How to Grow Your TikTok Account
Everything you need to know to grow your audience on TikTok
A few weeks ago, I published an article explaining why TikTok is the next major social media channel and why we should pay close attention to it.
Yes, you should pay attention, even if your audience is not the typical TikTok user right now.
TikTok’s growth is already unstoppable. You can deny it, you can try to explain how a Chinese social network might be unsafe or unethical, or you can make use of the enormous advantages.
I would never try to convince anyone to use TikTok, yet I personally trust in the enormous potential, and I’d like to encourage more people to at least have a look at this social network, which is currently growing at a crazy speed.
If you are new to TikTok, you might first want to check out this story on how to create your first TikTok video in less than 15 minutes.
Once you know your way around on the app, there is only one logical next goal to pursue:
I assume you are eager to discover how TikTok can help you to grow your brand or business in the digital world. If so, hang tight, I will give you all the strategies and basics you need.
Just like on any other platform, you first need to cover the basics of a proper TikTok account. Here are the first steps you need to take care of:
A friendly profile picture
You already know this rule from other social networks: use a profile picture that is clear, unique, and remarkable. Show yourself in a friendly way and use bright colors to stand out.
Hint: on TikTok, you can also use a video instead of a picture, that’s, of course, even more outstanding.
You also know this one from other social media channels: a proper profile description is crucial if you want to turn visitors into followers and those into customers. Be unique, stand out, and clearly communicate who you are and what you deliver.
Make sure your profile description also indicates what type of content your audience can expect.
If you feel uninspired, check out some of the famous creators’ bios and get some fresh ideas.
Many people also include a call to action in their descriptions. At this time, this is not very effective as you can’t add a link, but if you want your audience to check your website, product, or whatsoever, you can go for it.
Instagram and YouTube
If you are active on Instagram or Youtube, you can add links to your channels on your TikTok account. By doing so, they will show up below your profile description. If you use these channels, definitely link them, as that’s a great way to leverage your growth effects of TikTok and also gain some more followers and subscribers on other platforms.
Once your profile is all set up, it’s about generating content ideas and then, of course, putting these ideas into action.
Be Up to Date on Trends
Follow popular creators
Make sure you follow at least 20–50 big, famous profiles on TikTok.
TikTok is a very fast-moving platform. Lots of trends are going viral, and if you are quick, your videos have a much higher chance of going viral as well.
By following the prominent content creators, you can ensure to stay up to date on trends and immediately react to what you see on their profiles.
If you see a video of another creator going viral, the odds are high that a similar video of yours might also get great engagement.
Regularly check the “For You” page
To stay up to date on trends, also ensure to check the For You page daily. This doesn’t take you more than 5–10 minutes and helps you to adjust your content to the current trends correctly.
Create Short Videos
Your TikTok videos can be up to 60 seconds long. Yet, the recommended length is 8–15 seconds.
The attention span of TikTok’s audience is short, they are used to engaging, exciting content and will quickly skip your videos if they don’t get hooked immediately.
Plus, TikTok will boost your videos if a lot of people watch them until the end, or even replay them over and over again.
Some creators even produce weird videos with an open end to confuse the users and ensure they replay the video. This doesn’t provide any value, and I believe the audience gets annoyed, but it obviously works because these videos often go viral.
Use Trending Songs
In contrast to other platforms, on TikTok, the sound of your videos plays a significant role.
The TikTok audience is used to listening to the sound of the videos, as it often plays a significant role in understanding the whole video.
When choosing sounds for your videos, go for the trending ones. The song should match the mood of the video plus, ideally, it is being used by many other creators as well.
By using popular melodies, you get a chance to be featured on the page of this sound, which could generate lots of traffic, even days or weeks after your video is posted.
Use Trending Hashtags
Just like on Instagram, you can use hashtags on TikTok.
Once you start typing a hashtag, you will see suggestions and how often creators already used that specific hashtag. If your video matches a trend or popular song, make sure to add the right hashtags. By doing so, you again increase the chance to be featured on the page of that trend or song.
Participate in Viral Challenges
Besides using viral songs and hashtags, you should also take part in TikTok’s viral challenges. These are typically videos that are created by tons of people in a very short timespan.
As soon as you recognize such trends, find your own twist, and create a few videos matching the trend. Videos that are created out of these viral challenges tend to go viral much more often than regular clips.
