TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world and new influencers are taking center stage.
People sign up with the hopes of going viral and amassing millions of followers. But with TikTok’s popularity, there’s increased competition which makes it harder to gain followers.
So what should you do? What are the right moves to get more followers on TikTok in the shortest amount of time?
This guide shares multiple ways you can capitalize on the popular social media app to grow your fan base and brand.
The algorithm is the key to get more TikTok followers in 2021
TikTok has been downloaded over 1.5 billion times and it’s estimated that 800 million of those users are active every month. It’s skewed heavily towards a younger demographic with 49% of American teenagers using the platform but only 9% of total American internet users are on the platform.
These demographics may lead you to believe that it’s not for serious brands but that’s not true. TikTok has recently opened up its platform to developers and has added a bio link (which you can use to promote a lead magnet, a webinar you’re hosting, or another social media profile, a product, etc.) which makes it a friendlier option for brands.
Note: this feature hasn’t been rolled out to all accounts at the time of this writing.
TikTok also hasn’t put as many limits in place such as follow, likes, and other interactions. This makes it easier for a great piece of content to reach a large audience.
Though the intricacies of its algorithm, like with other social platforms, isn’t openly discussed, there are a few things the people at TikTok have mentioned.
As soon as you upload content, a number of processes occur:
- Images are analyzed
- Any text used is analyzed
- Sounds are processed using natural language processing
- Hashtags and the title are also analyzed
- The artificial intelligence engine combines all these elements to understand the context of the video
Once the initial processing is finished, it’s shown to a small segment of users it thinks will like the content.
When those users see the video, TikTok measures how they interact with it based on the following criteria from most to least important.
- Rewatch rate
- Video completion rate
- Number of shares
- Number of comments
Anecdotal evidence suggests that a ratio of 1 like to every 10 views will trigger the TikTok algorithm to promote your video to a larger group of people. For every round of promotion, it’s reassessed until it no longer meets the threshold for further promotion.
Why does this matter?
The more people see your videos, the more Tiktok followers you’ll gain. With every piece of content you create for the platform, you should be encouraging engagement actions such as commenting, liking, sharing, or watching all the way through.
Now, let’s look at specific ways to jumpstart your TikTok follower growth.
8 ways to get more TikTok Followers
Many of these strategies are simple and tap into the unique features of TikTok. Always keep in mind that the platform’s algorithm rewards content that keeps users engaged. No matter what tactic you’re using, encourage viewers to watch your entire video and perform at least one action.
Follow people that follow related accounts
If you’re brand new to TikTok, it’ll be difficult to get your content in front of the right users. The platform itself helps with this but it’s much easier when you have an audience that gets your content in their feed.
Unlike Twitter which has a follow limit of around 5,000 and Instagram which has a follow limit of 7,500, TikTok doesn’t seem to have a public limit. I’ve seen accounts follow 10,000 users and get a follow back ratio of 1:3 or higher without much content.
Another reason you want to follow relevant audiences is that your content will come up in the feeds of those users. It will get liked and promoted to other people similar to them.
This is perfect if you have an older audience and can’t seem to find them on the platform.
For example, Gary Vee has over three million followers on Tiktok.
If you take a look at his followers, you’ll see many of them are well beyond their teenage years.
So, find the relevant influencers in your niche and interact with their followers.
Upload multiple times a day
While all social platforms demand you post often, users on TikTok seem to want even more content. The top creators are posting multiple times a day.
For example, the most followed user on TikTok – Charli d’Amelio – uploads two to three times a day.
The good thing is that videos don’t need high production quality to be successful. In the screenshot above, all three videos are short dances with different songs. She’s wearing the same clothes, is in the exact same location, and it appears to be the same time of day.
Another way to easily upload multiple times a day is to create one longer video of a few minutes and break it into shorter chunks. Release each one a few hours apart.
This will keep people engaged and encourage them to follow you for the next part of the video series.
Tap into current trends and challenges
TikTok always has one challenge or trend going on to increase user engagement. Sometimes, it’s tied to new music being released like Drake’s Toosie Slide.
Other times, creators on the platform start their own challenges.
Regularly check what challenges or trends are going viral or have a lot of participation. Create your own video that taps into the challenge and you stand a chance of being found on the discover page.
