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How TikTok Algorithm Works

Utilizing the TikTok algorithm successfully will do wonders for your small business. The app's algorithm is unique from that of other social media--its For You Page integrates posts from accounts that users both follow and have yet to discover. This mix of content makes it more likely for users to find new posts and pages to follow as they're scrolling. Keep reading for our three tips on how to use the TikTok algorithm for small businesses.

how tiktok algorithm works

1) Encourage Engagement

Engagement is composed of a post's likes, shares, saves, and comments. As users interact with your videos, a snowball effect is created. TikTok pushes high-engagement posts on the For You Page, further boosting their engagement. User interaction also determines the audience TikTok creates for your suggested posts. To encourage engagement, ask questions, take polls, and discuss FAQs to get people to comment on and participate with your posts. It might sound cheesy, but it really does help to remind people to like, share, save, comment, and/or follow in your posts. Even if it only brings in one user interaction, no amount of support generated is too small!

2) Enable Closed Captions

If you take one thing away from this post, it needs to be this. First, closed captioning makes your video more accessible. Without captions, users with hearing impairments or who can't listen to audio while they're scrolling will probably just... keep scrolling. Other users find it easier to absorb content when they are both listening to and following along with your post's audio. Another reason closed captions are a MUST is that they communicate your content to the TikTok algorithm. The app scans your captions for keywords to determine whom your posts will be suggested to. Make sure to use key words and phrases in your videos, so they are captioned and recognized by TikTok. This way, the visibility of your posts is not left to the mercy of a sea of hashtags.

3) Only Post Appropriate Content

Like YouTube and other social media sites, TikTok will limit videos that break community guidelines or are deemed "inappropriate." Unfortunately, TikTok is notorious for its censorship. Many words are tagged as "graphic" or "dangerous," so the app buries videos that use them. To get around this, users will use (sometimes strange) replacements for words and phrases. A primary example is "unalive" instead of "dead." The replacement still communicates the user's message while avoiding TikTok red flags. So while only posting appropriate content is a no-brainer for most businesses, the app has a somewhat warped sense of what's appropriate. We try to use the phrase "videoshoot" as one word in our captions so that the word "shoot" isn't picked up by the algorithm as violent. Don't be afraid to think outside the box, so long as your message is still clear.


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