This is part two in our blog series about the For You feed, where we’re sharing background about content, recommendations, and discovery on TikTok. For more on the For You experience, see our first post in this series.
When you post a video on TikTok, it has the potential to travel to For You feeds far and wide. Every post is your chance to tell a story, share your creativity, and connect with users who share your same interests.
We made the For You feed to help people discover a broad range of content that they are uniquely interested in, and to amplify the voices and creativity within our community by connecting creators with viewers who love their content. We get asked often about how you can make your videos stand out – questions about what to post, when to post, and how you can connect with viewers who love what you share.
In this blog, we'll answer these questions and more, share some best tips and tricks, and bust some myths. While there's more to TikTok than making it big on For You feeds, we know that getting your videos discovered is a big part of what makes it so fun to be a creator. We hope you find these pointers helpful, and we're excited to see what you share – happy creating!
Making videos that stand out
Captivating videos often have lots in common: they tell stories, draw us in, and spark conversation. But what can you do to make your videos stand out from the rest? It often comes down to a few basics:
- Video format: Vertical videos perform best on TikTok, as do videos that are longer than five seconds.
- Video captions: Sometimes a great caption is just as captivating as the content of a video. Use the space in captions to add context and share more about a video.
- Creative effects, voice effects, and sounds: Whether you're freeze-framing, voice-overing, or dueting with a friend, creative effects and video tools can help bring your content to life. You'll find creative effects on the record video page at the bottom-left corner of your screen.
Measuring video performance
A great way to gauge audience interests is to review your video analytics. By switching to a Pro account, you can use our Analytics tool to gain a better understanding of content performance and engagement. Analytics offer an overview and insights on things like your weekly and monthly views, follower growth, and trending videos. So how should you use Analytics, and which metrics matter most?
- Consider the big picture: Lots of factors determine how content is recommended in the For You feed, so no one engagement metric is necessarily more important than another as you survey how your videos are performing. You should make note of high-level trends in your analytics, and broadly how audiences are engaging with your content and account – rather than focusing on a single metric (such as likes or comments) from video to video.
- Measuring performance for new videos: For You feed recommendations generally pull from videos posted within the last 90 days, and newly uploaded videos will generally see a peak in engagement soon after they've been published. If viewers continue to find your video interesting, it will continue to be recommended. Video performance extends over a couple of days, so if you don't immediately see the performance you expect, keep your video up to give it time to generate full performance results.
- Keeping viewers interested: Watch time factors into how a video gets recommended, so capturing viewers' attention early and maintaining it throughout makes for watchable, shareable content. Our recommendation system takes watch time as a signal that users are enjoying your content – keeping this in mind as you create will help you make videos that are deeply engaging from beginning to end and, as a result, positioned for strong performance.
Connecting with the right audiences
As you post videos and track viewer engagement, you'll start to get an idea of the content your audiences love. Once you know what resonates, you can take that as a signal about content that your audience wants more of. Put yourself in the minds of your viewers by considering how they've engaged with your videos in the past and posting videos you think they'd like to see next.
To increase the likelihood that your videos will connect with the right audiences, consider the following:
- Hashtags: Add hashtags to your captions that are relevant to your videos so they're more likely to be found by the right audiences. More hashtags won't guarantee a broader reach, and there's only so much space in your captions, so only add hashtags that best represent what your video is about.
- Music and sounds: From chart-topping music to sounds made for lip-syncs, adding audio to your videos helps them stand out and connects your content with viewers who love the dances and challenges that go with the songs and sounds made popular on TikTok. Whether users save your original sound for their next video and turn it into a trend, or find your content on the Sounds search page as they scroll through results for their favorite tunes, adding sounds helps make your videos more discoverable and shareable.
- Experimenting with content: The amount of videos you post won't impact how your content is recommended in the For You feed, and views vary from video to video. That leaves you free to experiment, get creative, and post different kinds of content to see what resonates.
So... What about #ForYou and #FYP?
We all love finding out that our content has landed in someone else's For You feed, and lots of creators will include hashtags like #FYP in hopes that doing so will push their videos into more feeds. In reality, hashtags like #FYP, #ForYou, and #ForYouPage work just like all other hashtags on TikTok, so adding these to your caption won’t necessarily improve your chances of getting on someone’s For You feed.
Instead, we recommend using the space in your caption to add context to your video along with hashtags that are relevant to your content. You might consider tagging another creator whose content inspired yours or is relatable to yours, or joining in on trending hashtags, which highlight trending topics or video challenges.
Remember: anyone can be a creator
Above all, remember that anyone can be a creator. On TikTok, everybody has the potential to inspire and uplift others, build community and express themselves authentically. Our platform is a space where you're free to share your ideas, start meaningful conversations, and showcase your creativity.
We hope the tips we've shared here empower you to create, share, and express yourself, whether you're already a prolific creator or you're recording your first video today. We're excited to see how you use these tips to continue creating videos that inspire creativity and bring joy to audiences all around the world.