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The Tik Tok Algorithm: Your 2022 Guide to the Latest Social Media Phenomenon


What is TikTok?

For starters, we’re not talking about Ke$ha’s 2009 hit single. TikTok is a short-form video platform. The app comes with a wide variety of sounds, songs, and filters to be used while creating content. Users can post videos ranging from dances, challenges, shopping hauls, and more.

Okay cool, but why do I need to know about this?

TikTok is the fast-growing app out there right now. Recently, they reached over 1 billion monthly users on the platform. TikTok has caused short-form videos to gain traction and is not slowing down any time soon. Although TikTok is most popular with Gen Z, it should not be written off as a teen app.

Data courtesy of Statista

TikTok is the perfect place to consider taking your marketing strategy. Let’s get into how breaking down its crazy algorithm and how it can work for you:

What is the TikTok algorithm?

The TikTok algorithm is the app’s system of recommending what videos appear on your For You Page. (Or as the kids call it, the FYP.)

The For You Page is the first thing you see when you open the app. It’s a feed of videos provided by the app based on your interests. The algorithm makes it simple to find content that intrigues you. Over time, the FYP will change based on how you interact with videos. The feed is one of the more defining features of the platform, especially since not one FYP is the same.

How does it work?

TikTok spilled the beans about their algorithm magic. But what does it mean? Here’s what to goes into TikTok’s plan of keeping us scrolling for hours:

1. User Interactions

Similar to Instagram, TikTok takes a look at your interactions to make recommendations on the FYP. They want to know what you like and dislike.

The For You page is based on:

  • What videos you choose to like or share
  • Comments you have posted
  • Videos you mark as “Not interested”
  • Accounts you follow
  • Time spent watching a video before scrolling (Watching to the end shows interest!)
  • Videos you’ve created

User interactions hold the heaviest weight in the FYP algorithm.


2. Video Content

Even though user interaction is the biggest signal for the algorithm, what’s in the video also plays a role. This includes:

  • Length of the video
  • What’s written in the caption
  • Trending sounds (Ever heard of Berries and Cream?)
  • #Hashtags

Watching a video with a specific hashtag or sound is likely to show up again on your FYP.


3. Device Settings

At the beginning of your TikTok journey, you’ll set settings and preferences. The algorithm will take a look at:

  • Language
  • Type of device
  • Country Setting
  • Categories of interest selected

These do not have as much of an influence on the FYP compared to content and user interaction.

Now that you know the FYP… how should you use it?

The beautiful thing about TikTok is that ANYONE can go viral, no matter how many followers. Here are some tips on how to implement TikTok into your marketing strategy:

1. Keep up with trends.

We’re not saying you have to go as far as trying the Crate Challenge. (Or try it if you want, don’t hold us responsible, though.) Use trending sounds and spin your brand into it.

Check out this TikTok by Scrub Daddy:

2. Post consistently.

The great part about TikTok is that you can get away with posting more than once a day. You won’t get downranked like on other social apps. Keep with a consistent schedule and you’ll be set!

3. Keep it short.

You only have a few seconds to catch the attention of your audience. Keeping videos short and exciting will draw them in longer. Don’t forget about the algorithm taking video completion rates into consideration!

4. Don’t delete the flops.

Your videos that perform weaker than others are not dragging you down in the algorithm. There’s a longer shelf life on TikTok than on other social platforms. A video you posted a month ago still has a chance to get views.



If you’re looking for something new to try within your marketing strategy, TikTok could be the direction to go! The great thing about TikTok is that there’s not a specific formula to go viral. Be creative, have fun, and go with the flow.

Not sure if TikTok is the right fit for your brand. We’re happy to help you figure it out!
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Author Info

Hello hello! My name is Renee Rude and I am the Content Specialist here at Systemax. I work closely with the team to facilitate content creation for clients that align with their overall marketing plan and business objectives. From social media to copywriting to graphic design, I’m here to help clients reach their goals! Outside of the office, you can find me working out or trying to plot when I’m going to the Jonas Brothers next on tour. (I’ve been a fan since I was 8 years old and am proud of it😉)