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TikTok Influencer Marketing

TikTok Algorithm 2024: How Does It Work?

Unravel the secrets of the TikTok algorithm and learn how to harness its potential to propel your brand to new heights.
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Imagine your brand not just being seen, but going viral and connecting with millions in a matter of seconds. This isn't just a possibility — it's a strategy waiting to be unlocked on TikTok. 

Despite facing unprecedented challenges, TikTok continues to be a game changing platform that brands simply can’t afford to ignore. With its powerful algorithm that curates highly engaging and personalized content for each user’s For You Page (FYP), TikTok has empowered brands of all kinds to connect with their target audience and drive substantial business growth. 

In fact, 92% of TikTok users say they take action after watching a TikTok video. Not to mention, TikTok is now the world’s most popular search engine, with nearly 40% of young people preferring the app over Google for searches.

While the platform itself is set up for success, there are a few TikTok algorithm best practices to follow in order for brands to show up on users’ For You Page, actually resonate with viewers, and drive action. Keep reading to unravel the secrets of the TikTok algorithm and learn how to harness its potential to propel your brand to new heights.

How does the TikTok algorithm work?

Recently, TikTok users have been commenting, “I built this FYP brick by brick,” under their favorite videos — referring to the accuracy and relevancy of the content they’re served on their TikTok For You Page.

The TikTok algorithm does a great job at showing users content that’s aligned with their unique interests. These pre-segmented audiences are a goldmine for marketers because they allow you to get your brand and content in front of your target audience. That’s why the TikTok FYP is so highly coveted. 

But what determines the content that shows up on someone’s For You Page? According to TikTok, these are the key factors that the algorithm uses to recommend content:

  • The user’s actions: TikTok will make note of what each user likes, shares, and comments, as well as the creators that they follow. Users can also opt out of seeing certain types of content, or content from specific creators, by holding down on videos and marking “Not Interested.” 
  • Video information: Video information signals are based on the content you search on the Discover tab — from accounts and hashtags, to keywords and audio clips. 
  • Device and account settings: Some content on the FYP is determined by language and country preferences laid out in the user’s profile settings. This ensures users are only offered content in their desired languages and can often mean they see some local content popping up on their feed, too.

Contrary to other social media platforms, TikTok’s algorithm doesn’t take into account the user’s follower count or their history of high-performing content. This means smaller creators and brands have the potential to reach new audiences and quickly gain followers — or maybe even produce a viral video — with every TikTok they post. 

5 tips for brands to grow on TikTok in 2024

1. Work with TikTok creators. 

The best way for any brand to show up on users’ For You Page is by joining forces with TikTok creators, who are familiar faces on the app. By leveraging the power of TikTok creators, you can increase brand awareness, provide social proof, and inject unique voices into your campaign. 

When you’re crafting your TikTok influencer strategies, your goal is for their video to reach your target audience’s FYP. In addition to working with creators who have well-aligned audiences, ensure that their video garners engagement from the right people by providing them with content ideas that have proven to be popular on TikTok. 

When relevant, incorporate these “lo-fi” content ideas into your influencer campaign brief:

  • Day-in-the-life vlogs: People love to watch relatable content. Ask influencers to take their audience along on a regular day, while incorporating your products into their routine. This is a great way to showcase how your products fit into their everyday lifestyle.
  • Step-by-step tutorials: TikTokers love educational content. Get influencers to share easy, step-by-step tutorials of them using your product. Have them showcase their expertise in a certain subject, whether they’re a foodie influencer showing off their favorite pasta recipe using your cooking tools, or a beauty influencer walking through an easy makeup tutorial using your latest collection. This type of content will encourage audiences to buy your products to try it out for themselves.
  • Before-and-after videos: Have influencers record a before-and-after shot to showcase the real impact of your products over time. This is especially helpful for brands that sell products like skincare and health supplements, which have long-term effects.
  • Get Ready With Me (GRWM) videos: With over 181 billion views on TikTok, #GRWM videos are an easy way for beauty brands to get audiences engaged. Consumers love to learn how other people do their makeup, skincare, or hair, and the products they use to achieve their looks. Influencers can even share relatable stories while getting ready to make the video even more engaging. 
  • Try-on hauls: Consumers want to see how things look on real people. If you’re a fashion brand, ask influencers to film a simple try-on haul to display how your clothes look on various body types.

