Amid the various questions around the app's future due to how it may or may not share data with the Chinese Government, many businesses are still looking to use TikTok to connect with younger audiences, with the platform providing significant reach and exposure potential for those that are able to tap into its nuances.
But like all social platforms, it's not as simple as just uploading a promotional clip and letting it fly. If you want to gain viral traction on TikTok, you have to know what users are responding to, what types of content they like, the subjects, the hashtags, etc.
And this week, TikTok has provided some quick tips to help. Over on the TikTok blog, the platform has outlined a range of key notes and pointers which may help to clarify your TikTok posting approach.
Some of TikTok's key tips of note are:
- Go vertical - Vertical videos perform best on TikTok, as do videos that are longer than five seconds
- Consider overall stats, don't focus on Likes - TikTok advises that creators should take note of high-level trends within their analytics rather than focusing on a single metric (such as likes or comments) from video to video
- Recency is a factor - TikTok says that its 'For You' feed recommendations generally pull from videos posted within the last 90 days, while newly uploaded videos will generally see a peak in engagement soon after they've been published. As such, uploading new content regularly will increase your potential of maximizing your reach. "If viewers continue to find your video interesting, it will continue to be recommended".
- Posting more won't impact reach - Somewhat aligned to the previous point, TikTok also says that the amount of videos you post does not impact how your content is recommended in the For You feed. So, theoretically, if all of your videos were hits, you could dominate the For You feed by uploading lots of them - while conversely, this may also suggest that engagement with your past content is not a significant factor in future reach
- Keep people watching - TikTok also says that watch time factors into how a video gets recommended, "so capturing viewers' attention early and maintaining it throughout makes for watchable, shareable content".
And lastly, TikTok also notes that adding hashtags like #FYP, #ForYou, and #ForYouPage won't help you get more views.
"Hashtags like #FYP, #ForYou, and #ForYouPage work just like all other hashtags on TikTok, so adding these to your caption won’t necessarily improve your chances of getting on someone’s For You feed. Instead, we recommend using the space in your caption to add context to your video along with hashtags that are relevant to your content."
You've probably noticed these tags on every post - and now, you can tell your friends that are trying to go viral that they don't need to do that, they're not helping them generate additional exposure or awareness like they might think.
There are some interesting notes here, which could help to improve your TikTok performance. And we may get even more insights like this in future - this week, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer vowed to be more open about how the platform works, which would include giving third-parties the opportunity to "examine the actual code that drives our algorithms".
We'll have to wait and see just how open TikTok is in this respect, but it could mean that we learn a lot more about how its systems operate.
You can view TikTok's full tips and notes here.