TikTok is notorious for being particularly secretive when it comes to how their algorithm really works. At first glance, TikTok seems like a total Gen Z takeover, but don’t be fooled. Tons of brands, businesses, and artists like you have found a place on TikTok. Although there’s no secret way to hack the algorithm, there are many factors you can utilize to help improve your reach and increase engagement in no time.
How the TikTok Algorithm Works
TikTok is constantly evolving. With new trends and app features popping up all the time, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s hot and adapt as it changes. If you’re new to TikTok, here’s a quick rundown:
- Once you set up a TikTok profile, your feed experience will be broken down into two categories: the “For You” page and a “Following” page.
As you probably guessed, the Following page focuses on users you currently follow. Meanwhile, the For You page is the holy grail of discovery, similar to Instagram’s “Explore” page. But instead of leaving it up to chance, variables like hashtags, music choices, timing, and more can help boost your chances. Let’s dive in.
As I mentioned earlier, the For You page is like hitting the TikTok lottery. To get featured, you’ll notice users tagging their content with things like, #Foryou, #ForYouPage, and #FYP. Although it’s not an exact science, posts that use at least one of these tags have been more likely to be shown on more For You pages.
Another popular method people use is the “trending” hashtag feature. This feature lets you see which hashtags are gaining momentum in real-time.
- If you want to check a hashtags performance, you can find trending hashtags by tapping the Discover Tab or typing them out.
- Looking for the ones that are getting a lot of traction right now? Just look for the fire icons next to the hashtags and think about incorporating that hashtag into your caption if the content aligns.
- You can also see how many views each hashtag has gotten, giving you some extra insight into what’s trending.
The key here is to make sure you aren’t randomly using popular hashtags that aren’t relevant to your content. Doing so will hurt your success more than help it. Just do your research, be honest, and choose wisely.
The ideal caption on TikTok should be short and sweet. Because TikTok is a mobile-first video platform, keeping it short and witty will yield better results. For engaging copy, consider asking a question, coming up with a joke, or keeping it mysterious with something like, “wait for it…”.
Trending Songs / Sounds
The music and sounds you use in your TikTok videos are just as influential as the hashtags you tag them with. Using a trending song at just the right time can give you a quick and easy boost in views and likes. Here’s how to find trending music:
Sounds in Video Editor
To find new, trending, and popular sounds on TikTok, you’ll need to go into TikTok’s video editor.
- Press the plus icon at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap “Sounds” at the top of the screen.
- Now you can dive right in and scroll through what’s trending!
Similar to “Saves” on Instagram, favoriting a sound collects it for you in one easy to find spot.
- All you have to do is tap on the sound under the username and tap “Add to Favorites”.
Sounds Your Followers Listened To
This amazing feature is one of the best kept secrets of TikTok, and it’s hidden in the Analytics tab of TikTok Pro accounts.
- To access these analytics, go to the Followers tab, then scroll down to find the top sounds your audience has listened to over the last 7 days.
- Voila! Now you’ve got the perfect list of music for you to reference for your next video.
Know When Your Audience is Most Active
Of course, posting content when your audience is most active is a sure fire way to get your content seen. Luckily, with a TikTok Pro Account, you’ll get access to some juicy audience analytics to help you along.
With this feature, you get access to things like your audience’s gender, top performing territories, and even days of the week and times of the day your followers engage with your content the most.
Consistency is Key
On TikTok, quantity trumps quality. While some users found flooding their feed with anything and everything worked for them, most have found that 1-2 posts per day is the sweet spot.
A common theory is that shorter videos of 10 to 15 seconds perform better than their longer counterparts. With shorter videos, viewers are more likely to watch till the end (or even multiple times) which is a good signal to the algorithm that people are enjoying this content and it should be shared more often.
If you don’t get a huge reaction on your content at first, don’t worry. Sometimes it takes weeks or even months to gain some major traction. Don’t give up! A sound you used in an old video could suddenly go viral, launching that video into the limelight weeks later. You got this! 🔥