How to get views on TikTok
New TikTok account, who dis? TikTok works a bit different to other social media platforms in how it serves content to users. Luckily, it’s still a fairly simple algorithm. Whether you started a new account, or recently decided to change your TikTok username, getting views is always the most important part of growing your follower count.
Take the mystery out of how to get views on TikTok with these 10 steps.
Understand what you’re offering
Trying to create viral content never works because it’s unnatural. The only way to get a constant stream of viral content to post is to either take content from Reddit and post it as your own, or have a steady stream of viewer-sourced content.
You can’t get viewer sourced content without being well-known, so you’re back at square one.
Pick a topic that you know a lot about. What at a party can you talk to people endlessly about? What do people come to you for advice on? What do you like to learn about? Ask yourself those three questions and you’ll end up with a clear way forward for your value proposition.
If you change your mind after you choose your value proposition and need to change TikTok username, don’t worry, it’s easy to do.
Engage with people who are not your competitors
Spend time in the app engaging with people. TikTok is a reciprocal environment, full of people that want likes and are happy to give likes.
Build goodwill with users, but don’t waste your time building goodwill with your competitors. Your competitors are not there to give you conversions on what your business offering is. They are there to get conversions for themselves.
Avoid brands and engage with your competitor’s followers. This is a perfect opportunity to get followers that are super interested in your niche because they have proven relevance to it by following your competitor. If you’re a new soft drink company, spend time on people that drink Coke and Pepsi over trying to befriend Coke and Pepsi themselves.
Market to the customer, not to the other brands. Same goes with TikTok and other social channels.
Apply trends to your niche
Use trends to get additional views on your content – but do it in your own way.
Don’t abandon your niche to adopt a trend, because trends come and go and your niche is forever. Stay close to the trend but give it your own twist. Make it your own without abandoning what makes it a trend.
An easy trend to follow is to show off your home office buddy (your pet) while adopting whatever music track is common at the time. Tie in what you’re working on and bam – you’re in the mix of trending posts.
Don’t overthink it. Some of the roughest-looking content goes a long way on TikTok.
TikTok isn’t the place to have your content all sparkly clean. It’s there as snackable content that is meant to be consumed quickly. If you spend a lot of time making something glossy and perfectly designed, you’re going to create less content with your available time. Even if you create small quotes from your regular podcast content posted to YouTube, it’s all acceptable on TikTok.
Less content = less views. Plain and simple.
Reply to comments
Every time you reply to a comment, you’re doing two things.
Firstly, you’re building that goodwill with the person who commented. You’re showing them that the time they invested, whether it’s a minute or not, was valued.
Secondly, you are extending the length of time people spend in the app. TikTok and other platforms need active users to survive and serve ads to. The more time people spend in the app, the more ads they are exposed to. Engaging with others extends that time in app, and TikTok rewards that with greater exposure for your content through ingestion into the For You Page or the Discovery Page.
Put text on your videos
TikTok’s text is pretty ugly, but the eyes are on the video, not the comment section. If your video needs context to make it understood, add the text to the video itself before you rely on the post text below the video to give the context.
If the user doesn’t understand what the video is about, or isn’t that straightforward, you are missing an opportunity to have the full value of your video realised.
Invert top lists to maximise retention
TikTok loves it when people watch the majority of your video. You might think, “TikTok is often only 15 seconds long, who doesn’t have 15 seconds?” A lot of people, actually. It only takes a second or two to decide if you are interested in the content before an easy swipe makes it disappear.
You can ask someone to stick around to the end of the video, or create mystery by making a ‘Top’ list. ‘Top five Sony Playstation Games’ or ‘Favourite Animal Crossing Villagers’ comes to mind. It’s human nature that we want to know what number one is, so we stick around to find out.
Time your posts
Use your account analytics to get a better understanding of when your users are online. Your account analytics tell you what countries you are getting views from. If your views mostly come from the USA when you are in Australia, that’s fine, but posting video content at night in Australia will mean your content is fresh while your American followers are asleep.
However, posting at 1pm in Australia will mean it’s fresh at 8pm for Americans – right when they are getting tucked into their cute little beds.
Plan your timing out using your analytics.
Strategically use hashtags
More hashtags does not mean more impressions on TikTok. More hashtags means watering down your chances of going viral. TikTok is driven largely by hashtags, but a little differently to Instagram.
TikTok uses hashtags to gate your reach. You’ll see a lot of TikTok posts that have views around 50-80 views, 150-180 views and 300-350 views. That’s because TikTok assesses your videos on its engagement rate at various intervals. Think of it like rounds.
TikTok is going to give you 50-80 views to show how the video performs. Those views are split from the hashtags you added to the video.
If you added five hashtags, that’s around 10 views on each hashtag. If your video is about how to bake a cake and you use the hashtags #baking, #bakingtutorial, #funweekend, #foryoupage, #australia – only three of those are related to baking a cake. That means that 60% of your total initial views are going to be from people interesting in baking. You’ve immediately thrown out 40% of your views because your hashtags weren’t targeted.
Irrelevant hashtags lead to people not engaging with the video because it’s not of interest to them. If your video doesn’t get much engagement in round one, TikTok stops serving the content on the Explore page, For You Page and lowers it on the hashtag search. If it’s not great, it ends here at the 50-80 view mark.
If your video gets engagement, TikTok thinks the content is good, so it adds more views to each of those hashtags. increasing the views on each.
How much engagement did it get from these additional views? If it got more, then onto round three and so on. If not, your content ends here at the 150-180 views.
Bottom line – avoid #fyp or #foryoupage. The For You Page is automatically-served content based on the user’s interests and does not use the #fyp or the #foryoupage hashtags. If you search based on those hashtags, there is no consistency in the content meaning the likelihood of being found by someone who is interested in your niche is very low.
Don’t be discouraged and keep going!
If you look at your competitors, you might see that every post they make on TikTok has a huge number of views, with no failed videos. A lot of users delete their video if they don’t see a lot of engagement on it. That leaves only the videos with huge numbers on it.
Don’t let that discourage you if not every video goes viral. You’ll be lucky in the early growth if one TikTok video goes viral in your first month, despite what people tell you about how easy it is to go viral. Keep a realistic expectation and don’t benchmark against others too much – like any social media channel, other’s feeds are merely a highlight reel.
Good luck on your journey!