TikTok: where any business or brand can achieve organic growth.
I grew my personal golf TikTok page to 33,000+ followers and 50+ million views.
So how does TikTok work?
It’s no secret that social media platforms collect astronomical amounts of data on users, TikTok is no different.
While yes, the thought of how much they know about you can be scary, it's also quite incredible and makes for an astonishing user experience by only showing you content that you’re almost guaranteed to be interested in. From the second you open the app for the very first time, everything you do is being tracked and analyzed by AI; what you click, what videos you watch and for how long, what's in the videos you watch, and much more... They even track things like facial expressions and eye movement.
The massive amounts of data that TikTok collects, paired with some of the world's most advanced AI is what has allowed TikTok to become the world's fastest growing social media platform. As of September 2021, TikTok has surpassed YouTube in average video watch time which is an incredible feat. It is also worth mentioning that TikTok is currently undoubtedly the #1 platform for organic reach and growth; whereas Facebook and Instagram require you to spend money to promote your content to a larger audience, the organic reach that can be achieved on TikTok is like no other platform.
On TikTok, users' timelines are called "FYP" also known as the "For You Page". This page is filled with specific videos targeted to the user's profile. Since I am a golfer, my FYP consists of many golf videos, other user's FYP may consist of workout videos, dance, personal finance, cooking and whatever else the AI thinks (more like knows) you’re into. This is where we dive into the app's algorithm. TikTok's FYP is a form of recommendation algorithm.
"Recommendation algorithms map our preferences against others, suggesting new or forgotten bits of culture for us to encounter. Algorithms manage our interactions on social networking sites, highlighting the news of one friend while excluding others" (Gillespie 2013).
When a video is posted to TikTok, the For You Page will show it to a small number of users for viewing. Depending on the response of the video (likes, comments, shares) the video may show up on a larger number of users for you page, leading it to go viral. Depending on what videos you like and watch on a loop, the app will show you videos of similar interest.
Okay so how do I actually grow on TikTok?
Like most things in life, there is no guaranteed formula for success. However here are some things that have proven to work for me:
1) Have fun & be yourself.
It's way too easy to get caught up thinking about what people will think of you if they see your videos. With TikTok it is especially important to embrace yourself and your personality for what it is.
2) Follow along with trends and use trending sounds.
TikTok is all about trends and trending sounds. Users create videos that go along with viral sounds like songs and voice overs. Hop on TikTok and scroll for a few minutes and you'll see what I'm talking about. Always try to post content with trending sounds - it can help your content go viral.
3) Try new things.
Not every video will work out as planned. It's important to always be trying new things and new styles of videos. Here's an example: Selfie videos not working? Try writing handwritten notes on your topic and film the notes while doing a voiceover. I found that my short "satisfying" videos (typically no longer than 7 seconds) often out-perform longer videos like vlogs.
4) Be consistent. Post 3-7 times per week.
Again, like most things in life, consistency is key to growing on TikTok. You will most likely not go viral overnight and get to retire. It takes time, but if you post a few times a week (ideally 1x per day) you will gain traction and grow an audience.
I've also been busy growing my business account @BrentTalks to over 10K followers and collaborating with accounts like @RileyDoingThingsToo
- check him out for hilarious content!