TikTok has come a long way since its origins as a Gen Z cute dancing app.
According to parent company Bytedance, the social media platform recently hit 1 billion monthly active users worldwide.
Not to mention that consumer spending within TikTok has now surpassed $6 billion worldwide. Not bad, not bad at all.
If you’re familiar with the app, you’ve probably heard a lot about the so-called For You Page, and its uncanny ability to consistently show users high-quality, personalized content.
Continue reading for 8 tried-and-tested hacks to get on TikTok’s For You Page (FYP), and learn all there is to know about the app’s enigmatic algorithm and how you can use it to your advantage.
But, before we get into the nitty-gritty details of how to help your content appear there, let’s cover the basics first.
How Does TikTok’s For You Page (FYP) Work?
TikTok is “moreish”.
Ever tried scrolling on it for less than 5 minutes (and succeeded)? It’s IMPOSSIBLE.
This is all thanks to the For You Page.
The For You page, a.k.a. “FYP”, is the first page you see when you open TikTok.
It’s an endless feed of curated videos from creators you likely don’t follow, but TikTok’s algorithm believes you will like.
Now you’re probably thinking: “How are these videos selected”?
The algorithm takes into consideration your past interactions with videos, the accounts and hashtags you follow, your location and language preferences, and the type of content you create (if you create any).
For example, if you consistently engage with videos about SEO tips, you can expect to see a fresh bunch of digital marketing TikToks on your FYP every day.
For creators and businesses, this is marketing gold.
You don’t need thousands of followers for your videos to be featured on the For You page – and if you do get featured, it could lead to huge exposure.
4 Factors That Influence How TikTok’s For You Page (FYP) Serves Content to Users
For years, content creators and marketers (including us!) had been losing sleep trying to figure out the mysterious TikTok FYP mechanism…
TikTok’s team probably got tired of hearing all the inaccurate speculations like the use of #fyp hashtags, and decided to finally reveal how the algorithm works.
In that particular community post, TikTok stated:
“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.”
Let’s quickly break down all the factors that affect what shows up on the For You page:
The more engagement a TikTok video receives, the more likely it will be distributed to a bigger audience. The metrics you’ll need to pay attention to are:
- Video completion rate and re-watches
- Account follows
TikTok is great at breaking down content based on user’s interests, so subject matter is a key factor when it comes to reach potential on the app.
To determine a video’s subject matter, TikTok considers:
- Caption keywords
- Content (i.e. video transcripts)
Device and Account Settings
The algorithm also takes into account users’ device settings when trying to decide who may be interested in a video. These include:
- Posting location
- Language preferences
- Type of device
“Not Interested” Feedback
TikTok’s algorithm is constantly trying to serve high-interest videos to every user, and it uses past activity to determine this:
- Videos you have clicked “Not Interested” on
- Content you skipped through
Note that some elements play a more important role than others, but overall these are the factors TikTok’s recommendation system takes into consideration to serve content to users.
Conclusion? No two FYPs are the same!
Factors That Don’t Determine Whether Your Content Appears on TikTok’s For You Page (FYP)
Luckily, there are some factors TikTok’s algorithm doesn’t consider when recommending videos:
- Your follower count
- Whether any of your past videos have become viral
TikTok rookies, this is exceptionally great news for you! Even with a handful of followers and no uploaded videos, if you make the right moves, you can go from zero to TikTok hero in a blink of an eye.
How to Get on TikTok’s For You Page (FYP)
And now, on to the juicy part.
How can the For You Page algorithm work in your favor? Getting featured on TikTok’s For You Page (FYP) set’s off something like a snowball effect:
- TikTok recommends your content to users who will likely enjoy it.
- People engage with your videos.
- The TikTok algorithm takes this as a positive indication that your content resonates with users and distributes it on even more For You pages. Huzzah!
Ready to get this snowball rolling?
1. Use the Right Hashtags
Just like on Instagram, TikTok hashtags help categorize content and make it easier for users to search for it.
But simply using them is not enough. You also need to make sure they are relevant to your content and niche.
Rumor has it that using #fyp or #ForYou can get your content pushed out to the masses, but it’s exactly that, a rumor. TikTok never once confirmed this, and these hashtags don’t guarantee you going viral. Use them, but don’t rely on them.
Here are 4 TikTok hashtag rules to live by:
- Less is more, don’t use 30+ hashtags #or #hashtag #words… Choose a small number of relevant hashtags.
- Join hashtag challenges.
- Combine popular with less popular hashtags.
- Stay up to date with trending hashtags in your niche.
2. Hook your Audience Straight Away
On a platform like TikTok where users have endless of entertaining videos to choose from, you need to make your content unique and scroll-stopping.
Watching a video until the end is a strong interest indicator, and TikTok typically favors videos that cater to users with an short attention span (i.e. everyone).
In other words, it’s crucial to hook your audience within the first three seconds.
If you ace your hook by making it as intriguing as possible, viewers will most likely watch until the end – or even on repeat.
This type of user engagement essentially tells the algorithm, “Hey, TikTok, look over here! People are loving my video!”, and as a result, it will be shared to more users.
3. Add Trending Sounds and Music to Your Videos
Just like Oreos and milk, SpongeBob and Patrick, Kate and William… TikTok and trending audio is another iconic combo, and boy do these two get on like a house on fire.
