TikTok has recently reached 1 billion monthly active users globally. And while it’s not as big as Facebook or Instagram (yet), some demographics actually pick it up on most of the social networks out there.
It’s no wonder that many brands are trying to establish themselves on the platform – but not all of them do it right. So, before setting up an account and trying to understand the many niche trends of the platform, read this guide to find out how to get to TikTok’s For You page. Because if your content is ultimately not viewed by your target audience, why bother making it at all?
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What is a For You page on TikTok?
The TikTok For You page is a custom, scrollable feed of content. It is the platform’s main content discovery tool, known for its precise algorithm that produces accurate recommendations based on each user’s actions on TikTok (eg what they like, shared, watched more than once, etc.).
The For You page serves as the app’s home screen, which means it’s the first thing users see when they open the TikTok app.
No two For You pages are alike – every user on TikTok gets a unique and customized stream of videos.
Why is accessing a TikTok For You page so important?
Being the home screen of the app, the TikTok For You page is where most of the content discovery on the platform takes place. In simple terms, the For You page is where people view and interact with TikToks.
So, if it doesn’t appear on your intended audience’s pages, the chances of them finding (and interacting with) your content are pretty slim.
Technically, there are other ways to discover content on TikTok. Users can go to the Discover tab to search for your profile and watch TikTok there. Or they can follow your account and watch TikToks in the following feed:
But the For You page and eerily accurate content recommendations from TikTok are what makes using the platform so enjoyable. In the words of TikTok, the For You page is “central to the TikTok experience where most users spend their time.” So it is not an exaggeration to say that no other in-app discovery channel will get your TikToks in front of as many people as the For You page.
How does the TikTok For You page algorithm work?
The TikTok algorithm (also known as the recommendation system) recommends content based on users’ actions, preferences, and account settings.
Here are the factors that affect what appears on the For You page:
- Actions taken by each user in the application. This includes likes, shares, comments and follows. TikTok users can also opt out of watching some types of videos or content from certain creators by clicking “Disinterested” on TikToks that they don’t like.
- Video information. For You page recommendations can be based on votes, hashtags, and captions from TikTok videos.
- Device and account settings. Language preferences and country settings are also references to the For You Page algorithm, for example, users can expect to see some local content on the For You Page.
Here’s the For You page algorithm No Keep in mind when recommending videos:
- number of followers
- A history of high-performance content
Which is good news for beginners! If you play your cards right, you can go from zero (followers) to a TikTok champion overnight.
And how can the For You page algorithm work for you? Essentially, accessing the For You page creates something of a snowball effect:
- Your content is recommended to users who are likely to enjoy it.
- Users like, share or comment on your TikToks.
- This TikTok algorithm takes a signal that your content resonates with people and shows it to more For You pages.
So how do you get that snowball?
How to get to the TikTok For You page
1. Know your audience
Since the For You page is a collection of content that TikTok believes users will enjoy… you need to understand who your audience is and what they enjoy in order to reach them.
Check TikTok Analytics for details about the gender and location of your audience. If you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of data to work with, use your Instagram analytics as a starting point (84.6% of TikTok users also use Instagram).
Then… start scrolling. Spend some time watching TikToks for trends, and take a closer look at what your competitors (or other companies in your niche) are doing on the platform.
Use your results as inspiration. You may come across unexpected but very successful content strategies.
Take a look at this example from Burger King. The video doesn’t explicitly refer to the brand, and is far from being promoted (in the traditional sense), but it has racked up over 4,000 likes and hundreds of shares and comments. the secret? Burger King gets its audience.
burgerkingin love and burgers, the king always wins #babe #burgerking ♬ original soundtrack – Tra Rags
2. Post at the right time
Most of the videos on the For You page are only a few days old. So, for best results, you’ll want to post to TikTok at the right time, aka when your audience is already online and browsing.
Based on our research, the best times to post on TikTok (expressed in Pacific Time) to maximize engagement are:
- Tuesday: 7 am
- Thursday: 10 am
- Friday: 5 am
But a lot depends on the activity patterns of your unique audience. So take these times as a starting point, and keep a close eye on your analytics to set up TikToks for success.
You can look for days when your audience is most active in the video views section of your TikTok analytics:
Learn more about finding the best time to post on TikTok.
3. Use directional sounds
Votes are a ranking signal for the TikTok algorithm. Therefore, using popular audio clips can increase your chances of appearing on more For You pages.
If you’re not sure in which direction the sounds are going, browse the Discovery tab or spend some time scrolling through your For You page. When you come across a video that has audio you like, tap on the audio icon in the bottom right corner. This will take you to the audio page, where you can see how often it has been used and browse the best videos that feature it.
Makeup brand Glossier does a great job working on popular voices in its branded content:
Some days at Glossier HQ consist of ordering a last minute cake for an Instagram Story. Happy birthday gloss!!!!! 7️⃣🎂 #glossier #BTS ♬ Kim Kardashian It’s a full time job – Kardashianicon
4. Reply to trending videos
Sometimes a random video will explode on TikTok, creating a widespread trend. And each new trend presents a unique opportunity for brands to create timely and relevant content that shows how culturally they relate to their TikTok audience. Not to mention that getting rid of trending content can help you get to the For You pages of the users who have invested in them.
In September and October of 2021, several companies posted reactions to the “Couch Guy” video.
Here is the Empire State Building’s reaction:
I may be a building, but I’m not blind. #couchguy is sus 👀 #empirestatebuidling #nyc ♬ original sound – Empire State Building
Here’s a parody of Ryanair’s memoir:
ryanairPilot the guy was speechless🥰 #couchguy ♬ still fall for you – audiobear
(Are you too professional? Follow the “Couch Guy” story here.)
5. Working with creative people
Working with influencers can help you reach new audiences on all social platforms. On TikTok, he can also have a For You page.
If you decide to collaborate with well-known creators, be sure to let them be themselves. In most cases, TikTok creators understand platform trends, inside jokes, and are better than brands, so ditching the creative direction is likely to work in your favor.
A great way to get started with influencer marketing on the platform is to find content creators who are already posting about your brand. Work with them to create unique content, like Chipotle does:
ReNgo_Sport Who? (via keo.hogains) #chipotle #comedy #trending #relatable #viral #fyp ♬ none – Westover
6. Learn how to boost engagement
If the TikTok algorithm notices that your video is getting a lot of likes, comments and shares, it will recommend it to more viewers.
One smart way to increase engagement is to include an element of attraction in your video that will get viewers asking for more. (Literally asks. In the comments.)
You can also plant small inconsistencies in your videos, allowing users to have fun finding and pointing them out – you guessed it – in the comments section.
Take a look at this creator’s TikTok for this Forbes article on the popular Netflix show “Squid Game”. In the video, crawlita mentions how the article raised three points about the show, but then goes on to discuss only one of them. In the comments section, viewers asked the author to share her thoughts on the other two points — which she did, giving her audience more content to engage with:
7. Use the right hashtags
Just like votes, hashtags fall into the “video info” category of TikTok rank tags. This means, in theory, that adding the right hashtags to your video can help you appear on more For You pages.
When scrolling through the For You feed, you may notice that many videos include the same hashtags: #fyp, #foryou, or #fyp シ.
#fyp hashtag alone 15,411.7 billion Views (yes, you read that right).
Will these hashtags get you on the For You page? In our experience, they certainly don’t guarantee viral spread – but they may be worth a try!