What is the TikTok algorithm, and how do you overcome it to success on TikTok? Have you ever asked yourself this question? There isn’t a 100% guaranteed way of going viral on TikTok with a small budget. However, taking certain steps can give you an advantage in beating the TikTok algorithm and setting you on the right path.Our research shows that the platform is increasingly becoming more impactful. In just a few years the company has recorded an impressive post engagement rate (at 5.6%), which is higher than its peers; Facebook and Instagram. We outline everything you need to know thus far to help your brand and content go viral on the platform. We also discuss the dangers of duplicate content. Here is what you need to know.
How the TikTok Algorithm Works
The TikTok algorithm works similar to other social media algorithms. In layman’s language, the algorithm is a recommendation system which determines which video appears on your ‘For You’ Page.
TikTok’s artificial intelligence-based algorithms cleverly categorises content and makes recommendations based on a user’s preference or interests. These streams of recommendations make it easier for users to find content or creators of interest while perusing through the TikTok user interface. Since the algorithm makes recommendations based on a user’s preferences, users are given a very personalised experience which leads them to stay on the app longer than the average app.
We only experience content the TikTok Algorithm figures out is most relevant to us. The algorithm recommends content to users based on these key indicators:
- User interaction
- Video information, and
- TikTok account settings
The TikTok Algorithm and User Interactions
The way a user interacts with TikTok determines to a large extent, the type of content that the platform recommends to them. Everything from the likes, comments, shares, and followers factor in the TikTok algorithm recommendations.
TikTok Algorithm curates content based on activities from similar accounts
Similarly, TikTok’s algorithm also considers a user’s content creation. The type of content a user creates will inform the TikTok algorithm of the content you are interested in. On an equal footing, the algorithm also considers other interactions such as the time spent on video and video rewatches, which are key indicators of whether a user likes the content.
The Algorithm Ranks Content Based on Compatibility and Content Subject Matter
Besides user interaction activities, another key determiner of what content an algorithm showcases depends on the video creator. And this goes into the type of hashtags and the sounds they use. For example, TikTok hashtags added to a video can tell the TikTok algorithm a lot about the video. On the other hand, when similar accounts like a particular video, it is evident enough to the algorithm that the video is worth showcasing in a particular niche.
The algorithm curates content based on Account Settings
Lastly, TikTok’s algorithm prioritises the content it recommends to users based on their account settings. So, while settings like language preferences, device location, and country settings may seem unimportant, they play a significant role in the algorithm’s workings.
With these indicators, users are likely experience similar content, which is also know as trending news.
How to Go Viral with the TikTok Algorithm in 2023
Now that we know how the TikTok algorithm works it is time to look at a few simple tricks to beat the algorithm. Of course, it is not a one-plus-one thing, but we have compiled the best ways to beat the TikTok algorithm in 2023.
Stop Duplicate Content!
The penalties for using duplicate content include a loss of audience reach, and potentially being banned from the platform. But, overall, the key indicator that you are getting penalised for duplicate content will be the performance of your posts. Low performance and near zero reach are obvious signs you are being penalised by TikTok’s algorithm. Sometimes the TikTok algorithm will flag your post as spam. If you notice that you have been flagged, that should tell you that the algorithm isn’t picking your video for recommendation, and there is a problem.
Beating TikTok’s Duplicate Content Detection Algorithm
Before delving into the best way to go around the TikTok Algorithm, it will be a good idea to first understand what what duplicate content means in TikTok.
What is duplicate content on TikTok?
Duplicate content is content that has already been posted by another user or business on TikTok, and then reposted by another user or business. The TikTok algorithm is trained to flag such content and penalise it. They want the original creators to be fairly rewarded for the unique content they post.
Smart Tactics for Overcoming the TikTok Algorithm
However, you might be a brand that wants to repost some content which you’ve paid a creator to produce. Or you might really want to share a piece of content you love. Here are some clever ways to bypass TikTok’s duplicate content detection algorithm.
- The best and most safe way is to create self-created original content. Team brainstorming comes in handy if you have an in-house team. It helps get ideas and strategies to create content that will resonate with your audience.
- Next, if you don’t have an in-house team, you can partner with a TikTok agency. Working with a renowned TikTok like the House of Marketers will help you create content that sets your brand apart.
- Finally, if you have to repost content through several creators, you need to slightly change the content. You can achieve this through small tweaks here and there. For instance, you can use different opening hooks, soundtrack, CTAs, different captions on the screen, etc.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the TikTok algorithm is that it doesn’t rank your content based on the number of followers on the number of viral videos that you post. This implies that even working with fewer followers can get you engagement and virality. So, your focus should be on creating quality and relevant content.
