How to Message Someone on TikTok: The Ultimate 2023 Guide

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With over 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok has cemented itself as one of the most influential social platforms today. Its explosive growth presents a major opportunity for brands – but first, you need to navigate the messaging functionality.

This comprehensive guide will equip you to effectively leverage TikTok messaging to connect with creators and influencers in 2023.

A Marketer‘s Guide to TikTok Messaging

Messaging is key for initiating influencer campaigns, pitching creators, and developing organic connections that spark viral content. But TikTok‘s strict policies limit who can message who.

As a savvy social media marketer, you need to understand these guidelines fully to createfruitful partnerships on one of the hottest platforms today.

Overview of Key TikTok Messaging Rules

TikTok messaging policies help protect users from unwanted solicitations and harassment. But for marketers, these limitations create hurdles to connecting with creators.

Here‘s an overview of TikTok‘s current direct messaging rules:

  • Must be 16+ years old: Age limitation intended to protect minors.
  • User profiles require a registered phone number: Reduces spam accounts.
  • You can only message users you currently follow: Prevents messaging strangers.

Additionally, TikTok seems to enforce daily messaging caps to curb spamming. Mass outreach blasts could trigger blocks or bans.

With these restrictions, conducting an influencer campaign on TikTok may seem extremely difficult compared to platforms like Instagram or Twitter. But several strategies can help you succeed:

  • Leverage verified business profiles: Grants more messaging privileges and promotion options.
  • Pace outreach gradually over days/weeks: Avoid triggering spam safeguards with mass blasts.
  • Use a specialized influencer marketing platform: Streamline collaboration from discovery to tracking.

We‘ll explore tips like these throughout this guide to master TikTok messaging as a marketer.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Message Someone

Whether you want to message close friends sharing laughs or strike an influencer partnership deal, you first need to understand TikTok‘s messaging functionality…

Messaging via Mobile App

Messaging on-the-go from your smartphone offers more flexibility to connect anywhere. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit the profile page of the user
  2. Tap the envelope Message icon
  3. Type out your message in the text box
  4. Hit the send arrow to deliver your message

You can also message directly from the inbox menu:

  1. Tap the Inbox icon on the bottom navigation
  2. Tap the icon in the top right to compose a new message
  3. Search and select the recipient
  4. Type out your message and hit send!

Messaging on Desktop

TikTok messaging works much the same way on desktop:

  1. Visit and log into your account
  2. Go to the profile page of the user
  3. Make sure you have followed them
  4. Click Message to open up messaging window
  5. Compose and send your message

Alternatively, click the inbox message center and select contacts from there to start a new message.

Easy enough, right? But what if you want to message someone you aren‘t following?

Can You Message Non-Followers on TikTok?

Unless a user has enabled an open setting, you generally can‘t message anyone unless you currently follow them. Some users allow messages from everyone, however, not just followers.

In this case, you‘ll see a Send Message option on their profile to initiate contact. But this first message will be delivered as a request – meaning the recipient has discretion on whether or not to accept it and continue the conversation.

It‘s best to follow your prospective messaging targets first to open direct contact channels right away. But the request capability means influencer discovery and collaboration isn‘t entirely restricted.

Now that we‘ve covered the basics, let‘s go deeper with message settings.

Advanced Messaging Controls and Preferences

TikTok provides options to personalize messaging experiences, privacy, and notifications. Brands should familiarize themselves with these settings when conversing with creators or running influencer campaigns.

Read Receipts

This feature allows senders to view if the receiving party has opened or read a particular message. To enable:

Mobile App

  1. Tap Me (Profile) > Settings Icon > Privacy > Direct Messages
  2. Toggle "Read Receipts" on/off


  1. Click the Profile Icon > Settings Icon > Privacy Tab
  2. Under "Direct Messages", toggle Read Receipts on/off

However, both the sender AND recipient must have Read Receipts enabled for indicators to show. Regions like the EU prohibit this type of tracking feature.

