TikTok Best Practices To Help You Stay on the Success Track

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Carolyn Howell

Last Updated: Dec 08, 2023

TikTok 101

Want More Real Tiktok Followers?

The formula for success on any social media platform often involves a high follower count and high engagement rate. With tens of thousands of new posts uploaded to TikTok every minute, best practices can help you stay visible on For You feeds. Whether you’re creating organic or sponsored content, you need to follow TikTok best practices to capture and sustain viewers’ attention.

An image of a city at night alight with giant digital ads on buildings.

Best Practices When Creating Organic Content

Let’s start off with best practices for generating scroll-stopping organic content!

  1. Follow optimal TikTok dimensions to produce high-res videos. In-feed TikTok videos are in vertical, full-screen format, so the optimal aspect ratio is 9:16 or 1080 by 1920 pixels. You may only need to convert your video to the correct dimensions if you’re creating it off the app or using a DSLR camera, for example. 
  1. Always use audio. Sound is essential to the TikTok viewing experience. You can add a trending song, mood music, a voice-over, or just talk to your audience to create an interactive experience.
  1. Keep your videos short and sweet. TikTok videos can be up to 10 minutes long. But to keep audiences watching until the end, keep your videos under one minute. Thirty seconds hit the sweet spot, according to research. 
  1. Keep viewers visually stimulated with effects and a dynamic background. Experiment with different TikTok effects and filters. Simply change the camera angles or move around to avoid a fixed and uninteresting background. 
  1. Invest in good lighting and audio equipment. More often than not, your smartphone is enough to produce good-quality videos for TikTok. You can find a spot with perfect natural light, minimal background noise, and good acoustics. But if you’re serious about building your brand, investing in some basic lighting and audio equipment may be necessary.
  1. Follow a regular posting schedule. The adage “Out of sight, out of mind” is more accurate on social media than anywhere else. Identify the best times to post on TikTok to reach your target viewers and stick to a regular posting schedule. Make sure you’re part of your target audiences’ daily TikTok habit. 
  2. Develop an optimized targeting strategy. Use the right combination of hashtags and keywords for easy discoverability and higher ranking on For You feeds.

A woman sits on a set of stairs while holding a blank canvas for an ad.

TikTok Creative Best Practices

For ad creatives, the stakes are higher, so the rules are different. The platform offers a complete suite of tools for the creation of video ads. However, it may be challenging to nail down a strategy that delivers one’s desired results. TikTok has developed six research-based Creative Codes to help brands create ads that capture video views and convert.

Here’s a run-through of TikTok’s creative best practices:

  1. Leverage unique TikTok elements to create ads that naturally and seamlessly fit into the platform. “When brands make ads that are TikTok-first, 74% of viewers say they catch their attention. They also experience a significant lift across brand outcomes and drive 3.3x more action such as clicks, likes, and shares compared to other platforms.”
  1. Use trends to communicate more effectively. TikTok trends are like “storytelling templates” created by the TikTok community. Explore the Trends page on TikTok Creative Center to discover what’s popular in your region and industry at any given moment. 
  1. Follow basic production principles. These include “shooting content vertically, using hi-resolution footage, and being aware of the UI-friendly ‘safe space.’”
  1. Hook viewers, keep them engaged, and inspire action. Hook viewers within the first six seconds. Pull the audience with branding cues. End your ad creative with a strong CTA. 
  1. Stimulate attention through creative editing. Use editing techniques like “music, transitions, movement, text overlay, emojis, and branding work best to create interest, capture attention, and drive ad memorability.”
  2. Always offer the sound-on option. “According to 88% of TikTok users, sound is vital to the TikTok experience. With half of our users saying music makes content on TikTok more uplifting, energizing, and entertaining,¹ knowing how to turn the volume up on your sound-on knowledge is essential to brands.”

A man films a woman arranging flowers.

TikTok Ad Best Practices

Every campaign is different. Every brand has different campaign goals. But you can use these TikTok ad best practices to create and optimize an ad that suits your needs and purposes.

When you’re getting started with ad creation:

  • While you’re in the ad group’s exploration stage, diversify your creatives. Test different creative styles and materials. 
  • Make sure each ad group has different creatives. Bulking together similar creatives in a single ad group will make it more difficult to compare ad performance data. 
  • Use TikTok’s Smart Creative to help you identify creatives that work and save you time and effort through automation. This tool is especially helpful when you have more than ten different creatives in an ad group. 
  • If you opt out of Smart Creative, keep your creatives to no more than five in a single ad group during the exploration stage. Wait until your ad group passes the learning phase or 50 conversions before adding more creatives.

Tips to optimize your ad:

  • Limit your active creatives to 16 per ad group once it’s running if you’re not using Automated Creative Optimization
  • Update your creative at least every seven days. Refresh your creatives continuously to prevent ad fatigue. 
  • Design new creatives more efficiently with TikTok’s creative tools, such as Smart Video
  • Add new creatives to an existing ad group to extend its lifetime. 

Keep an eye on your analytics to track your campaign’s performance and identify which practices work to your advantage and which ones don’t. Produce new creatives similar to those that perform well to test if they’ll continue delivering the same results. Experiment with different elements among similar creatives to explore possibilities for further optimization.

A creator films content featuring a product for a brand collaboration.

Apply TikTok Best Practices To Get Your Desired Results

Anybody can go viral and become an overnight TikTok success on TikTok. But, sustained success requires a well-developed and informed social media strategy. General rules apply to everyone; however, you must also meet your target audience’s unique needs to keep them engaged.

TikTok success means having a follower base proportional to the size of your niche or industry, as well as consistently high engagement. Success on the platform may also mean generating good sales and profits if you have a business. If you’re a creator, your success may depend on how much you earn from content monetization or simply how active your community is.

But the path that leads to these results is different for everybody because different TikTok audiences have different interests, passions, and values. For example, using trending hashtags is a best practice that all content creators must follow for optimized targeting. At the same time, they must consider niche-specific hashtags relevant to their target audience.

Take TikTok best practices to heart to stay relevant in the lightning-fast-paced social media universe. Know what works well for everybody, follow industry standards, and develop a TikTok formula that addresses your community’s unique needs. Make sure suitable viewers discover your video quickly by signing up for a High Social account. High Social’s advanced, proprietary audience-targeting tool instantly connects you with viewers who will likely become lifelong fans. Convert more viewers into highly engaged followers. Start growing your TikTok today!

TikTok 101