This post originally appeared on neilpatel.com
TikTok has steadily grown to become one of the most popular social media apps.
As TikTok’s popularity grew, so did one question: “How can I get on the TikTok For You page?” This is the main page of curated content users see when they log in.
This article will answer that question and teach you everything you need to know about TikTok’s mysterious algorithm and how to use it to your advantage.
What Is TikTok?
TikTok is an iOS and Android social media app for creating and sharing short 15 to 60-second videos on any topic.
In 2016, the app launched as Douyin in China, and in the following year, ByteDance released it for markets outside of China as Musical.ly before rebranding to TikTok.
Why is TikTok so Popular?
While it started as a fun lip-syncing app with a cult Gen Z following, it’s evolved into a way for users to share short comedy skits, business tips, and more.
What is the TikTok For You Page?
The For You page, aka “FYP,” is the first page you land on when you open the TikTok app. It’s a curated feed of videos from creators you might not follow, but TikTok’s algorithm thinks you will like based on your interests and past interactions.
For example: If you like and leave comments on several videos about Instagram tips, you can expect to see a fresh serving of social media marketing TikToks on your For You page every day.
Think of it as the Instagram Explore Page. The app wants to hook you in with more content you like to keep you scrolling longer.
Why You Should Optimize Your Content for the For You Page
The TikTok For You page is the “holy grail”l of success on the app. It means you’ve created a piece of content that resonates with your audience. The algorithm has picked this up and recognizes your content’s quality above all the other videos on the app.
What this means for business owners and influencers:
- Followers and Monetization: By landing on the TikTok For You page, you could gain followers faster and get closer to the 10k goal. Once you hit that milestone, you can start making money from your videos with the TikTok Creator Fund.
- Sponsorships, Thought Leadership, and Sales: Once the algorithm starts pushing out your video to a broader audience, you might start getting more recognition as a master of your niche. This can lead to paid sponsorships or more sales in your business.
- Platform Growth: Ever heard the saying, “it takes a platform to grow a platform?” Once you’ve struck TikTok gold, you can use the attention to redirect traffic back to your other platforms like Instagram or YouTube and start growing your community across the board.
- Free Exposure: If you usually get 100 views per TikTok, an FYP feature could push that to tens of thousands. It’s incredible exposure you can leverage without spending a dime on ads.
3 Ranking Factors for TikTok’s For You Page
For years, the TikTok For You page algorithm was cloaked in mystery. Rumors and speculation flew around the internet, sparking the rise in hashtags like #fyp and #ForYou, until TikTok HQ came out with a statement settling the debate once and for all.
In a community post, TikTok states:
On TikTok, the For You feed reflects preferences unique to each user. The system recommends content by ranking videos based on a combination of factors – starting from interests you express as a new user and adjusting for things you indicate you’re not interested in, too – to form your personalized For You feed.
Here’s the nitty-gritty details of the TikTok algorithm and learn how the For You page works.
1. User Interactions
The more comments, likes, shares, and duets your video gets, the more likely the algorithm will pick it up.
Another ranking factor you need to keep in mind is your video completion rate. As more users watch your TikTok to the end, it’s more likely to get pushed out for further distribution.
2. Video Information
Hashtags, sounds, and captions are a treasure trove of information to help you get onto the For You page. For instance, if you use a trending hashtag or sound bite, it’s more likely to get noticed by the algorithm.
Remember, TikTok’s goal is to keep people on the app, and serving up trending content is one way to do that.
3. Device and Account Settings
Your location, language preference, device, and country setting play a role in curating your FYP. After all, a comedy skit about South African politics would probably only appeal to South African users.
However, these signals don’t have as much weight as the others, giving you the chance to reach a global audience.
6 Tips to Get on the TikTok For You Page (FYP)
There is no bulletproof recipe for success on TikTok or any other social media network. Algorithms are constantly changing, and if your content doesn’t resonate with your audience, it won’t rank.
However, you can do several things to improve your chances of hitting the TikTok For You page:
1. Use Proper Hashtag Etiquette
Some users believe using #fyp or #ForYou will get their content pushed out to the masses, but it’s only a rumor. TikTok has never confirmed this, and these hashtags don’t guarantee you any viral success.
You don’t want to use those hashtags as a crutch and miss out on using keywords relevant to your content and niche.
After all, the main goal of social media is to attract the right followers and then monetize your audience.
Here are some basic TikTok hashtag rules to follow:
- Don’t hashtag stuff. Choose a small number of relevant hashtags.
- Mix popular hashtags with less popular ones.
- Use trending hashtags in your niche.
- Participate in hashtag challenges.
- Use #fyp and #ForYou, but don’t only rely on them.
