TikTok Study March 2023

TikTok’s biggest questions have been answered

We analyzed 1,907,846 videos from 48,591 accounts [both personal and business] over 180 days.

TikTok generates great debates such as: How many videos should you upload a day? How long should TikTok videos last? What’s the best time to post? Which is better, views or likes? What content is most viral on TikTok? How can you gain more followers? And so on, and so on… 

It’s all been said, speculated, and assumed 🥶

But, if we are sure of one thing in Metricool, it is that the answers are in the data, and thus the purpose of this study on TikTok.

At your fingertips, you have the data to analyze what happens on TikTok.

The sample of the study: the analyzed data

The study analyzes 17,936 business accounts and 30,655 personal accounts (from creators and personal brands) of different sizes, to make it easier to compare and analyze popular strategies on TikTok. 

To facilitate the comparison of size trends and views, we grouped the total of the accounts, 48,591, and videos, 1,907,846, based on:

  •  SIZE by the number of followers of the account at the time of publishing the video.
  • VOLUME based on the number of views achieved per video. 

Now let’s begin with the results. 

How to use the TikTok Study

This analysis brings together all the account investigated, without distinction by sector, to find general trends. In addition to relying on this data, it is always advisable to analyze your own strategy and measure the evolution of your publications and TikTok account.

Differences and Analysis of Personal vs. Business account on TikTok

The question before creating an account is always: Do I create a personal or business TikTok account? 

Here is the data in the comparison of personal accounts and business accounts. Of course, taking into account that when we talk about “personal” accounts, these users still treat their accounts as professional platforms for their business. Therefore, from creators to personal brands. 

Let’s see if there are differences based on the analysis.

Posting Frequency

On average, personal accounts publish more videos per month than business accounts. For personal accounts, we are talking an average of 16.12 videos per month compared to 13.40 videos for business accounts, which is about 17% more. 

Both data are very close since combined, the two types of accounts exceed the frequency of at least 3 videos per week. Personal accounts take the lead with 4 weekly videos, which would make a difference of 1 for weekly videos.

Consistency

When it comes to consistency, we also observed that personal accounts (usually professional content creators) published 3 or more videos per week for a long period of time than business accounts. 

Views

Regarding video views, we also see that the balance tips. The average number of video views for personal accounts is 30,145 as opposed to an average of 17,563 for business accounts. Although the average length of videos is the same, about 34 seconds.

Engagement

For engagement rate, (sum of interactions/visits x 100), it is observed that personal accounts obtain, on average, one percent more engagement per video than business accounts. Specifically, 7% versus 6%. 

What is better in TikTok, a personal or business account?

When viewing the data, it might seem that it is better to have a personal account than a business account. However, the reality is that the observable differences here could be due to the personal accounts belonging to influencers and individual content creators who might have more affinity with the audience or charisma, therefore generating more interactions. 

There is no evidence that suggests it is better to have a personal account over a business account.

How account size on TikTok influence interactions and views

Does the size of followers on TikTok matter?

It is clear that this is the metric that catches people’s eyes the most when visiting a profile. But if there’s one thing we know, it’s that TikTok has changed the rules of the game, since consuming content does not depend on whether you follow an account, but rather on the behavior of the user and what videos they watch. The data speaks for itself. 

Do I need followers for my videos to have views?

Definitely not. 

If we look at the ratio of video views compared to the number of followers of the account that posts them, we can clearly see that the videos are exposed to a larger audience. The most important thing is the content, rather than who publishes it. So in reality, all videos have the opportunity to receive views.

Who has the best engagement rate?

As we see in the graph, the Tiny accounts [7.15%] and the Huge account [7.47%] are the ones with the best engagement rate compared to the others. 

Accounts with less than 100 followers (Tiny) will have high engagement percentages due to the low number of views based on proximity to their audience. 

However, it’s worth noting the data of the large accounts. Normally, the greater the number of views, the more complicated it is to maintain the same engagement ratio. On the other hand, in TikTok, what we see in the graph is just the opposite. As the views grow, the interactions also grow. This can help us understand that the algorithm is able to continue to find audiences with similar content interests. 

