How to Grow Your TikTok Following [Expert Insights + Data]

Growing followers on TikTok can seem like slow process. And if you're putting in the hard work to create amazing content, it can feel extra frustrating.

To help speed things up, we've compiled a list of the best strategies to gain followers on TikTok — fast. Of course, nothing can replace good content, but there are a few tricks you can try to explode your engagement, visibility, and, most importantly, your follower count.

Let's dive into the best tips and tricks to grow your TikTok.

1. Stop appealing to everyone.

When you try to appeal to everyone on TikTok, the opposite happens: you end up resonating with no one.

This may sound counterintuitive. After all, to get more followers, shouldn't you appeal to more people? In reality, targeting a niche gives you a greater chance to be seen by a pool of engaged users.

For example, fashion is a popular category on TikTok. So much so, the hashtag #fashion has over 188 billion views on the platform. If you want to post fashion-related content, you might get lost in this competitive vertical. Instead, you could focus on a sub-niche like street style or mid-sized fashion, which has a fraction of the views but a more engaged audience.

The easiest way to niche down is by knowing your audience and what they want to see. Be specific. If you're unsure, take a look at your competition. What do they do well? What videos get the most engagement? And, of course, use your buyer personas as a compass when brainstorming video ideas.

2. Post at the right time.

Sometimes, it's not just what you post but when you post. This is especially true on TikTok.

A recent HubSpot Blogs survey of 300+ marketers identified the best and worst times to post on TikTok. Here are the results:

  • The best time of day: 3-6 PM and 6-9 PM
  • The best days of the week: Friday and Saturday
  • The worst time of day: 6-9 AM and 9-12 AM
  • The worst days of the week: Monday and Tuesday

Since TikTok is popular with the Gen Z crowd  — and they're in school for a good part of the day — the morning and early afternoon "dead zone" makes sense.

When posting content on TikTok, stay clear of these slow hours, and try posting towards the end of the week or during the weekend.

3. Duet or Stitch top-performing videos.

TikTok offers a number of features to collaborate with others — which is key to getting more eyeballs on your content. Let's talk about two features in particular: Duet and Stitch.

The Duet feature lets you play your video next to another user's video. This is ideal if you want to add commentary or a funny reaction to the original video.

The Stitch feature enables you to play up to 5 seconds of someone else's video as an intro to your own. 

The best way to leverage these features is by engaging with top-performing videos in your niche. You can do this by using the search bar and typing keywords relating to your brand. Then, once you've zeroed in on a video you like, tap the Stitch or Duet button and let your creativity fly.

But there's more — you can also encourage others to Duet or Stitch your videos.

For example, Tesco, a British grocery chain, asks users to Duet the following video for a chance to become the new voice of their checkout machine:

@tesco Audition to become the new voice of Tesco checkouts by duetting with me & including #TescoVoiceOfCheckout. ♬ original sound - Tesco

The result? Tesco's original video scored 22 million views and thousands of Duet submissions.

4. Participate in a challenge (or create your own).

Challenges are infamous on TikTok, and they have the power to explode your follower count. The trick is finding the right one for your brand. After all, some challenges fizzle out before they hit the ground, while others spread like wildfire.

Once you find a challenge you can work with, it's important to put your own spin on it. That's how you'll really stand out.

You can also create your own challenge — just make sure it's relatively simple to do. For example, Chipotle started the #LidFlip challenge, which encouraged users to flip the lid of their burrito bowl with style:

In the first six days, the challenge generated over 100,000 video responses. Even more impressive, it created a record-breaking sales day for Chipotle.


5. Jump on trending sounds and songs.

88% of TikTok users say sound is essential to the TikTok experience. Thanks to the algorithm, it's also critical for driving more engagement.

TikTok has an extensive library of sounds — but you should prioritize the ones that get a lot of love from the community. This is because the TikTok algorithm tends to favor videos that leverage trending sounds. Plus, 67% of TikTok users prefer branded videos that feature popular or trending songs.

How to Grow on TikTok: trending sounds

To get started, check out TikTok's Creative Center which ranks the most popular sounds each day. You can also filter by region, which is helpful if your audience lives in a different location from you.

6. Cross-promote your TikTok.

Odds are, your audience is active on other social media besides TikTok. For this reason, it's important to cross-promote your videos to other channels, such as Instagram or YouTube.

Remember that Instagram's algorithm will not promote videos with a TikTok watermark, so you'll need to upload the original video. YouTube, on the other hand, doesn't have the same restriction.

It's also worth noting that Reels cannot exceed 60 seconds, while TikTok videos can go for 10 minutes. So, you may need to trim your videos to adhere to Instagram's time constraints.

Back to You

Ultimately, you're only as good as the content you create. Although these tips can boost your visibility in the short run, it's the quality of your content that influences people to hit "follow." As a marketer, this means putting your audience at the heart of your strategy and creating content that speaks to them.

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