Tricks of the marketing trade

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TikTok: how to get the best out of it

TikTok is the newest popular social media platform, attracting all content creators to jump on board while the app is still fresh. Brands are always looking for new ways to market their products and TikTok may be the answer to their marketing desires.

When it comes to its TikTok, its algorithm is unlike other social media platforms. Social media marketing professionals can guide you with details about your content reaching the For You Page (FYP), hashtag challenges, and how to go viral.

Based on my experience with TikTok, I would like to provide a few useful pieces of information that can assist in understanding the app and its algorithm in a simplified manner.

Making it to the For You Page

When you post content on the app it will be seen by a few users to start with. Initial engagement is then measured and if the requirements are met (at least one likee every ten views) your content will continue to be shown to additional users.

As the video gains more traction and engagement, there is a possibility for your videos to reach thousands if not millions of viewers (without even having a large follower base).

Some metrics to take into consideration

Social media platforms rely on metrics. We need to be able to understand the amount of engagement and track its ability to potentially go viral. Metrics also allow you to avoid placing irrelevant content on the apps' main page.

Views, comments & shares

The “Share” metric is an important tool. I can openly say that a share is more valuable than a view and a like. Using the share button allows users to continue sharing that funny moment or interesting video by sending it to their friends and family (who will most likely also share the content).

Viewing completion

If your content has only been viewed for four seconds out of a total 15 second video, then your content has already fallen off of acceptable engagement rates and viewership interest. The video must be viewed in full in order for it to pass this metric.

One way to achieve viewing completion is by creating similar content to other viral users and joining in on all of the hashtag/viral music challenges. 

Loop your videos. As soon as your video has been viewed to completion, it will restart in turn giving you a better performance rating.

AI and human review

Each user has their own personal score and the review process is what determines your potential to go viral. In the beginning process, based on your score, content will be placed in a Geo-Local network to a limited amount of users to test how well it will do with a larger audience. The content itself will later be reviewed by a human AI.

The AI would then try to identify any content that may cause legal concern such as copyright issues or inappropriate content. During this phase your video can either be de-listed or shared further.

A little side note to consider: If you are trying to reach the For You Page, I highly suggest not deleting prior content that was created. This content still has a chance to go viral. During the AI review, it will search for prior content regardless of its performance the first time round. They will then distribute your old videos (without a time stamp) to see how well they perform within the next few hours. This is what they would like to call a delayed explosion.

Following the AI review, a human will then review all of the same criteria to ensure that everything looks right. At this point, the human reviewer will determine if that content has the potential to continue gaining viewers. Keep the content light as heavier topics such as politics aren't exactly what they are searching for in viral content. Another key factor when determining the potential is the correlation of the video(s) to the geo-local region. Ever wondered why TikTok pushes related content? It’s also because similar content makes the human review process a little bit easier in some cases.

Original content / Copy the format

If you choose to go the original content route, it is important that you pick a format and stick to it. The accounts that do best are the ones that follow a particular pattern. If your interest is comedy, then create a comedy page. If you have other interests, open an additional page. Aggressive, scripted, and inauthentic content does not perform well on this platform and its users will quickly pick up on it. Each content creator should keep things light and explain a product or service in their own words and (for now) avoid posting about the same product multiple times - so that it seems as organic as possible.

On the other hand, you also can create your own version of a current trend, hashtag challenge or viral music clip. The TikTok audience does not get bored of seeing multiple versions of one trend. In fact, TikTok actually encourages creators to copy other users and make the current trend their own. This is something unlike what we’ve seen on other social media platforms. 

Trying to find a way to go viral on TikTok? Take some of these key tips into consideration to get the most out of your TikTok experience. Create content similar to what is currently going viral and put your own twist on it. As previously mentioned, keep in mind how the algorithm works and don’t delete prior content creations and perhaps you could become a TikTok influencer or better yet, consider TikTok for your next marketing campaign.

Alessandro Bogliari, co-founder and CEO at The Influencer Marketing Factory.

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