They love you. But do they like you? The number of likes your TikToks receive has a significant impact on the growth of your account—the number of followers, the views on each video, and even how much cash you can make if you’re monetizing your content.
So besides being extremely socially validating (we’re fine, thanks for asking), having lots of likes leads to better engagement and a more successful presence. Here’s how to get more likes on TikTok.
Why are TikTok likes important?
Likes are just one way of measuring how well you’re doing on TikTok. There’s also your number of followers, total number of views, views on each video, comments. Focusing on one is like trying to pick apart a 7-layer dip.
How much does each metric matter? Are likes an integral part of the dip, like guac? Or something useless and maybe kinda gross, like, say, olives? (Don’t get mad, it’s just a blog post.)
Likes are a ranking system for TikTok’s algorithm
A large part of gaining traction on TikTok is showing up on users’ For You feeds. How each individual For You feed is built depends on TikTok’s algorithm—a labyrinth of code that savvy social media marketers are always trying to master.
TikTok lists user interactions as the first factor in personalizing the For You page. This includes accounts the user follows, videos they share, comments they post, and, of course, videos they like.
In other words, every layer of the dip makes a difference. The more likes you have on a video, the more likely that video is to show up on a For You page of a relevant potential follower, and the more you show up on the For You page, the more followers you’ll gain—which again, increases your chances of getting on more For You pages.
They serve as social proof
When it comes down to it, likes are just a tap on a screen. The person who liked your TikTok could have laughed out loud, passed the phone around to their friends, and sent it as a web link to their older sister who refuses to download the app.
Or they could have tapped it by accident, maybe when they realized they’ve spent too much time toilet-scrolling and their boss is probably wondering if they’re okay.
Regardless of how it came to be, every like acts as social proof of the validity of your account and content. Other TikTok users will see the like count on each video, as well as the total likes on your account, and equate lots of likes with, well, lots of people liking your content. And that’s a good thing.
Like counts have such a significant social impact, in fact, that Facebook and Instagram have experimented with hiding them entirely and now give you the option to hide likes. For better or for worse, TikTok likes are public and conspicuous, and the more you have, the more you’ll be seen as a good source of content.
TikTok likes can make you money
Not directly, but bear with us: likes lead to followers, followers lead to popularity, and popularity leads to opportunities to make money.
This brilliantly written blog post covers 4 strategies you can use to make money on TikTok, but all of them require establishing a good rapport with your audience. The more they like your videos (both figuratively and literally), the more they’ll pay, and the more brands will pay you to show off their goods.
Should you buy TikTok likes?
Wow, that’s a great question. I wasn’t expecting that question. To put it simply, no.
While opening your wallet may gain you a bit of the social clout noted above, it’s a very risky—and ultimately, artificial—way to up that like count.
We already conducted an experiment where we bought TikTok followers, and found that it did nothing for engagement (plus, we got a notification from TikTok warning us about inauthentic accounts and ultimately, removed the followers). The app lists a similar warning when it detects fake likes, and removes them as well.
Buying likes isn’t strictly against TikTok’s terms of service, but continually getting your account flagged for inauthentic likes is not good.
Plus, TikTok’s algorithm doesn’t only count likes. Those other metrics matter. (Remember: seven layer dip.) Buying likes won’t increase your follower count, comments or shares, especially if TikTok removes the paid likes. Save your money. Buy some dip.
Continue reading if you want to know how to get free likes on TikTok.
How to get more likes on TikTok, even if you’re not famous
Strategy 1: Know your audience
Since the dawn of time (or like, when Youtube was invented) creators have been trying to figure out ways to hack the system and gain fame and fortune, fast. Knowing your audience is the best way to do this: figure out what they want, and give it to them. Right?
But trying to fit yourself into a mold is actually one of the worst things you can do (and kind of gives off pick me energy).
No matter what, the folks who make it big on the internet are the ones who are perceived to be authentic—and usually, that’s because they are. Your audience wants you to be yourself. TikTok users not only appreciate genuine content, they like it. For a deeper insight into who your followers are, check out your TikTok analytics.
Strategy 2: Stay up to date with TikTok trends
If you’re struggling for content ideas, TikTok trends are a great place to look for inspo. From dance challenges to seasonal photoshoots to trends where people fall in love with you, your feed is always full of TikToks that were made to be recreated.
And if challenge-style trends don’t tickle your fancy, using a trending song can be just as effective.
Have you ever been so obsessed with a singer, you bought all their albums, went to their concerts, plastered your bedroom with posters of them and loved everything even moderately affiliated with them? Don’t pretend the answer is no. You seem like an ex-Directioner.
Using songs that are trending is an easy way to make TikToks that immediately resonate with viewers. It’s a way to piggyback off the success of a well-known artist, and create content that’s instantly identifiable—a like for Olivia Rodrigo might translate to a like for you.
Strategy 3: Follow TikTok influencers
Your favourite influencer might seem like they’ve got it all figured out, but even super famous TikTokkers have videos that get less traction than others. Bella Poarch has over 84 million followers on the app, and while this video had 5.4 million likes, this one has a measly 700,000 likes (we’re kidding, 700k likes is a lot—but not compared to her other videos).
Paying attention to the like counts of influencers is a good technique to see how different kinds of videos perform on a large scale. The first TikTok makes a reference to a hugely popular TV show, and the second is a pretty basic lip synch (in a notably fabulous outfit). Watch what influencers do, and try and translate those strategies into your own content.
Strategy 4: Just ask for them
Sometimes, the most obvious answer is the best answer. One asking-for-likes technique involves making videos in two parts, then asking your audience to “like for part two.” This feels like an exchange with your viewers. They hit that like button, and in return see how the story ends.
But you don’t need TikToks with multiple parts in order to request likes from your audience. We’re not here to tell you to beg on every TikTok, but there are clever, humorous, and effective ways to simply ask for likes. Here’s an example.
How can you resist that?
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