Explore TikTok Subcultures
What is your niche? Often, brands fail on TikTok because they can’t identify a specific niche to work in while on TikTok. That notwithstanding, you will realise that creating content within TikTok subcultures is the easiest way to beat the TikTok algorithm and match it to virality. To be on the safer side, always explore a niche fully and be as creative as possible. You can achieve this first by identifying something you want your brand to be passionate about.
Go Viral with the TikTok Algorithm by Jumping on Relevant Trends Early
TikTok Trends set the platform apart from others. As a matter of fact, TikTok trends create much buzz over the internet, often spreading beyond TikTok into other social media platforms. So, if you have an eye for identifying trends before they get any big, you can break the code and achieve TikTok virality.
Start with searching trending stories on TikTok. You can discover trends through the discover tab and find out what is trending through the TikTok Creative Centre. Equally, following hashtags like the #trendalert can help you stay updated on the latest trends.
Remember, timing and relevance are key. Trends come and go quickly, so it will not have as much impact if you jump on a trend lately. For a trend to attract the attention that you want, it must also be relevant to your niche and audience.
Try Duet and Stitch Video Content
Have you ever tried duet and stitch video content? Maybe it is time you tried. Stitch and Duet content works best with trends. Stitches help you blend another creator’s content with your recording to create a new video. Further, duets allow you to merge your own content with that of another creator, appearing side by side, like in a split screen. You do not need to worry about your video editing prowess because this feature is inbuilt. Note that duets and stitches work best with trends, so while using them to gain leverage from the TikTok algorithm, it is advisable to make the first move.
Optimise your Content for Search
If you intend to go viral on TikTok, then you want to push your content to the right people. Optimising your content for search is the best way to go about it. This will enable you to push your content to those actively seeking specific content in your niche.
The best way to optimise your content for the TikTok algorithm is to use the keywords and hashtags people search for. Additionally, another great way to optimise your content is through using captions. TikTok recently expanded the number of characters from 1500 to 2200. This gives you enough room to incorporate trending keywords to help you rank better on the TikTok algorithm.
Of course, TikTok gives more options to incorporate trending keywords and optimise your content for TikTok SEO. For instance, a good place to insert the keywords can be from the voice-over or text overlays.
Always Aim to Create Quality Content
Quality content always wins. While this is true on TikTok, quality content always translates to authentic content. Consequently, you don’t need anything fancy to get started. You only need your phone, some quality lighting, a good microphone, and some quick editing and transitions to get your content moving.
Remember, TikTok videos can be a minimum of 5 seconds. TikTok insists that a video should be longer to make the best impression. Meanwhile, don’t unnecessarily make your videos longer. TikTok completion rate is a key ranking factor in the TikTok algorithm. Making your video so long will be counterproductive, especially if viewers have to drop out because the video drags on so long.
While creating content on the platform, use TikTok’s inbuilt feature to bolster your content and make it appealing to the eye. Features like text treatments and effects help make your content more authentic and native. With these features, it will be easier for the TikTok algorithm to locate and recommend your content for the ‘For you’ feed.
Post at the Right Time to Bolster your Engagement Rates on the TikTok Algorithm
While this is obvious for all social media platforms, it is particularly emphasised on TikTok because active engagement with your users is a key signal to the TikTok algorithm. So, how do you determine when your target audience is most active? You can find out when your target audience is most active from your profile page by tapping the three dots at the top right corner of your screen. Click on the creator tools and then tap on analytics. You can choose hours to view analytics per day when your audience is most active. Similarly, you can select days to view when your target audience is most active.
The Power of TikTok
TikTok moves with speed. For instance, it was not long ago that the app launched its operations. Interestingly, the app has grown its audience rapidly. Currently, the app has over 1 billion active users and has been downloaded 210 million times in the USA alone and a whooping 2.6 billion times worldwide. Much of this success can be attributed to its incredible artifical intelligence-engineered algorithm.
In this post, we have looked at how the algorithm works and ways to achieve virality on TikTok, leveraging the TikTok algorithm. Right now, you can’t underestimate TikTok’s reach and effectiveness. The company holds the central position in social media marketing, and as a business, you can’t do without a TikTok presence.
Our TikTok Marketing Agency
At the House of Marketers, we help you drive conversions quickly by leveraging the TikTok algorithm. Talk to us here today to learn more about what we have in mind for your business, and how we can accelerate your brand’s growth on TikTok, and other social media platforms.
House of Marketers (HOM) is a leading TikTok Marketing Agency. Our global agency was built by early TikTok Employees & TikTok Partners, which gives us the insider knowledge to help leading brands, like Redbull, Playtika, Badoo, and HelloFresh win on TikTok. Want us to convert more of Gen Z and Millennials with TikTok? Get in touch with our friendly team, here.