Audience Growth

How To Get More TikTok Followers: 12 Simple Hacks

by Jenni Stablein · Updated Mar 27, 2024

When you’re just getting started on TikTok, it can be tempting to buy new followers to quickly see your TikTok account grow. We get it. But how to get TikTok followers without paying a dime? That is the question! Lucky for you, we spill all the deets here. 

Read on to learn how to gain genuine TikTok followers (AKA free followers) in 12 easy ways.

12 Ways to get more followers on TikTok 

Looking for effective ways to grow your TikTok account? Let’s dive into our top 12 tips for gaining more TikTok followers.

1. Define your target audience

TikTok is a big wide world full of thousands of content niches. For context, there are 94.1 million monthly active users on TikTok across various demographics, locations, and niches — and that’s just in the U.S.! 

But before you get overwhelmed or the social media version of “stage fright,” consider this: There is an audience out there for every content creator and every content niche. You just need to define them. 

Identify your niche 

First things first, identify your content niche. Creators often fall into two categories: the creator educator, and the creator entertainer. Is your mission to teach your audience something or to entertain them? Once you’ve figured that out, you can identify the category of your content niche. For example, are you a home cook? Into fashion? A dog trainer or a Simpsons superfan? The sky’s the limit with TikTok, so have fun with it! 

@cabagges

For many AAPI children, food is the first love language we learn. Chazuke is a dish that reminds me of home, my mother, and all the humble meals that hold the most comfort. A small reminder that caring for yourself, or someone you love can be as simple as a warm bowl in your hands. Happy to be celebrating food and love this AAPI month with @find me now the label #findmenowthelabelpartner #aapiownedbusiness #aapiheritagemonth

♬ Let Me Go – Daniel Caesar
@miraalmomani

styling my jean paul gaultier x melissa pump punk love heels in pink !!

♬ original sound – MIRA

Identify your target audience 

So you have a good grip on your content niche, now it’s time to define your target audience. Having a set target audience in mind right out of the gate will help you build a more successful TikTok marketing strategy — you’ll be on your way to capitalizing on TikTok ads, brand sponsorships, and more in no time!

Ask yourself questions like: What is my target audience looking for on TikTok? How are they engaging with TikTok?

Keep in mind that you should always be targeting TikTok users that feel authentic to you and your brand. You want your content to simultaneously educate and entertain your audience, and that will only work if what you’re sharing is relevant to your viewers. 


2. Create engaging content

Great news! Unlike Instagram or YouTube, you don’t need a ton of TikTok followers to go viral on TikTok. This is all thanks to TikTok’s vigorous recommendation system, aka the algorithm.

The beauty of the TikTok algorithm is that if you produce high-quality and trendy content that’s curated to your target audience, you have just as high a chance to show up on your audience’s feed as all the other TikToker users (yes, even if you have little to no followers).

So, how can you capitalize on the TikTok algorithm and optimize your content to the fullest? Keep reading for more tips!


3. Leverage popular trends

While sometimes it might feel clichéd to follow the trends, we all know that TikTok is all about them, and there’s a reason for it: responding to trends on TikTok can pay off.

Case in point: Remember that brief moment when everyone was making vignettes à la Wes Anderson? The trend became so popular that even the literal cast of Anderson’s new film Asteroid City showed up in a TikTok video

@tiktok

when you do the Wes Anderson trend with the cast of Wes Anderson’s new movie #AsteroidCity (shot and produced by @guywithamoviecamera )

♬ original sound – TikTok

Jump on trends only if they’re relevant to your content

While it’s always a smart idea to leverage trends, remember that you’ll want to stick to trends that resonate with you as a person and with your brand, otherwise, you run the risk of appearing inauthentic, AKA the ultimate death trap on TikTok.  


4. Use hashtags effectively

You might have noticed that content creators with fewer TikTok followers tend to use more hashtags in their posts. This is because it truly is an effective way of driving traffic to your account, especially when you’re just getting started.

