How To Use The TikTok Algorithm
Author: Lenka Koubkova
Date of Publication: 02/02/2023
TikTok, the number one social media network in the world, has grown exponentially in terms of popularity. From an average app that focused on lip-syncing it has come a long way in its development. Nowadays, the highly personalized TikTok content that fuels the “For You feed” is what makes the app so addictive. Let's take a look at how this whole system works and how your business can benefit from it.
What’s the TIK TOK Algorithm?
In its basics, it's a recommendation system that decides and then serves you videos on your For You page. That means, two people won’t have the same content on their FYP as the videos change depending on your viewing preferences andcurrent state of mind. Then, the TikTok algorithm will quickly pick up on your behavioral changes to recommend the most appropriate content at the current moment. Thanks to that, it brings you relevant content and keeps you scrolling through the app. Actually, the algorithm is beneficial for everyone, as it doesn’t rely on the number of your followers or a history of previous high-performing videos. That’s why on some of the videos you can see comments such as “Trusting the algorithm to bring me back.” In fact, that’s a message for a TikTok algorithm - you interacted with the video. Therefore, there is a huge likelihood that you will see this type of video again, even though you might not follow the creator.
For You Page - FYP
For You page is a place where you land immediately after opening a TikTok. Specifically, it’s a default screen where most of the users spend the majority of their time in the app. Yet, you don't have to follow any account to see variations of videos. After a while, the algorithm will identify the videos you enjoy watching the most and will start serving you content just for you. Also, the FYP doesn't have an end, so you can catch yourself scrolling through it for hours and hours.
How does the Algorithm work?
If you are on TikTok you have probably noticed how the 90% of the videos on your FYP are accurate and wonder “How does the app know what I am going through.” Let me tell you the facts on which the whole algorithm operates and knows what you like to see.
Three core factors influence the algorithm:
Device and account settings
The main factor that influences the type of videos you are going to see on your FYP is your interaction with the content. In particular, it takes into consideration:
Which accounts you follow
Comments you’ve posted
Videos you’ve liked
Videos you’ve added to your favourites
Videos you watch till the end
The content you create on your account
Interests you’ve expressed by interacting with organic content and ads
TikTok also pays attention to video information such as:
Device and account settings
This kind of information TikTok asks you to fill in at the beginning of using the app. For example, you have chosen thelanguage preference, country setting, type of mobile device or categories that you are interested in such as new users. However, as this information is based on one-time settings, your preferences can change over time. That's why TikTok doesn't pay that much attention to it and rather shows you videos based on your interaction and video information.
How to go Viral
As you now know how TikTok works, I would like to give you tips for working with the TikTok algorithm to grow your audience and boost your social media marketing.
1) Find your Niche
As already explained, TikTok work is based on the algorithm, so your business needs to create content in a relevant niche. The more videos you create in the same spirit, the better are your chances to land in the FYP of the right users. Therefore, if you can easily slide into an already existing subculture,your chances of going viral are much bigger. Luckily, the TikTok communities gather around hashtags.
2) Use hashtags
Trending hashtags, and hashtags in general, can help you get the video to the right and wider audience. It should be keywords that are related to the content of the video and also should be specific enough to hit your niche audience. To find trending hashtags go to the Discovertab, then tap Trends at the top of the screen and scroll.
3) Write an engaging caption
Similarly to hashtags, your captions should be relevant and should consist of some of the keywords that describe your video. Those keywords should be naturally part of the textand should encourage the user to interact with your video. Nowadays, you can add a caption of up to 300 characters. In this way, you gain an interaction from a user and you can ask a question, starta discussion or write a statement. Normally, people engage in the comment section.
4) Use trending audio
If you are aiming for the FYP, trending audio is the easiest way to get there and even maximize your audience. These days, trending audios are not just silly TikTok dances, but you can use the trending audio to show the behind-the-scenes, making of products or just tell a story you want. This way, it will help you to reach new FYP and interact with users that may not have heard about your product before.
TIP from me:
Do not take yourself too seriously, you can have fun with those types of videos. Users love to see more personal content from brands and it can only build closer relationships with your audience.
5) Maximize the first moments
Your goal is to grab user attention as fast as possible. Usually, it takes up to 3 seconds when the user decides if he's going to scroll down or continue watching your video. That's why your first 2-3 seconds of the video should hook your audience. Cut out any unnecessary parts and get to the interesting part.
6) Switch to a TikTok Pro account
This step isn’t a must-have, however, it allows you to track your videos and activity on the profile. By that, you can easily gain an idea of which videos work the best when your audience is active on the app and understand who your audience is. Also, thanks to thisknowledge you can schedule your videos to the times when a majority of your audience is online. So, you can get higher participation and views on your videos like that quite easily.
Overall, TikTok is an easy way to boost the awareness of your business and widen your audience. Actually, you don't have to invest any money into paid ads. Just post regularly, keep up with trends and have fun with your videos. Sooner or later, some of your videos are going to go viral, and your brand will start to grow.
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