Target Audience for TikTok: How To Find Your Subculture

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Carolyn Howell

Last Updated: Oct 30, 2023

TikTok 101

Want More Real Tiktok Followers?

TikTok has caught up with the Big 3 social channels and reached 1 billion active users per month in 2020. That’s 1 billion people spending time on the platform to be entertained, to learn, or to discover something new. 1 billion opportunities for anybody on the app to connect with their viewers. If you want to grow your TikTok followers for the success of your brand/business, you must answer this critical question: Who is your target audience for TikTok?

TikTok logo inside a ring light.

Why You Should Connect With the Right People for Your Target Audience TikTok

Why is it important to connect with the right people when identifying who your target audience is on TikTok? Consider TikTok’s latest marketing study, which revealed that “46% of users engage with the app without any other distraction (compared to 37% on competing platforms).” This means that nearly half of TikTok users are more focused and engaged when watching videos on the downloaded app. TikTok users feel that their time on the platform is “time well spent.”

Another scientific study looked at how the brain responds to TikTok videos. The study found that TikTok’s “appeal to consumers at a deeper emotional level” is “more memorable than TV or other digital video ads and more engaging than other leading platforms.” Any brand or business should tap into this deeper connection. Develop and nurture a dedicated following and produce rewarding results. When you’ve identified your target audience on TikTok, rest assured that your connections will deliver genuine value to your brand or business for a very long time.

TikTok for Business page showing how TikTok videos drive greater audience engagement.

Find Your Subculture To Connect With a Target Audience on TikTok

Remember that TikTok is entirely different from social media apps: Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. TikTok’s For You feed is central to the TikTok experience; this is where TikTokers spend most of their time engaging with other users. TikTok’s For You feed curates videos to every user’s interests or the subculture/s they identify with. Therefore, finding your subcultures is key to figuring out who your target audience is for TikTok. 

As on other platforms, you need to learn about TikTok demographics to correctly identify Internet users who might be interested in what you have to offer. But on the platform, it’s equally important that you also determine the communities, values, and aesthetics they relate to. These are the subculture/s they choose to engage with and will help you grow your first 1000 tiktok followers and can be better indicators of their behaviors and interests than their age group, gender, or location.

Whether intentionally or otherwise, TikTok has become a hotbed for subcultures. Every TikToker’s For You feed serves as the hub for their preferred subcultures. To make authentic connections on the platform, you’ll need to share the same subcultures with your target audience. This will help you build greater credibility, brand loyalty, and amplified exposure when posting content.

What Does “Reached Audience” Mean on TikTok?

If you are new to the term “target audience,” you might wonder if this is similar to the phrase “reached audience” on TikTok. Not exactly. The reached audience is the number of TikTok users who have watched your video content. Find this statistic in your TikTok Analytics. We’ll dive into how to use the Followers tab in Analytics later. The data around your posts’ reach is just as important.

By keeping an eye on the types of videos you are posting and their overall reach, you’ll discover your most popular content on the platform. This will determine what type of content your followers are most interested in. By knowing your TikTok usage statistics and reached audience, you will understand what content your current followers prefer to see.

These TikTok stats give you a better idea of your existing target audience on TikTok. By understanding what is popular with active users already watching your videos, you know what engaging content to create next. But more importantly, knowing the right content to post gives you insight into who your followers could be.

TikTok’s What is the “For You” feed page which can help identify who the target audience is for your Tiktok.

How To Find Your TikTok Target Audience in 7 Ways

Figuring out who your target audience is on TikTok means identifying the values, characteristics, aesthetics, and vocabulary that they relate to the most. Use this knowledge to create content that matches their ideals and preferences. Build a brand and a unique platform your potential followers identify with, and you will boost your follower count. Here are seven ways that you can track down your ideal set of viewers on Tiktok.

1. Identify Your Own Persona

Establishing your TikTok identity or persona is a big part of becoming successful on the platform. It is the foundation on which you’ll build your TikTok community. Once you’ve figured out your persona for the app, you’ll be able to identify your subcultures. Next, find your target market for TikTok based on your shared interests, passions, and ideals. You can start defining your persona by answering these TikTok-recommended questions:

  • What skill or passion can you share with others?
  • What impact do you want to make?
  • What is the message you want to deliver?
  • Who are your favorite TikTok creators and why?

Your persona will determine the type of videos you create. When you find the right viewers, your content will always resonate with them.

Drawings of different faces to represent different kinds of TikTok persona.

2. Figure Out Your TikTok Target Audience by Identifying Their Interests

TikTok is all about embracing and expressing one’s true self, and user interests are as representative of their authenticity as anything else. To figure out who your target audience is on TikTok, you’ll need to shift the gears of your strategy. Instead of asking “Who” they are, based on their age, gender, location, and other demographics, start asking “What” interests they have that your brand/business can cater to.

Here are three pointers to help you find your followers through their interests:

  • What topics are they enthusiastic about? For example, if you’re a makeup brand, your viewers would be interested in makeup tutorials, transformations, and filters.
  • What are their passions? If you’re a fitness brand, your target market would be passionate about fitness challenges or journeys.
  • What hashtags do they use to identify their chosen TikTok “tribes?” We have a separate section for hashtags below.

Your success on TikTok will significantly depend on genuine connections with your viewers. So, you must thoroughly understand your target audience’s interests. Correctly identifying who your target audience is for TikTok will allow you to speak to them authentically through videos that tap into their tribe’s passion points and ideals. Now you can take the next step to create your own TikTok challenge and potentially gain new followers.

Two people playing a video game as an example of identifying your Tiktok’s target audience’s interests.

