From Starting to Going Global: 5 Amazing Secrets for How to Get Followers on TikTok (for Brand New Accounts)

From Starting to Going Global: 5 Amazing Secrets for How to Get Followers on TikTok (for Brand New Accounts)

Why does everyone want to learn how to get followers on TikTok? It’s not rocket science.

TikTok is now one of the largest social media networks in the world. In 2022, it reached over a billion active monthly users. Not only that, but it remains one of the fastest-growing platforms, especially among young people.

The beauty of TikTok is anyone can create videos that gain online exposure, even if their account has only a modest following. This makes the platform ideal for brand marketing as you can organically reach thousands of potential customers quickly, effectively, and at a low cost. This also represents a great opportunity to develop your personal branding.

For this reason, eCommerce builders are now increasingly willing to integrate online marketplaces into TikTok. The sheer size and diversity of the platform’s audience mean many users can thus sell their marketing services for decent money.

Here are five amazing secrets to help you get in on the action.

1.  Understanding virality: the TikTok algorithm

the tiktok algorithm explained

Like all social media sites, TikTok uses various algorithms to recommend relevant content to users. While no one knows exactly how they work, there are some basic concepts you can and should be aware of if you want to use it to your advantage to get more followers on TikTok:

Engagement rate

The first concept we’ll talk about is ‘impressions vs engagement’. An ‘impression’ simply means someone has viewed your content. So, if your TikTok account reaches one million impressions in a month, that’s the sum of all the views on your videos and profile over that period.

Your aim as an online content creator is to convert these impressions into engagement (e.g. likes, comments, and follows). Succeed in doing this, and your videos will earn a coveted ‘high engagement rate’.

This sends the signal to TikTok’s algorithms that your audience is reacting well to your posts. As a result, it will recommend that video (and other videos on your account) to a much more comprehensive selection of viewers. If that wider pool also has a high engagement rate, your channel and content will likely snowball, attracting thousands if not millions of views.

engagement rate by impressions

Click-through rate (CTR)

The click-through rate metric measures the percentage of people that click on your account page after watching a video. This is essentially another way for the TikTok algorithm to measure engagement.

Achieve a high CTR, and TikTok will recommend other videos from your account to your audience. The logic behind this is that, if someone has clicked on your account, they’re presumably interested in your content. So, if you can encourage viewers to click, it’s likely all of your videos will perform better.

This ‘snowball’ effect will rapidly boost your account’s growth, making it attractive to marketing agencies. Wondering how much do affiliate marketers make? Well, you could earn tens of thousands passively through this method, but only if your TikTok content stands out.

Video retention

One of the most important concepts when producing online video content is retention. This means, of all the people who’ve viewed your video, what’s the average length of time they watched it for?

On legacy video-sharing sites like YouTube, a good retention rate to aim for is approximately 50-60%. This means the average viewer will watch your video for a little over half of the total length. If your video then only gets, say, 40% retention, it indicates your audience doesn’t find your content interesting and is clicking off early.

If you can achieve a high retention rate – or a high ‘video completion’ rate – it’s a huge factor in making your content go viral. That’s because the algorithm sees it as the most entertaining and engaging content, which their users will love. Highly engaged viewers will use their app for longer, boosting ad revenue and user retention rate, which is a win-win situation for everyone.

Just be sure that, if you’re planning on integrating a reselling marketplace into your TikTok account, you acquire a legitimate reseller certificate first. Then, if your content does go viral, there’s no risk of landing in legal hot water after the fact.

How to see your content analytics

You may be wondering where you can find video retention statistics on TikTok. Well, this feature isn’t available for basic accounts. However, the good news is you can switch to TikTok Pro for free. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Open your profile page, then navigate to ‘Privacy and settings’.
  2. Select ‘Manage my account’.
  3. Tap ‘Switch to Pro Account’.
tiktok content analytics screenshot

Image source

This will allow you to see detailed breakdowns of individual posts’ analytics, such as average watch time and number of views, likes, comments, etc. Reviewing these analytics is key to learning how to get followers on TikTok.

A handy feature is that you can access these analytics from either the mobile app or the desktop version.

Follow these steps to check your TikTok Pro account’s analytics:

  1. Open your profile page, then navigate to ‘Privacy and settings’.
  2. Under ‘Account’, select ‘Creator Tools’.
  3. From there, select ‘Analytics’.
TikTok settings and privacy screenshot

Once you’ve located your TikTok analytics, you can share this data with your brand partners. High retention and engagement figures will look impressive and help you land clients. Consider linking bonuses for high engagement videos into your brand sponsor contracts.

Further Reading: TikTok Marketing: 5 Reasons Why, 5 Strategy Tips How, and 5 Examples to Help You Master the Channel

2. Be clear on your content aims and audience

Get into the mind of the average viewer

When you create your TikTok account, you’ll probably have some idea of the type of audience you want to produce content for. If you haven’t considered this yet, now’s the time to think about it so you can shape your content aims accordingly.

If you’re working with a marketing agency or partners, they might have some ideas on the sorts of content they want you to produce. For example, they might like you to focus on beauty/makeup content to target ads for certain demographics. You’ll find that affiliate tools are a great resource for identifying and targeting your audience.

If you’ve upgraded your TikTok to a Pro account (as outlined above), you’ll be able to see detailed breakdowns of your audience’s gender and what countries they come from. You can use this information to produce more tailored content. You may also consider using foreign language hashtags or background music that’s popular in those countries.

Research conducted by Influencer Marketing Hub found the best times to post on TikTok are between 6 am and 10 am and 7 pm and 11 pm eastern standard time (EST). You’ll want to convert these global best times to match your audience’s time zones. This way, your content will show on their feeds at the best possible time, earning you more impressions.

