TikTok recently reached 1 billion global monthly active users. And while it’s not (yet) as big as Facebook or Instagram, some demographics already choose it on most social networks out there.
No wonder so many brands are trying to have a presence on the platform – but not all of them do it right. So, before you create an account and try to understand the platform’s many niche trends, read this guide to learn how to get on TikTok’s For You page. Because if your content isn’t being seen by the intended audience, why bother doing it?
What is the For You page on TikTok?
The TikTok For You page is a personalized scrollable content feed. It is the platform’s main content discovery tool, known for its fine-tuned algorithm that generates accurate recommendations based on each user’s actions on TikTok (for example, what they like, share, view multiple times, etc.).
The For You page serves as the home screen of the application; This means that it is the first thing users see when they open the TikTok app.
No two For You pages are the same – every TikTok user gets a unique, personalized video stream.
Why is it so important to enter the TikTok For You page?
The TikTok For You page, the home screen of the app, is where most of the content discovery on the platform happens. In simple terms, the For You page is where people watch and interact with TikToks.
So, if you don’t show up on your target audience’s For You pages, the chances of them finding (and engaging with) your content are pretty low.
Technically, there are other ways people discover content on TikTok. Users can go to the Explore tab to search for your profile and watch your TikTok there. Or they can follow your account and watch your TikToks in the feed below:
But the For You page and TikTok’s eerily accurate content recommendations are what make using the platform so fun. In TikTok’s words, the For You page is “the hub of the TikTok experience and where most users spend their time.” So it’s not hard to say that no other discovery channel within the app can get your TikTok in front of as many people as the For You page.
How does the TikTok For You page algorithm work?
TikTok’s algorithm (aka the recommendation system) recommends content based on users’ actions, preferences, and account settings.
Factors that affect what appears on the For You page include:
- Actions each user takes in the app. This includes likes, shares, comments and follows. TikTok users can also opt out of viewing certain types of videos or content from certain creators by tapping the “I’m not interested” option on TikTok they don’t like.
- video information. For You page recommendations may be based on audio, hashtags, and captions featured in TikTok videos.
- Device and account settings. Language preferences and country settings are also signals for the For You page algorithm, meaning users can expect to see some local content on the For You page.
Here is the page algorithm for you do not do When recommending videos, consider:
- number of followers
- High-performance content history
Great news for beginners! If you play your cards right, you can go from zero (follower) to TikTok hero overnight.
And how can the For You page algorithm work for you? Basically, entering the For You page triggers some sort of snowball effect:
- Your content is recommended to users who are likely to enjoy it.
- Users like, share or comment on your TikTok.
- The TikTok algorithm does this by taking a signal that your content is resonating with people and showing it on even more pages for You.
So how do you get this snowball to roll?
How to enter the TikTok For You page?
1. Know your audience
Because the For You page is a collection of content TikTok believes users will enjoy… You need to understand who your target audience is and what they enjoy to reach them.
Check your TikTok analytics for details on your audience’s gender and location. 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. Take some time to see what’s trending and take a close look at what your competitors (or other businesses in your niche) are doing on the platform.
Use your findings as inspiration. You may encounter unexpected but very successful content strategies.
Take a look at this example from Burger King. The video makes no explicit mention of the brand and is far from publicity (in the traditional sense), but it generated over 4,000 likes and hundreds of shares and comments. Secret? Burger King is getting its audience.
@burgerkingin love and burgers, the king always wins #babe #burgerking♬ original sound – Tra Rags
2. Publish at the right time
Most of the videos on the For You page are not older than a few days. So, for best results, you’ll want to post on TikTok at the right time, when your audience is already online and browsing.
According to our research, the best times to post on TikTok (Pacific time) for maximum engagement are:
- Tuesday: 7 AM
- Thursday: 10:00
- Friday: 5 AM
But a lot depends on the activity patterns of your unique audience. Take these times as a starting point and keep a close eye on your analytics to prepare your TikTok for success.
Find out exactly how to find your own special best time to post on TikTok in this 4-minute video:
3. Use trending sounds
Sounds are a ranking signal for the TikTok algorithm. Therefore, using trending audio clips can increase your chances of appearing on more pages for For You.
If you’re not sure which sounds are trending, check out the Discovery tab or take some time to scroll through your own For You page. When you come across a video with an audio you like, tap the audio icon in the lower right corner. This will take you to the audio page where you can see how many times the audio has been used and browse the top videos featuring it.
Makeup brand Glossier does a great job adding trending voices to their branded ingredients:
Some days at @glossierGlossier HQ consist of ordering a last-minute cake for an Instagram story. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRIGHT!!!!! 7️⃣🎂 #glossier #bts♬ kim kardashian is a full time job – kardashianicon
4. React to trending videos
Sometimes, a random video pops up on TikTok, starting a widespread trend. And every new trend is a unique opportunity for brands to create timely, relevant content that demonstrates how culturally connected they are to TikTok’s audience. Not to mention that overlaying trending content can help you land on the For You pages of users who have invested in it.
In September and October of 2021, many businesses posted reactions to the “Couch Guy” video.
Here’s the Empire State Building’s reaction:
@empirestatebldgI it might be a building but I’m not blind. #couchguy is hush 👀 #empirestatebuidling #nyc♬ original audio – Empire State Building
And here’s a parody of the memorabilia at Ryanair:
@ryanairPilot the man was speechless 🥰 #couchguy♬ still falling in love with you – audiobear
(Too niche? Catch the “Couch Guy” saga here.)
5. Work with creators
Working with influencers can help you reach new audiences across all social platforms. It can also take you to the For You page on TikTok.
If you decide to partner with established creators, be sure to let them be themselves. In most cases, TikTok creators understand the platform’s trends, pranks, and no-nos better than brands, so it’s probably in your best interest to forego creative direction.
A great way to get started with influencer marketing on the platform is to find creators who have already shared about your brand. Work with them to create unique content like Chipotle does:
@chipotleHa who are the rest? (via @keo.hogains) #chipotle #comedy #trending #relatable #viral #fyp♬ NOTHING – Westover
6. Know how to increase engagement
If the TikTok algorithm sees that your video gets a lot of likes, comments, and shares, it will recommend it to more viewers.
A smart way to increase engagement is to add a hook to your video that will make your viewers want more. (I’m asking literally. In the comments.)
You can also embed minor inconsistencies in your videos, letting users have fun finding them and pointing them out in the comment section – you guessed it.
Check out this creator’s TikTok about a Forbes article about Netflix’s trending “Squid Game” show. In the video, @crawlita talks about how the article makes three points about the show, but then discusses only one of them. In the comment section, viewers asked the creator to share their thoughts on the other two points.
7. Use the right hashtags
Just like sounds, hashtags fall under the “video info” category of TikTok ranking signals. This means that in theory adding the right hashtags to your video can help you appear on more pages for For You.
As you scroll through the For You feed, you may notice that many videos contain the same hashtags: #fyp, #foryou or #fypシ.
#fyp hashtag alone 15.411.7 billion opinions (yes, you read that right).
Will these hashtags really take you to the For You page? In our experience, they certainly don’t guarantee going viral – but they might be worth a try!