on other platforms.
  4. Broadcasting without a purpose or objective, even if it’s just to engage with your audience.
  5. Neglecting to interact with your viewers by acknowledging comments, answering questions, and thanking participants.
  6. Missing the optimal time slot; avoid going Live when your audience is likely asleep or occupied with work.
  7. Overlooking technical considerations; ensure your video has minimal background noise, clear audio, and adequate lighting. Test your sound and internet connection beforehand to ensure a smooth broadcast.

1. Product Launch
Launching a product on TikTok Live is thrilling as it enables real-time interaction with your audience. Generate excitement by scheduling your Live session using Agorapulse. Announce the time and offer a sneak peek of what’s to come. Use a dedicated launch hashtag to track engagement and create buzz.

During your product launch Live, you can:

  • Introduce your new product or service, highlighting its features and benefits.
  • Engage your audience by offering giveaways to early joiners or active commenters.
  • Demonstrate the product live with your team or key members.
  • Involve your audience in your company’s milestones and product journey.
  • Respond to live questions and comments to enhance interaction.

2. Q&A Session

Hosting a live Q&A on TikTok is invaluable for addressing customer inquiries and fostering transparency. With a majority of online shoppers researching before purchasing, a Q&A session provides a platform for potential buyers to get detailed information and see products in action.

During a Q&A Live video, you can:

  • Simplify complex concepts or troubleshoot product issues through live demonstrations.
  • Humanize your brand by showcasing a friendly face to your audience.
  • Gauge audience sentiment toward your brand or products.
  • Drive sales by sharing product links during the stream.
  • Integrate the Q&A session into your website’s blog or FAQ section for ongoing value.
  • Rebuild trust after company changes or PR challenges.

3. Live Shopping
Engage potential customers and drive sales directly through TikTok Live Shopping. Showcase your products in real-time, encouraging viewers to make purchases while interacting with you live.

During a Live Shopping video, you can:

    • Promote your TikTok shop and invite new followers to join.
      Highlight product features or showcase complementary items (e.g., pairing bags with shoes).
    • Collaborate with influencers or co-hosts to broaden your Live audience.
    • Offer exclusive discount codes to Live viewers to boost engagement and conversions.

4. Showcase Product Creation
Provide an inside look into your product creation process with a behind-the-scenes Live session. Whether you’re in food delivery, jewelry, makeup, or crafting, showing the process can captivate your audience and deepen appreciation for your craftsmanship.

During this Live session, you can:

    • Demonstrate the process of fulfilling an order or crafting a product in real-time.
    • Engage viewers by inviting them to cook along or participate in the creative process, similar to Buzzfeed’s Tasty.
    • Repurpose the Live video by embedding it into your blog or other content for broader reach and engagement.

In Conclusion
Utilize Agorapulse to streamline your TikTok management, promotions, scheduling, and analytics alongside other channels. This integrated approach allows you to analyze video insights and generate comprehensive reports for your company or clients.

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