Which TikTok accounts have the most engagement?

On TikTok, unlike other social networks, engagement grows as the size of the account increases. As an exception, are the smaller accounts where the rule of the highest number of followers in total views is met. 

What is the length of viral videos on TikTok? Which videos get the most views or engagement?

Another of the great unknowns of TikTok is knowing if or when a video goes viral. I wish we could give you the magic formula in this study, but instead, we have other data to support it. Here are the conclusions. 

What is the average length of videos by account size?

On one hand, a certain trend can be observed about the duration. 

Accounts with the highest number of followers (Huge) tend to post longer videos (average of 40.5s) than the accounts with fewer followers (Tiny: average of 31.2s).

What is the length of the videos that get the most views? 

We observed that the videos that get the most views have an average duration of 41.8s compared to 32.2s for the least viral. 

Similarly, if we look at the average number of views per video based on the length, we see that videos with longer duration get more views. 

Longer videos get more interactions and higher engagement rates. 

That is to say that the longer the video (CAREFUL, provided that the retention is good), the more chances of obtaining an interaction from the person who is watching it and, perhaps, increasing the reach.

What is the average length of viral TikTok videos?

Here you have the average duration of the videos that get the highest number of views to serve as an example.

  • Videos from Huge accounts > 25,001 visits and up – Average duration 41.85s.
  •  Videos from Tiny accounts < 500 visits – Average duration of 32.38s.

How long should a video be on TikTok?

The answer isn’t universal.

But after analyzing the data of almost 2 million videos, we can see that as the account grows in the number of followers, the longer the videos that get the most visits. Just like the videos that get the most views, regardless of the size of the account, they are longer videos. 

How many videos should I upload per day? Does posting frequency influence account growth?

One of the most discussed TikTok topics is that consistency is rewarded. Surely you have heard something along the following: 

“Post a video every day and you’ll see.” 

But, how true is this advice? 

If we start observing the trend, we see that the larger the account size, the posting frequency intensifies

So much so that, on average, Huge accounts would be maintaining an average frequency of 2 videos per day, compared to approximately one video every 2 days for Tiny accounts.

Certainly, the high posting frequency is trending on TikTok

Does posting frequency influence reach and interactions in videos? 

Considering a standard posting frequency of 3 videos per week, we see that the higher the posting frequency, the more interaction or viewing rates per video, although engagement does not have a significant difference.

How long do I need to maintain the standard posting frequency (3 videos per week) to see results?

There is no direct causal relationship between the time you post a daily video and the increase in interactions or views. In the end, TikTok focuses more on the content than the account, and therefore any video is likely to obtain great results. 

In this study, what we do observe is the difference in frequency metrics beings to change after 2 weeks of maintaining a high posting frequency [ 3 or more videos per week].

What is the best hour to upload a TikTok?

Is there a better time and day to post your videos on TikTok? The answer is yes, and it’s shown in the data.

As we can see in the graph, the best time to post on TikTok is at 8 pm every day of the week, except on Saturdays, which shows the best time is at 6 pm. 

Personalized TikTok Hours

The time and day extracted from the study of the best time to post is an average of the analysis of aggregated data from all accounts. TikTok provides the best hours and days for each account, based on the hours your audience is most active.

What is the best day to post on TikTok?

After analyzing almost 2 million videos, the day, on average, where the highest number of views are achieved is Friday. 

The day that videos receive the most comments is Tuesday, followed closely by Friday. 

Again, the graphs have the answers.

Sunday is the day when the least videos are published, and Tuesday is the day the most videos are posted.

Consider this…

Regardless of whether they are personal or business accounts, the videos analyzed correspond to a sample of users with more or less a professional orientation. This may justify the decrease in posts on weekends.

Hashtags, mentions, sounds, or emojis… Can they help me gain more reach in my videos?

