Written by Emily Polner

With over 800 million daily active users and growing, TikTok has already outpaced Instagram’s app store downloads and is one of the fastest-growing platforms in the world. While Gen Z has been actively creating content for the micro-video app since its launch in 2016, TikTok is a much newer platform for brands. We’ve listed the top 7 TikTok metrics to look out for when creating your own TikToks and hiring TikTok influencers, as well as examples of how brands are currently using the app.

Top 7 TikTok metrics you should be tracking

Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are metrics used to measure a campaign’s overall effectiveness. KPIs are important because they can help you assess whether or not your TikTok content or campaign is meeting any of its predetermined goals and objectives and to what degree.

Video views

One of the many great things about TikTok is that you don’t need a ton of followers to get a lot of views. Unlike Instagram, you can have as little as 10 followers and still get your product in front of 200+ people thanks to TikTok’s algorithm. If you’re just starting your TikTok account, upload several videos with different formats/focuses and study which types get more views to build your TikTok marketing strategy. Video views are public facing, so you can easily benchmark your views against your competitors.

Profile views

See how many people clicked through to your profile page and compare this to the number of video views you’ve received. What percentage of people are interested in your content or brand enough to click through to your profile? Tracking the relationship between video and profile views is crucial for brands using TikTok to move viewers down the marketing funnel.

Likes, comments, and shares per video

See how many likes, comments, and shares your video received to get an idea of how your content is resonating with those who have watched it. You can also use these metrics to calculate engagement rates, just like you can with Instagram.

Average watch time

You might recognize this exact metric from YouTube. On TikTok, you can also see the average amount of time that was spent watching each of your videos and compare that to the videos’ actual length. If the average watch time is close to the entire length of the video, that means your videos are compelling enough to be watched all the way through. If the average watch time is nowhere near the total length, that likely means people are dropping off due to a lack of interest.

Trending videos

TikTok’s in-house analytics will actually calculate which of your videos have the fastest growth in view count over the past 7 days. From this information, you can then assess which types of content have the biggest potential of going viral.

How are brands currently using TikTok?

Brands have started to migrate to the trending app, slowly but surely migrating to TikTok to integrate into their marketing strategies. From running traditional advertisements between videos to creating their own original content, brands are learning the ropes of the app’s intricacies and adding a new social media platform to their repotoire. 

TikTok influencers

While there is some overlap between Instagram influencers and TikTok influencers, there’s an entirely new crop of influencers who focus on TikTok as their main platform. Brands are slowly but surely beginning to take advantage of TikTok influencers’ massive reach by hiring creators who have followers in the millions. Business Insider recently published this list of the top 40 most followed TikTok influencers and #40 on the list has 13.5 million followers.

TikTok hashtags

Similar to Instagram or Twitter, brands have the power to start original hashtags to promote a new product and/or encourage consumers to share organic content about the brand. Examples of branded hashtags include Bliss’s #thisisbliss, NYX Cosmetics’ #butterglosspop, and Aeropostale’s #AeroWorld. Brands are adding their branded hashtags to the description boxes below their videos and their profile bios for maximum visibility.

TikTok sounds

Every single TikTok video is accompanied by a sound bite. TikTok users can choose to create a video with an entirely original sound bite or record a video against an existing sound bite from the platform. Under each TikTok video, users can see the name of the song or sound used along with the sound’s creator. Clicking on the sound will take the user to a page that has every single video ever recorded using that sound bite, as well as the chance to “save” the sound for future use and the option record a video with the sound right then and there.

Brands are cashing in on the chance to receive massive exposure by creating extremely catchy original songs as sound bites. These songs are specifically designed to entice TikTok users to record content over them. Examples include Bliss’s “Bright Idea” (4985 videos created) and NYX Cosmetics’ “Butter Gloss Pop” (11.8K videos created).  

TikTok challenges

A clever TikTok challenge can go a long way in terms of organic reach. Chipotle started a successful challenge called the #ChipotleLidFlip (they created a hashtag for it, too). Fans of the chain were encouraged to take the lids off of their food bowls and flawlessly flip them back on by tossing them in the air. The #ChipotleLidFlip videos have been viewed over 297 million times.

The most successful challenges to date have been both funny and low lift. For example, Benefit Cosmetics is working to get a new organic challenge off the ground called the #preciselymybrowchallenge. Creators are encouraged to show their friends and family members a Benefit brow pencil and ask them to identify what it is, with the hope that they’ll give a hilariously incorrect answer.

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