These are just some of the concepts that we’ve seen work well for creators and brands — but your options aren’t limited to these content ideas. Tap into the creativity of your community to come up with fresh, engaging content. And in every case, give creators enough creative freedom to produce content that is authentic, educational, and valuable so that it will resonate even though influencers disclose it as an #ad.

2. Leverage Spark Ads.

If you’re running an influencer campaign on TikTok, your job is more critical to business growth than ever before. At a time when organizations everywhere are seeking ways to drive efficient growth, you can be the team hero by boosting your paid channels with your existing, high-converting influencer content. 

On TikTok, you can do so through Spark Ads. Spark Ads enable you to leverage organic TikTok posts — whether it’s your own TikTok account’s posts or posts made by creators (with their authorization) — in your advertising. Unlike non-Spark Ads (regular In-Feed ads), Spark Ads use posts from real TikTok accounts, which ensures that all views, comments, shares, likes, and follows gained from boosting the video during the promotion are attributed to your organic posts. By doing so, your Spark Ads will:

  • Drive believability and perceptions of brand-and-creator alignment
  • Be viewed as authentic and native experiences
  • Establish creator and brand trust

The best part is that Spark Ads are not distracting to the user’s overall TikTok experience. After watching a Spark Ad, 55% of TikTok users say it fits seamlessly into their FYP feed, and better yet, 53% say it doesn’t feel like an ad. 

For more information on Spark Ads, watch our webinar, Aspire x TikTok Present: How To Supercharge Ads Through Creator Marketing, on demand.

3. Stay on top of trends.

It’s hard to understand why certain TikTok trends take off. But when they do, it becomes a movement. We’ve seen viral dances, pranks, skits, challenges, and everything in between flourish on TikTok (and beyond). Typically, these trends are paired with a popular sound or musical track on the app. 

It’s a smart move for brands to jump into these trends and take part in the cultural zeitgeist. Because these trends are highly relevant on the platform, participating in them will increase your chances of getting on the For You Page, gaining virality, and increasing visibility. 

Remember that TikTok trends move at lightning speed, so you have to constantly be on the app to keep up. Think about how the trend can apply to your brand and get creative with it. 

For example, there’s a current trending sound on TikTok called “Man in Finance.” Joe & The Juice recently put together a video handing out their coffee to men in the financial district, leveraging the hype around the viral song.

@joeandthejuice The ultimate finance bro coffee. @Wonderskin 👄 #fyp #foryoupage ♬ Looking for a man tima remix - Tima Pages

4. Grab your audience’s attention from the get-go. 

The human attention span has become shorter than ever, at an average of only 8.52 seconds. And because it’s extremely easy for users on TikTok to scroll to the next (possibly more interesting) video, it’s crucial to captivate your audience’s attention in the first couple of seconds of the video. 

Have an interesting hook at the beginning of your video that inspires users to stop scrolling and watch. Remember, the longer the retention time, the more the TikTok algorithm will learn that this content is worth watching, and push it to more users. Sounds like a viral video in the making!

5. Engage with other TikTok users.

Whether it’s under your own video or someone else’s, the comments section on TikTok plays a key role in driving brand engagement. It’s the perfect place to show the human side of your company in a casual, relatable way. Plus, it’s a great way to reach users who might not follow you or see your content on their For You Page. 

A growing number of brands are leveraging the comments section of popular videos as an additional space to connect with audiences in a more personable way, and to jump into fast-moving TikTok trends.

Remember, TikTok’s algorithm favors content that generates interactions. When you engage with other users, you increase the likelihood of reciprocation, which in turn boosts your visibility on the platform. 

And by interacting with your audience, you show that you value their input, which helps to build a loyal follower base. This community aspect can lead to increased repeat engagement as users feel more connected to your brand and your content.

Master the art of the TikTok algorithm

Leveraging TikTok is more than just a marketing strategy — it’s your ticket to unparalleled business growth. Whether it’s by working with TikTok creators, leveraging Spark Ads, or jumping into the top trends on the app, harness the power of TikTok’s algorithm and watch as your brand reaches new heights, one viral video at a time.

Learn how to work with creators to grow on TikTok in our guide, The Ultimate Guide to TikTok Influencer Marketing. 

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