3. Explore Hashtags To Identify Your TikTok Target Audience

Harnessing the power of hashtags serves to make your TikTok content stand out and feel more intentional. It’s also a great strategy to identify your target audience on TikTok. Hashtags work the same way across all platforms. You can increase your chances of being discovered by potential new followers by using the right hashtags on TikTok. Optimize your audience targeting based on hashtags relevant to your business. 

On TikTok, however, people are more discriminating when they use hashtags. Why? It all goes back to embracing and expressing one’s authentic self. This means that your target audience’s preferred hashtags speak more about their beliefs and passions than the latest trend in their areas of interest. 

Trending hashtags, which you can find via TikTok’s Discover page, are still helpful. But you have to narrow your focus further and explore the most relevant hashtags to your audience’s subculture/s. Simply type the interest or keyword related to your brand, business, or type of content in the search bar, and the results will also show you the most relevant hashtags.

From there, you can learn more about your target audience’s preferences. Do they care about learning how to do the latest challenges on TikTok? Do they use specific sounds consistently? And so on and so forth. Now you can focus on a more personalized approach when creating content and your next hashtag challenge.

Hashtag symbols printed on pink paper to represent exploring hashtags to find your target audience on TikTok.

4. Scope Out the Target Audiences of Your Competitors and Influencers in the Industry

Chances are high that your competitors are already on the app, so scoping out their followers can help you hone in on your ideal target audience for TikTok. Whether they are direct competitors or random but similar brands within your industry, learning about their target market and what they’re up to on the app is key. It can point you in the right direction and provide you with the insights you need to cultivate your own “cult” following. 

Keep in mind that TikTok is a creator-led platform, so the top TikTok influencers and personalities that work within your subcultures, niche, and industry are also a great source of information on who your target audience is and what they’re looking for. You can even perform cross-platform research to find the most relevant aspects shared by various potential audience groups. Once you’ve identified your competitors and other similar influencers, you can tap into their audience by learning how to stitch a video on TikTok.

Screenshots of TikTok’s various features guide

5. Identify Your TikTok Target Audience Based on Your Other Social Media Platforms

Use your information about your followers on another social media platform to identify users who are most likely to enjoy TikTok’s uniquely engaging, short-form, mobile video content format. The goal is to identify subcultures relevant to your brand. While you can easily promote your TikTok account to your followers on other social platforms, you can find more of the same target audience for TikTok based on what you already know about your existing followers. 

Suppose you can identify which TikTok subcultures your followers on other platforms belong to. You can easily find interest overlaps that will lead you to other subcultures. Now you can find new viewers and create new Tiktok ads. Imagine you have a gardening page on Instagram and Facebook. The subcultures you can explore for potential new audiences can include those that promote aeroponics, hydroponics, garden-to-table practices, and country living.

6. Look at Your Brand’s Customer Persona To Identify TikTok Users

Creating a customer persona is SOP for any brand owner wanting to hit their business goals. At the very least, it should contain basic information about your ideal target market, e.g., their key demographic information, interests, lifestyle, behavioral traits, goals, motivations, and pain points. Use your customer persona as a guide to identify who your target audience is for TikTok. 

If your customer persona is a young adult male with an active lifestyle, enjoys sports and staying fit, lives in the city, and loves outdoor adventures — you can find TikTok subcultures that match these traits. Now you can curate a call to action that appeals to your user base for greater engagement and to increase brand recognition through social media.

TikTok page showing different avatars to represent various subcultures.

7. Use Analytics To Learn More About Your Target Audience TikTok

TikTok Analytics is a feature that’s available to all TikTok creators. As on other social media platforms, analytics allows you to track your content’s performance. You can also find valuable insights about your followers so you can learn more about the community you’ve built on the app. Measure performance with your TikTok statistics to identify more of your ideal TikTok target audience. 

The Followers tab in your Analytics contains the following information:

  • Your audience’s distribution by gender
  • Where your followers are from
  • Times of the day and days of the week when your followers are most active on TikTok
  • Changes in follower growth compared to previous periods
  • Videos watched by your followers
  • Sounds your followers listened to

Based on these viewer insights, you’ll be able to paint a complete picture of your target audience for TikTok. Learning the best time of day to post on TikTok is vital. Make more of the same authentic connections to expand and strengthen your community.

Suppose you have a pet toy brand and your follower analytics show that your followers enjoy watching videos of popular, four-legged influencers. In that case, you should check out these accounts to scope out potential new followers to effectively reach them. Consider collaborating with these furry TikTok stars to boost your engagement rates. 

 Screenshot of TikTok Analytics showing follower metrics.

What Comes After You’ve Identified Who Your Target Audience Is on TikTok?

Once you’ve answered the question, “Who is your target audience for TikTok?” and identified the subcultures your audience belongs to, you can create videos that speak their language and connects with them on an authentic and personal level. Finding your target audiences for TikTok can deliver incredible value to any creator. Whether you’re trying to grow a brand on the platform or using it for your creative expression. 

TikTok is a great place to be heard, discover and fully immerse in one’s subculture/s, and make meaningful and lasting connections. Initiating and joining conversations on the platform requires having the right messaging for your viewers. To have the right messaging, you need to have a thorough understanding of your followers and what makes them tick. 

Audience targeting on TikTok calls for a different lens that considers a social channel’s demographics but also prioritizes user base interests and passions. The expertise and advanced targeting capability of a TikTok growth service, like High Social, will certainly give you an invaluable advantage and help you accelerate your organic growth on the platform. Make sure that you reach the right viewers to build genuine and meaningful connections with the help of High Social. Start growing your TikTok today.

TikTok 101