Get the TikTok Algorithm Explained

Get the TikTok Algorithm Explained

Once we look at the statistics, we see that the average time people spend on TikTok every day is around 95 minutes. For example, they spend 19 minutes less on YouTube and 44 minutes less on Instagram. According to eMarketer’s statistics, adults in the USA spent around 55 minutes on TikTok daily in 2023. 

Why do we mention this information? Because users’ activity is one of the key components of the TikTok algorithm. If you only start your path as a content maker, you need to know how the algorithm works and how you can influence its work to achieve higher engagement. Keep reading to discover a fundamental question: How does the TikTok algorithm work?

What Is the TikTok Algorithm?

The first step is to clarify the TikTok algorithm. Using the For You page, the system recommends content based on your preferences. The algorithm won’t show the same videos to two different users because the recommendation is based on their current preferences and state of mind. Over time, people will see different content, and the platform will consider these changes to make new suggestions. 

What Factors Are Crucial for the “For You” Page?

The rank of the recommended content for the “For You” page includes several factors. The algorithm considers users’ interactions, personal interests, etc. The idea is not only to select what you will probably be interested in but also to sort out the content you’re not interested in. Let’s quickly go through these factors to discover how recommendations work.

Factor

Impact on Recommendations

User Interactions

The content you like, share, or comment on, the accounts you follow, and the content you create impact what you’ll see in your feed.

Video Information

Specific hashtags, descriptions, and even music in the video become crucial for future recommendations—even additional effects in videos matter. If you like several videos with similar background songs, you’ll have more suggestions for such songs.

Device and Account Settings

The settings of your device and TikTok account, such as geolocation, language preferences, and device type, also matter. However, these factors impact the algorithm less compared to content information and user activity.

If you want to get the TikTok algorithm explained, remember one thing: content relevance matters more than creator popularity. If you aim to create engaging content and gain followers, you need to consider this and analyze their content on a regular basis. The faster you find gaps and discover how to close them, the better, read our article "How to Make a TikTok go Viral"

What Doesn’t Matter for Tiktok’s Algorithm?

We also should mention what content won’t be recommended for users. It’s repeatable content, duplicated posts, spam, or potentially upsetting content. Moreover, you should notice that recommendations are formed without considering the follower count. Accounts with more followers get more views without the algorithm’s impact; since more people seek their content, they get more views, likes, comments, and shares.

If you don’t have a massive follower count, but your content speaks directly to your target audience, you have a high chance of getting on their recommendation page as well as viral videos.

How to Get Picked by the TikTok Algorithm?

When we understand how does TikTok algorithm works, it’s time for another question: How to use this algorithm correctly? We have 6 core points that will surely help you upgrade your content and get solid engagement.

Select the topic that attracts you the most

TikTok significantly differs from the rest of the platforms due to one significant difference. For example, people spend most of their time engaging with accounts they follow on Instagram. On TikTok, users mostly watch content on the “For You” page. Most users belong to specific subcultures gathered around hashtags. For example, the #BookTop hashtag belongs to the biggest book club on the planet, and you can easily find it on TikTok.

#BookTop

Once you understand what subculture you belong to, you can start creating authentic content for TikTok. Becoming a part of a specific interest group is a winning experience for brands and influencers because that’s exactly what followers appreciate. To find your subculture and switch to the right path, use TikTok’s Audience insights. You will see hashtags and categories of interest that are most appreciated by your audience.

Optimize your content for search

The next step in making your content better is improving TikTok SEO. You need to add specific keywords to the description to get your videos to higher ranks, making your videos more visible on TikTok and Google. The initial goal is to make the videos more visible to your audience. You can achieve this by analyzing the videos they engage with and the hashtags they use. Such information will give you an understanding of how you can change your content to make it more tailored to your followers.

By understanding what your audience searches on TikTok and what it wants to see, you will create better titles and descriptions for your content so more people will find them. Feel free to do keyword research using tools like Semrush or Keyword Planner.

Optimize your videos for TikTok

The ideal format is a 15-second video with trending background music and an impressive transition. The video must be done vertically and have subtitles, especially if you have a strong message in your video. These are the basic elements, but if you feel it’s not enough, try adding special effects to your content. Ask for feedback to decide what to add or to exclude from the videos. 

Categorize your account with the first 5 videos

A principle has worked for this platform for such a long time. The thing is that the first five videos on your account categorize your account. If you are only beginning your TikTok activity, post content wisely and consider what niche you select as a content creator. Later, when you build an audience and discover how the algorithm works on TikTok, you can start experimenting with your content, try new formats, and implement new features.

Keep the engagement level high

Users find you more valuable as a content creator when you reply to their comments. Positioning yourself as a non-grata person won’t work for TikTok because people like to keep the communication level high. A perfect option for the TikTok algorithm is to use a strategy called “react, respond, and remix.” It means you react to trending content, respond to questions and prompts, and remix the ideas and concepts of other creators. Making video replies is also a great way to boost your engagement because you show how important the feedback is. 

Create a challenge where you’ll respond to comments in video format. When people have a quest to follow, they get motivated to be more active, as they will be waiting for your message.

Add topic-focused hashtags

When someone says you should stay on trend, you should do it in all senses. Using trending hashtags is also an important part of your TikTok activity because they are crucial for users who search for information. To ensure you select proper tags for your content, use TikTok Creative Center. With the Analytics feature, you are able to analyze the popularity, demographics, and interests of any hashtag.

To discover more about how TikTok works, consider watching the video below. The author reveals essentials that'll help you improve the quality of the content and increase your engagement. For example, you should publish your videos consistently and stick to a schedule to stay active.

Final Thoughts

Sticking to the plan is good, but doing the same things all the time won’t give you a breakthrough to be on top of the game. You need something more than routine posting. Analyze your content carefully to discover the most engaging posts, what should be added, etc. Search for other authors who create similar content and see what they have. Don’t plagiarise - take their concept and rework it for your style.

FAQ

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