Achieving TikTok growth is all about following the best practices to optimize your video exposure. In addition to using TikTok analytics to your advantage, you can learn a lot about marketing on TikTok in your space by taking lessons from your top TikTok competitors.
1. Post Frequency and Consistency
TikTok’s algorithm values posting frequently and consistently. Some successful users are adamant about sharing 2-3 videos per day, seven days a week as best practice.
Given that TikTok users spend an average of 52 minutes on the app per day (and rising) according to TikTok analytics, there’s high demand for fresh content.
To figure out your best posting strategy, spend a week monitoring similar TikTok accounts to yours. Figure out how frequently and consistently they post. See if they publish their posts at the same times every day. This will give you valuable insight into how you should structure your content scheduling.
2. The Trends They Hop On
TikTok is all about trends, but not every trend is suited for everyone. Look at the trends that profiles in your space choose to hop on. Are there trends within those trends? In other words, identify whether or not those accounts stick to certain lanes and avoid others.
The trends that you choose affect who your video is exposed to within the first two hours of publishing, so make sure you’re leveraging ones that will bring you engaging visibility. This is especially important for TikTok marketing purposes for creators and businesses.
3. Viral Videos and Biggest Flops
You can learn a lot by looking at which of your competitor’s videos went viral and which just plain flopped. When you start to look at a user’s videos more carefully, you will notice similarities among their most successful and engaging posts. That is specifically due to the way that TikTok processes new videos.
First, it exposes them to smaller test audiences that it thinks will like the video based on the platform’s predictive intelligence. This smaller audience is made-up of people who are most likely to engage with the video’s topic and content type. If it receives good engagement (likes and views) then it will be exposed to a wider audience.
That means that your competitor's most successful videos effectively connected with your target audience. Take notes so that your videos can too.
4. Video Construction and Editing
A big part of looking at the success of videos in your space is breaking down how they are constructed and edited. Do the videos have interesting transitions? Do they use certain effects, or none at all? How long are they on average? (Especially the successful ones.)
You can better learn what your audience likes by taking inventory of the visual elements and video structure that’s most successful in your niche. Remember, TikTok is as much a video editing platform as it is a social media, so the expectations are that publishers produce smartly edited videos.
5. What’s In the Comments?
TikTok users get the benefit of direct feedback from viewers in the comments section of their videos. You can take advantage of other users’ feedback, too, by looking at the top responses on your competitors’ videos.
Take a look and see what topics and content received the most engaging responses and why. What did viewers like about the video? What made them laugh? What shocked them?
6. Hashtag Strategy
It used to be that tagging #fyp was enough to make a video viral. Now it’s more complicated than that, but looking at the hashtag strategy of competitor profiles is a great place to start.
Make a list of the hashtags you see them using over and over again and start using them on your own videos. This strategy will help your videos become associated with those accounts and categorized in the same topic areas.
7. Sound Use, Including Originals
The sound you use in your videos is so important, even if you’re not dancing. The TikTok platform prioritizes sound use over other identifying tags, like hashtags. See what strategy competitive accounts use when it comes to sounds. Do they mostly produce their own original sounds? Do they constantly use the highest trending sounds?
Many users will use a sound in their video and lower its volume so viewers can’t hear it. This gives the video the benefit of exposure associated with trending sounds without actually incorporating the sound. Look for this in other profile’s videos.
8. How They Use Stitches
Stitches have become a strategic and fun way for users to gain engagement. While you can’t tell if a video has been stitched, you can often tell if a video is created with the goal of being stitched by other users.
Mock dialogues, call-and-response videos, and videos that elicit a strong reaction are all strong stitch candidates. Do your competitors post a lot of those types of videos? Maybe you should be too.
9. Additional Social Media Presence
Large follower accounts on any social media platform strategically leverage their success across multiple platforms. The relationship between TikTok and Instagram, for example, has strengthened since Instagram’s release of Reels.
Since then, many successful TikTokers crosspost their TikToks on Instagram to grow a following there as well (as a new feature designed to keep pace with TikTok, Instagram prioritizes Reels content more). Look at how competitors in your space leverage other social media for success.