In 2023, How to Make the TikTok Algorithm Work for You

In 2023, How to Make the TikTok Algorithm Work for You

The TikTok algorithm isn’t as enigmatic as it appears. You can use these tips to make it work in your favor.

When you open the TikTok app, there’s a reason you can’t stop scrolling. The social media app’s algorithm has been purposefully engineered to give things TikTok anticipates you’ll like, and this recommendation system is notoriously accurate.

Discoverability is the cornerstone of TikTok’s algorithm. TikTok distributes material from accounts with which users have not yet interacted. It’s been so popular that other social media networks, such as Instagram and Twitter, have changed their algorithms to include the same sense of discovery.

Making TikTok a successful element of your social media plan in 2023 requires learning how to develop distinctive content as well as how to work with the algorithm. We’ll go through what feeds the TikTok algorithm, how it drives For You page content generation, and how to make it all work for your company.

What Exactly Is the TikTok Algorithm?

The TikTok algorithm commands which videos seem on the For You courier. It’s a recommendation algorithm that seeks to give just stuff TikTok believes you’ll like based on user behavior and interactions, device and account settings, and video information.

The algorithm is extremely individualized, which means that no two people will have the identical For You page feed. One user’s page, for example, may be customized with video footage of pets, couple pranks, and beauty content. However, another person may watch anime, celebrity gossip, and cooking videos.

The system is also constantly improving thanks to machine learning. When you watch a specific video, make a comment, or rapidly scroll over anything, the algorithm remembers and continues to display you comparable videos and material.

TikTok Algorithm Work

The TikTok algorithm learns really quickly.

The Wall Street Journal investigated by creating 100 automated accounts and instructed them to keep scrolling. Each new account was fed a wide range of information, but the results were refined as users watched videos on the social media platform. Each bot account was allocated interests, which were expressed by watching and pausing on content that matched those interests.

The results showed that the TikTok algorithm figured out the bot account’s interests in less than two hours, and in certain cases, less than 40 minutes.

Because the algorithm is so strong and fundamental to TikTok’s addicting popularity, parent company ByteDance keeps its exact inner workings a well guarded secret.

However, there is enough information to provide some direction on how to make the TikTok algorithm work for you.

Where the TikTok Algorithm Functions

The For You page is basically where the algorithm curates videos. It’s the first thing you see when you start the app, and it’s where most users spend their time.

But that isn’t the only way to see TikTok material. Here are some more instances where the algorithm is used.

TikTok Lookup

The algorithm is used in two ways by the search screen. To begin, when you click the search icon, the program displays a list of suggested search phrases titled “You may like.” These are based on both current topics and your own app viewing history.

Second, when you enter a search keyword, your TikTok viewing history influences the results.

The following page

The TikToks on the following page are exclusively from accounts you follow, and they are not in chronological order. Rather, they are based on what TikTok believes you will like to watch.

Page of Friends

TikTok’s Friends page only displays content from accounts you’ve added as friends on the app. Again, the algorithm determines their order.

What Factors Influence the TikTok Algorithm?

A series of signals tells the TikTok algorithm what to show you. Some were named by TikTok, while others were uncovered by scholars.

1. Check the Time

In the Wall Street Journal experiment, watch time appeared to be the most important parameter considered by the algorithm. That is, the algorithm considers the video completion rate or even when a specific user watches a movie on repeat. This important information indicates to the algorithm that you are very interested in the content.

When you scroll through a TikTok without watching it, the algorithm notices this as well.

Video subtitles can assist boost watch time, especially on mobile devices. If you need help making subtitles, use Kapwing’s subtitle generator.

2. Positive Interactions with Users

The system records every interaction a user has with videos, and there are a lot of them.

Positive user interactions include things like:
  • After reading an account
  • Making a remark
  • Having a TikTok account
  • Making a TikTok a favorite

3. Unfavorable User Interactions

When you tell TikTok that you don’t like a video, it takes into account the following factors:

Making a TikTok video “not interested”
TikTok will hide videos based on these interactions if you report a TikTok for potentially disturbing content.

