Behind the Scenes of TikTok’s Algorithm

 In Industry

Yesterday marked the 10th annual #WorldSocialMediaDay. It’s a day to celebrate social media, recognise its impact on global communication, and appreciate how it has become an integral part of our lives. 

Talking about social media in 2020 starts with the impact TikTok has had as society shut down for the COVID-19 global pandemic. Increased discretionary time and the channel’s lighthearted escapist content drove downloads by new users. There was a 27% increase in downloads, month-over-month, just in the first 23 days of March. 

As TikTok usage has exploded, so have accusations about the platform’s transparency and affiliation with the Chinese Government. Controversies around ownership, moderation policies, and how its growth efforts have led TikTok to create more visibility about how the platform works. In response, TikTok has announced a few remedies, including creating a Transparency Center in Los Angeles and limiting which employees can access user data. 

TikTok has also released insights about their For You feed and associated algorithm. A recent article from Social Media Today analyzed the news release. For businesses wanting to engage with TikTok’s users, understanding how the core algorithm is critical to impressions, and hopefully, the possibility of content to go viral. 

Below are the main drivers of content in TikTok’s feed:

  • Increase video interactions such as likes or shares, accounts you follow, posted comments, and regular content.
  • Adding video details like captions, sounds, and hashtags.
  • Account settings, like language preferences, country settings, and device types. 

Additional opportunities inferred from the news release include:

  • TikTok’s algorithm is similar to those of other social media platforms in that it will favor content similar to posts that users have engaged with.
  • TikTok will diversify a user’s feed so it’s not just an echo chamber.
  • Follower count or whether the account has had high-performing videos in the past are direct factors.
  • Using established hashtags are a useful way to end up in a user’s For You feed.
  • Leveraging popular sounds can help increase engagement. TikTok Pro accounts have access to metrics about what songs their users listen to.
  • Post when audiences are most active.
  • Compelling stories and inventive video concepts are a way to increase engagement creatively.

Another opportunity to get in front of TikTok users is through paid advertising. TikTok’s paid advertising offers unique opportunities to reach younger demographics with creative campaigns focused on web traffic, conversions or app downloads. Reach out to Noble Performs team of Creative Digital Performance Marketers to learn more. 

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