Music and sounds on TikTok work in a similar way to hashtags. You can use trending audio to boost your discoverability and get a bump in engagement.
Since TikTok’s algorithm tends to promote videos that include popular sounds, be prepared to jump on trends while they’re still sizzling hot.
Here are the easiest ways to find trending audio:
1. Scroll through your own TikTok FYP to see if there are any repeated songs or audio clips. If you suspect a sound is trending, tap on the audio to see how many times it’s been used and browse top videos that feature it:
Pay attention to the dates on the videos – if a substantial amount of users have used an audio on their most recent videos, that means it’s time for you to jump on the trend too!
2. When creating a video, tap the “Add sound” button at the top of the screen. A new page will load where you can view recommended sounds, and a “Playlists” section featuring viral clips, trending sounds, and TikTok music charts.
4. Post at Peak Times
The math is simple:
Your video + knowing when most of your target audience is online = more reach. Boom. 😎
And the more engagement and views your video receives initially, the higher your chances of getting featured on the For You page.
Unfortunately, there isn’t one universal perfect time to post – it all depends on your audience’s location and scrolling habits.
There is however an easy way to find your own, custom best time to post. Just create (or switch to) a Business Account – you can do this under “Account” in your user settings.
The process takes less than a minute, and you can access all sorts of insights about your audience, including gender/ age demographics, top countries, and when most of your followers are online.
5. Hop on Trends
It’s called “befriend the trend”.
Trends come and go in a blink of an eye on TikTok – and, thanks to their viral nature, they make up some of its most popular content.
It’s not unusual for a random video to suddenly blow up; setting off a widespread trend. Remember, every new trend is an opportunity for you to create relevant, timely content that shows off how culturally connected with TikTok’s audience you are.
But how do you learn about current trends on time? It’s simple, just use the app!
While at it, ask yourself these questions:
- Why did this video get 5 million hits?
- What’s this catchy tune I keep hearing?
- How many people are recreating the same idea?
Ryanair does a great job of incorporating trends into their branded content:
Common Ryanair admin W.
6. Produce High-Quality Video Content
Still posting videos that look like they’ve been filmed with a Nokia 7650? Stop that right now.
Let’s face it, TikTok isn’t going to promote low-resolution, grainy videos to its main feed. Best case scenario, users will continue swiping. Worst case scenario, they will close the app.
A high-quality video is more likely to attract eyes on your content, which means higher view count and completion rates. And if you were paying attention to everything we’ve said up until now, then you know this combination is *chef’s kiss*.
Nowadays, most smartphones offer HD video, so it’s easier than ever to capture high-res videos without spending a fortune on production.
Apart from quality, the platform also rewards editing skills. Play around with effects and transitions to give your videos a more exciting edge and hopefully keep people watching, and rewatching until the end. InShot and CapCut are two great free apps that are user-friendly and offer pretty advanced editing features.
Some extra tips:
- Use a stabilization device like a tripod to minimize shaking and make sure your videos look smooth and steady.
- Always keep in mind TikTok’s recommended video dimensions, which are 1080×1920 with a 9:16 aspect ratio.
- Ensure good lighting. Natural light always works like a charm, but if you’re based in the UK like us and need to use artificial light, make sure it’s bright without creating harsh shadows. 😅
7. Experiment With Video Length
TikTok has been slowly upping video limits over the last few years. From 15 seconds to one minute, then three, and now it has extended its video length to 10 minutes.
While this does create more room for creativity and storytelling, 10 minutes can feel like a drag – especially on a platform where short is key.
Generally, the less time someone needs to spend to watch your video, the more likely they’ll actually watch the full thing. Aiming for snappy 15-30 seconds is a great starting point.
And as your video completion rate rises, so do your chances of finally landing the spot on TikTok’s FYP you’ve been longing for since forever.
Still, you can experiment with long-form videos, just make sure to keep track of how they affect your views, engagement, and follower count, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
8. Create Engaging Captions
Now that TikTok allows up to 2,200 characters in your captions, you can get as detailed as you’d like. But keep in mind that you’re dealing with viewers with short attention spans, so spilling your guts in a microblogging session won’t be necessary.
Instead, you need to focus on writing captions that urge viewers to engage with your content.
The ideal TikTok caption should:
- Be concise and to the point
- Include related hashtags
- Encourage engagement
How do you do this?
You could spark people’s curiosity by using phrases like “this took me X attempts to get right”, or “wait until the end.” This encourages viewers to stick around and watch the entire video.
One more great tactic is to ask questions. Getting people to watch and reply to your videos can (and will) send all the right signals to TikTok’s algorithm.
Don’t forget to optimize your captions for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This means including keywords in your video descriptions so that people looking for content like yours are more likely to find it.
Now’s the time to start learning all you can about SEO on TikTok, starting with this video 👇
The truth is, there’s no surefire way to “hack” TikTok’s For You page (FYP).
However, understanding how the platform works and following the tips we’ve shared can help you fine-tune your strategy and increase your chances of being seen in 2023.
Since TikTok’s For You Page (FYP) prioritises quality over follower count, ANY brand, big or small, has equal chances of seeing their content promoted to a whole new audience and achieving a viral video, all without spending a dime on ads.
All that’s left to do now is start creating! ✌️