How the TikTok Algorithm Works in 2021

May 3, 2021 CONRIC PR

Wondering what you could be doing to up your TikTok game? Creeped out by how well TikTok targeting works sometimes? We all want to know more about TikTok so we can better target people who may be interested in our products or services. Let’s drop the #fyp hashtag (“For Your Page” for the newbies) on our videos and get down into the nitty-gritty of how TikTok builds its “For You” pages and what makes up its algorithm.

What Factors TikTok Looks At

If you’re a TikTok fan, you can probably tell that the videos you like, share, and scroll past impact the next videos you see. The more you interact with a video, the more data you’re giving to let TikTok know, “Hey, show me more of this!” The app also has a feature for users to choose to see fewer videos related to one they just watched.

TikTok outlined the basics of their “For You” page in a blog post. They detailed three factors they look into: user interactions, video information, and device and account settings. 

  • User interactions can include the acts of making comments, following accounts, and creating content. 
  • Video information looks deeper into the captions, sounds used, and hashtags included in a post. 
  • Device and account settings have less weight in their system. TikTok checks for language preference, country setting, and device type, which they state is “to make sure the system is optimized for performance.”

These factors are weighed in TikTok’s “For You” recommendation system, a.k.a. its algorithm. For example, if a user watches a long video from start to finish, that is a strong indicator that the user enjoys that kind of video. However, a video creator being in the same country as a video viewer doesn’t carry as much weight in its recommendation system. TikTok is focused on what will interest their users the most and hold that interest for the longest.

How to Reach a Bigger Audience on TikTok


You should focus your strategy around using trending songs and sounds and making them relevant to your content. To find popular sounds, try scrolling through your “For You” page, visiting the Video Editor tool, or by using TikTok’s pro account features. Your “For You” page is usually full of up-and-coming and viral videos, so it’s usually fair to assume that those sounds are trending. You can also use the Video Editor tool that you see after creating a video. TikTok has an entire dashboard dedicated to different trending songs and sounds you can select. However, we advise you plan your video around a sound, instead of filming and hoping a sound will fit your video. You can also switch your TikTok account to a Business or Creator account, where you can view analytics and see which sounds your followers are liking best at the moment.


Just because TikTok videos are less than a minute doesn’t mean that your production value can fall short. It’s important to create a high-quality video, which is completely possible within the app’s editor. If you’d like to use a better camera than your phone has, you can film your video on another device and upload it through your phone’s gallery. We recommend trying out popular visual effects circling TikTok. Many of the app’s popular sounds have a corresponding visual effect. Watch other videos to see how people use these effects and find a way to make them applicable to your brand and audience.


As with any social media platform, the right use of hashtags can really change your post’s reach. Avoid using the standard hashtags like #fyp, #foryourpage, and #foryou. There are many theories as to whether or not these will boost a video, but you can be sure that specific, relevant hashtags will give your videos a boost. TikTok often promotes challenges using hashtags, so visit the top videos under that hashtag and see if there’s a way your business can join in on a challenge. 


When writing your TikTok’s caption, you should approach it similarly to writing a subject line to an email newsletter. Your caption should be short, sweet, and snappy—if you can add a joke here, you should. If you’re creating a series of videos, you can add a call to action, such as “Follow for part 2!”


Once you create your business or creator account, you can see when your followers are most active. It’s always best to post during these times. Your videos should also be consistent! TikTok seems to reward profiles with consistent posting schedules. If you can post once a day, you’ll start seeing more success soon.

Final Notes

TikTok’s #ForYou pages are like snowflakes, no two are alike. Like every social media platform, TikTok’s algorithm still remains a bit of a mystery, but by creating high-quality, relevant content, you will reach the right audience. Try some of the tips in this blog post and let us know how they work for you. Posting consistently, trying new trends, and writing actionable captions will take your TikTok presence to the next level.

Do you need a team of experts to assist with your social media strategy? The experts at CONRIC pr + marketing are ready to work with you to effectively reach a bigger audience online. For a free consultation, give us a call today at 239-690-9840 ext. 1001, email us at, or click this link for our convenient contact form.

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