In today’s digital era, TikTok stands as a titan of social media platforms, captivating audiences with its unique blend of short-form video and esoteric content. With over a billion users worldwide, TikTok’s addictive appeal is impossible to ignore, making it an attractive space for content creators and businesses alike.
However, navigating the sea of ever-changing content and standing out on TikTok requires a savvy understanding of its beating heart: the algorithm. This article provides an in-depth look at how the TikTok algorithm functions and serves as a comprehensive guide for boosting your visibility and engagement.
How Does Tik Tok’s Algorithm Work?
So, how does TikTok’s algorithm work? It functions by meticulously studying and adapting to each user’s behavior on the platform.
It takes into account a wide range of actions such as created content, likes, shares, follows, comments, flagged videos, and completion rates to comprehend individual user preferences.
By analyzing these behavioral signals, the algorithm curates a personalized content feed for each user. The more a user engages with a specific creator’s content or within a particular niche, the more customized their feed becomes.
The Role of Video Information
Another critical factor that the TikTok algorithm considers is video information. TikTok identifies your interests and fine-tunes content recommendations by analyzing information embedded in a video, such as keywords, hashtags, effects, and sounds.
However, our analysis suggests that keywords and hashtags might significantly impact the algorithm more than effects and sounds.
A video that employs trending audio but needs more relevant hashtags and keywords in its caption might perform better than one that encompasses all relevant video information.
This highlights the importance of meticulously incorporating all relevant information in your video content, thereby enhancing its likelihood of appearing on more users ‘For You’ page.
Device and Account Settings: A Consideration
TikTok’s algorithm also factors in device and account settings, such as language preference, location, and mobile device type.
However, as these elements are generally established when a user first sets up their account, they serve more for performance optimization than influencing the ‘For You’ feed.
These data points carry less weight in the algorithm as they do not directly indicate a user’s preferences.
Behavioral signals, like the completion of a longer video, are considered more indicative of a user’s interest than factors such as the geographic proximity of the content creator and the viewer.
The algorithm then ranks each video based on its potential interest to a user and, if deemed relevant, features it on their ‘For You’ page.
Impact of Followers and Content Exclusions
While having a large following can undoubtedly enhance your content’s visibility, TikTok’s recommendation system also values content relevance.
So if your content resonates with your target audience, irrespective of your follower count or history of trending videos, it has the potential to reach them.
However, the TikTok algorithm does impose specific exclusions. For example, content that a user has already seen, or content that is spam, repetitive, and/or potentially disturbing is not included in a user’s ‘For You’ feed.
To broaden your reach, it’s crucial to diversify your content types, ensuring they cater to different segments of your target audience.
Mastering TikTok’s Algorithm: The 4 Best Practices
Several factors need to be carefully evaluated when launching a TikTok account for business purposes. These include the management strategy – whether you plan to handle the account personally or delegate it to an external team.
In addition, considering the complex nature of TikTok’s algorithm, understanding the platform’s subtleties and industry-specific social trends is essential for fruitful outcomes. Below are some of the best practices you can use to make the most of the platform:
Upgrade to a Pro Account on TikTok
While acquiring a Pro account doesn’t directly boost content visibility, it provides critical tools to navigate the algorithm effectively. TikTok offers Pro accounts tailored for businesses and creators alike.
In addition, the Pro version delivers comprehensive analytics, granting insights into content performance and viewer engagement patterns, consequently guiding your TikTok strategy.
Additionally, a Pro account enables the running of ads, contributing to both organic and paid strategies and diversifying content types for the product or brand marketing.
The transition to a Pro account is straightforward: within the profile page settings, opt to manage the account, switch to a Business Account, and select the most suitable category.
Specialize in a Particular Niche
Focusing content around a specific niche is recommended to maximize the platform’s potential. As mentioned, TikTok’s recommendation system will showcase your content to a relevant niche audience, irrespective of your popularity status.
Understanding your customer persona and their engagement preferences on TikTok is crucial in this process. Whether your audience prefers beauty or fashion tutorials, tech trends, anime culture, gaming clips, or even something as niche as window-style comedy, there are numerous niches and sub-niches to explore.
Identify the types of content that resonate with your chosen community and let these insights shape your future TikTok content strategy. An overlap of interests between different niches could provide an opportunity for diversified yet targeted content.
Time Your Posts Wisely
Posting content when your audience is most active is a principle applicable across various social media platforms, including TikTok. For example, active engagement influences TikTok’s algorithm, and leveraging your TikTok analytics can indicate when your audience is most active, driving faster engagement.
While TikTok suggests posting 1-4 times a day for testing content engagement, it’s also crucial to consider your primary audience’s time zones and behavioral patterns.
Additionally, while posting your content on other platforms may not directly enhance its visibility on TikTok, it aids overall content visibility. Finally, ensure your website content is organized into topic clusters for SEO purposes.
Strategically Utilize Hashtags
Hashtags on TikTok categorize and locate content more conveniently. In addition, using subculture-specific hashtags can boost your content’s reach if you’ve chosen a community for content creation.
For instance, a creator targeting an audience interested in diabetes or blood sugar management would use relevant hashtags to attract potential followers. Similarly, trending and SEO-optimized hashtags can increase content visibility in the algorithm.
Trending hashtags are often tied to current challenges and offer an opportunity to participate in a viral trend. TikTok’s Creative Center or the ‘Trends’ section under the ‘Discover’ tab can provide inspiration for region-specific trending hashtags.
SEO-optimized hashtags are aligned with keywords users frequently search for. By researching keywords relevant to your niche, you can identify and incorporate these as hashtags in your video captions and content, increasing its discoverability by the algorithm.
As a bonus, this approach also aids in boosting your Google rankings, as it caters to search intent.
Maximize Your TikTok Success
Understanding and aligning with the TikTok algorithm is key to boost visibility and engagement on the platform. Whether you’re an individual creator or a business, the algorithm’s mechanics offer valuable insights into reaching and resonating with your target audience.
By analyzing user behavior, employing relevant video information, adjusting to device and account settings, and being mindful of content exclusions, and using the optimal video specs, you can enhance the visibility of your content.
Importantly, employing best practices such as upgrading to a Pro Account, specializing in a niche, timing your posts wisely, and strategically utilizing hashtags, can lead to improved outcomes on TikTok.
Remember, the secret lies not only in the quantity of your content but also its quality, relevance, and strategic dissemination. So, dive into the vibrant world of TikTok, take the algorithm by its reins, and ride your way to remarkable digital success.