Insider intel on what to expect from TikTok in 2024

11 min read by Corrie Jones 19 Apr 2024

This week, our social media team were invited to attend the very first TikTok LIVE Partnerships event, hosted by TikTok at their London HQ. 

In between geeking out over TikTok-branded doughnuts, we scribbled down all the information that the TikTok team shared – so that we can share the insights back with you and help your brand grow on TikTok in 2024. 

Here’s what you can expect from TikTok in 2024 and what it all means for your brand. Let’s dive in!

How does the TikTok algorithm work in 2024?

First up, TikTok addressed their most commonly asked question: how exactly does the TikTok algorithm work and what should brands be doing to get more reach on their content?

The answer was that the TikTok algorithm in 2024 considers three key factors: engagement, watch time and follows

They specified that the number one most important factor that the TikTok algorithm considers is engagement, which they measure against two equally-weighted elements. Firstly, the algorithm considers how many people are sharing, liking and commenting on your videos. The more shares, likes and comments that your content receives, the more likely your content is to be boosted in the algorithm. Sounds obvious, right? But the second engagement factor is the one that most brands ignore. To decide your engagement level, the algorithm also looks at how you are engaging on your own and other people’s content. TikTok recommends replying to all of the comments you receive on your brand posts (or as many as you possibly can, if you’re a large brand), as well as spending time actively engaging with other people’s comments. Showing that you actively use the platform is critical if you want to see high content performance, which is why we always recommend having a solid community management strategy

The second factor impacting the algorithm is watch time – namely, whether people are watching your entire TikTok from start to finish, or even whether they’re watching it multiple times. TikTok said they’re increasingly seeing users watching longer-length content on the platform and that in their minds “there’s no such thing as a short attention span if you hook people early”. 

The third factor that impacts your performance in the algorithm is follows. But don’t panic and think that means you need to have a high number of followers to do well on TikTok. The algorithm is looking at whether the people who saw your video are deciding to follow your account as a result, not how many followers you have already. If people see your video, click to your page and then follow you, that’s big brownie points for the algorithm because it shows your account is posting in a consistent way that people want to follow. Remember: TikTok is the social channel that’s most known for high discoverability, since it shows each piece of your content to non-followers of your account. So even smaller accounts can see their content fly in the algorithm – we’ve seen this recently with one of our client accounts who had under 1,000 followers and got 500k views and 10k engagements on one piece of content. 

How should you take advantage of TikTok trends as a brand?

Trends are a brilliant way to keep your brand current. When done right, they show your audience that you’re fluent with TikTok as a channel and listening to what’s going on. But, when done wrong, trends can actually put your audience off your brand. You need to work cleverly to use trends in a way that elevates and advances your brand message, rather than shoehorning your brand into a trend just because it’s popular. Like when the “How often do you think about the Roman Empire?” trend happened and United Airlines launched a flash sale on their flights going to Rome. 

As TikTok said: “You know if a trend isn’t right for your brand – and your audience will know if it’s not landing.”

The types of trends that TikTok suggest you use as a brand is a variety of:

  • PGC sounds (professionally-generated content) 
  • UGC sounds (user-generated content) 
  • Hashtags 
  • Effects 
  • Templates

If you need some inspiration and want to find out what’s trending, check out the Trends Hub and Creative Centre for all the trends that the TikTok team have curated that week. Or get in touch so our social media team can help you identify the TikTok trends and strategies that are right for your business. 

How many hashtags is the right amount to use on TikTok posts?

On the topic of how many hashtags are best to use on TikTok, TikTok said that “less is more” and you shouldn’t be using more than 3 hashtags in one post. They advised that brands stop “overthinking” their hashtags, suggesting there’s not as much emphasis placed on hashtags in 2024 ranking factors. We wrote about this recently in our guide to using SEO on social media, as we’re seeing the use of keywords in your captions and titles on your videos work more successfully for visibility on TikTok (compared to using lots of hashtags).

How often should you post to TikTok?

According to TikTok themselves, you should be posting 1-3 times per week. But, as we always advise clients during our social media training workshops, consistency is best and consistency looks different for every brand based on the resources of their social media team. TikTok advised that it’s much better to post once a fortnight and do that consistently, than it is to post every day for two weeks and then not post again for six months.

What’s the next big thing on TikTok in 2024?

TikTok’s huge emphasis at the event was on TikTok Live and TikTok Gifts, which are the virtual items you can send to creators on TikTok to show your appreciation for their content. 

In the opinion of the TikTok team, it’s the channel feature that brands aren’t taking advantage of enough in their social strategies, especially given the huge amount of attention that TikTok users pay to Live videos on a daily basis. And when you look at the stats, it’s hard not to see the huge opportunity – 1 out of 4 active users on TikTok watch Live videos and 39 million virtual gifts are sent every week in the UK alone. 
For brands who want to take advantage of Live Gifts, TikTok is actively seeking partnership opportunities where they’ll work with brands to create their own custom gifts (like Children in Need did with their very successful bespoke Pudsey gifts).

Other top tips on how to use TikTok

A few final insider tips for you to keep in mind:

  • Content stays on the For You Page for three months at the moment – so don’t worry if your post doesn’t perform straight away, there’s still time for it to pick up 
  • It’s confirmed that the algorithm can tell when you edit content outside of the platform and your reach will be lower – so edit in-app on TikTok itself or using CapCut (a fellow ByteDance-owned company) for the best results
  • TikTok said they have no preference between users watching vertical, short-form video or horizontal, longer-form video on the channel – but we’re increasingly seeing TikTok push notifications encouraging brands to post horizontal video, and it’s beneficial to them as a channel if people spend longer watching content. Our bet is there’ll be a lot more horizontal video content this time next year and TikTok won’t be mad about that!

We couldn’t leave TikTok HQ without addressing the elephant in the room…

Finally, the big question our social media team is thinking about right now: what do TikTok think will happen to their US presence, given the recent Senate bill and geopolitical situation? We asked the question… and why not get in touch with one of our team to hear TikTok’s answer to that one? We can offer you expert advice on how to create and grow your whole TikTok strategy while we’re at it. 

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