Posting Time and Frequency
According to the ideal posting time, there is no overall rule that fits all users.
If you want to identify the perfect timing for your videos, you need to ask yourself a few questions (and ideally answer them backed up by data you’ve collected before).
First, figure out where your audience is located. If you, for example, create German content, you will, of course, mainly attract German followers, and it will be easy to know when they are awake and most active on the platform.
If you, however, serve an English audience, your viewers might be located all over the globe. This might make it a bit more challenging to figure out what the ideal posting time is, yet, what you can do is analyze the stats of your TikTok profile.
Once you switch your TikTok account to the Pro version (which is cost-free and done within a few seconds), you can access a lot of statistics regarding your content and followers. You can precisely see when your followers are most active on the platform and publish your content accordingly.
While the quality of your content plays an important role, quantity is at least as necessary on TikTok.
Most experts suggest uploading several videos per day. This might sound like a lot, yet, if you manage to keep that amount, TikTok will surely reward you with more exposure.
Engage With the Big Players in Your Niche
Your life on TikTok (and any other social network) will be more comfortable if you manage to connect with the big players.
If you have a clear message or niche, you will quickly be able to find other creators who have an audience that is relevant to you as well.
Learning from those who are already ahead of you is a great strategy, and you should definitely apply it to your TikTok growth plan.
Of course, you can try to get into touch with these creators via other social networks, but most often, it’s even enough if they recognize your profile on TikTok. Just make sure to support their work consistently, sooner or later, they will realize who you are.
By leaving thoughtful comments on their videos, you will strengthen the bonds with great creators who have a lot of influence.
Once you have more than 1,000 followers, you can do live streams on TikTok.
Whenever you go live, your followers get a notification for the whole time until you finish your live session.
That’s a great way to stay in your followers’ minds. Additionally, live sessions allow you to build deep relationships with your followers. For example, you can ask them about ideas for your next videos.
If you have a loyal community of raving fans, they can even pay you by sending you TikTok coins during your live streams.
Share Your Content on Other Platforms
If you already have established profiles on other social networks, you might want to share your TikTok videos there as well.
By doing this type of cross-promotion, you increase your chances to go viral on TikTok as the platform favors creators who bring new users to the app.
For example, you could share your daily TikTok videos on your Instagram or Facebook stories.
Use Engaging Thumbnails
Even though most users will see your content through their newsfeed, your video thumbnails play a significant role. If someone is scrolling through your profile, you want them to stay for as long as possible. Thus, engaging thumbnails are a must-have.
Last but surely not least: consistency.
Just like with any other social network, TikTok rewards its most consistent users. Those who post regularly over a long period reap the rewards for their perseverance.
Thus, it is crucial to figure out how the platform works and how you can easily create your videos with the least amount of effort.
Once you’ve learned the basics of the video creation skills, coming up with new ideas and putting them into action will be much more straightforward.
Producing videos in batches, meaning filming lots of videos at once, definitely makes sense. If you should have days with few or no content at all, you can display those pre-recorded videos, and you will never run out of videos again.
Be consistent with your posting schedule. Upload at least one video per day, but also make sure to be consistent with your message. If you communicate specific values in each of your videos, users will have it easier to decide whether they follow you or not.
A Summary on How to Grow Your TikTok Account
- Cover the basics: Create a bomb profile picture and a nice description so that people know what to expect from your account. Additionally, add your Instagram and YouTube channels.
- Follow the trends: Spend a few minutes each day to research the newest trends and hot topics of the platform. Plus, follow the most influential creators — they are the trendsetters.
- Create short videos: Ideally, around 8–15 seconds.
- Use trending songs and sounds: By doing so, you increase your chances of going viral.
- Use trending hashtags and participate in viral challenges: This also increases your chance to go viral.
- Analyze your statistics to find out an ideal posting schedule.
- Engage with the big players: Ideally, connect with them and ask for their support.
- Go live: This helps to stay in the mind of your audience and strengthen your relationship with them.
- Cross-promote your content: TikTok rewards creators who share TikTok content on other platforms like Instagram.
- Use engaging thumbnails: This doesn’t cost you more than a few seconds, but it might make a difference in whether someone stays on your profile or not.
- Be consistent: Just like any other social platform, TikTok rewards consistency. Those who persist win in the long run.