How to use Tik-Tok’s algorithm to do proper outreach?

How to use Tik-Tok’s algorithm to do proper outreach?

Writing: Raz Smolsky; Editing: Hagar Rabat; Translation: Eli Klaiman 

Like other social networks, Tik Tok also wants to keep users glued to the screen for as long as possible, but unlike its competitors, Tik Tok emphasizes content consumption and not necessarily creating social relationships. “Users don’t log in to check what’s going on with their friends or interest groups but to consume entertainment, and they are not surprised when they receive content from channels they do not know,” explains Itai Marshall, content consultant for businesses.

“If on Instagram the first content that users are exposed to is the stories of their friends or of personalities they have chosen to follow, the first content on the Tik Tok feed is For You, which is random and surprising content that the user does not necessarily know the creator of.” he adds.

This difference affects the way Tik Tok’s efficient algorithm works and selects the content that will appear on For You. The algorithm selects the content it promotes based on geographic location, technical relationships between people (people saved in a phone book, friendships from other networks, etc.), and interests. “The artificial intelligence understands what is happening in the video, what is seen, what is written, also according to the hashtags, but they are less relevant” explains Lavi. “According to the decoding of the video, the algorithm tries to find the audience that may be interested in this content. It tries it on audiences, studies them and corrects itself until it finds the right audience.”

The initial distribution of the video is quite limited and it is promoted based on user interaction. Here, too, the recommendations focus on content in English and foreign languages, the Hebrew-speaking audience is already familiar with what is happening. To promote pro-Israel content on Tik Tok you need:

  1. Engage with the video: comment, like, share with friends and other networks and save it. 
  2. Watch the video to the end and preferably several times, and like on Instagram – anti-Israeli videos should be skipped as quickly as possible. The algorithm interprets the attention the user invests in the video as interest and engagement and therefore promotes it. Saving the video is interpreted by the algorithm as interesting content that the user wants to watch again. 
  3. It is recommended to log into the video creator’s account and search for additional content to make the algorithm promote it itself. 
  4. You should create or promote short videos, to make it more likely people will watch them to the end and therefore they will be promoted better. 
  5. Conduct the discussions only in pro-Israeli posts. This is because the algorithm interprets every interaction as an expression of interest, even if it is a negative reaction. Therefore, it will promote the video even if the discussion around it is essentially negative. 
  6. When making a repost, you must add a comment that will appear on the video itself in a prominent way, one that encourages further action such as: you must watch to the end, watch and share, etc. 
  7. It is important to report anti-Israeli posts. Wide and fast reporting by many users results in relatively fast blocking, and unfortunately in the numbers game there are more Hamas supporters than Israel supporters, therefore pro-Israel content can be blocked almost automatically. In such a case, Tik Tok can be challenged and you should be careful with violent, disturbing or graphic content. To create pressure to block anti-Israeli content, it is advisable to use automatic tools.