TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media apps ever—and for good reason. Short-form video has been taking the social media world by storm, with both brands and creators seeing a number of viral moments and opportunities to grow their platforms.
However, you still need the help of some good old fashioned TikTok marketing—and a few actionable tips to help you grow your followers to maximize your viral potential.
Throughout this article, we’re going to walk you through 17 ways to get more followers on TikTok so you can start creating content and engaging your audience today.
Why follower growth on TikTok is important
TikTok’s home screen is broken up into two different feeds: “Following” and “For You.” While the For You Page is dictated by the TikTok algorithm, the Following feed is filled with videos only from the accounts that user follows. This means, the more followers you have, the more Following feeds your videos will appear in—and many users do go back and forth between the feeds.
There are ways to get your content on the For You Page, but having your video content seen by those who follow you can also help your content go viral, help you get more engagement, and help turn those followers into customers.
TikTok is one of the only social media platforms with a feed specifically for people the user is following, making followers even more valuable on this platform than others. Discover how to grow your followers so you can build an engaged audience of TikTok users.
1. Identify your target audience
The first step in growing your following on any social channel is to make sure you know who to target with your content and that you’re creating content that your target audience will enjoy.
There are a few ways to go about this for growing your TikTok following.
First, consider taking a look at competitors and influencers in your industry. What kinds of content are they posting? Take notes on the most popular videos and use them to come up with your own unique ideas.
Next, think about the kinds of content you’ve been publishing on your other feeds. While the content you publish on TikTok will likely be vastly different, you can still pinpoint some common trends and content types or ideas that you know will perform well.
Finally, simply take a minute to review your customer persona again and remind yourself of their likes and dislikes. What would they want to see on a platform like TikTok?
Keep in mind that it’s all trial and error, especially with a new and virally-driven network like TikTok. You can try a million different types of videos before you find the one that really resonates with your audience.
2. Pay attention to trends
Trends are a big thing on TikTok. If you’ve perused the platform before, you’ve likely noticed a few videos follow very similar outlines or use the same sound clip. This is because that type of video is trending, proving its popularity. Try to create a similar video that makes sense for your business and take advantage of relevant TikTok trends.
The best way to discover popular trends is to consume a lot of TikTok content. Look for recurring trends, challenges and sound bytes that you can use within your own content.
You can also head over to the “Search” section of your TikTok app to see trending news and topics to see if anything there stands out at you.
You can also take inspiration based on real life events that are happening and trending. For example, one of the biggest events throughout 2023 has been Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. Small business Sparta Candle Co. created a Taylor Swift-inspired soap called “Afterglow,” named after one of her songs, and made a video about it:
The video ended up going viral, and the team later created a video about how that soap became their best-selling product to date within two days. The impact of using trends for content can be huge—especially for a small business like this one.
3. Create a TikTok challenge
One thing TikTok is famous for is its various video challenges, whether they’re dances, dares, etc. As you scroll through videos on the app, you’ll likely come across a few different challenges. See if any would work for your brand or consider creating your own TikTok challenge.
There are two main types of challenges: branded challenges and community challenges.
A branded challenge is one created and promoted by a brand. It’s often accompanied by a hashtag to help spread the word.
That’s exactly what MoonPie did here, with the #MoonPieChallenge. They introduced it with their very first video on TikTok and followed up with a couple more challenge videos.
This was one of their more popular videos as well as a great introduction to their brand presence on the app.
But there are also community challenges that are often created by popular TikTokers that brands can also try to jump on for their content.
One community challenge going around is currently the “10 dip makeup challenge,” where makeup artists put on makeup using 10 dips or drops of each type of makeup they put on. Here’s an example:
This type of challenge is the perfect one for makeup brands to jump on, giving their take on the challenge using only their makeup products. Keep an eye out for challenges like this that make sense for your brand to recreate.
4. Include the right hashtags
One practice we see many people make is simply tag all of the trending hashtags in their captions. However, please don’t do this unless those hashtags are actually relevant to what you’re posting. Otherwise, it just looks spammy.
Instead, start typing in relevant hashtags when creating your caption to see how many views those hashtags are getting. And don’t forget to include the ever-popular #fyp or #foryou hashtags, popularly used in an attempt to get on the For You page. While the effect of these hashtags on placement hasn’t been confirmed, their widespread use can still expand the reach of your content.
