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4 Ways To Boost Your Engagement On TikTok

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4 Ways To Boost Your Engagement On TikTok

If you’ve been keeping up with the news around social media, you’ll know that TikTok is pretty much the most popular app around right now. While it still doesn’t have quite as many monthly active users as Facebook or Instagram, it also hasn’t had anywhere near as much time to build a loyal user base, and the rate at which TikTok is growing right now is nothing short of staggering. It’s fair to say that pretty much every influencer should have a presence on TikTok right now.

With that said, if you are an influencer on TikTok –  or you’re a brand looking for more recognition – then you might be wondering what the best way to boost your TikTok engagement is. While there’s no easy answer, there are a number of things you could be doing in order to make sure that users are more likely to engage with your content, thus organically increasing your following and giving you a bigger presence as an influencer. Here are just 4 ways to boost your engagement on TikTok.

1. Get more followers

It stands to reason that with more followers, you’re likely to see your engagement on TikTok go up as well. As such, gathering more followers should be a priority if you want to increase your standing as a TikTok influencer. There are lots of ways to do this; creating better content, partnering up with brands or other influencers, and making sure you’re getting your timings right are all good ways to get more followers, but none of them are fast tracks to success in this regard.

In truth, there aren’t any quick and easy ways to amass followers, but there are certainly hacks you can employ (not real ones, just in case ByteDance is reading!) to give yourself more TikTok followers. There are sites out there that will help you to build a following without needing to endlessly grind creating content and reaching out to other influencers for help. If you’re interested, you can find out more here, and potentially supercharge your TikTok journey into the bargain!

2. Engage with content

If you want engagement on your content, then you should be thinking about ways you can engage with other users as well. Seek out videos that you like and make a specific effort to engage with them; leave comments, like the videos, and chat to the creators about their process. All of these things will stand you in good stead with creators, making them more likely to reciprocate; you may find that your engagement goes up if you’re making an effort to engage with the community in turn.

One extra way to engage with other creators on TikTok is to reach out and ask if they would like to collaborate. Theoretically, you’ll double your potential audience by doing so; you’ll cross-pollinate your following with theirs, making content that both of your audiences would like to see. Obviously, you should only do this with TikTok users who share your aesthetic and approach to creating content, because otherwise, you could end up disappointing everyone instead of delighting them.

3. Track your analytics

Like many other social media platforms, TikTok features a built-in way to track your metrics and analytics so you can see which content is performing well. Once upon a time, you would need to switch to a TikTok creator account in order to see this information, but now, it’s readily available for every account, since TikTok got rid of the “creator account” system. All you need to do is head to your profile and click the “Creator tools” option, and you’ll see detailed analytics.

Before you see your analytics, you’ll need to have created at least one video and made it public; analytics can’t track videos you’ve set to private. Once you’ve done so, however, you’ll be able to see a view of which users have engaged with your content, what kind of demographic trends you’re seeing, and when your videos are most popular. With that information, you can laser-focus the content you create in future to target specific kinds of users and increase engagement.

4. Post more often and at the right times

We know it sounds obvious, but one of the ways you can increase TikTok engagement is simply to post content more often. Diligent, dedicated TikTok creators constantly post content; you’ll frequently see posts appearing from them at least once a day, and some creators even post more often than that, depending on how intensive their videos are to create. Make sure you’re posting at least once a day if you want to maximise the chances of users engaging with your videos.

In addition to posting often, it’s also important to make sure you’re hitting the right times. This means posting at times when users tend to be using TikTok more. Post times tend to change quite often, but by and large, you’ll find that users are congregating on TikTok around the mornings and the evenings, with some days also seeing spikes around lunchtime. Your particular demographics may vary, of course, so make sure to pay attention to your analytics so you can see when the best times to post videos are for you.

There are lots of different ways to increase engagement on TikTok, but here, we’ve highlighted four of the methods we think are most effective. What methods are you using to increase your TikTok engagement? Are there any major tips we’ve missed here?


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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

Did you follow the Apple iPad Pro content debacle?

Here’s a quick recap. A recent online ad for the new iPad Pro showed a large hydraulic press slowly crushing various symbols of creativity. A metronome, a piano, a record player, a video game, paints, books, and other creative tools splinter and smash as the Sonny and Cher song All I Ever Need Is You plays.

The ad’s title? “Crush!”

The point of the commercial — I think — is to show that Apple managed to smush (that’s the technical term) all this heretofore analog creativity into its new, very thin iPad Pro.  

To say the ad received bad reviews is underselling the response. Judgment was swift and unrelenting. The creative world freaked out.

