How to Grow Your Following on TikTok®

March 10, 2020

There will never be a substitute for truly well-made, quality videos, produced at scale. For creative guidance on some of the best, the strategy tips in Conviva’s TikTok® Benchmark & Strategy Guide are key, plus these are presented along with account rankings, best practices, and an analytics guide with information on improving hero content on TikTok®. However, when you’re a social media manager who can’t afford to spend a few hours planning and executing a TikTok® video with no guarantee of success, the following tips will come in handy. Use them to help increase content output, while providing more chances to hit the ForYou page. There is no secret recipe for instant success on TikTok®, but every video posted creates multiple opportunities for new followers to find an account.

Conviva analyzed the performance and growth of over 300 different brand accounts from various sports, entertainment, and media industries. One of the most fascinating findings is how rapidly some branded accounts are growing on TikTok®. Between January and February, the following occurred on TikTok®:

  • The top 20 sports media accounts gained an average of 400k new followers
  • The top 20 pro sports leagues gained an average of 309k new followers
  • The NBA gained 2.7 million new followers
  • ESPN and Overtime each gained over 1.2 million new followers
  • The Chiefs gained over 339k new followers

Insane growth, while fun to talk about, wasn’t the case across the board. Most pro sports team TikTok® accounts grew at similar rates to their Instagram accounts. NBA teams, which saw more growth than teams from any other sports league, only gained an average of 60k new TikTok® followers per team. By comparison, the average NBA team grained 87.5k new followers on Instagram during February.

Graph Showing Average Team's Follower Increase On Tiktok Vs Instagram

So, if exploding growth across the board isn’t occurring for everyone, the question arises, what are accounts that are growing the fastest doing differently?


TikTok® Benchmarks Industry Ranking

Benchmarking highlights that the two fastest growing categories are pro sports leagues and sports media. These two categories are different from the other groups in two ways. First, they have more total videos posted than any of the other categories, which could just mean the accounts are older on average. More importantly, the high-performing accounts posted more videos between January and February than any other category.

Top 20 Fastest Growing TikTok® Accounts

Diving into individual accounts, similar trends emerge among the 20 fastest-growing accounts. These accounts have, on average, 601 total videos posted to their account, and they post often, with an average 3 videos per day on TikTok® between January and February. Quality of content is important on any platform, but a crucial component to TikTok® success and growth is putting in the time. This means posting 2-3 times per day, consistently over a few months.

It’s a tall order as making that volume of content is no small task. If you’re a social media manager currently making content for Facebook, Instagram, Stories, Twitter, and YouTube, there is a good chance that time for new projects is already nonexistent. What complicates things is that many brands jump on TikTok® and feel the need to create every single video from scratch. While every account should have this “hero content,” that approach to every video is unrealistic at scale, with limited resources, when the account is growing from zero. To save time (and your sanity), there are a few things we can learn from the content produced by the fastest-growing accounts, that can be replicated to increase content output.

  • Sometimes less is more. Just because a TikTok® can be up to a minute doesn’t mean it has to be. Most of the kids on TikTok® grew up heavily using Vine and have become accustomed to short, fast-paced videos. Short videos can be a quick and easy way to change up and increase output of your TikTok® content.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel. Most established media, entertainment, and sports publishers have been active on social for the better part of a decade. In that time, you have undoubtedly created a large library of content at your disposal. Not every video posted on TikTok® needs to be created for the platform from scratch. Start off by reformatting some top-performing videos from Facebook or Instagram from the past few years using the #TBT hashtag.
  • Share others’ videos. Visit top performing accounts like ESPN and Overtime and you’ll see the majority of their videos were created elsewhere. While this approach can certainly be frowned upon, these accounts make sure to give proper credit by tagging the original creator. Next time there is a post that may resonate with your target audience, try asking for the creator’s approval to repost on your own account.
  • Never pass up an opportunity to collaborate with other accounts. This provides a reason to recreate some of the same videos made in the past or create new ideas that might require more than one person.

Learning from the best and using data to understand what works and what doesn’t will save precious time as you look to grow your TikTok® following. For more TikTok® tips, account rankings, best practices, and analytics, check out the Conviva’s TikTok® Benchmark & Strategy Guide.