4. Video Specifics

The video data sends important data to the TikTok algorithm, which influences users’ feeds.

It records video information such as:

  • The video caption on TikTok
  • Hashtags were employed in the sound.
  • Effects employed
  • Consider the highly popular Bold Glamour filter.

If you continue to watch TikTok videos or produce content with this filter, the algorithm will show you more.

The system also considers past high-performing videos.

5. Your Personal Posts

Your TikTok posts can have an impact on the algorithm.

This includes the following:

  • The sounds you employ, particularly popular ones
  • The hashtags you use
  • Your video captions are excellent.
  • Accounts that you’ve tagged or dueted with
  • Additional video information

Simply explained, if you generate a lot of farm-related material, the algorithm will offer you more farm-related videos on your For You page.

6. Account and Device Configuration

Finally, the TikTok algorithm takes into account your device and account settings. TikTok uses this to improve the content it displays to you.

This includes the following:

  • Your preferred language
  • Your nation
  • Your device model

According to TikTok, the device kind and accounting settings are not as crucial in the algorithm as other critical ranking signals, but they are still relevant. This is used to give more localized content as well as content in a language that you can understand.

Rumors about the TikTok Algorithm

Because of ByteDance’s secrecy, there are numerous rumors about how the TikTok algorithm works. However, TikTok has issued remarks to the public in the past to clarify some of those claims and give light on the algorithm.

Here’s what we’ve discovered:

Employees Can Make a TikTok Video Go Viral Using “Heating”
Forbes claimed in January 2023 that TikTok personnel have a secret “heating” button they can manually engage to push it into feeds and increase view numbers, thereby artificially producing virality.
Jera Bean, a self-proclaimed TikTok specialist, explains it in this video:

Former and present employees who spoke to Forbes and leaked papers provided this information. According to reports, the feature was utilized to appease hand-picked brands and influencers.

According to a spokeswoman for Forbes, “only a few people” have access to promoting videos, and this is done to “diversify the content experience.”

TikTok does not want excessive repetition.

According to Axios, the TikTok algorithm “aims to dodge sameness that could handled the user, like visiting numerous videos with the exact music or from the exact designer.”

Because the TikTok algorithm does not want you to watch the same videos again and over, when a user sees a video, it will not appear in their feed again.

TikTok will also showcase videos that are not related to your regular interests in order to entice you with something fresh.

TikTok Users Are Divided Into Interest Groups

TikTok stated in the same press conference that it divides users into “clusters” based on their interests. That is why you may encounter videos about the LGBTQ+ community, horses, or baseball on a regular basis.
How to Create TikTok Videos that the Algorithm Appreciates

How can businesses take use of TikTok’s algorithm now that we know how it works? Playing nice with the system will help your TikTok videos get more views, likes, and follows by connecting you with suitable viewers.

Here are some pointers to help you make the TikTok algorithm work for you:

Discover Your Specialization

We know that the algorithm divides TikTok users into “clusters” depending on their interests, and that TikTok intends to continue presenting each user movies that are relevant to their interests. You must generate TikTok content that will appear naturally on For You pages in addition to gaining new fans.

If you want a highly engaged audience that will watch your films over and over, you should join a TikTok community. Some groups distinguish themselves by a popular hashtag, such as #foodtok for foodies, #beautytok for cosmetics artists, or #catsoftiktok for cat lovers.

Inside jokes or subculture-specific tendencies may exist in communities. As a TikTok brand, you must associate with communities that make sense for you. Spend time watching videos and training your algorithm to learn about your interests, and you’ll begin to notice how other TikTok users participate in your area.

As an example, consider Gymshark.

Gymshark, an athletic gear manufacturer, has firmly established itself in the app’s renowned fitness community. Rather of simply attempting to replicate everything that is popular on TikTok, they keep their material focused on high-quality videos.
They play on an ongoing trend of males at the gym being impressed with a woman who can lift huge weight in this TikTok, which has 4 million views.

They use the hashtags #deadlift and #gym to alert the algorithm to their niche.

They also collaborate with popular #FitTok makers and influencers to create organic feeling content for their feed, reposting and tagging their TikToks for further engagement and reach.