That being said, you want to be strategic with your hashtags and use them moderately. We’ve all seen those posts with 18 million hashtags — it’s not the cutest look. So avoid spamming your audience and stick to the expert-recommended amount of three to five hashtags per post.

You want your hashtags to be specific and relevant to your content, with a healthy mix of popular and niche hashtags. Popular hashtags will help expose your content to a larger audience, while niche hashtags help you connect with a more targeted audience.

Research trending and relevant hashtags

If you’re wondering where to find trending hashtags, TikTok’s Discover page is a great place to start. There are also several tools, like TikTok’s Creative Center, for tracking the performance metrics of hashtags across TikTok. You can even create your own branded hashtags to build a sense of community or hype around your content. 

Want to grow your TikTok account quickly? Get our free TikTok SEO cheat sheet for more tips on how to use hashtags to boost your following!

The Essential TikTok SEO Cheat Sheet

Your pocket guide to getting to the top of TikTok search results.


5. Create Duets and Stitch videos

Using TikTok’s Duet and Stitch feature is an easy (and fun) way to increase engagement. TikTok Duets allow you to create side-by-side videos, one with your content and the other with the original video creator.

TikTok creators generally use the Duet feature to show viewers their reaction or response in real-time alongside the original video. And who doesn’t love a reaction video? 

@malantran

#duet with @peachmangojuice777 #pottery just sharing the importance of centering in wheel throwing!! No shade to her, she’s enjoying it and learning but something I will always emphasize is taking your time to center!! 🫶🏼 #ceramics #wheelthrowing #fyp #ceramicstudio #potterytiktok #clay

♬ Sunday Kind of Love – Etta James

Meanwhile, TikTok’s Stitch feature lets you incorporate a specific portion of the original video into your content. Like Duet, the Stitch feature is another way to reinterpret or add to another user’s content. Think of using Stitch for building upon, or responding to, existing tutorials, recipes, or commentary. 

@miztermiller

#stitch with @Jordan Samson One of the reasons you see books page side out so often (besides the fact that some people just like how it looks!) Let me know if you have any questions from my tv producer days! #homedecor #diy #interiordesign #diyproject #homereno #tvproducer #behindthescenes #realitytv

♬ Let It Happen – Tame Impala

Engage with your followers and other TikTok creators

Both Stitch and Duet encourage TikTok users and viewers to share and interact with each other’s content. Think of these editing tools as an opportunity to gain TikTok followers who may not have come across your content otherwise. 


6. Use trending sounds or music

Using trending sounds and music is a sneaky way of increasing the reach and engagement of your videos. But how do you know what songs are trending? 

As always, keep checking that Discovery page and TikTok’s Creative Center to stay up to date on the latest song trends! We also recommend following influencers and creators that are within your same content niche to observe what sounds and trending songs they’re using. And don’t forget to credit the original sound or music creator!

@mariandcandicee

Use my code “week01” to get 15% off @Halara_official

♬ Cupid – Twin Ver. (FIFTY FIFTY) – Sped Up Version – sped up 8282

7. Post at the right time

We’re not going to lie, deciding on the right time to post can be tricky — who can predict what time everyone will be on TikTok? 

The best answer here really harks back to knowing your target audience. Think about your audience demographics, like their age group, location, and general interests.

What time do you expect your audience to be on TikTok the most? For example, are they 9-to-5ers where you see a spike in views late afternoon and evening? Or, maybe your target audience demographic is students whose schedules might be less predictable.

Know your TikTok audience

While knowing your audience will help you the most, TikTok does have general peak user hours. A study conducted by SocialPilot narrowed down the best engagement rate times on TikTok across several key time zones and countries across the world, here’s what they found for the U.S.:

Best time to post on TikTok in the U.S. (EST)

  • Monday: 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 2 a.m., 4 a.m., 9 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 11 a.m.
  • Thursday: 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 7 p.m.
  • Friday: 5 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
  • Saturday: 11 a.m., 7 p.m., 9 p.m.
  • Sunday: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 4 p.m.

