One of the newest social media platforms to the scene, TikTok, is all about creating short and engaging viral video content. But for brands that are just starting out, it feels like it can take ages to grow a healthy following.
To help you ramp up your profile and get more followers on TikTok, we’ve put together 11 actionable tips.
Let’s get started.
1. Identify your target audience
The first step in growing your following on any social channel is to make sure you know who to target with your content and that you’re creating content that your target audience will enjoy.
There are a few ways to go about this for growing your TikTok following.
First, consider taking a look at competitors and influencers in your industry. What kinds of content are they posting? Take notes on the most popular videos and use them to come up with your own unique ideas.
Next, think about the kinds of content you’ve been publishing on your other feeds. While the content you publish on TikTok will likely be vastly different, you can still pinpoint some common trends and content types or ideas that you know will perform well.
Finally, simply take a minute to review your customer persona again and remind yourself of their likes and dislikes. What would they want to see on a platform like TikTok?
Keep in mind that it’s all trial and error, especially with a new and virally-driven network like TikTok. You can try a million different types of videos before you find the one that really resonates with your audience. (However, making sure you have a good grasp on your target audience can help make sure it’s much less than a million. Maybe like five or six.)
2. Pay attention to trends
Trends are a big thing on TikTok. If you’ve perused the platform before, you’ve likely noticed a few videos follow very similar outlines or use the same sound clip. This is because that type of video is trending, proving its popularity. Try to create a similar video that makes sense for your business and take advantage of relevant TikTok trends.
Head over to the discover page on your app to see what hashtags and sound clips are trending for inspiration about what you can use on your own feed.
As you can see from the screenshot above, two trending hashtags that could work for certain businesses are #GymTok (perfect for gyms and fitness brands) and #LearnHow (perfect for brands sharing tutorials and step-by-step videos).
3. Create a TikTok challenge
One thing TikTok is famous for is its various video challenges, whether they’re dances, dares, etc. As you scroll through videos on the app, you’ll likely come across a few different challenges. See if any would work for your brand or consider creating your own TikTok challenge.
That’s exactly what MoonPie did here, with the #MoonPieChallenge. They introduced it with their very first video on TikTok and followed up with a couple more challenge videos.
This was one of their more popular videos as well as a great introduction to their brand presence on the app.
4. Include the right hashtags
Just like on Instagram, Twitter and many other social media platforms, hashtags help users find your content. But it’s important to make sure you’re using the right hashtags.
One practice we see many people make is simply tag all of the trending hashtags in their captions. However, please don’t do this unless those hashtags are actually relevant to what you’re posting. Otherwise, it just looks spammy.
Instead, start typing in relevant hashtags when creating your caption to see how many views those hashtags are getting. And don’t forget to include the ever-popular #fyp or #foryou hashtags, popularly used in an attempt to get on the For You page. While the effect of these hashtags on placement hasn’t been confirmed, their widespread use can still expand the reach of your content.
5. Publish TikTok videos at the right times
It’s important to find the best time to post on TikTok in order to see the most reach on your videos. You can find this information by heading into your business or creator tools and checking out your analytics.
In the Followers tab, scroll down to find Follower activity. Here, you’ll be able to look at what days and times your followers are most active. Try publishing your posts just before the most popular time of that day in order to see the best results.
It’s also a good idea to keep a log of when you’ve published content so you can test different times to pinpoint what works best for your brand.
6. Share user-generated content
If people are mentioning your brand on TikTok or sharing videos hyper-relevant to your industry, ask if you can share that video as well! (While giving them full credit, of course – you can tag the original creator in the caption.)
Here’s a great example of user-generated content from online plant store The Sill. They’ve reshared a video of a new customer unboxing one of their plants.
This is a great way to spread the word about their service, show off happy customers and give people an idea of what to expect when they order from them.
7. Work with TikTok influencers
Influencer marketing is a great tactic on Instagram, but this also extends over to TikTok. With so many “TikTok-famous” users, working with influencers can be a great way to get the word out about your business.
Here’s an example from TikTok star Kat Stickler. She recreated Elle Woods’ iconic Harvard video application as a sponsored post for skincare line Beekman 1802.
@katsticklerLegally the best sunscreen ever 💕 @beekman1802 ##beekman1802ambassador♬ original sound – Kat
This is a great way for Beekman 1802 to reach an even larger audience because anyone who follows Kat is likely to see this video and potentially make a purchase from this brand.
Keep in mind that working with TikTok influencers comes with its own costs. Depending on your marketing budget, you may want to look for micro-influencers with a highly engaged audience on TikTok to start your influencer marketing venture.
8. Cross-promote your TikTok videos
Spread the word that you’re on TikTok. Your followers on other channels might not know that you’ve created a TikTok profile, so it’s a good idea to cross-promote your videos onto other channels.
Other platforms like Instagram and YouTube offer their own versions of short form video content, giving you the perfect place to repurpose content created for TikTok videos. On some platforms like Twitter and Instagram (feed videos), you can save videos from your TikTok feed with the TikTok logo and your handle in the corner of the screen, then upload them as-is, giving your followers an easy way to learn how to find you on TikTok.
Some platforms have a few restrictions to promote original content over repurposed TikTok videos. Instagram Reels does not allow reposted, watermarked videos, so you’ll need to upload the original short video or edit accordingly. YouTube Shorts does allow TikTok watermarked videos, but they can’t be monetized.
9. Use TikTok features to engage your audience
If you want to get more eyes on your TikTok profile, one of the best ways to do this is to engage with other videos. Like, comment and stitch/duet other users’ videos.
Stitching allows you to add your own video onto the end of the clip of another users’ video. This is perfect for adding your own commentary or additional content to an existing video.
Dueting places your video next to another users’ video so you can react to or complement an existing video with your own content.
Be sure to own stitch or duet videos that are hyper-relevant to your brand. Otherwise, just like and comment on videos that your target audience creates to grab their attention.
10. Use CTAs at the end of your videos
Another great way to get more followers on TikTok? Ask!
Try ending your videos with CTAs to visit your profile, check out similar videos or follow you. You can do this by adding a simple text sticker towards the end of your video, like we see in this example from Visme.
While doing this in every video you post can put a bad taste in your existing followers’ mouths, no one will mind if the occasional video has a call-to-action to follow your content.
The best time to use this tactic is when you’re creating a video series or posting a multi-part video. Simply add a text sticker that says something like, “Follow us to catch part two!”
11. Try TikTok ads
Our last tip is simply to test out putting some of your marketing ad budget behind promoting your TikTok videos. This is the perfect approach when you’re just starting out so that you have a starting foundation to measure what works and what doesn’t for your upcoming videos.
There are a few different types of TikTok ads you can try, but for this purpose, the brand takeover or in-feed ads will be your best bet. These require your own video content, though, so start brainstorming some catchy videos that will get your target audience interested in following you.
Get more followers on TikTok today
Excited to start implementing some of these tactics? Start by gathering inspiration from other brands on TikTok and what works for them. TikTok can be a great way to generate brand awareness and revenue, so don’t sleep on this platform.