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Cracking the TikTok algorithm

Conviva’s social insights analysis shows sports leagues and streaming publishers are gaining the most followers through consistent posting of quality content

An examination of more than 1,500 verified brand accounts on TikTok, with a combined 1.42-billion followers and 591,000 posted videos, shows that the most successful brands were able to add an average of 527,000 new followers from March 2021 to March 2022.

The third annual TikTok Benchmarks & Strategy Guide, released by Conviva, the continuous measurement analytics platform for streaming media, details which brands are most effectively capitalising on the pandemic-fueled increased popularity of TikTok.

At the beginning of the pandemic, many brands were still hesitant to fully embrace TikTok as a powerful tool in their marketing strategy. However, over the last 18 months TikTok’s growth and popularity has exploded—and brands are racing to build and execute a strategy to tap into this massive incremental audience,” said Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy, Conviva. “With no signs of slowing down, it’s important for brands to understand what tactics—namely consistently posting quality content—actually move the needle in terms of engagement and brand building on TikTok.”

Across the industries measured by Conviva, sports leagues’ accounts achieved the largest average annual increase of followers at 969,800, followed by sports media at 825,000. Four TikTok accounts—Tottenham Hotspur, Champions League, Manchester United and Netflix—all increased their following by more than 10 million followers in the last year. ESPN was close behind with an increase of 9.1 million followers. Sports leagues also edged out sports media accounts to become the fastest growing segment of 2021.

As many brands have come to realise in the last year, Conviva’s research shows that posting consistently makes a significant difference when building a TikTok following. Of the 1500 brand accounts measured, accounts posted, on average, 189 times in the past year, a 13% increase from last year’s average. Additionally, among the top 20 accounts ranked by follower growth, those accounts averaged roughly 7.1 times more posts over the past year than all accounts, on average. For top performers, that amounts to around three to four posts per day, up from two to three times per day from last year’s report.

Recognizing that engagement has become an important metric for brands, Conviva added an average engagement rate ranking to this year’s report. According to Conviva data, the average engagement rate for brands with under 100,000 followers is incredibly high at 28%, demonstrating TikTok’s well-honed ability to offer new accounts the organic reach they need to build a following. However, as follower counts go up, engagement rates typically go down. For example, Family Feud, an account notoriously popular for its reshared audio tracks, took the top spot for accounts with over 1 million followers with an engagement rate of 41.6%.

Other findings include:

  • Of the nine sports leagues analysed, teams in the Premier League had the highest average number of followers at 3.2 million, followed by Ligue 1 at 2.1 million and La Liga at 1.7 million. European futbol teams dominated the fastest growing accounts list with eight European teams in the top 20.
  • The most-followed US sports teams were the Golden State Warriors at 3.7 million, the Kansas City Chiefs at 2 million and Dallas Cowboys at 1.7m. The Chiefs, Cowboys and the Warriors were the only American teams in the top 25.
  • Guinness World Records maintained its spot at the top of the brands list with 19.1 million followers.
  • Overall, engagement rate rankings were dominated by TV and entertainment accounts. Those accounts enjoyed the highest average shares, comments and likes per video.
  • Within the brands ranking, gaming showed up big this year as Roblox and Fortnite claimed the No. 2 and 3 spots at 7.9 million and 7.7 million, respectively.
  • WWE overtook the NBA as the most-followed sports league.

In addition to offering the latest benchmark data, Conviva also shares specific forward-looking trends to employ to achieve TikTok success in 2022. Businesses interested in utilising these strategies and learning more about emerging social media platforms can download Conviva’s TikTok Benchmarks & Strategy Guide here:

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