It’s easy to get lost in the mystery that is the TikTok algorithm. Since the video app went viral in early 2020, many have tried and tested to see what the secret is towards reaching the epitome of TikTok fame.
It’s important that we share a brief disclaimer before divulging our ideas of what the TikTok algorithm entails. The team at TikTok has yet to reveal details regarding how the algorithm works. As a result, most of our knowledge consists of tested theories that are likely to produce results, but not always guaranteed. Nevertheless, we’ve got the best information to help you and your team make informed decisions about your TikTok content.
What to Know about TikTok’s Algorithm:
There are two different content-bearing pages on the app. You have the Following page, which is specific to the accounts you follow. You also have the For You page, which is how your content gets noticed by the millions of other TikTok users scrolling through their feed. The For You page is developed over time to show users content that TikTok thinks they’ll like. This is based on the features of the content a user interacts with.
The curators at TikTok have shared new information regarding how videos are recommended to a users #ForYou page. Below we have summarized each factor that TikTok has expressed as important to their algorithm (Learn More)
1. User interactions / Engagement
These include the videos you like or share, accounts you follow, comments you post, and content you create.
2. Video information
This includes specific details such as captions, sounds, and hashtags.
3. Device and account settings
Which refers to your language preference, country setting, and device type. Note that this factor receives a lower weight towards the algorithm.
Essentially, the TikTok algorithm prioritizes content based on what a majority of users interact with the most. Below we have listed our top 6 factors that tend to influence what TikTok deems as likeable content.
Generating engagement is the number one key to success on this platform, as the more likes, comments, and shares your post gets, the more likely it is to be delivered to an even wider audience. Of course, the question is how to generate that engagement organically, which we’ll provide more detail on in the coming sections. Every factor below is another piece to the puzzle that once completed, will help you provide the best TikTok content to achieve the results you’re looking for.
2. Trending Sounds
The TikTok algorithm knows when a sound goes viral, and spreads it along to the For You pages of their massive user-base. One of the best ways to improve the likelihood of your post going viral or generating large amounts of engagement is to utilize the most popular songs at the time. However, it’s important to be cautious here, as trends shift rapidly on the app. Being late to the scene with a previously popular sound greatly reduces your chances of finding success with that post, particularly because users get tired of the same sounds rather quickly. Later in this article, we’ll divulge a little more regarding how to make sure your post is using the most relevant sounds for optimal success.
Utilizing popular hashtags is another way to get your content on the For You page of other users. Monitoring the top trending hashtags and gearing your content towards fitting that hashtag is an excellent way to make it to the For You page of users who have been interacting with that hashtag. Although, it’s important to note that the content must accurately reflect the hashtag you’re using, otherwise TikTok may flag your post.
4. Quick and Clever Captions
TikTok is a video-dominant app, which means that your copy has to be geared towards the content in the video. We’ve found that it’s often the mysterious or funny captions with a small amount of hashtags that accompany the top trending posts. The algorithm tends to favour the most relevant and simplest copy attached to a high quality video.
TikTok’s algorithm works to provide users with the most relevant content, and this includes location based content. This, however, is one of the least important factors influencing the algorithm, but it is a factor that you must be aware of. Knowing where your audience resides and catering your content to their specific location is something that will definitely help you get your message to the right people. Location-based hashtags are always a plus.
6. High Quality Videos
This is perhaps the hardest part of succeeding on TikTok. Having a well thought out, high quality video is very important in determining how much engagement your post attains. Videos that are edited with skill and finesse to create something that is both eye-catching and engaging is your best bet towards getting the recognition you deserve. Oftentimes, this is a battle of trial and error, but one of our best tips to help you along is to focus on creating seamless loops, which is a potential trigger for the algorithm (Source).