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How to Take Advantage of TikTok’s Algorithm and Go Viral

TikTok came in at a time when social media users were looking for a fresh platform to keep them entertained.

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How to Take Advantage of TikTok’s Algorithm and Go Viral

TikTok came in at a time when social media users were looking for a fresh platform to keep them entertained. Its short videos and fast-paced nature made it an immediate success in the social media world and since then, TikTok has been nothing short of a trailblazer.

With its high engagement and growth potential, TikTok is a good place for businesses to grow and reach new audiences. TikTok’s personalized For You feed is one of its biggest attractions. The feed works to provide users with personalized content, drawing from their likes and interests they express on the app. They surely must be doing something right as TikTok reports that 49% of users seek and discover something new on the app each month.

Why Brands Should be on TikTok

With the success rates many brands have already experienced from integrating social media into their marketing strategies, there is little reason why any brand should not include TikTok advertising in their social strategy, as well. 

But, we understand how difficult it is to adopt yet another social media platform into your strategy. It means additional work of creating content, optimizing performance, and monitoring results. Also, the app is considered a Gen Z playground, which might repel brands with older clientele or workers who don't fancy dancing to pop music for views.

The platform’s recent survey is more reason to adopt TikTok in your brand’s strategy. These are some of the research findings:

  • TikTok is 1.7x more trusted for product discovery than other social platforms.
  • TikTokers are 1.5x more likely to buy something discovered on TikTok when compared to other social platforms.
  • TikTokers are 1.5x more likely to do word-of-mouth advertisements to family or friends about a product or service discovered on the app.
  • Compared to other platforms, TikTok users are 2.4x more likely to tag a brand under a post they make after purchasing a product. 

Brands that record the highest success on TikTok put some work into studying the platform and creating a presence on the platform. Brands use their TikTok Business Account to establish their brand voice and build a loyal community.

How the TikTok Algorithm Works

The TikTok algorithm is a complex system, but you must understand the system if you plan to go viral or wish to record massive success in your business.

User activity

Videos that receive more views and engagement will be broadcast to more audiences. Some of the indicators of a video with high engagement include likes, comments, views, and shares on a video. The TikTok algorithm bases its recommendations for individuals based on the kind of content they interact with on the app.

The For You page recommends content based on factors including these:

  • Comments you have made
  • Accounts you follow
  • Videos you have liked
  • Videos you have shared
  • Videos you have marked as favorite
  • Videos you have marked as “Not interested”
  • Video completion rate
  • Content on your account

Device and account settings

TikTok takes user settings into consideration when optimizing performance. The algorithm considers the following account and device settings:

  • Country setting
  • Language
  • Selected interests
  • Type of mobile device

These are some of the things TikTok adjusts for when recommending videos for the For You page. New users with small accounts would be glad to note that TikTok does not base recommendations solely on a large follower count or previously viral videos.

Tips for working with the TikTok Algorithm

Use a TikTok pro account

Switching to a TikTok pro account is an important part of taking advantage of the algorithm. TikTok offers two types of pro accounts for businesses or creators. Any one of these two accounts will give you access to insights and metrics that will go a long way in helping you plan your TikTok strategy. These insights will give you a better understanding of your audience; who they are, what kind of content they enjoy, and what time they are the most active on the app.

Find your subculture

The TikTok algorithm and the way it works means that it is important to find existing communities to engage with. TikTok is different from other social media platforms in that TikTok users spend more of their time on the For You page, interacting with new accounts rather than accounts they already follow.

If you can find and tap into an existing community, your brand is more likely to reach the right audience who are interested in that community. Good knowledge of your subculture will also help you create the right content for your audience.

Maximize your content

Just like every sales pitch must have powerful words to captivate your audience, the hook of your video must inspire your viewers before they scroll down to the next video.

TikTok videos are known for their fast pace and short length, so you must show value from the first seconds of your video. You can view videos that have massive engagement to get a proper feel of what a compelling video hook should look like.

Create quality videos for TikTok

We’re not saying you should go all out and rent a studio to shoot your quality videos, but you do need decent lighting, a good backdrop, microphones, and decent editing software.

TikTok videos span from 5 seconds to 3 minutes, but it is best to keep your videos as short as 13 seconds to keep your audience engaged. The recommended TikTok ad dimensions are 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9. Don't be shy to take full advantage of the thousands of sounds available on the platform, since 88% of TikTok users say that sound is a vital part of their TikTok experience.

Use trending hashtags, sounds, and music.

 TikTok trends are forever evolving, and it can be tricky staying ahead of them. Tags like #fyp or #foryoupage are popular among users trying to boost their content, but there is another way to find trending hashtags. Head to the Discover page, select Trends, and look through them until you find one related to your community, or challenges you wish to participate.

Joining trending sounds and popular music is another way to boost your content on the For You page. To find which songs are trending, head to the + icon from your home screen, then tap Sounds to view the list of trending sounds.

The bottom line is, guides and tips can only take you so far. There is no surefire way of beating the TikTok algorithm, but a better understanding of how it works will do wonders for your brand.

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