Make the Most of Your Hashtags and Captions

TikTok now supports captions of up to 2,200 characters, giving it an ideal platform for implementing search-engine optimization tactics.

TikTok SEO is using relevant keywords for your defined niche so that the TikTok algorithm can better recognize your content genre. This can be done in the form of a written sentence or by using trending TikTok hashtags.

Consider creating these captions in the same way you would write SEO for a landing page, but don’t go overboard. If you stuff the caption with a nonsense list of terms, TikTok viewers will assume you’re not genuinely participating with the app’s culture and are merely optimizing for views.
Keep it short and entertaining, and the TikTok algorithm will take care of the rest.

NBA as an example

Look at this TikTok video from the NBA’s official account.

“This @lakers sequence #nba #basketball #lakers #dlo #austinreaves #dennisschroder #losangeleslakers,” the caption reads.

They kept the caption brief but included hashtags that tell the algorithm that the video will appeal to anyone who like basketball, the Lakers, Austin Reaves, or Dennis Schroder.

The program will also recognize any words in the on-screen text of your TikTok.

Make use of trending audio and hashtags.

When a specific trend, challenge, or audio clip gets popular on TikTok, it is always a good idea to create content around that trend. However, you must do so in a way that is true to your brand and, ideally, plays to your specialty.

Check This Out: What Will TikTok Pay Creators in 2023?

As an example, consider the San Diego Zoo.

The San Diego Zoo has 2.3 million TikTok followers. An audio sample from Family Guy recently went viral.

The zoo capitalized on this trend by overlaying an audio track over footage of its young elephants. That fits into their specialty of cute animals while also benefiting from the trend, which they also mentioned in the caption.

The end result? There have been almost 500,000 views.

Pay attention to trendy sounds and songs on the app and figure out how to use them. However, if you have a TikTok business account, you will not be able to use TikTok’s large catalog of copyrighted audio, even if the songs are popular.

The now-defunct “discover tab” used to be a means to locate hot tracks and hashtags, but you can now uncover new trends in the Creative Center.

Another thing to remember when developing popular content is that you must act rapidly. The importance of timing cannot be overstated. Jake Bjorseth, Founder and CEO of Gen Z marketing agency trndsttrs, says, “By the time you see the trend on your FYP, you have about a day to post before that train leaves the station.”

And nothing is more embarrassing than a brand account that is weeks or months late to a trend.

Make Short Videos

Short videos that are engaging are engaging videos. Remember that watch time is an important aspect in the TikTok algorithm. You want the viewers to watch the entire video to attract the algorithm’s interest, therefore make shorter videos.

As an example, consider Duolingo.

Duolingo has almost 6 million TikTok followers. Much of their popularity can be attributed to their use of their humorous mascot and participation in memes, but consider the duration of the videos. Most are under 10 seconds long, with some exceeding 15 seconds.
TikTok makers can use the native video editor to create videos up to two minutes long, and you can use a third-party TikTok video editor to create TikToks up to 10 minutes long and upload from your camera roll. However, you should strive to make shorter videos. TikTok users may choose to skip longer videos. The length of your TikTok movies is equally as crucial as the size, quality, and substance.

Get the Timing Correct

Finally, make sure you post on TikTok at the appropriate moment. There are certain guidelines for posting on TikTok, such as Thursday evenings.
Even better, investigate your own metrics. You can check when your material performs best by going to Creator Tools, then Analytics. Your specific niche may have an impact on this.

Teachers, for example, don’t have much time to scroll TikTok in the middle of the day on a weekday, so it wouldn’t be the best time for an education company to post.

Make friends with the TikTok Algorithm, and it will make friends with you.
When broken down, the TikTok algorithm isn’t as enigmatic as it appears. It merely wishes to give relevant material to the appropriate audience in order to keep them scrolling.

Creating high-quality videos, like on any other social media platform, must be matched with an understanding of what the system favors. To increase engagement, keep your videos short, use trending music, and look for trending hashtags.

With just a few changes to your own videos, you can create material that appeases the algorithm, reaches your target audience, and increases your follower count.

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