How to choose a TikTok influencer? 4 TikTok tips for success

Posted on: Friday 08 January 2021 | Anna Komok - CMO at HypeAuditor

From followers to engagement rates, Anna Komok, CMO at HypeAuditor, shares the key things TikTok marketers need to know

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TikTok user scenarios are entirely different from other social networks, but many marketers working with TikTok influencers use the same approach as with other creators. Below are the top four tips that will help when evaluating TikTok influencers for marketing campaigns.
 

Don’t focus on followers
It's not a good idea to focus on the number of followers an influencer has. On TikTok, followers are less critical. 

While a video is likely to receive more views if posted by an account that has more followers, neither follower count nor whether the account has had previous high-performing videos are direct factors in the recommendation system. 

At HypeAuditor, we often see that a creator with 10k followers might get less than 100 views. And it's not because of fraud. In most cases, their early videos were viral, and they grew their followers base organically. But recent videos are not so impressive, and TikTok does not show them to many people in the ‘For You’ tab. In this case, we see that an influencer has sufficient following but a low number of views and reach.

That means that when you are choosing creators for a marketing campaign on TikTok, views matter more. With the median number of views on recent videos, you can estimate the potential reach and overall outcome of the campaign.

If you have an exciting idea and are willing to accept risk, you can choose a creator with a lower number of views and likes on the recent videos - an approach that can be more cost-effective. 
 

Don’t compare engagement rate with other platforms 
The majority of video views on TikTok don’t come from followers followers so it's not recommended to evaluate engagement rate based on the number of followers, as we do on Instagram. On TikTok, it is more accurate to analyse the engagement of people who have actually viewed a creator’s content. Thus, the ER formula will look like - likes + comments+shares/number of views.

The second point: TikTok's audience is highly engaged. Influencers produce content themselves, as well as like and comment on other influencers’ content. On TikTok, 17.5% of the audience engages with a creator’s content.

On TikTok we do not see the correlation between the number of followers and the engagement rate. Creators with over 500k followers on average have a higher engagement rate than those with a 20k audience.
 

Followers

TikTok Average ER (%)

1,000 to 5,000

21.10

5,000 to 20,000

18.40

20,000 to 100,000

15.64

100,000 to 500,000

15.53

500,000 to 1,000,000

17.02

1,000,000 to +∞

17.28

 

Follower spikes behave differently
In most cases, spikes in social media followers mean that an creator has used some artificial methods to grow their audience. The same shape of a curl on a graph of a TikTok creator more likely indicates that their video appeared on the ‘For You’ tab.

Interestingly, Karen Chen, the US Olympian, has grown from 15.8k followers to 142k in just one day because her video became viral and got over 14 million views. And it’s still growing.

 

Image

 

Follower growth doesn’t equal trending creators 
The follower growth rate on TikTok doesn’t allow us to detect trending creators. There is a weak correlation between views growth and follower growth. Even if a video went viral and gained thousands of views, it doesn’t mean that followers will grow accordingly. While the follower growth rate on Instagram is a good metric to detect trending content and rising stars, this approach doesn’t necessarily translate in the context of TikTok.

TikTok has different approaches to content consumption, with different scenarios and user behaviour.  Understanding the unique environment of TikTok and tailoring strategy accordingly is key for successful marketing.

Written by

Anna Komok

CMO at HypeAuditor

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