Mute Messages

If an inbound message stream from a particular user becomes bothersome, use Mute to disable notifications. This prevents constant interruptions without fully blocking contact.

To mute conversations:

  1. Press and hold the bothersome message chain
  2. Tap Mute in the popup menu

You can reverse the mute setting at any time the same way.

Block Contacts

To completely cut off contact from a particular user, access the block feature. Blocking prevents all future messaging capabilities between accounts.

To block someone:

  1. Press and hold latest message from the user
  2. Choose Block in the popup menu
  3. Confirm the block action

While useful in cases if harassment, marketers must be careful not to inappropriately block influencers during outreach. Excess blocks could jeopardize your brand‘s standing.

Delete Messages

Prefer your messaging inbox stay clutter free? The delete message function allows you to remove previous conversions from view.

On mobile:

  1. Press and hold the message you want to delete
  2. Tap Delete to confirm

And just like that, the message disappears from your inbox!

Keep in mind this only deletes messages on your end. Recipients can still view the full conversation history from their inbox.

Now that we‘ve covered the messaging tools, let‘s get to influencer outreach strategies.

Connecting With Creators and Influencers

The key to TikTok marketing success is collaborating with creators. But we‘ve established messaging limitations make contacting influencers tricky on this platform.

You essentially have two options:

Direct TikTok Messaging (Manual Outreach)

Scour the platform for relevant voices in your niche, follow their profiles, and reach out directly via TikTok messaging.

The Good: Immediate contact channel. Develop authentic partnerships.

The Bad: Extremely time intensive. Content gets buried. Low response rates.

Influencer Marketing Platform (Automated Outreach)

Use a dedicated platform like Ainfluencer to discover creators and manage outreach at scale.

The Good: Streamlined workflow. High response rates. Campaign management.

The Bad: Additional platform fees. Steeper learning curve.

Based on your resources and needs as a brand, weigh the pros and cons of each approach. Utilize direct messaging for one-off contacts and influencer platforms for large-scale partnerships.

Let‘s overview some best practices when reaching out to creators directly:

7 Pro Tips for Messaging Influencers

  1. Personalize each message: Add specific details about why you admire their content.

  2. Communicate your vision clearly: Share campaign goals, example content, target audience details.

  3. Make it a win-win: Emphasize what‘s in it for them like exposure, creative input, compensation.

  4. Keep it short and sweet: TikTok profiles get flooded with messages. Craft something scannable.

  5. Follow industry standards: Offer fair pay, outline deliverables expectations, sign contracts.

  6. Build real relationships: Don‘t treat creators like commodities. Collaborate as partners.

  7. Track campaign results accurately: Monitor content performance and optimize based on data.

While direct messaging works for minor deals, most brands need a streamlined system for discovering and engaging creators at scale. That‘s where an influencer network comes into play.

Why Brands Need an Influencer Marketing Platform

Between frivolous DMs and stringent messaging policies, executing an effective TikTok influencer marketing strategy through the platform alone has become nearly impossible.

Tools like Ainfluencer empower brands by providing:

Optimized Matchmaking

  • Discover top creators by engagement, topics, demographics
  • Advanced filtering and search makes finding brand fits easy

Automated Messaging

  • Send targeted messaging campaigns to thousands of influencers
  • High delivery and response rates compared to standard platforms

Relationship Management

  • Manage all communications organized neatly in one workspace
  • Built-in contracts, payments processing, and analytics

For major brand partnerships, community-driven platforms give you the tools needed to successfully develop relationships, deliver campaigns, and unlock the power of TikTok influencer marketing.

Key Takeaways and Next Steps

Hopefully you now feel empowered to leverage TikTok messaging effectively with this comprehensive guide covering:

  • Platform messaging rules
  • Step-by-step messaging instructions
  • Settings for read status, blocking, and deletion
  • Direct messaging strategies
  • Why influencer platforms elevate TikTok campaigns

Ready to connect with creators and stars? Sign up for a free Ainfluencer account to access TikTok influencers and kickstart your first campaign today!

Get Started With Ainfluencer


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.