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How to Grow Followers on TikTok: Best Practices and Tools

19 min read

If you’re looking for new ways to promote your business, you may have heard about TikTok, the world’s fastest-growing social media platform. TikTok is very popular for a reason: it not only offers many opportunities to get involved with your audience, but enables users to discover new content and brands.

If the app is installed on your phone, you are probably well aware of TikTok’s powers of virality. So why not use it for promoting your business? In this article, we’ll share some proven ways to grow followers on TikTok. The more people know about your business, the higher your chances to see your products tagged with #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.

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Explore Your Niche on TikTok

Authenticity is key on TikTok. Businesses of all sizes can succeed on the platform if they have a clear sense of who their audience is and what makes them unique in comparison to similar brands. By sharing content that aligns closely with their message, businesses can create quite the following on TikTok.

That’s why step zero is to have an understanding of your target audience. You can do that by either creating customer profiles or using social media to identify your target audience.

Can you guess what step one is? Hint: it’s not shooting a video. Before you actually do that, you need to dive into your niche on TikTok, meaning you have to see what creators and viewers in your industry discuss, share, and joke about on TikTok.

For example, if you sell knitting supplies, explore #knittok. Are you a teacher? #edutok is the place you’re looking for.

Search for your niche on the Discover page and explore related videos, hashtags, sounds, and users

Search videos in your niche by looking up related hashtags and see what other creators in your industry are doing. Check out the most popular videos in that industry to see what topics get the most views. If you really want to get into it, you should go through comments to find out what potential customers discuss or ask questions about.

This research will give you a much better understanding of what your target audience likes to watch on TikTok, which will give you great ideas for your future videos.

Create TikTok-Specific Content

The number one mistake people new to TikTok make is posting the same content they publish on other platforms. Repurposing existing content is totally fine, but you shouldn’t just replicate it. TikTok content has its own flair–that’s what keeps users glued to the app for hours.

For that reason, it is vital to adapt your content for TikTok. Begin with shorter videos, up to a minute, so it’s easier for you to get the attention of viewers. Use trending songs and audios when applicable (more on that later). Even as you gain popularity, try to stick to shorter videos, preferably less than three minutes, that are entertaining or educational in nature.

The more time you spend researching TikToks in your niche and testing different video formats, the easier it will be for you to create content that is authentic to the platform. The more attuned to TikTok your videos, the more people will watch your videos. To find creative inspiration and see what’s trending, check out TikTok’s Creative Center.

For example, Isabel Kanaan shares acting tips on her TikTok page. To engage her audience, she reads her followers’ comments as a reading exercise.

@isabelkanaan Reply to @channie100397 Comment what you want me to say next! ❤️ #acting #actor #HaventSeen ♬ Almost Idyllic — Sleeping At Last

Pay Attention to Your Video Quality

TikTok is well-known for its For You feed, which t delivers personalized content to each user. These videos are the most likely to interest particular users.

In order to reach new followers, it’s important to make it clear what your video is about. This is hard to do when a clip is grainy and shot in bad lighting. So shoot your videos with a quality phone camera and ensure good lighting. You don’t want your videos to get lost in the masses!

Use Trending Songs in Your Videos

When a new trending song or audio gets viral on TikTok, it spurs a chain reaction. The platform encourages people to use popular audio, so if you want to get more views on your content, don’t ignore popular songs or audios.

How do you know what song is trending? It is actually pretty simple! When you make your video, the app will show you suggested songs to use. The only thing left is to choose the one that fits your video.

Keep in mind that if you have a business account, you can use only previously licensed songs. Brands can use user-generated sounds with permission or access royalty-free music through the Commercial Music Library. You can find songs approved by Commercial Music Library based on trends via the Trend Discovery tool.

Add Trending Hashtags to Video Captions

Hashtags help make your videos more discoverable, so make a rule of adding a couple of industry-related hashtags to your video captions.

Just like with songs, the app will help you and suggest possible tags to include. When writing a caption, start typing your hashtags, or just hit the # and suggestions will pop up.

Along with general (and the most frequently used) hashtags, add a couple of more specific hashtags. They might not be as popular, but they do help users find more content on specific topics. This increases your chances of being noticed by your target audience.