5. Publish TikTok videos at the right times
It’s important to find the best time to post on TikTok in order to see the most reach on your videos. You can find this information by heading into your business or creator tools and checking out your TikTok analytics.
In the Followers tab, scroll down to find Follower activity. Here, you’ll be able to look at what days and times your followers are most active. Try publishing your posts just before the most popular time of that day in order to see the best results.
It’s also a good idea to keep a log of when you’ve published content so you can test different times to pinpoint what works best for your brand.
6. Leverage music and trending songs
Incorporate popular sound bytes in your TikTok videos to help grab attention right from the jump. There are different music clips, songs and random audio clips that get reused for similar types of videos again and again, and using these can help your video’s overall performance.
Here’s an example from Scrub Daddy, using a sound and a video overlay that matches the song in order to create a humorous video.
Plz help. scrubdaddy smile cleantok cleaningtiktok americasfavoritesponge
One of the best ways to know which sound clips are trending is to consistently consume TikTok content as well as pay attention to what popular TikTokers and other brands are sharing. See if you can discover ways to incorporate popular songs into your own content to engage your audience.
7. Add closed caption text to your videos for accessibility
Social media accessibility should be a key part of your strategy. This includes things like alt text on images and captions on videos. The latter is extremely easy to implement on TikTok. First, you can automatically turn on captions (just make sure you edit them so they’re accurate) or you can even add your own closed caption text overlay.
Here’s an example of what this might look like:
Many brands will do a bit of both so that they can use the text overlay to add additional context while also having closed captions that showcase what the person in the video is saying.
8. Share user-generated content
If people are mentioning your brand on TikTok or sharing videos hyper-relevant to your industry, ask if you can share that video as well! (While giving them full credit, of course—you can tag the original creator in the caption.)
Here’s a great example of user-generated content from online plant store The Sill. They’ve re-shared a video of a new customer unboxing one of their plants.
If you are looking for a pet friendly plant we have your back! 😉 Watch @leonacollectiveco unboxed a peperomia (and say hi to a special guest) 💚🌿
This is a great way to spread the word about their service, show off happy customers and give people an idea of what to expect when they order from them.
9. Use the right hashtags and create engaging captions
Just like with most social media platforms, your accompanying caption and hashtags can play a big part. TikTok hashtags can help your videos get more reach while captions can be great way to offer additional context, add humor or provide educational insights.
Visme chose the latter in their video example below, using the caption to share four tips to accompany the video’s content:
Comarketing partnerships are a super effective way to cross-promote to new audiences and grow your list. Here are 4 steps to launch one: 👉 Identify potential partners with similar audiences and experise. 👉 Develop mutual beneficial webinar topics that show off your strengths. 👉 Share promotional responsibilities. 👉 Be sure to exchange leads to grow your email lists! digitalmarketing webinars webinarmarketing brandpartnerships comarketing
You can use a tool like TikTok Hashtags to find some hashtag ideas, or start typing hashtags into the caption box and see what the app autopopulates as options.
10. Create TikTok stories
It seems like every social media app has stories, and TikTok has now added this feature as well. TikTok stories are video clips that can be up to 15 seconds in length and stay on your feed for 24 hour—similar to other types of stories. They’ll appear as the first video in your feed with a “Story” banner overtop so your profile visitors know it’s not a traditional video.
TikTok stories are a great way to share some behind-the-scenes content or other bits of random content that don’t fit in with your strategy but that you still want to share with your audience.
This is still a newer feature, so it’s a good idea to start using it before it becomes more mainstream. Stand out from the competition by regularly sharing content to your TikTok stories.
11. Work with TikTok influencers and creators
Influencer marketing is a great tactic on Instagram, but this also extends over to TikTok. With so many “TikTok-famous” users, working with influencers can be a great way to get the word out about your business.
Here’s an example from TikToker Jeremy Culhane. He created a video for the brand Crocs in his traditional style (humorous video with random photo montages throughout) that feels natural but is absolutely a marketing video.
This video is posted on the Crocs profile. By using a popular TikToker, those familiar with Jeremy’s work will immediately be more interested in watching the brand video. However, many influencer content partnerships also involve the video being posted on the influencer’s page, helping the brand reach an even larger audience.