To find out what’s trending, click the discover icon on the bottom menu within the mobile app. The explore page will show the top trending content and videos from creators you follow or in your local area.
Use TikTok recommended sounds
When uploading a video via the mobile app, there’s an area at the top of the screen labeled sounds.
When it loads, you’ll see a discover and favorite tab. Under discover, there are recommended sounds you can use.
These are popular sounds – songs, viral videos, or short audio clips – you can overlay on your video. In addition to the recommended sounds, scroll a bit more and you’ll see trending sounds. These are usually used in the challenges which were mentioned above.
Be sure to use relevant hashtags in your description so the people looking for videos with those sounds will be able to find it.
Think about your TikTok video length and format while optimizing your video with sound. The tracks should blend in with the visual content.
Use your other social networks to cross-promote
There’s no reason why you can’t use your other social platforms to give yourself an initial boost on TikTok. There is an effective and ineffective way to do it.
The ineffective strategy would be to add the link in your profile bios and hope for the best. A few of your more curious fans may follow you to TikTok but most will ignore it.
Instead, add specific calls-to-action within the content you post. Let people know why they should follow you and the type of content they can expect on TikTok.
For example, if you’re a marketing agency and want to cross-promote using Instagram, you can let them know they’ll receive bite-sized marketing tips daily. A fashion brand may use Facebook and promise to share behind the scenes processes for coming up with ideas, making new products, designing accessories, etc.
You already know the kind of content you’ll be creating on TikTok so focus on communicating that to your audience. A single post on social media won’t cut it. Only a small fraction of your TikTok followers will see it and an even smaller number will interact with it.
Regularly create posts that include a call to action to follow you on TikTok. Keep this up until you have a decent number of fans on TikTok and your account starts to pick up momentum.
Make fun duets to get fans on Tiktok
A unique feature of TikTok called duets gives you the ability to share a split-screen with another creator. You can react to their video as if you made it together, add commentary, or whatever else pops in your head.
The original creator is tagged in the video and you’re able to make original content without too much effort. The most popular duets take the original video and make it more appealing, funny, or shocking.
In the duet above, the person who made a duet added humor by “accidentally” dropping their phone in the water.
Think about how you can create a series of duet videos that take your brand personality into consideration.
If you have a playful brand, make your duets playful or funny. If you have a competitive brand, you can use the angle of competing with people who don’t have competition in mind. For example, you could make a video where you compete against a toddler at running.
Get creative here. The more unique your duets, the further they’ll spread and the more TikTok followers you’ll gain. It’ll also help enhance the overall customer experience because they’ve seen you participating in the community and aren’t just a faceless brand.
Develop a unique and recognizable video style
The predominant type of video on TikTok consists of creators dancing to a soundtrack. This is proven to work but users also want to see content formats.
Create a few specific video templates that you can use over and over again. For example, if you host a podcast and want to promote it, you can take shocking sound bites from the episode and turn them into videos. If you have a YouTube channel, you can mash up the most interesting parts as a trailer and share it on TikTok.
BoxedUpEntrepreneur has almost 400,000 followers and uses the same template for almost every video. He stands in front of a screen and comments on the images in the background.
There’s little variation but he often gets over 100,000 views on his videos.
Experiment with multiple styles to see which ones work best for you and your audience. Once you have two or three, use them to create most of your videos. Every week or so, experiment with other content formats so you can continue to improve over time.
Don’t forget the hashtags
Hashtags don’t come into play until a video has gotten popular so the other strategies here are essential. People use hashtags to search for videos and TikTok shows the ones with the most engagement first.
The caption space on TikTok only allows for 100 characters so make them count with a question and a mix of popular and uncommon hashtags. For example #FYP has billions of videos attached to it while #creator has a few million.
It’ll be much harder to show up in a search for #FYP than one for #killbill. Use popular hashtags that could appeal to a wider audience and more niche-specific ones that’ll help you get discovered.
In the end, TikTok has a younger demographic that’s looking to be entertained. Though growing your social media following costs time, energy, and money don’t forget to show your fun side.
Most of the strategies here are geared towards getting more views on your account which translates to more TikTok followers. Choose a few to work with but remember to add a CTA in your videos so people remember to follow and interact with your account.
Let me know what tactics you are using to get more followers on TikTok in the comments and don’t forget to share.