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  • Alejandra Montero

4 tips to get the TikTok algorithm to work for you

TikTok has become one of the most important social media platforms among the Gen-Z generation and also millennials.


Some people even say that no one is watching YouTube anymore because everyone is on TikTok. So definitely this social media platform has revolutionized the video content industry in the last couple of years.


Brands are actively trying to go viral and even creating trends in order to gain more exposure.


But… how does the algorithm work? And, how can you make the most out of it?


In this blog post, we will tell you all about TikTok and how it became what it is to date, how the algorithm works, and recommendations to start making TikTok work in your favor.




Once upon a time, there was an app called Musical.ly


We can't start talking about what TikTok currently is without talking about Musical.ly first. Musical.ly was a popular content creation app where users uploaded engaging short-form videos lip-synching and then shared them on another social media platform. This only helped increase the popularity of the app and its reach. However, in 2018, a Chinese company called ByteDance bought Musical.ly and transferred all its accounts and content to a new platform called TikTok.


As its predecessor, TikTok focuses on short-form video content, but that's as far as the similarities go. To date, the app has transformed from allowing only 15-second videos maximum to integrating a system that allows 3 minutes. Also, the content on TikTok is basically any topic the creator wants, instead of focusing on lip-synching.


In the short span of 2 years, from 2019-2021, their user base has more than doubled, going from 291 million to 655 million.


The TikTok algorithm explained


The TikTok algorithm is very personalized. It basically consists of a recommendation system that determines which content will show up on the "for you” page of its users. It fuels itself on previous content the account owner has watched, interacted with, or skipped. That's why chances are, two people won't have the same content on their for-you pages.


There are 4 key things to consider when it comes to the TikTok recommendation algorithm:


1. User interactions: TikTok tries to determine what content users like by analyzing the type of content they interact with. This includes the accounts they follow, how many times they have rewatched a video, videos they comment on, which videos they share with other users, the content they create, what a user marks as inappropriate, and what they hide. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.


2. Video information: AKA what you search for on the discovery tab. This helps the TikTok algorithm determine what you like based on video information. This means what sounds you are searching for, the caption of videos, popular hashtags, keywords on trendy topics, and video effects.


3. Device and account settings: Your preferences rely a lot on the type of account you have, your language preferences are used to know which language is preferred, where you are located can help them suggest creators in your area, and even the basic questions they asked when someone joins about content preferences are used to give TikTok a clue on what users are interested.


4. What you are actually not interested in: TikTok algorithm takes very seriously what you don't want to see. Now TikTok videos have the option to be marked 'not interested', besides that clear message the algorithm also considers which videos you skipped and which users you have hidden.


Tips to make the TikTok algorithm work in your favor:


  • Create high-quality content. This doesn't mean buying the newest camera or any expensive equipment. However, you do need good lighting. It's like when you are advertising a house online, you always need good pictures that can be taken from your phone, but the lighting makes a big difference in how they turn out.


  • Increase the number of videos where the content creator is talking directly to the camera. This video format tends to perform better than the ones where sound is only used. Also, try to keep your videos short, it sounds harsh, but TikTok has helped decrease users' attention spam. So if you deliver relevant content in the short form, it will definitely help you grow.


  • Implement sounds and audio in your videos. Stay on top of trends and adapt them to fit your niche. TikTok is a platform that actually moves fast, and trends come and go in a matter of weeks. So it makes sense to want to jump on top of the latest sound, however, it is important to make sure using the sound is actually contributing to your niche.



Maximize TikTok’s Reach

TikTok algorithm is not like other social media platforms' algorithms. Its highly personalized content has allowed the platform to keep its users engaged in their "for you" page instead of watching videos of people, they already know.


However, it's important for businesses to be able to work with the algorithm instead of against it in order to maximize the platform's reach.


Four key factors the algorithm considers are user interaction, video information, account settings, and what users actively say they don't like. If you want your business to get started on TikTok, contact us to help you get started.