How To Get On The TikTok For You Page: 7 Simple Tips
Posted: October 12 2021 by blog.hootsuite.com
TikTok recently hit 1 billion global monthly active users. And even though it’s not quite as big as Facebook or Instagram (yet), some demographics already choose it over most social networks out there.
It’s no wonder that so many brands are trying to establish a presence on the platform — but not all of them are getting it right. So, before you set up an account and try to make sense of the platform’s many niche trends, read this guide to find out how to get on TikTok’s For You page. Because if your content doesn’t end up seen by your intended audience, why bother making it at all?
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The TikTok For You page is a personalized, scrollable feed of content. It’s the platform’s main content discovery tool, known for its fine-tuned algorithm that produces accurate recommendations based on each user’s actions on TikTok (e.g., what they like, share, view more than once, etc.).
The For You page serves as the app’s home screen, which means it’s the first thing users see when they open the TikTok app.
No two For You pages are the same — each TikTok user gets a unique, personalized stream of videos.
Being the app’s main screen, the TikTok For You page is where most of the content discovery on the platform happens. In simple terms, the For You page is where people watch TikToks and interact with them.
So, if you don’t surface on your intended audience’s For You pages, the chances of them finding your content (and interacting with it) are pretty slim.
Technically, other ways for people to discover content on TikTok do exist. Users can go to the Discover tab to search for your profile, and watch your TikTok’s there. Or, they can follow your account and watch your TikToks in the Following feed:
But the For You page and TikTok’s spookily accurate content recommendations are what makes the platform so fun to use. In TikTok’s words, the For You page is “central to the TikTok experience and where most users spend their time.” So it’s no stretch to say that no other discovery channel within the app will get your TikToks in front of as many people as the For You page.
TikTok’s algorithm (a.k.a. recommendation system) recommends content based on users’ actions, preferences and account settings.
Here are the factors that affect what shows up on the For You page:
- Actions each user takes in the app. This includes likes, shares, comments and follows. TikTok users can also opt out of seeing some types of videos or content from specific creators by tapping “Not Interested” on TikToks they don’t like.
- Video information. For You page recommendations can be based on sounds, hashtags and captions featured in TikTok videos.
- Device and account settings. Language preferences and country settings are also signals for the For You page algorithm, i.e., users can expect to see some local content on the For You page.
Here’s what the For You page algorithm doesn’t take into account when recommending videos:
- Follower count
- A history of high-performing content
Which is great news for beginners! If you play your cards right, you can go from zero (followers) to TikTok hero overnight.
And how can the For You page algorithm work for you? Basically, getting on the For You page triggers something of a snowball effect:
- Your content is recommended to users who are likely to enjoy it.
- Users like, share, or comment on your TikToks.
- The TikTok algorithm takes this a signal that your content resonates with people and surfaces it on even more For You pages.
So how do you get this snowball rolling?
Since the For You page is a collection of content TikTok believes users will enjoy… you need to understand who your audience are and what they enjoy in order to reach them.
Check your TikTok analytics for details about the gender and location of your audience. If you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of data to work with, use your Instagram analytics as a starting point (84.6% of TikTok users also use Instagram).
Then… start scrolling. Spend some time watching TikToks to see what’s trending, and take a close look at what your competitors (or other businesses in your niche) are doing on the platform.
Use your findings as inspiration. You might come across unexpected, but very successful content strategies.
Take a look at this example from Burger King. The video doesn’t explicitly mention the brand, and it’s far from promotional (in a traditional sense), but it generated over 4,000 likes and hundreds of shares and comments. The secret? Burger King gets their audience.
@burgerkingin love and burgers, the king always wins #babe #burgerking♬ original sound – Tra Rags
Most videos on the For You page are no older than a few days. So, for best results, you’ll want to post to TikTok at the right time, a.k.a. when your audience is already online and scrolling.
Based on our research, the best times to post on TikTok (expressed in Pacific time) for maximum engagement are:
- Tuesday: 7 AM
- Thursday: 10 AM
- Friday: 5 AM
But a lot depends on your unique audience’s activity patterns. So treat these times as a starting point, and keep a close eye on your analytics to set your TikToks up for success.
You can look up the days your audience is most active in the Video Views section of TikTok analytics:
Sounds are a ranking signal for the TikTok algorithm. So, using trending audio clips can increase your chances of surfacing on more For You pages.
If you’re not sure what sounds are trending, browse the Discovery tab or just spend some time scrolling through your own For You page. When you come across a video that features a sound you like, tap on the sound icon in the bottom right corner. This will take you to the sound’s page, where you can see how many times it’s been used and browse top videos that feature it.
Makeup brand Glossier does a great job working trending sounds into their branded content:
@glossierSome days at Glossier HQ consist of ordering a last minute cake for an Instagram story. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GLOSSIER!!!!! 7⃣ #glossier #bts♬ kim kardashian its a full time job – kardashianicon
Sometimes, a random video will blow up on TikTok, setting off a widespread trend. And every new trend is a unique opportunity for brands to create timely, relevant content that shows off how culturally connected with TikTok’s audience they are. Not to mention that piggybacking off of trending content can help you get on the For You pages of users who are invested in it.
In September and October of 2021, many businesses posted reactions to the “Couch Guy” video.
Here’s the Empire State Building’s reaction:
@empirestatebldgI may be a building, but I’m not blind. #couchguy is sus #empirestatebuidling #nyc♬ original sound – Empire State Building
And here’s a parody from the memelords at Ryanair:
@ryanairPilot guy was speechless #couchguy♬ still falling for you – audiobear
(Too niche? Catch up on the “Couch Guy” saga here.)
Working with influencers can help you reach new audiences on all social platforms. On TikTok, it can also get you on the For You page.
If you decide to collaborate with established creators, make sure to let them be themselves. In most cases, TikTok creators understand the platform’s trends, inside jokes, and no-nos better than brands, so giving up creative direction is likely to work to your advantage.
A great way to get started with influencer marketing on the platform is finding creators who are already posting about your brand. Work with them to create unique content, like Chipotle does:
@chipotleHa leftovers who? (via @keo.hogains ) #chipotle #comedy #trending #relatable #viral #fyp♬ NOTHING – Westover
If the TikTok algorithm sees that your video is getting a lot of likes, comments and shares, it will recommend it to more viewers.
One clever way to boost engagement is to include a hook in your video that will leave your viewers asking for more. (Literally asking. In the comments.)
You can also plant tiny inconsistencies in your videos, letting users have fun finding them and pointing them out — you guessed it — in the comment section.
Take a look at this creator’s TikTok about a Forbes article on the trending Netflix show “Squid Game.” In the video, @crawlita mentions how the article raises three points about the show, but she then goes on to only discuss one of them. In the comment section, viewers asked the creator to share her thoughts on the other two points — which she did, giving her audience even more content to interact with:
Just like sounds, hashtags fall into the “video information” category of TikTok ranking signals. This means that, in theory, adding the right hashtags to your video can help you surface on more For You pages.
When scrolling the For You feed, you might notice that many videos include the same hashtags: #fyp, #foryou, or #fypシ.
The #fyp hashtag alone has 15,411.7 billion views (yup, you read that right).
Will these hashtags actually get you on the For You page? In our experience, they definitely don’t guarantee going viral — but they may be worth a shot!
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