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How to attract more than 10 million TikTok followers in 5 months?
Imagine going from zero followers to 10,000,000+ followers in less than five months. I have watched somebody do exactly that.
My brother is already reaping the benefits of fame: People stop him in the street for photos and he’s been offered thousands of dollars to promote brands and befriend celebrities.
In less than 150 days, he went from being a high school sophomore to earning more than a Harvard MBA and working with his idols like boxer Ryan Garcia. In time, he also leveraged his following to score more than 100,000,000 views for direct-to-consumer brands like FashionNova and NUGGS.
How did he do it? And how would he advise you?
Consumer startups can apply these same strategies, tactics and ideas to grow quickly on TikTok, which is not nearly as saturated as Instagram and offers faster growth rates.
Let’s dive right into the principles he used to grow (that you can use too).
Do what works
Gaining millions of followers on social media is really hard for people and brands. It’s time-consuming, it requires sacrifice and it sucks in the beginning.
How to Get More Followers on TikTok ?
With the popularity of the viral video app skyrocketing, now’s the time to get more followers on TikTok!
From leveling up your posting schedule to taking part in challenges, and optimizing your hashtags, the creative ways to gain followers and build a TikTok community are endless.
We’re sharing 12 top strategies to get more followers on TikTok — without any shady tactics!
How to Get More Followers on TikTok:
There are over 800 million monthly active TikTok users worldwide — so it’s safe to say there are enough people out there to grow your following on the platform.
But getting more followers on TikTok isn’t just a case of setting up a profile.
TikTok is centered around the For You page — TikTok’s equivalent of the Explore Page on Instagram.
Instead of users scrolling through a news feed, TikTok curates a For You page — an endless stream of personalized content for each user.
The For You page is filled with recommendations based on how users interact with other videos on TikTok.
Think of the For You page as a mix of already viral content and what TikTok thinks you’ll like based on your previous app activity. So with no two For You pages the same, there’s the opportunity for every brand to get in front of the right audience.
That means that TikTok has a fairly level playing field when it comes to achieving viral status on the app. Unlike Instagram or YouTube, even accounts with zero followers can get millions of views on a new video. Content really is king on TikTok.
For example, Later’s Head of Content Marketing Taylor Loren has over 3M views on her TikTok candle tutorial video. At the time of posting, she had less than 50 followers on the app, and has since grown to 20K followers in just 4 months.
@taylortoksthe secret hack to having your ##candles melt flat every time! ##lifehack ##foryou♬ original sound – taylortoks
With this in mind, you really need to commit to a TikTok strategy and be brave enough to experiment with this new form of video to reap the rewards.
Before we get to tactics, there are a few things brands and businesses should know about TikTok to help define the best strategy for growing your TikTok community.
#1: TikTok Has Majority Gen Z Users (But That’s Changing!)
For many, the first thing that comes to mind when we say “TikTok” is lip-syncing teenagers and dance challenges. But don’t be fooled!
Brands like The Washington Post, Aerie, and Gucci have all joined the ranks of TikTok and have gained millions of followers — and not from only lip-syncing and dancing!
While much of their audience will be Gen Zers (with 41% of TikTok users being 16-24), that’s not to say their audience isn’t loyal.
@washingtonpostLookin good, everyone ##newspaper ##dogdad ##focused ##icandoit♬ human – Christina Perri
As of next year, 74 million people in the U.S. will classed as Gen Z, so building brand awareness and affinity where they are most active is important, especially since they are the next generation of consumers and advocates.
Think of it as putting in the groundwork early — if you can resonate with younger demographics now on a platform that they enjoy using, you can look forward to them being loyal followers for years to come.
@gucciFollow the Gucci moves💃🕺🏼♬ original sound – gucci
But, the TikTok audience is changing and is continuing to grow in popularity. So even if your target audience isn’t under the age of 24, it’s worth keeping in mind that TikTok is showing no sign of slowing down.
So now’s the time to build up your profile so you’re ready for when everyone (and we mean everyone!) is on TikTok!
#2: More Followers Doesn’t Equal More Sales
For brands on social media, growing your following usually comes with the promise of better sales opportunities or clicks through to your website.
But on TikTok, your goal (for now) should be to have a great brand affinity and to provide a space where your followers enjoy engaging with your content.
At the moment, opportunities to drive traffic to your website is limited on TikTok — there are no clickable links in video captions.
Similarly, only select users can currently add a link to their TikTok bio, but chances are this will be rolled out more widely in the coming months.
So growing your TikTok following isn’t a fast track way to make more sales. But it is a way to build up a community that loves and supports your brand.
Take Fenty Beauty for example, Fenty was one of the first brands on the app to create their own “Creator House”: The Fenty Beauty House.
@fentybeautyHow the ##FENTYBEAUTYHOUSE does a Girl’s Night In 😛🥳 ##happyathome @emmycombss @challxn @savpalacio @makayladid @thedawndishsoap♬ My Heart Went Oops – Tiagz
Here, influencers and content creators came together to share TikTok videos about their life in the house, their beauty hacks, and of course, showcase the Fenty beauty line.
