TikTok has firmly cemented its place in our daily lives as one of the The fastest growing social media networks.
It’s quickly becoming a go-to place for short video content, and it’s ruffled enough feathers in the Meta to have Instagram throw the changes to the competition.
But there’s more to TikTok than cats riding on a robot broom or popular dance moves.
Global brands have quickly recognized the power of TikTok’s algorithm as a way to engage audiences of all ages and drive sales through influencer partnerships.
And with average user spending More than 90 minutes on the app per dayFinding community through other creators has become an important part of TikTok’s appeal to its core audience.
How does this work for digital marketers?
lets take alook.
How does TikTok know what to search for?
Like any good search algorithm, TikTok collects data about you to personalize your experience on the app.
The more you interact with videos by liking, commenting, sharing or following, the more you will start seeing content aligned with your interests.
Voices and hashtags on videos, along with device and account settings such as language, are also built into the algorithm.
All of this data is put together to create a personalized “for you” page (FYP).
In general, the videos you see here are a mix of people you follow and new creators that TikTok thinks you’ll like, based on what it knows about your past activity on the app.
Thematic content guides the algorithm, and the more content you view and interact with (including watch time), the more related and adjacent content the app will show you.
Search for content
The search bar is the place to go if you’re looking for content on a specific topic.
Here, you can be as specific as you want, whether you’re looking for a creator by their username or sticking to a broader topic, like a city name.
The most relevant results will appear first, along with some suggestions for other searches you can do on that topic (similar to Google’s suggested search with the “people also ask” approach).
For example, someone looking for recipe ideas using Trader Joe’s products can simply search for “Trader Joe’s” and have a whole menu of options to click through, such as:
- Trader Joe’s recipes.
- Trader Joe’s must have.
- Retail Trader Joe’s.
- Trader Joe’s Meals.
From there, you’ll make your selection and be taken to the ‘top’ feed first – these are the most popular videos within that specific search.
To appear in this section, content creators usually use the search term as a hashtag in their video captions to increase their chances of being found and the text in the video while being relevant.
Once they gain popularity, TikTok will list them in the “top” of the results.
You can scroll through Users to find anyone with usernames similar to the query you searched for, ‘voices’ associated with that search, any ‘live’ content, or related ‘hashtags’ – they all have a presence in the filter tabs .
Under the “Hashtags” section, the videos that started the tag will be shown first, followed by the videos that are most popular under that hashtag.
Using the search option on TikTok is one of the best ways to find creators and communities around the topics that interest you the most.
The more specific you are in your search, the more targeted your content will be.
What does this mean for digital marketers?
The search function is ideal for finding communities centered around your personal interests and/or brand affinity categories.
But it’s also a tool that savvy digital marketers can easily leverage to get their brands in front of both new and existing audiences.
Thanks to the work of the algorithm, accounts with very few followers can gain traction more easily on TikTok than on more established platforms like Instagram or YouTube.
Jumping on trending songs or hashtags is an excellent way for brands to capitalize on already popular content and increase your social reach (just be wary of copyrighted music and make sure you follow FTC guidelines!).
Think of new ways you can repurpose your existing content on other platforms and incorporate it into your TikTok strategy.
Do your research to see what popular songs people use and how they use them in their videos.
Have something that could fit or adapt into a new video using the same audio?
Educational content is doing well on TikTok, but entertaining videos are still the most viewed, commented on, and shared, especially in sectors like fashion and retail.
Indeed, according to TikTok stats data“40% of Millennial TikTok users on fashion trips prefer fun and engaging brand content.”
If you’re willing to put some bucks behind your TikTok marketing, the search function is a useful way to help you find popular content that you can replicate for a paid campaign.
(Although trends often lead to better organic content since they move so fast on this platform)!
As a relatively new advertising channel, impressions, clicks, and conversions are still quite affordable for most markets compared to other platforms, so it’s time to start experimenting.
In-feed ads work similarly to Instagram Stories, taking over the user’s screen before they scroll to the next video.
Creating ads that look like unpaid TikTok content is ideal, especially since users may not initially realize they are seeing an ad.
This means longer viewing times and a better chance of clicks on your site or store. The TikTok advertising platform’s slogan is, “Don’t make ads, make TikToks.”
Note, this is not the time to attempt to rehire pre-roll or other high production advertising sites. Even your social content from other channels is likely to drop.
TikTok is a unique ecosystem and content type that alone is worth investing in.
These tools are also good for finding influencers to work with on branded collaborations.
Thinking about your business topic is helpful here.
There may not be hundreds of influencers waiting to work with your dentist’s office, but if you’re offering teeth whitening or cosmetic procedures, beauty or wellness content creators are a good place to start.
Finding influencers to work with through research tools is also a good way to find User Generated Content (UGC) about your brand or topics related to what your brand has to offer.
UGC works well on almost every social platform, especially on TikTok.
There is also a creators market that you can take advantage of if you are just trying to get your software to work.
There is no doubt that TikTok has become widely used as a search engine for many people.
Although it has a reputation as a “young” app, TikTok is increasingly becoming the go-to app for many demographics to find creators, communities, brands, new products, and content they love.
It may seem like a shift away from the social marketing we’re used to, and in some ways it is.
But there are opportunities for savvy marketers to get their content in front of new people, and the sooner we start treating TikTok as a search engine, the more your brand will grow.
- How to go live on TikTok: A step-by-step guide
- TikTok has a new way for advertisers to reach users
- Social Media Marketing: A Complete Strategy Guide
Featured image: Kaspars Grinvalds / Shutterstock