Remember, there is no tried-and-true formula, so as on Instagram, you’ll need to do some experimenting to find a hashtag strategy that works best for your account.
2. Create Shorter Videos
Remember when I told you how vital the video completion rate is on TikTok? The easiest way to achieve top marks for this ranking factor is by creating shorter, engaging videos.
Although you can record 60-second clips, using all the time available won’t necessarily translate into viral success. The less time someone has to spend watching your TikTok, the more likely they’ll watch to the end and not swipe away.
You can improve your watch time by making sure you have a hook right in the beginning to encourage viewers to stay until the end.
As your video completion rate increases, so do your chances of landing a coveted spot on the FYP.
3. Write Engaging Captions
TikTok is not the platform to spill your guts in a microblogging session.
You only get 150 characters, including any hashtags you add, which leaves you with fewer characters at your disposal than on Twitter.
With such limited real estate, you need to focus on writing short captions that compel viewers to engage with your content.
The ideal TikTok caption should:
- Be short
- Feature related hashtags
- Encourage engagement
How do you do this?
You could stir up some mystery by saying something like, “this took me five attempts to get right” or “wait until the end.” This could encourage viewers to stick around and watch the entire video.
Another tactic is to ask a question. Comments are another engagement factor, and getting people to watch and reply can help send all the right signals to the FYP algorithm.
Lastly, you can tease viewers with information you’re revealing in your video. For example, “How I find clients as a freelance writer” or “One easy hack to make $100 online.”
4. Create High-Quality Videos
Are you still posting grainy, low-quality videos on TikTok? That might be one of the reasons you haven’t earned a spot on the For You Page.
A high-quality video is more likely to keep eyeballs on your content, which means higher completion rates and more views.
TikTok isn’t going to push out low-definition, blurry, or grainy videos to the masses. At best, it could cause users to swipe away; at worst, people will close the app.
With most smartphones offering HD video, it’s easier than ever to produce high-resolution videos without a big budget or full production team.
Besides the quality of your content, the platform also rewards editing skills. Experiment with filters, stickers, and transitions to make your videos more interesting and keep people watching (and hopefully rewatching) until the very end.
5. Post New Content When Your Audience Is Most Active
With engagement being such a critical factor in getting onto TikTok’s For You page, posting at the right time can make or break your video’s success.
How do you figure out when your followers are online and ready to engage?
With a free TikTok Pro Account. It’s similar to Instagram Analytics, and you can see:
- Video views over the last 7-28 days
- Profile views
- Follower growth
- Trending videos
- When your followers are online
However, you need a minimum of 100 followers to start seeing data about your audience.
To switch to a TikTok Pro account, do the following:
- Open the TikTok app.
- Tap the “Me” icon at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap the three dots in the top left corner.
- Tap “Manage Account.”
- Tap “Switch to Pro account.”
- Select “Creator” or “Business,” and you’re done!
6. Add Trending Sounds and Music to Your Videos
Think of music and sounds on TikTok like hashtags. You can use trending audio clips to boost your discoverability and get a bump in likes, comments, and views.
How do you find popular sounds to use in your videos?
You’ll need to put on your stealth hat to uncover what’s getting the most traction. Here are three ways to find trending music:
Sounds in the Video Editor
When you’re creating a video, tap the “Sounds” button at the top of the screen. A new page will load, and you’ll see a “Discover” page.
Here, you can view recommended sounds for you to use and a “Playlist” section featuring viral clips, trending sounds, and TikTok music charts. You can also explore the “Trending” page to see what’s currently trending in different categories like “fitness” or “food and drink.”
Scroll through the sounds and add what you like to your Favorites folder to use for later.
Save Sounds to Your Favorites
When you’re swiping through TikTok and come across a sound you want to use for a video, add it to your Favorites folder.
The feature collects your clips in one handy spot, and you don’t need to waste time trying to remember the name of a sound.
If you like a sound and want to save it, tap the sound name under the username. An audio page will load where you can see a list of all the other videos using it and a button to add the clip to your Favorites.
Use Sounds Your Followers Are Listening to on TikTok
Once you’ve switched over to a TikTok Pro account and hit 100 followers, you’ll get access to another juicy analytics feature.
Under the “Followers” tab, you’ll see a list of sounds your followers have watched in the last seven days.
It helps reduce research time and shortlist sounds for your next video.
By following the tips above, you’re not guaranteed a spot on TikTok’s For You page, but it can significantly improve your chances.
Remember, all the hashtags and trending sounds won’t help you in your mission for TikTok For You page stardom if you’re not creating memorable and shareable content for your audience.
How do you plan to use TikTok in your social media strategy?