So rather than using TikTok to make sales, Fenty founder Rihanna used it to support the creators who were already loyal fans of the brand and built a TikTok community around them.
Whether you’re just starting out in the world of TikTok or you’re looking to fire-up your TikTok game and build a new strategy, we have you covered with our 12 top tips to grow your following.
Tip #1 to Get Followers on TikTok: Identify Your Target Audience
As we mentioned, the more TikTok users who view your videos, the more likely you’ll end up on the For You page, ultimately gaining you more followers.
There is a wide range of content (and users) on TikTok — meaning there really is room for everyone! Whether you’re a gamer and love Animal Crossing or you’re a fan of satisfying soap cutting videos — there are videos for you.
But, it’s important to understand you can’t cater (or reach) everyone, which is why it’s a good idea to hone in on one clear and defined target audience. While TikTok is different from other platforms, it’s still crucial to understand who you’re making videos for.
Gen Zers do make up a large population of the TikTok audience, but don’t let that put you off!
Think about what type of content your audience likes and dislikes. If you’re just starting out, it doesn’t hurt to ask your followers on Instagram Stories. Maybe share a question or poll sticker, asking them what kind of TikTok content they engage in and what they’d like to see from you. You may be surprised by what they say!
Also, look at your competition (if any!) and see what they are doing in the space.
Take Jera Foster-Fell, with the handle Jera.bean on TikTok, for example.
She’s a social media marketer who uses TikTok to educate her followers. She mainly offers content tips, pose tricks, and TikTok hacks (with some fun trends and dances thrown in the mix).
She found a niche audience of new TikTok users, marketing professionals, and people who want to up their content game! And so far it’s working for her — she has over 300K followers (and counting!).
TIP: You can discover more about your followers by switching your TikTok account to a Pro account, where you’ll have access to high-level analytics about your content and audience!
Tip #2 to Get Followers on TikTok: Hit TikTok Trends at The Right Time
TikTok created its own genre of video content — by allowing users to combine sound clips and music with their own original video content, viral trends pop up overnight!
That’s why you’ll often see multiple variations of the same video — just with different takes on the song or concept.
For example, Kate McKinnon and Elizabeth Warren did the ‘Flip the Switch’ challenge on Saturday Night Live — a trend that’s been alive for a while but hadn’t picked up full-viral status.
@nbcsnl𝗙𝗹𝗶𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗰𝗵.♬ Nonstop – Drake
This video is SNL’s most successful TikTok video to date – another proof point for why it is so important for your brand to have your finger on the pulse of current TikTok trends.
Want to find the original sound that kicked off the trend? Just click on the song as it plays on the clip. It shows content using that sound-byte, including which profile used it first.
If you want to hop on a trend and you’ve got something creative and fun to offer to stand out for the crowd, you’ll definitely see more TikTok followers on your profile.
Tip #3 to Get Followers on TikTok: Create Your Own Trend or Challenge
If the current trends don’t seem to fit your brand’s messaging (we get it, a lot of them feel like an inside joke), another way to grow your following is to create your own trend or dance.
Famous performers like Jennifer Lopez are using TikTok to create “challenges” where fans recreate a dance and upload it to the platform.
@jloThe ##JLoTikTokChallenge is on! This week show us what you’ve got and dance to ##QueCalor / ##LoveDontCostAThing from my Halftime Show performance!♬ original sound – jlo
But brands are getting in on the action too! Chipotle is a good example of getting more followers by creating their own challenges that are easily accessible to everyone.
The #ChipotleLidFlip challenge currently has over 300M views and their #GuacDance challenge has over 1 billion views — which proves that a fun challenge could be one of the best tactics to grow your following.
@chipotleImagine actually saving your bowl for later ##putafingerdown ##chipotle ##fyp♬ original sound – chipotle
TIP: Follow in Chipotle’s steps and make a challenge that’s easy enough to execute so it’s fully inclusive and not totally out of reach.
Tip #4 to Get Followers on TikTok: Use the Right Hashtags
Hashtags act the same way on TikTok as they do on other platforms, like Instagram — for discoverability.
There’s no clear-cut guide to which hashtags are the most effective on this platform, but you can use a combination of content-specific hashtags, and general hashtags related to the platform, so your content is discoverable to help you get more TikTok followers.
For example, if your TikTok is a fun video of your café staff at work, you could use general hashtags like #barista #coffee along with specific hashtags like #ForYou or #fyp to try to get a coveted spot on the For You page.
Remember that these larger, more general hashtags can be saturated, making your content even harder to find. So it’s worth considering adding more unique and niche hashtags like #CoffeeCornerVancouver.
Just like Instagram, a bit of hashtag research can go a long way to getting more eyes on your posts.
Tip #5 to Get Followers on TikTok: Post Original Content Often — and Don’t be Afraid to Get Creative!
