Cracking The TikTok Algorithm

We are increasingly dominated by artificial intelligence and algorithms so it’s important to tune into the technology that’s all around you. A social media strategy isn’t just posting and hoping for the best anymore. It’s about knowing what ranks and, in the case of TikTok, what will pull your content onto the For You Feed of your target market. It’s quite a lot to navigate. So join us as we reveal more about cracking the TikTok algorithm – now’s the time to grab that coffee.

Why You SHOULD Be on TikTok in 2024

Before we get onto the technical jargon and unveil our TikTok marketing top tips, here’s why a TikTok strategy is key:

  • TikTok boasts nearly 1.6 billion monthly active users and is expected to reach 8 billion by the end of 2024. So there’s a high chance your audience already is (or soon will) hang out on the platform. Analyse your data and tailor content according to your market.
  • TikTok generated around $14.3 billion in revenue in 2023, a 52% increase year-on-year. In addition to advertising, in-app purchases contributed significantly to this total. With two out of three TikTok users likely to buy something while on the app, now is a great time to set up your TikTok shop.
  • TikTok is the fifth most popular social media channel in the world providing endless opportunities to increase brand awareness and tap into new audiences.

Did you know – rage baiting/rage farming is a thing on TikTok? Rage farming is an algorithm trick used by creators to manipulate algorithms. Follow Charlotte for more social media insights.

How the TikTok Algorithm Works

TikTok’s algorithm is its superpower. It draws people in by prioritising content based on user preferences and engagement rather than followers or popularity. So, if you’re constantly seeing bake offs, funny animal videos, beauty tutorials, fashion hauls or slime videos (we see you!), it’s because you like that sort of content. Questioning your own sanity? You’re not alone.

This means that if you create content that’s tailored to your target market’s likes and interests, it could ‘go viral’ or at least be presented to the right audience – even if you’re new to the channel and haven’t yet built up a decent following. Pretty cool, right?

If you’ve been on TikTok a while and haven’t seen the engagement you’d hoped for, a content review is needed. Look closely at your demographic and make sure your posts are relevant. Consider consumer interests, pain points, disposable income for in-app purchases, country of origin, hobbies, search history and competitor activity.

TikTok’s Algorithm and the For You Feed (FYF)

The TikTok algorithm gives all savvy content creators and brands a chance of getting noticed and building a following. So if this piques your interest, knowing the connection between the algorithm and the For You Feed is a must.

Essentially, TikTok uses AI and machine learning to analyse user behaviour such as the videos they watch, like, share and comment on. How long someone engages with each video is also considered along with other factors such as the soundtracks they enjoy. All this carefully gathered information is then used to create a bespoke For You feed for each user. Using algorithms to create a personalised social media experience makes total sense when you think about it and is, in fact, a stroke of genius. The more videos that show up on your feed that you enjoy, the more likely you are to stay on the platform or return to it. This is a win for TikTok.

Factors That Influence the TikTok Algorithm

As we’ve discovered, TikTok’s main goal is to keep you interested. They don’t want you going elsewhere and so many factors are considered before your For You feed is created. Sounds like a long and time-consuming task doesn’t it? But all this happens in the blink of an eye.

Influencing factors that all brands should be aware of if they want their content to rank on the For You feeds of their target audience include:

  • Video quality – while authenticity is a TikTok win and filming with home devices is fine, clear visuals are a must. Content should not be poor quality. This is pretty basic.
  • Watchability – videos watched from start to finish are more likely to be selected for the For You page. So brands, get those hooks in early and keep viewers engaged throughout. It’s better to post a short video than a longer alternative with boring or long-winded messages. What are your competitors with high engagement doing? How can you sharpen up your videos?
  • Engagement metrics – the TikTok algorithm wants the cherries on the cake, the cool kids on the block, the creme de la creme. Popular content gets likes, shares, comments and saves. So use call-to-action messages to prompt your followers to engage. This will boost your chances of a FYF ranking.
  • Video optimisation – make it clear to AI technology what your video is about. You can do this by optimising your captions and descriptions with relevant keywords and hashtags.
  • Interaction – TikTok is all about engagement. So make an effort to interact with relevant content in a bid to appear on the FYF of people with similar interests.
  • Trending content – TikTok trends are hugely popular. So see what’s trending and be part of it for potential FYF rankings. Trend-related content can open your brand up to a whole new audience. Be sure to also utilise trending sound effects as these add another layer of interest to your posts making them more entertaining and enjoyable.

This is TikTok’s summary of FYF recommendations:

 One of the best ways to build a following and get your videos on the FYF of your target market is to focus on a specific niche. Don’t make your content too broad. Instead, keep it focussed and on-point all while being fun, engaging, unique and relevant. And remember those hashtags!

Contentworks Agency works closely with brokers, neobanks and fintechs to create and implement their TikTok strategies. Book a free Zoom with our team to get started.

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