For a long time, TikTok has been pretty hideous about the algorithm and how the social network ranks content and creators. Just recently, however, TikTok has revealed how the platform algorithm works. We have also tackled this in our previous articles. Yet, it’s fine to highlight the key findings on the TikTok algorithm briefly.
- User interactions — TikTok considers in the videos you like and/or share, the accounts you follow, the comments you leave, and the content you create. So, for example, if you post videos with a certain hashtag, there’s a higher possibility you’ll see content with the same hashtag in your feed.
- Video information such as captions, sounds, songs, and hashtags.
- Device and account settings — Facets that weigh less are things like your language preference, your country setting and your mobile device type.
- Percentage of people watching your videos through to completion. If people watch your videos till the end, it will increase your chances to get higher reach.
- Your other interactions like following TikTok accounts, searching for hashtags, sounds etc. on the Discovery page.
It goes without saying, but consistency is yet another facet that impacts on your TikTok ranking. Any social media is interested in you posting a lot, thus bringing more users and potential buyers. That, among other things, is how social media earn their profit. So consistency in posting is a must.
TikTok Algorithm Hacked: Hashtags
Hashtags rule on every social media and TikTok is not an exception. With hashtags, you can find any content you’re interested in and get discovered on the platform. To increase the chances of the latter, you should use trending hashtags and tags like #ForYou, #ForYouPage, or #FYP.
If you’ve already seen such hashtags in videos and never had a clue what they stand for, now you know and can leverage, too.
It’s not yet revealed how exactly these hashtags boost chances to show up on the For You page. Yet many marketers and TikTokers themselves say that with these tags in captions, videos are more likely to appear on the main content delivery page.
Another actionable algorithm hack is to use those hashtags that gain momentum at the time. Thus you will help your potential audience find you on TikTok. If you want to find tags trending now, head over to the Discover page or type them in the search field if you want to see how many videos were made with the tag. Find out which hashtags are trending at the moment and check if you can create a relevant video to participate.
But be careful — jumping on a trending hashtag bandwagon is definitely not a good idea if the tag is utterly irrelevant to your services. If that’s the case, you’d better find other (even less popular) hashtags that match your brand.
Taking part in hashtag challenges can also raise your awareness and exposure on the For You page.
TikTok Algorithm Hacked: Captions
Long story short, TikTok captions should be brief and clear as TikTok simply doesn’t let you write a lot. A winning TikTok caption should be short and contain relevant hashtags.
If you want to drive more engagement with your caption, add a CTA or ask a question at the end of it. TikTok audience is more responsive than one on Instagram, so this little trick of yours will definitely work and incite a conversation in comments.
Another hack that many TikTokers use quite often is ending the video without actually ending it. For instance, a creator says she wants to dye her hair in green, people watch the video till the end to see the result, but the result comes in the next video. Users visit the creator’s profile and scroll it to find the video they need. Yet, don’t use this hack too often as it becomes rather annoying for the audience.
It goes without saying, but if you want to skyrocket your TikTok engagement, you should reply to comments and talk to people in your comment section.
TikTok Algorithm Hacked: Sounds
Unlike any other social media, music has a major influence on TikTok video rankings. If the sound goes viral, all of a sudden, even an old clip that has its sound can get much views and exposure. Choosing the right song can significantly improve your chances of getting onto the For You page and get viral!
The one and only drawback of this method is that it’s not quite obvious where to search for trending sounds. Though there are 3 ways you can find trending songs on TikTok.
- For You and Following pages.
The most obvious way to discover new trending sounds is to scroll your For You and Following pages. At the bottom of your screen, you will see the song that is playing on the video. You tap on it and get the name of the song and videos with it. You can then play the full song in your player on a smartphone.
2. Video Editor.
Don’t worry, you won’t need to record or publish a video to find a sound in TikTok video editor, but it’s a nice way to search for new songs. To find for sounds in the TikTok video editor, press the + icon at the bottom of your screen. Thus you open the video editor. Then find Sounds tab at the top of your screen and tap it.
Voila! Now you can find any sound depending on the mood or music genre. If you can’t find any specific track in the library, just type in the artist or a song name into the searching field.
Within the TikTok video editor, you can also add songs to Favorites and use them later. To do so, just tap on the bookmark icon next to the sound.
TikTok analytics has lots of valuable information that helps you better understand your content performance and the audience’s interests. One of the absolutely marvellous things TikTok offers is that you can literally see what your followers listen to and what videos they watch!
To unlock this information, you need to have a Pro (Creator or Business) account. To switch to it, open your profile and press three dots at the top right corner of the screen. Choose Manage my account and press Switch to Pro account. After you do this, you will have the Analytics tab in your settings.
Once you have it, open the Analytics tab and head over to Followers. There you will find your followers’ activity, videos they watch and even sounds they listen to. Should I say that this will significantly boost your chances to tailor your content to their interests?
TikTok Algorithm Hacked: Followers’ Location and Active Hours
The Pro account you’ve just switched to gives you insights on when your audience is most active. Knowing the right time to post on TikTok gives you an advantage ahead of your competitors and can bring much more exposure.
These insights work similarly to those on Instagram: in your Analytics tab, you will find all relevant information about your audiences, such as location, active hours and active days.
By the way, if you use TikTok a lot, you’ve probably noticed that the majority of videos you see on your For You or Discover page are from your country of residence. And that’s a struggle if you want to discover content from distant places the world over. If with the TikTok website a VPN might be a solution, the app is not sensitive to VPN, and it keeps showing you content from your country.
If you want to change this, see more content from other parts of the world and make your feed more personalised, you can curate it by liking, commenting, and watching till the end videos you like and hide clips you don’t.
To show TikTok that you’re not interested in specific content, just stop the video and hold your finger on it. You will see a popup window where you can choose Not interested or press More and Hide videos from this user or Hide videos with this sound.
There’s no one-fits-all formula that can help you hack the TikTok algorithm once and for all and reserve your permanent spot in users’ recommendations. Tips we covered above are a good spot for you to start experimenting with TikTok and find your unique way to rank higher and higher.
Along with tips above, we’d also recommend you to leverage influencer marketing on TikTok, TikTok ads and cross-promotion of TikTok clips on other social media pages. We have covered this in our previous piece on TikTok marketing.
Social commerce is also an actionable way to garner more followers on TikTok. In November, TikTok also started testing a beta program for shoppable video posts. Similar to Instagram, creators will be able to place social commerce links in their posts that users click and then make an in-app purchase.