While this can be a helpful guide for some, it’s not a rigid rule. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question, “When is the best time to post on TikTok?”  But keeping in mind your target audience’s demographics is a helpful rule of thumb.

Once your channel grows, you can even analyze the view time of your followers directly from the TikTok Creator Tool tab. Creator @rixirising outlines how to do it in this video

@rixirising

best time to post on TikTok is reported to be at 3PM, 7PM, or 9PM — BUT it’s much more important to check tour analytics & base your posting time on your follower’s most active time 💡 #tiktokgrowth #tiktokgrowthtips #besttimetopostontiktok #rixirising

♬ Chopin Nocturne No. 2 Piano Mono – moshimo sound design

8. Establish a regular posting schedule

Like any content creation, consistency is key. The more content you have published, the closer you’ll be to getting more TikTok followers. 

You also want to be realistic about how much content you can create. For example, you don’t need to post one video a day, but you do want your TikTok followers to rely on when they can expect new content from your account.

So before you get started on TikTok, you’ll want to seriously consider how much high-quality content you can realistically produce in a day, week, month, or year. Then build a content calendar and stick to it! 

Build a content calendar

You want content creation to feel fun, not stressful! While it might seem overwhelming at first, planning and building out a content calendar will significantly alleviate any stressful situations later on.

A content calendar also allows you to build a backlog of content. Lean into that backlog, because it will ultimately allow you to take IRL breaks (if things ever feel like too much). 

There are several tools available for creating content calendars, like Airtable and Notion. But you can also go full old school and use a literal agenda, or a free tool like Google Calendar. 


9. Cross-promote your TikTok videos on other social media platforms

Cross-promoting your TikTok videos across multiple social media platforms is a powerful way to get more TikTok followers. Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and TikTok all share a similar short-form video format, so it’s fairly easy to produce content that could work across all three social media platforms. 

Promoting TikTok on Instagram to gain more followers

For example, you can repurpose your TikTok videos and share them as Reels on Instagram. It’s super easy to share your TikTok video on Instagram with the TikTok watermark, which can help increase traffic to your TikTok channel.

Reels aren’t the only way to promote your TikTok on Instagram. You can also use Instagram Stories and feed posts to attract more followers by creating video teasers or a highlight reel.

Promoting TikTok on other social media networks

Beyond Instagram, other social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, allow you to share a link to your TikTok video or directly embed the video in your post.

Depending on your target audience, Snapchat and Pinterest are other social media platforms useful for promoting TikTok videos — simply share snippets or screenshots with a call-to-action (CTA) caption to encourage viewers to visit your TikTok to watch the whole video. 


10. Respond to your viewers’ comments and messages

More engagement equals more TikTok followers. And since TikTok is a social platform after all, connecting with your viewers in a positive and engaging manner can help you build a loyal following. 

Here are some of our top tips on the most positive and engaging ways to interact with your viewers:

  • Reply promptly: Responding to viewers’ comments and messages quickly shows them that you value their engagement and encourages them to interact with your content even more.
  • Be genuine: Your viewers are smart, they can detect a phony message, and no one likes to feel like they’re being talked to by a robot. Make an effort to respond sincerely, and make sure to personalize your replies.
  • Be appreciative: Ultimately, a TikTok creator’s success is dependent on their viewers, so make sure to show gratitude towards your followers on TikTok. You can start by simply thanking them for their comments, likes, and shares. 
  • Encourage interaction: Start by asking your viewers to respond to a question in the comments. This is a great way to not only learn more about your target audience, but also encourage conversation and interactions.
  • Address concerns: There’s always going to be a handful of haters on social media, but if one of your viewers raises a valid concern or criticism, it’s best to craft a respectful response.

