Factors that influence the TikTok algorithm
As you know, the TikTok algorithm is complex. Questions like, "How does TikTok decide which videos get pushed on For You Pages?" "How come some videos go viral and others don't?" "How often should I be posting?" "How long should my videos be?"
There are so many questions about how TikTok works, and to be honest with you, TikTok is still pretty hush-hush about the algorithm. But they have given us some breadcrumbs here and there, AKA some important details like what factors do influence the algorithm. So there are six main factors that influence it.
Factor #1: Video likes, comments, shares, completions and rewatches
The more engagement a TikTok gets, the more likely it'll be served to larger audiences. And a little bit later on in this video, I'll give you some tips on how you can encourage completions and rewatches.
Factor #2: Subject matter
TikTok categorizes content based on user interests, so subject matter is an important factor when it comes to reach.
Factor #3: Device settings
The algorithm recognizes certain device settings like posting locations and language, typically sharing local content.
Factor #4: Audio.
Audio trends are massive on TikTok, so when a video includes a trending sound or song, the more likely it could be served to a larger audience.
Factor #5: Hashtags and caption keywords
Including hashtags and keywords in your content lets the algorithm know what your video and page are about.
Factor #6: User activity and "Not interested" feedback
And lastly, the algorithm aims to serve high-interest content to each user, and it uses previous activity to determine what's best.
How to hack the TikTok algorithm
With those factors in mind, I do have a few ways that you can hack the TikTok algorithm and boost your views. Just remember that the TikTok algorithm is always adapting, changing and learning from user behaviour. And because it is still a relatively new platform, a lot of what works best is going to come through trial and error and also experimenting. But here are three tried and true ways you can hack the algorithm.
#1: Hook your audience within the first 3 seconds
Like I already mentioned, when a user watches a video in full, it lets the TikTok algorithm know that people like this content and they want to watch it. TikTok tends to favor videos that are easy to digest, have a seamless loop, and cater to users who have a short attention span.
Knowing this, you want to hook your audience right away, specifically in the first 3 seconds of your video. TikTok is an endless scroll, and users are quick to jump to the next video. Try hooking your audience with a question right off the bat or use onscreen text to tease what you're about to tell them.
#2: Focus on a niche
We've learned this hack firsthand from our experience growing Later's TikTok. If you aren't already following us on TikTok, by the way, what are you doing? I'll link it in the description below.
Anyway, the more you share videos related to your niche directed at a specific audience, the more the TikTok algorithm will recognize it and begin to push your videos to the right people. What content themes resonate with your target audience? Is it beauty tutorials? Maybe it's dating advice? Comedy sketches? Reviews?
Once you decide on your content themes, experiment using industry-specific hashtags. I'll use Later for example. We typically share hashtags like #socialmediatips, #socialmediamanager and #instagramnews. Including those hashtags essentially tells the algorithm, "Hey TikTok, look over here! Our account shares tips and tricks for social media managers. Please show our videos to those users."
#3: Use onscreen text and captions
To ensure users are watching your videos the whole way through, make sure you're including onscreen text for every single video you put out. It's easy enough to do, and the benefits are just beyond. Not only does it help people who are watching without sound, but it's also helpful for those who are hearing impaired. Plus, TikTok has an automatic captions feature, so you don't have to spend time transcribing your videos yourself.
I also want to note that TikTok videos have a very long, long shelf life. A video you post may go viral a few days, weeks, or even months after you originally share it.
Now, I didn't fully get to touch on how to go viral on TikTok in this video, but if you want to learn one influencer's secret and how she's gained over 4 million followers on social media, you can just click here to watch that video. See you later.