Get Creative with the Trends

​TikTok trends are one of the staples of the platform. A trend is a popular type of video that can be recreated by other users. For example, a TikTok trend can be a sound, hashtag, or challenge.

One of the most common pieces of advice for growing your TikTok following is to jump on trends. While creating content that follows current trends is a good tactic, don’t forget that being authentic is key.

Not all trends will fit your niche, industry, or your brand image–and that’s totally fine. Don’t hop on every trend you see for the sake of following the crowd. But if you see a trend that is perfect for making a video relatable to your audience, definitely go for it.

Another piece of advice is to use an unexpected twist in your trend videos. For example, Duolingo is known on TikTok for comedy videos with their mascot. Recently they jumped on the trend about “going on a stupid walk for my stupid mental health”, but made it about their mascot.

@duolingo CAN YOU GUYS JUST LIKE THIS SO I CAN GO HOME EARLY #Duolingo #comedy #trend #DuaLipa #workplace #milennials #gamergoals ♬ оригинальный звук — _malifisenta007_

To find emerging trends, head over to the Discover page to see what hashtags and sound clips are hot at the moment. For a more advanced search, check out the tools for trend discovery at the end of this article.

Post at the Right Time

Posting at times when more users are on the app can help your videos get more views quicker. TikTok luckily tells you when your audience is active, one of the best features of the app.

To see when your audience is the most active, head to your profile, tap the three dots, choose “Creator tools,” and select “Analytics.” Find the “Followers” tab and scroll down to find Follower activity. Look at what days and times your followers are most active and publish your videos just before the most popular time.

To grow followers on TikTok, you need to share fresh and diverse content regularly. Post 1-4 times per day to test how different types of content are received and adjust your content plan.

Don’t Delete Your TikTok Videos

Sometimes when you see your video flop, it’s tempting to delete it for good, so it doesn’t cast a shadow on your more successful TikToks. Even though all of us want to come off as popular creators, give your content a second chance if it doesn’t perform as well as you expected.

You can easily get more views on your videos even if they were published weeks ago. Videos “live” longer on TikTok than, say, tweets or posts on Facebook. If your video was uploaded a couple of weeks ago but it’s relevant to a user, the app will likely show it to them.

Fill in Your Bio

Just like with any social platform, it’s important to make your TikTok profile look approachable and fun. A well set up profile will encourage your video viewers to tap over and follow you. Write a short and sweet bio caption, and don’t hesitate to add a link to your website for those who want to learn more about you.

A pro tip to make your profile photo stand out: use a short video instead (here’s how to do that). Why, you might ask? The answer lies in human nature: people are more likely to pay attention when they notice something moving, especially where they don’t expect movement.

Experiment with New Tools

TikTok regularly rolls out new tools for content creation and collaboration. Some examples are filters, tools for dueting, and stitching videos of other users.

Be the first to try new tools, filters, or masks on the app as it helps to engage your audience. The more people interact with your videos, the more likely they are to share them with their friends which helps to get more views on your videos.

Collaborate with other TikTok Creators

Collaborating with other TikTok creators can be a great way to get the word out about your profile and your business. However, just like with content, make your collaborations TikTok-specific.

Find popular creators that are relevant to your business and suggest a collaboration. Instead of Instagram-like stories with unboxing, try creating a video that fits the creator’s regular content and spotlights your TikTok profile or business. Make sure they tag you in the video caption.

For example, Kris Collins (@KallMeKris), is known on TikTok for her comedy sketches about a mom with a toddler. Vessi makes an appearance in some of her videos, and it’s done smoothly without any hard sell. While entertaining viewers, the content creator introduces users to that brand, without sacrificing her signature style.

@kallmekris “What I imagine it’s like to have a toddler pt couldn’t tell you ( @vessi edition ) #nomorewetsocks #ad #mom #kids #fyp ♬ original sound — Kris HC

To collaborate with creators based on your industry and business goals, check out TikTok Creator Marketplace.

Engage with Your Audience

Communities are a big part of TikTok, so don’t hesitate to engage with your target audience. If you want to grow followers on TikTok, one of the ways to do so is to interact with other videos in your niche.

Find a video relevant to your brand? Comment, stitch, or duet it to develop other people’s ideas or share your opinion on the topic.