11. Review analytics to optimize your content

To max out your TikTok revenue potential and increase your TikTok presence, you’re going to want to focus on the most important metrics. Think more followers, high engagement, and multiple revenue streams. Keeping all this in mind, TikTok’s analytics tool will be your new best friend.

First things first, to access your analytics tool, you’ll need a TikTok Pro account. Once you have TikTok Pro, go to your TikTok profile page and tap on the three horizontal lines in the top right corner. Then select “Analytics” from the menu. Here you’ll find various sections with information about your account and content performance.

Start exploring analytics by checking the “Overview” section on your TikTok profile, which provides a summary of your account’s performance over the last 7 or 28 days. Look for metrics like total video views, profile views, TikTok followers gained, and trending videos. 

By continuously monitoring your TikTok analytics, you can adapt and optimize your content strategy based on the insights you gather. 


12. Stay authentic

Last but definitely not least, the golden rule of any content creation is to stay authentic.

As long as you stay true to who you are and produce content that’s authentic to you, you’ll be gaining more and more followers on TikTok in no time! 

how to get more tiktok followers free authentic genuine

Time to skyrocket your TikTok growth!

In the last few years, the creator economy has exploded. And TikTok, one of the newest social media platforms, is at the forefront of it all.

While it’s primarily known as a social media platform, it could be argued that TikTok operates more like a search engine tool, quickly becoming a rival to Google as a go-to source for information.

This is great news for TikTok creators, since the more people that turn to TikTok for education and entertainment, the more it becomes a viable source of income for creators on the platform.

Making money on TikTok

Because TikTok doesn’t yet compensate the majority of its creators for running TikTok ads on videos, creators and third-party brands don’t have standardized rates to follow if they decide to work together. This means that revenue generated from brand deals and sponsored posts can vary widely depending on several factors. To simplify the calculation process for you, we’ve created a handy TikTok Money Calculator tool to help you estimate how much money you can make (Try it!)

While it’s true that anyone can go viral on TikTok regardless of how many followers they have, the general rule of thumb is that creators get paid more if they have both a high engagement rate and a high number of followers on TikTok. So, focus on growing your account with the tips shared in this article, and the money will follow.

Ready to make bank? Download our free guide How To Make Money on TikTok, where we spill even more deets on how to gain more followers and generate revenue on TikTok.

how to make money on TikTok guide

How to Make Money on TikTok

Your pocket guide to making TikTok work for you.

FAQ

How can I get more followers on TikTok fast?

Here’s the scoop: You don’t need to buy TikTok followers. Instead, hone in on your unique style and create captivating, high-quality content that stands out from the crowd. Embrace the trends, challenges, and hashtags that resonate with your audience, and don’t shy away from joining the fun. 

Engage with the TikTok community by liking, commenting, and collaborating with other creators. Be authentic, stay consistent, and post regularly to keep your audience hooked. Don’t forget to optimize your profile, use eye-catching thumbnails, and experiment with creative effects to make your content pop. 

Lastly, promote your TikTok on other social media platforms and leverage the power of word-of-mouth. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to attracting more followers (no fake followers required) in no time.

What hashtags should I use to grow my TikTok account?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to which hashtags you should use to grow your TikTok following, there are some general rules to keep in mind while building your hashtag strategy.

The first rule of thumb: research! Look up trending hashtags on TikTok’s Discover page and Creative Center, or check out popular videos in your niche to see what hashtags are included.

Secondly, always use specific and relevant hashtags and make sure to dish out a healthy dose of trending and evergreen hashtags (FYI, an evergreen hashtag is a hashtag that will remain popular and relevant over an extended period).

Finally, don’t forget to leverage niche-specific hashtags or your own branded hashtags, which help build a sense of community around your content niche.

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Further reading

jenni stablein
About the author

Jenni Stablein

Jenni Stablein is a content marketer and freelance writer passionate about producing compelling and educational content for a range of clients across tech, fashion, product design, and art. When she's not writing, Jenni is nerding out about clouds (yes, clouds) or how to keep things alive in her garden. 
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