How to Master the TikTok Algorithm in 2022
Like any algorithm, the TikTok algorithm is a system that tries to personalize content as optimized as possible for each and every user. For the Chinese app, it means the AI configures the best possible “For You” page depending on your interest. As a result, each “For You” page shows a different focus. This has many advantages, of course, but at the same time it creates a social media bubble that users may not even notice. For brands, this means that before you start any influencer marketing campaign, you need to know your target audience and define and characterize them accordingly.
Unsurprisingly, TikTok is very tight-lipped about the specifics of its algorithm, since the algorithm is the technology that makes each platform so unique. But there are some general factors that can affect your performance on the platform. Thus, let’s take a look together at what you need to know to better understand TikTok and make the algorithm work for you.
TikTok itself says of its algorithm: “A video stream tailored to your interests, making it easy to find content and creators you love … Powered by a recommendation system that delivers content each user is likely to be interested in.”
At Kolsquare, we have just discussed the impact of Instagram’s algorithm changes and the current “Make Instagram Instagram Again” protest.
This Is What the TikTok Algorithm Favors
Of course, user activity is particularly crucial to the algorithm on TikTok. This means that the engagement of a TikTok video behaves exponentially. The more likes, comments, shares, completions and re-watches it has, the more it is likely to get.
In addition, the topic, i.e. the information the video communicates, plays an important role. Brands and creators should therefore make sure to categorize their content clearly. Hashtags, which can increase the reach, are particularly helpful. You can find a guide for the correct and targeted use of hashtags on TikTok on the Kolsquare blog. But besides the hashtags in the caption, the audio, the effects you choose and, for example, the video transcripts are also important.
The algorithm also takes the location and the language setting of your device into account and accordingly decides for whom your content is relevant. So before you start the campaign, check the location your app has selected, the language and the type of mobile device you are using to post your content.
TikTok is also known for its viral trends. For marketers, this means that trendy audios or challenges are a way to reach new target groups. The difficulty is that such trends are very short-lived and you have to react quickly in order not to miss the momentum. 88% of users find that sound is extremely essential on the platform, with tracks that have 120 or more beats per minute having the highest view-through rate.
With the launch of SoundOn in May 2022, TikTok is only challenging the well-known music platform Spotify, highlighting the importance of music on the Chinese app.
And be sure to take advantage of TikTok’s built-in features such as effects and text editing. According to the app, “[t]hese native features help your content feel native on the platform, which can also help it appear on more For You pages!”
User opinions are important to TikTok, which is why videos marked “not interested” will have a hard time if this has happened more often and especially within your target audience. But a “not interested” is not a big deal, as the algorithm curates each “For You” page individually.
The good thing about TikTok? Unlike other social networks, the TikTok algorithm does not really care about how many followers your account has or how other videos have performed on the platform. Everyone has a chance to go viral on TikTok!
How to Use the TikTok Algorithm For Yourself?
Kolsquare shows you some tips on how you can use the TikTok algorithm for yourself and ultimately profit from it. Even though the popular app has increased the video length to a maximum of ten minutes, the tendency remains for shorter videos. Since the TikTok algorithm also counts how many users have watched your video until the end, i.e. the video completion rate, the following still applies: short is good and qualitative is better.
Of course, it’s best if you can captivate viewers from start to finish, though you can be an early adopter and experiment with long videos. Here’s why TikTok is turning to long video formats. Always keep your brand values and goals in mind: What messages do you want to communicate? Are you concerned with reach or engagement?
Also, the time of posting is important. Make sure to take a look at TikTok’s own analytics tools and stick to them. When is your audience most active? Often the first few minutes are critical to how well a video performs and whether it plays on many “For You” pages. Generally, Tuesday through Thursday mornings, from 9 to 10 a.m., is a good time to post new content. To view the analytics pages, you must first upgrade your account to a Pro account, either Creator or Business.
In addition to the analytics tools for each Pro Account, TikTok also offers an overview page for general statistics about the platform. On a daily basis, the app provides data on trending hashtags, songs, creators and TikTok videos in its own Creative Center. Trend Discovery is designed to inspire, update and maximize success on the platform.