Finish Your Videos with CTAs

People on TikTok are used to being presented with a stream of curated content even if they don’t follow a lot of profiles. It won’t hurt to remind them that if they liked your TikTok video, they can follow you with a single click.

Add a clear call to action (CTA) at the end of your videos. You can either add a short text, a voiceover, or a clip inviting viewers to follow your profile.

Educate and Entertain

The best TikTok content for brands is both educational and entertaining. People install the app to have fun and they don’t mind learning something new if it’s presented in an engaging form.

Think about what you can teach your target audience. Say, you sell jewelry and hair accessories. Why not share a couple of tricks for matching necklaces with different outfits? Or crack a joke about hair pins that always go missing? The best way to use TikTok is to find a fun way to represent your brand that not only amuses your followers, but inspires them to buy your product.

Measure Your Video Performance

You won’t be able to create content relevant to your audience if you don’t understand which videos they engage with the most. Luckily, TikTok provides businesses with extended analytics of their video performance. A few of these analytics are:

  • Overview: your video views, profile views, and followers count.
  • Content: total video posts, trending videos, and individual post analytics.
  • Followers: total followers, their gender, top territories, followers activities.
  • LIVE: live video views and followers insights.

To view your video analytics, open the TikTok app on mobile and click the three dots in the top right corner. Find the analytics tab and tap to find all metrics and stats:

Boost Your Best Performing TikToks

Keeping track of your video performance not only helps to create more videos that your audience likes, but also allows you to identify which content is perfect for paid promotion.

One option is to use Spark Ads, which are focused on leveraging organic posts and their features. Simply put, this format allows you to turn your existing videos into ads. You can also add a call-to-action button to your Spark Ads:

Let’s pretend you hopped on a recent trend and your video blew up. Yay, that means your target audience loved it! Why not make the most of this video by promoting your business? Boost it with Spark Ads to show it to more people and grow your followers on TikTok.

If you sell online with Ecwid, you can connect your online store to TikTok and feature your products in your ads. Ecwid provides you with a light version of TikTok Ads Manager that you can reach right from your Ecwid admin. It is a simplified experience for creating an ad campaign in no time. Perfect for beginners!

Don’t Stress It

Last but not least: don’t focus so much on your follower count. Sounds counterintuitive? Hear us out.

TikTok is not like other platforms. Sure, the more followers you have, the more likely your videos will get viewed by people. However, TikTok users don’t need to follow you to see your content in their feeds.

The best thing you can do if you want to grow your followers on TikTok organically (without paid promotion) is to focus on your content. Experiment with effects, sounds, trends, and topics. Keep up with your community on TikTok and create videos relevant to their interests.

Most importantly, have fun! Not every video will contribute to a result, and that’s totally fine. Be consistent with posting and try different tools and formats. Soon, you’ll find the voice and tone that will resonate with your audience.

Tools for Growing Your Brand on TikTok

Growing your brand on a new platform might be tricky, but we’ve got a couple of cards up our sleeve to help you out. Here are tools and resources to planning and creating your TikTok videos, and more:

  • Trend Discovery: Use this tool to identify new TikTok trends and popular hashtags.
  • Creative Insight: These insights help you create the best performing TikTok ads, but some of them might be applied to organic videos too (such as optimal video duration and ways to get more impressions.)
  • TikTok Tutorials: These short tutorials explain some of TikTok’s most popular creative techniques.
  • TikTok Advertising: This tool will help you turn your TikTok followers into customers by running smart ad campaigns.

Start Growing Your TikTok Page

Let’s face it: you can’t ignore TikTok anymore. This platform grows every day, and it’s the perfect place for a small business owner to find innovative ways to reach more customers. So don’t miss out on a huge opportunity! Use the tips above to grow your following on TikTok.

Don’t overthink it—start with a couple of short, educational and entertaining videos. If it’s hard to generate ideas off the bat, this article will give you 12 ideas for TikTok videos that fit almost any small business.

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About the author

Anastasia Prokofieva is a content writer at Ecwid. She writes about online marketing and promotion to make entrepreneurs’ daily routine easier and more rewarding. She also has a soft spot for cats, chocolate, and making kombucha at home.

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