Getting creative with TikTok’s editing features and creating your own content on a regular basis, will definitely increase your chances of getting more TikTok followers.
Like most social platforms, the TikTok algorithm rewards posts that have a lot of engagement and interaction, so the more you post, the better your chances will be of getting seen by the platform’s huge audience.
The editing features within TikTok make it easy to create entertaining content, but what you post, and how often, will be determined with experimentation.
Don’t be disheartened if some videos get thousands of likes overnight, while others flop and barely get any engagement. That’s quite normal for TikTok.
Once you find a format that works for your brand, try to replicate or find a new iteration that will work again and again!
For example, fashion influencer Alexandria Pereira regularly uses her “7 days, 7 ways” format to show off outfits on her TikTok and IGTV channels — a great way to repurpose content and serve your audience on both channels!
@alexandrapereira7 days 7 ways ##tiktok ##foryou ##fy ##foryoupage ##fyp ##fashionhacks ##styletips ##style ##look ##lookchange ##mystyle♬ Juice – Lizzo
No one is able to truly crack the TikTok code to success yet, but being original and consistent definitely pays off!
Tip #6 to Get Followers on TikTok: Post at Peak Times
Getting more followers on TikTok is easier once you know when your audience is most active.
And thanks to TikTok Analytics with a Pro Account, you can find out the specific days and hours your audience is most active.
Note: TikTok displays all analytics in UTC time. That means you’ll have to do a timezone conversion to find out when your audience is most active in the location that they’re in.
Apart from knowing when your audience is most active, you also need to be a little brave with experimentation and tracking the results.
Each TikTok account will be different, and while you can use your other social media platforms for similar benchmarks, ultimately the best time to post will come from several weeks of learning from the videos that were a success (and those that flopped!)
Connect to Your Other Social Media Channels to Cross-promote
TikTok makes it super easy to download videos from any profile (including your own) and repost it to other social media channels.
If your brand already has a solid following on another platform, chances are, you’ll be able to get more TikTok followers who migrate over — but only if you tell them.
Steak-umm is a perfect example of this. The brand reposts its TikTok videos to their Twitter profile, which has over 157,000 followers. Now, their TikTok account has nearly 82,000 followers:
— Steak-umm (@steak_umm) March 31, 2020
Collaborate with Content Creators
It’s no surprise that individual personalities and profiles are the most popular on TikTok, and that’s why they have the most followers.
And many influencers from other platforms (particularly YouTube and Instagram) have been successful in migrating their huge followings to TikTok since their followers are already active and tuned into their content.
Just like on Instagram, brands can really gain a whole host of benefits by partnering with an influencer or content creator.
Take for example Aerie. As a relatively new brand to the TikTok scene, they wanted to give their following a boost. So the retail brand partnered with TikTok’s biggest star, Charli D’Amelio, to create sponsored content that drove new eyes to their brand page.
@aerieShare what you’re doing to stay positive right now by tagging @Aerie and ##AerieRealPositivity. We’re donating to American’s Food Fund!♬ original sound – aerie
So far, they’ve created 3 videos and already have a following of over 17K.
Partnering with content creators can take effort to set up — you want to find the right influencer to represent your brand, and you’ll most likely need to put aside a budget for the campaign.
That said, influencer marketing on TikTok is still relatively new, so it’s a great opportunity to get ahead in the space.
Repost TikTok as UGC
People love to see their content reposted on social media profiles they love, so capitalizing on user-generated content (UGC) can help you get more TikTok followers.
It’s easy to download and repost content directly from TikTok; the TikTok logo and content creator’s handle is automatically added to each video download, so there are never any issues about giving credit.
If you don’t have time to create your own content, reposting UGC can help make your TikTok profile feel “full”, and really boost your posting frequency!
If users know there’s a chance they could be featured on an account other than their own, they’re usually excited to create content and tag the brand to have a shot at thousands of TikTok users seeing their post.
NARS Cosmetics has begun reposting UGC TikTok content that features its products — and it seriously works for their feed.
@narsissistTeamwork makes the dream work. How will you ##GlowForIt ? Featuring @wilkingsisters using the Afterglow Collection.♬ Get Up (feat Chamillionaire) – Ciara
If you’re a brand with a physical product, reposting UGC can be a great way to get more followers!
Create a Clever CTA
It’s one thing for users to enjoy your content, but that may not be enough to get more TikTok followers.
Profiles who use a call-to-action at the end of their videos increase their chances of boosting their following because sometimes a little nudge in the right direction works!
The catch? You have to make your CTA as exciting, clever, and enticing as the content you’re creating. This can come in the form of simple text additions on your video (“Follow us for more videos like these!”), or you can even host a giveaway, like the one EOS did. They even encouraged followers to tag a friend, which helps build exposure exponentially.
@eosWinner will be announced in the comments on 3/03! 🤭 ##giveaway ##foryou ##fyp ##eos♬ Paradise – Bazzi