Find your ‘niche’

Most TikTok creators will find a video niche that’s worked for them and then stick with it until they perfect the format. Some popular categories include story-telling, pets, music, and pranks. Experiment to see what delivers results for you.

As important as finding a niche is, the most successful accounts are always looking for ways to expand their reach on the platform.

One feature of TikTok influencer marketing (more so than with other social media platforms) is how quickly new trends appear and then suddenly disappear again. You should always be ready to jump on these trends at the moment of peak relevance so you can fully capitalize on your reach.

most popular content categories on TikTok worldwide based on number of hashtag views

Use the most relevant hashtags

Found the perfect trend that you can’t wait to make a TikTok for? Then you’ll want to make sure you target the best hashtags when uploading it. The tag feature is overlooked by some, but it can give a measurable boost to your video’s performance.

To find the top hashtags, navigate to the ‘Discover’ tab to see what’s the most popular globally. You can then measure the success of those tags by accessing your content analytics to see what your main traffic sources are.

Look at competitor accounts to see which tags they’ve used and where they’ve been successful. Their trial and error is a perfect chance for you to learn about the most effective content strategies without having to take on the risk yourself.

3. Tailor your content

How to boost video retention

Now, you may be wondering “how do I make my content interesting enough that viewers want to stay to the end?” No matter how hilarious you think you are, it takes practice and perseverance to make highly engaging content. Luckily, there are some tips and tricks we’ll happily share to help you achieve this.

Firstly, every video must have a hook. This is something in the first few seconds that draws the attention of the viewer and makes them want to keep watching. This could be a question or statement you pose to the audience directly. For example:

“I Bet You Didn’t Know About This Amazing Life Hack!”

“Did Your Friends Ever Do This At School?”

Using the ‘you’ or ‘your’ pronoun is essential here as the viewer will feel as if you’re speaking to them directly. It gets them thinking about the relation of the video to the text you wrote, hopefully planting the seed of curiosity needed for them to stick around and find out the answer.

Once the hook has been planted, think carefully about when you will answer it. If you resolve the question too quickly, viewers will lose interest and swipe next. Likewise, if the first half of your video’s content is irrelevant to the hook, viewers will feel disappointed and are likely to drop off.

The best strategy is to slowly feed the viewer nuggets of relevant content. Twists and turns in the story that are shocking to the viewer are great if you can make them laugh. However, the overall trajectory should seek to resolve the reason why they first started watching the video.

How to boost engagement

If you want to figure out how to get followers on TikTok, remember to extend a ‘call to arms’ to the audience, inviting them to take action that will be beneficial to your channel. This could be on-screen text asking the audience to drop a like or comment with their thoughts. You may also use a hashtag such as #followback.

One trick to boost your account’s engagement is to release a series of videos in different parts. By putting a ‘hook’ in a part one video, it encourages viewers to watch part two (and so on) to sate their curiosity. 

Even better, if you stagger the uploads of these parts, viewers will be more likely to follow your account so they don’t miss out. Of course, this strategy will only work for the most interesting topics, so make sure you save it for your best content! If they perform well, you may want to create digital magazines of your top-performing series. Make sure to plan relatable content for your posts to grab the attention of your viewers at your next virtual event.

Further Reading: 17 Best TikTok Management Apps for Scheduling, Analytics & Much More!

4. Use all of TikTok’s features

tiktok video editing features

TikTok has many video editing features that you can and should use to boost engagement.

For starters, you’ll want to include audio in your content. Songs becoming popular off of TikTok is a widely reported phenomenon – one you don’t want to miss out on! To find the most popular music, see what tracks are trending on the ‘Discover’ tab, just as you would for hashtags. You could also use a dedicated website that hosts royalty-free music for YouTube.

Other features you should make use of relate to video and text. On-screen text is a great way to help your audience easily make sense of what they’re seeing on the screen. Even better, you can use TikTok’s text-to-speech voice to ‘read out’ what you’ve written.

If your video has human voices, you may want to apply a filter that affects how they sound (think Alvin & The Chipmunks). You can also add sound effects for comedic or dramatic effect. Similarly to hashtags and songs, you can find trending sound effects on the ‘Discover’ tab.

Finally, we recommend formatting your user profile to be as appealing and original as possible. Often, people don’t stick around on your profile for long. For this reason, you must make it clear what your content themes are in a short but sweet description. You’ll also want an approachable profile picture, so be sure to smile!

5. Choose the right settings

One setting you’ll want to toggle is keeping comments turned on. Since comments are a measure of engagement, your most commented-on videos will be recommended to more people.

Another consideration is the format of your videos. Higher-quality videos look more visually appealing, so you’ll want to aim for at least 720p HD resolution. Additionally, opting for a 9:16 aspect ratio and vertical orientation will ensure your video fits nicely on the screen (without empty black space).

Finally, you should include closed captions so your audience can understand the content of your videos even without audio. This will also make your content accessible to people that are hard of hearing.

Further Reading: TikTok Influencer Marketing: The Quick Jumpstart Guide

Now that you know how to get followers on TikTok, get started on growing your TikTok account TODAY!

Feel ready to launch your TikTok career? Hopefully by now, you should have a good idea of how to optimize your content to perform well. Since creating TikTok videos has a low upfront cost, you can experiment with what works for you until you find your groove.

As for the business side of things, you may discover that as your brand-deal videos consistently achieve high engagement, the door to B2B loyalty programs opens for you. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the process!

Author Bio

Sam O’Brien is the Chief Marketing Officer for Affise — a Global SaaS Partner Marketing Solution and referral program for small businesses. He is a growth marketing expert with a product management and design background. Sam has a passion for innovation, growth, and marketing technology. Sam O’Brien also published articles for domains such as Demio and VWO.

Hero photo by Oberon Copeland on Unsplash

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