TikTok is taking over the world. Not quite in the world domination sense, but in the way it is ingrained in everything we do. Human interaction, entertainment, commerce– TikTok has a hand in it all. People are using TikTok to learn new skills, find product reviews, and feel less alone.
TikTok Search search engine at the root of it all. Users can type in whatever they want, being as specific as they want, and get results that act as their gateway to new communities. The more it is utilized, the more powerful it becomes. In fact, TikTok Search has become Gen Z’s search engine of choice. In this blog, we'll discover how TikTok search works and how it can be a powerful tool to grow your business and brand and reach new audiences.
What is TikTok Search
So, what makes TikTok Search more appealing than Google for young users? First off, it’s how specific the results are to the searcher’s interests. Second, it’s the fact that TikTok videos with faces and emotions are more relatable. Everything from how-tos to reviews comes across as more genuine than page after page of blue links and meta descriptions. It's also easy for users to catch up on any TikTok drama or new products if they missed.
Scroll through the reviews on a Google Business page and you’ll find short responses and star ratings– none of which compare to the short review clips shared on TikTok. Users spend the same amount of time searching but get a much clearer picture of what to expect from their visit.
According to Google’s senior VP Prabhakar Raghavan, Google is catching on:
“In our studies, something like almost 40 percent of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”
How to Search on TikTok
TikTok Search is a magnifying glass on the top right corner of the app that allows users to find new trending videos, hashtags, creators, sponsored content, and communities.
The Discover page used to have a search bar as well. However, because users do most of their discovering on the For You Page and most of their searching using the Search feature without clicking over to Discover, that page will soon become the Friends Tab (this change has already taken place for many accounts).
To search, just click the magnifying glass in the top right corner and type in relevant keywords. You can also click one of the “You may like” suggestions on the bottom half.
Once you type in your keywords and click search, there will be a scroll bar at the top. It automatically pulls up the top content. If you swipe left, you can view the top users, videos, sounds, LIVE videos, and hashtags for your search terms.
How to Optimize for TikTok Search
Brands and businesses can take advantage of TikTok Search by optimizing the keywords and hashtags they use in their content.
TikTok’s algorithm is already working in your favor, here. It wants to connect you with the users actively searching for your content. Optimizing your caption and hashtags makes that job a little easier for the algorithm. When you optimize your videos for TikTok Search, you give TikTok clearer signals to go off of when selecting content.
So, how can you optimize for TikTok Search? It all comes down to being strategic with your hashtags and caption. Find similar content that is performing well, then click the hashtags they used. See if the top-performing videos in those hashtags align with your content. If they do, then use them! For your caption, use words that users might search for when looking for videos like yours.
Don’t forget to use PLANOLY’s video planner for a little caption strategy help before your videos go live.
Why Create Content for TikTok Search
While trends and numbers should never make up your whole strategy, creating content with what your target audience searches for in mind is a great way to increase your discoverability and build your audience. Use search terms as inspiration when brainstorming video concepts, but never stray from creating the content you know your audience will enjoy.