State of the TikTok Algorithm: A Comprehensive Guide

May 29, 2023

TikTok continues to grow and grow, and if you're not on it, you're missing out on a massive opportunity to reach your audience.

Still not buying the hype? These stats speak for themselves:

But let's be real, creating content for TikTok isn't as simple as just hitting record and hoping for the best. You need to understand the algorithm, so you can optimize your content and get those sweet, sweet views.

When is time to talk to me on tomorrow? We have a pack day of kids stuck tomorrow.

At its core, the TikTok algorithm is all about giving users what they want. It uses machine learning to analyze user behavior, such as likes, comments, and shares, to determine which content to show on the "For You" page.

There are a few factors that influence the algorithm, and understanding them is key to getting your content seen by the masses. For example, video completion rates and watch time are crucial. If people are clicking away from your content after a few seconds, the algorithm is going to bury it like a bone in a backyard. So make sure you're keeping your viewers engaged and entertained, and they'll stick around for the whole ride.

But let's talk about the "For You" page because that's where the real magic happens. This page is tailored to each user's interests and behavior based on the videos they've interacted with in the past. So, if you want to get on this page, you need to create content that resonates with your target audience.

In short, the TikTok algorithm is all about relevance and engagement. The more your content resonates with your target audience and the more engagement it gets, the more likely it is to be seen by a wider audience.

So, now that we've got the basics down, let's move on to the good stuff: how to optimize your content for maximum exposure.

Optimizing Your Content for the TikTok Algorithm

To get into the nitty-gritty of optimizing your content for the TikTok algorithm, we have to start with posting times. While there's no hard and fast rule for the best time to post on TikTok, you can look at your own analytics to see when your audience is most active.

According to Hootsuite, the best times to post on TikTok are (in PST):

  • Monday: 9 to 11 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 8 to 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
  • Thursday: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (with Thursday at 7 p.m. being the best posting time of the week)
  • Friday: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to noon
  • Sunday: 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (the second most popular time of the week)

But finding the right time isn’t just about posting during peak hours when everyone is scrolling through their "For You" page. In fact, the best posting times for some brands are during off-peak hours, when there's less competition for attention and your niche is more active. It's all about knowing your audience.

And how do you get to know your audience? User interaction.

The more likes, comments, shares, and saves your content gets, the more likely it is to be shown to a wider audience. So, don't be afraid to engage with your followers and encourage them to interact with your content. After all, engagement is a two-way street.

For an audience to want to engage with your brand, they need to see it regularly.

Consistency is key on TikTok, and you need to be posting consistently in order to build up momentum and keep your followers engaged.

So, what does that mean for you? Well, it means you need to create a posting schedule and stick to it. Whether that's posting once a day or a few times a week, make sure you're consistent with your content creation and posting.

And what kind of content is best to post? What is optimized for the TikTok algorithm?

There are a few things to keep in mind.

First, avoid video duplicates. The algorithm doesn't like seeing the same video over and over again, so make sure you're mixing it up with fresh content. Also, make sure you're using a variety of hashtags that are relevant to your target audience. Don't just slap on every hashtag under the sun. That's not going to help you out.

What will help your brand? User-generated content (UGC).

User-Generated Content on TikTok

UGC is gold. Not only does it help you build a sense of community around your brand, but it also shows the algorithm that people are engaging with your content in a meaningful way. Encourage your followers to create their own content and share it with you.

UGC helps with all of the aforementioned tips too. Leveraging UGC—engaging with real content creators using your product—builds trust and loyalty with your target audience.

Our client, Lumen—touting metabolism-hacking tech—leveraged Bambassadors’ UGC strategy and decreased CAC by 20% while increasing ROAS by 28%. This enabled them to scale ad spending by an additional 31%.

Optimizing your content for the TikTok algorithm is all about relevance, engagement and authenticity. Keep these factors in mind, and you'll be well on your way to TikTok success.

Need help? Let’s talk.