On X, actor Hugh Grant shared Tim Cook’s post featuring the ad and added this comment: “The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

When fellow actor Justine Bateman shared the Tim Cook post, she simply wrote, “Truly, what is wrong with you?” Other critiques ranged from tone-challenged to wasteful to many worse things.

Actor Justine Bateman shared Tim Cook’s post on X, which featured the ad, and added this comment: "Truly, what is wrong with you?".

A couple of days later, Apple apologized and canceled plans to air the ad on television.

How not-so-great content ideas come to life

The level of anger surprises me. Look, the ad does show the eyeballs on an emoji-faced squishy ball popping under the plates’ pressure, but still. Calling the ad “actually psychotic” might be a skosh over the top.

Yes, the ad missed the mark. And the company’s subsequent decision to apologize makes sense.

But anyone who’s participated in creating a content misfire knows this truth: Mistakes look much more obvious in hindsight.

On paper, I bet this concept sounded great. The brainstorming meeting probably started with something like this: “We want to show how the iPad Pro metaphorically contains this huge mass of creative tools in a thin and cool package.”

Maybe someone suggested representing that exact thing with CGI (maybe a colorful tornado rising from the screen). Then someone else suggested showing the actual physical objects getting condensed would be more powerful.

Here’s my imagined version of the conversation that might have happened after someone pointed out the popular internet meme of things getting crushed in a hydraulic press.

“People love that!”

“If we add buckets of paint, it will be super colorful and cool.”

“It’ll be a cooler version of that LG ad that ran in 2008.”

“Exactly!”

“It’ll be just like that ad where a bus driver kidnaps and subsequently crushes all the cute little Pokémon characters in a bus!” (Believe it or not, that was actually a thing.)

The resulting commercial suffers from the perfect creative storm: A not-great (copycat) idea at the absolutely wrong time.

None of us know what constraints Apple’s creative team worked under. How much time did they have to come up with a concept? Did they have time to test it with audiences? Maybe crushing physical objects fit into the budget better than CGI. All these factors affect the creative process and options (even at a giant company like Apple).

That’s not an excuse — it’s just reality.

Content failure or content mistake?

Many ad campaigns provoke a “What the hell were they thinking?” response (think Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad or those cringy brand tributes that follow celebrity deaths).

Does that mean they’re failures? Or are they mistakes? And what’s the difference?

As I wrote after Peloton’s holiday ad debacle (remember that?), people learn to fear mistakes early on. Most of us hear cautionary messages almost from day one.

Some are necessary and helpful (“Don’t stick a knife in a live toaster” or “Look both ways before you cross the street.”) Some aren’t (“Make that essay perfect” or “Don’t miss that goal.”)

As a result, many people grow up afraid to take risks — and that hampers creativity. The problem arises from conflating failure and mistakes. It helps to know the difference.

I moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to become a rock ‘n’ roll musician. I failed. But it wasn’t a mistake. I wasn’t wrong to try. My attempt just didn’t work.

Labeling a failed attempt a “mistake” feeds the fears that keep people from attempting anything creative.

The conflation of failure and mistakes happens all too often in creative marketing. Sure, people create content pieces (and let’s not forget that there are always people behind those ideas) that genuinely count as mistakes.

They also create content that simply fails.

Don’t let extreme reactions make you fear failures

Here’s the thing about failed content. You can do all the work to research your audience and take the time to develop and polish your ideas — and the content still might fail. The story, the platform, or the format might not resonate, or the audience simply might not care for it. That doesn’t mean it’s a mistake.

Was the Apple ad a mistake? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

Was it a failure? The vitriolic response indicates yes.

Still, the commercial generated an impressive amount of awareness (53 million views of the Tim Cook post on X, per Variety.) And, despite the apology, the company hasn’t taken the ad down from its YouTube page where it’s earned more than 1 million views.

The fictional Captain Jean Luc Picard once said, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness. That is life.” The Apple ad turns that statement on its head — Apple made many mistakes and still won a tremendous amount of attention.

I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t criticize creative work. Constructive critiques help us learn from our own and others’ failures. You can even have a good laugh about content fails.

Just acknowledge, as the Roman philosopher Cicero once wrote, “Not every mistake is a foolish one.” 

Creative teams take risks. They try things outside their comfort zone. Sometimes they fail (sometimes spectacularly).

But don’t let others’ expressions of anger over failures inhibit your willingness to try creative things.

Wouldn’t you love to get the whole world talking about the content you create? To get there, you have to risk that level of failure.

And taking that risk isn’t a mistake.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Subscribe to workday or weekly CMI emails to get Rose-Colored Glasses in your inbox each week. 

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 



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The Future of Content Success Is Social

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

Writing a book is a gargantuan task, and reaching the finish line is a feat equal to summiting a mountain.

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