On TikTok, you can see traffic sources to know the origin of your impressions. If the impressions come from the For You page, your personal profile, or following. 

In Metricool you can also analyze impressions from “Search” (searches),  sounds, or hashtags. Thanks to this we have been able to analyze all traffic sources to draw conclusions, for business accounts. Personal accounts are not accounted for in this analysis. 

What traffic source brings the most views on TikTok?

If we look at what percentages each of the sources contributes to the overall views of the video, we can see that the main source of from the “For You” page. On average, they account for around 75% of views, followed far behind by the “Follow” section at 8.49%, the personal profile (3.66%), and the search (2.81%).

If we look at the contribution of each traffic source based on the size of the account, we can see that the larger the account size, the more relevance of the Follow section and less of the For You page, which would make sense. Yet it’s surprising that the For You section doesn’t fall below 56%.

If we rank based on video views, it is clear that the videos with the most views come mostly from the For You section

As far as posting frequency goes, there is no difference from the previous trend. 

What about the Hashtags and Sounds section in TikTok?

Well, their contribution is littlest, almost zero according to the sample analyzed. 

With respect to hashtags, we looked for any possible relationship between the number of hashtags included in the caption and increased traffic coming from that section. The data shows that there is no correlation. 

The same goes for trending sounds, whose participation is almost nil, regardless of the size of the account or whether the video is viral or not. 
As a random fact, the average number of hashtags per video is 6.7, 1.42 emojis per video, 0.17 mentions per video, and 21 words in the caption.

Are hashtags and sounds useless then?

The answer is no. 

This is counted as traffic that comes to your video after the user has clicked on that hashtag, and then to find your video. The same is for sounds. However, both options can help your video rank better for the algorithm. 

Everything indicates that TikTok’s algorithm is selective enough to decide what type of content interests regardless of where the owner intended for it to appear. 

By using trending sounds and hashtags, you’re more likely to with a higher volume of content. The exposure for your videos (mainly by the For You section) will depend on many more factors, that can compete for that wave of the trend.


The answers to the big unknowns of TikTok: Study summary

What matters more on TikTok, views or likes?

The short answer is, none. 

But let’s look at the big answer.

Both visits and likes are correlated. The higher the exposure (visits) your video has, the more likes you will receive. The key is in the quality of content and therefore, corresponding signals that indicate the audience liked the content has shown to generate a larger audience.

Among these interactions, of course, include likes, but also any other type of positive interaction such as comments, favorites, following the account… and also audience retention in the same video.

What content is most viral on TikTok?

Videos that get more views are longer and receive more signals of being liked on the app. Thus, this is what keeps engagement high. 

Therefore, the key is to be able to retain the audience for a longer period of time and continue to consume your other content and any other type of positive interaction. 

How many videos should I upload a day to gain more views and interactions?

The increase in interactions or views grows after two weeks of a high posting frequency [ 1 video or more per day]. 

That is, you need to maintain a high posting frequency, but you don’t need to wait months to see results. On average, you will notice improvements in views and interactions in 2 weeks.

Taking into account that the quality of the content is high, considering frequency would be useless with videos that don’t impact your audience. 

Do you have a scientific soul?

If you want to access all the raw data and graphs of the report, you have it in this Looker Studio dashboard. 

What is the best posting frequency for TikTok?

It is clear that the trend is that of posting a daily video and maintaining that frequency for as long as possible. 

However, we can observe that 3 weekly videos are also an optimal posting frequency, which may give you room to devote a little more time to increase quality, which has proven to matter even more.

How many hashtags should you put in the caption of TikTok videos?

We cannot see a correlation between the number of hashtags and the views. But, what we do know is the average number of hashtags used per video. The average number of hashtags per video is 6.7.

  • The average number of emojis is 1.42 per video
  • The average number of mentions is 0.17 per video.
  • The average number of words in the caption is 21 words. 

The best time to post on TikTok in 2023 is…

Friday at 8 pm. This is the data found through the study.

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Isabel Romero Isabel Romero , 06 March 2023
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