Keep in mind that working with TikTok influencers comes with its own costs. Depending on your marketing budget, you may want to look for micro-influencers with a highly engaged audience on TikTok to start your influencer marketing venture.
12. Create a content series with multiple videos
Creating a multi-part video series can be a great way to engage with your audience—especially if you continue a video series that you’ve noticed your audience likes.
Here’s an example of what this might look like from Shopify, who has created several videos on “hot tools you need to know about.” Each video covers a single tool, making this an easy type of video to create every so often to share new tools.
so what’s up with AI? use it to create the things you don’t have time to do. research blog topics in seconds. whip up a survey in a snap. you can even ask it to write product descriptions. A.I. isn’t perfect (yet), but it is powerful, and it can save you tons of time. #AIforthewin #HALopenthedoor #howtomakemoneyonline #ecommerce
However, you can get even more creative with this strategy, too. If you’ve posted a funny video that you’ve noticed people love or comment on asking for more, give the people what they want! Reply to comments to add additional parts so the videos are all linked together.
13. Cross-promote your TikTok videos
Spread the word that you’re on TikTok. Your followers on other channels might not know that you’ve created a TikTok profile, so it’s a good idea to cross-promote your videos onto other channels.
Other platforms like Instagram and YouTube offer their own versions of short form video content, giving you the perfect place to repurpose content created for TikTok videos. On some platforms like Twitter and Instagram (feed videos), you can save videos from your TikTok feed with the TikTok logo and your handle in the corner of the screen, then upload them as-is, giving your followers an easy way to learn how to find you on TikTok.
Some platforms have a few restrictions to promote original content over repurposed TikTok videos. Instagram Reels does not allow reposted, watermarked videos, so you’ll need to upload the original short video or edit accordingly. YouTube Shorts does allow TikTok watermarked videos, but they can’t be monetized.
14. Use TikTok features to engage your audience
If you want to get more eyes on your TikTok profile, one of the best ways to do this is to engage with other videos. Like, comment and stitch/duet other users’ videos.
Stitching allows you to add your own video onto the end of the clip of another users’ video. This is perfect for adding your own commentary or additional content to an existing video.
Dueting places your video next to another users’ video so you can react to or complement an existing video with your own content.
Be sure to own stitch or duet videos that are hyper-relevant to your brand. Otherwise, just like and comment on videos that your target audience creates to grab their attention.
Take advantage of Sprout Social’s TikTok integration to schedule out your video content, especially if you’re bulk-creating videos.
15. Use CTAs at the end of your videos
Another great way to get more followers on TikTok? Ask!
Try ending your videos with CTAs to visit your profile, check out similar videos or follow you. You can do this by adding a simple text overlay towards the end of your video, like we see in this example from Taco Bell.
Coming 9.12 👀 until then 1 free doritos locos tacos every tuesday
While doing this in every video you post can put a bad taste in your existing followers’ mouths, no one will mind if the occasional video has a call-to-action to follow your content.
The best time to use this tactic is when you’re creating a video series or posting a multi-part video. Simply add a text sticker that says something like, “Follow us to catch part two!”
16. Monitor your growth and double-down on what works
Pay attention to your TikTok analytics so you have a clear idea of which video types your audience likes, that you’re targeting the right people and what types of videos you should continue to create.
You can see which videos have had the most reach within the last week, giving you an idea of what may be going viral or trending. You can also see where people are finding your content—whether they went to your profile, saw it on the FYP, etc.
Consistently monitor your growth, analytics, reach, audience data and more to ensure your TikTok strategy is on the right track. Try to recreate successful content and get yourself comfortable with letting go of video ideas that simply aren’t performing the way you’d hoped.
17. Diversify your content with ads
Our last tip is simply to test out putting some of your marketing ad budget behind promoting your TikTok videos. This is the perfect approach when you’re just starting out so that you have a starting foundation to measure what works and what doesn’t for your upcoming videos.
There are a few different types of TikTok ads you can try, but for this purpose, the brand takeover or in-feed ads will be your best bet. These require your own video content, though, so start brainstorming some catchy videos that will get your target audience interested in following you.
Get more followers on TikTok today
Excited to start implementing some of these tactics? Start by gathering inspiration from other brands on TikTok and what works for them. TikTok can be a great way to generate brand awareness and revenue, so don’t sleep on this platform.
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