TikTok’s Algorithm

Written by Allison Herrera

Researched by Brittany Prats & Lily Donegan

Welcome to the second blog post in our TikTok series! Today, we’re chatting about the TikTok algorithm. According to TikTok, “The system recommends content by ranking videos based on a combination of factors — starting from interests you express as a new user and adjusting for things you indicate you’re not interested in, too”.

These factors include:

  • User interactions
  • Video information: this might include details like captions, sounds, and hashtags.
  • Device & account settings

User Interactions

User interactions are how you (the user) engages with the app. So, this part of the algorithm takes into account the videos you like or share, accounts you follow, comments you post, & content you create. This feature in the algorithm even focuses on how long or how often you watch a video.

Video Information

Video information is a large factor in the algorithm. It includes details such as captions, sounds (music), & hashtags. For example, if you watch videos predominately with the hashtag #foodhacks, the algorithm will supply you with more videos pertaining to that hashtag. The same goes for the latest dance trends. If you listen to videos with the same song or sounds, the algorithm will cater to your feed with that latest fad.

Device & Account Settings

Device & account settings are equally unique as user interactions & video information. This is more culture-specific in the sense that the algorithm bundles language preferences, country settings, & device type. This provides to you with what is trending in your community or region.

TikTok’s algorithm is simply a formula that provides users with what they believe is the most valuable & entertaining content. If you’re interested in learning more about TikTok’s algorithm, shoot us an email at contact@uptowngirl.media. We’d love to chat with you!

“Five ‘W’s” behind TikTok

Written by Allison Herrera

Researched by Brittany Prats & Lily Donegan

Over these next few weeks, we’re diving into all things TikTok, & what it means for the marketing industry. But, first, we’re introducing a little background information on the app. Keep reading as we cover the “Five ‘W’s” behind TikTok – who, what, when, where & why.


Who is TikTok? TikTok is a video-sharing social network platform. Although its audience greatly appeals towards GenZ, we are seeing a growing trend of millennials hopping on board after this pandemic. TikTok is best known for viral dance trends, challenges &, what it originally started off as, lip-sync videos.


What content performs well on TikTok? TikTok is where you learn what’s hot, life hacks, new recipes, etc. It thrives on-trend culture, dictating what is popular in the world. Videos that do well feature trends, along with replicates, “fails” or spin-offs on an existing trend.


When did TikTok evolve? In late 2017, ByteDance (TikTok’s parent company) purchased Music.ly, a social media platform that allowed users to create & share short lip-sync videos. This feature of singing to popular songs led TikTok directly to the U.S. teen market, with who we closely associate the app with today.

Let’s fast forward to 2020. At this point, TikTok sky-rocketed not only amongst teens but with users of all ages, as we mentioned above under “WHO”. During this pandemic, we found many celebrities, brands & others giving into this app’s hype by creating entertaining content during a time that felt boring. Many began focusing on TikTok during the pandemic, as it’s easy to use editing tools helped create content that made/makes people feel otherwise connected during a dark time, & caused many overnight viral successes. But before the pandemic truly went into full swing, TikTok was the most downloaded app in the world in January 2020, according to data from SensorTower.


Yes, the rumors are true…IT ALL STARTED IN CHINA. ByteDance (TikTok’s parent company) first launched TikTok in China under the name of Douyin.


Why is TikTok a valuable platform for brands? As TikTok gains popularity across the board for all ages & grows in terms of audience, the app is experiencing a period of exponential growth. With little to no investments, brands experienced/are experiencing high brand awareness through TikTok.

Although most people are familiar with TikTok, we hope you learned a little bit more about this user-friendly & ever-popular app. We can’t wait to unveil more of TikTok with you, including the algorithm & how it’s helping small businesses thrive. Please reach out to us at contact@uptowngirl.media if you have any questions on this ever-growing app. stay safe & stay tuned!

New Year, New Digital Marketing Trends

Written by Allison Herrera

Happy New Year, dolls! As we begin 2021, most of us are embracing the “new year, new me” slogan…& that also includes marketing tactics. As digital landscapes & outlets continue growing in features, advertising online is impacted by developments. Check out our four predictions below, along with what is here to stay from 2020.


Audiences are tired of the same old homogeneous models represent the brands people of all colors, cultures & ethnicities consume & purchase from. Audiences want to see a more optimistic depiction of equality in advertising content. We predict that digital marketing in 2021 will include a larger variety of races, sexualities, religions, etc., along with well as representation for people with physical disabilities & learning disabilities.

Local SEO

As most marketers know, Google consistently & constantly updates their local SEO algorithm. With Google My Business putting more focus on local results & consumers wanting to support local businesses, everyone will begin pitching the local angle. This is also important for local businesses, because they should frequently update their appearance in local results, too. We believe that local SEO produces more results than broad SEO. It’s easier to convert viewers based on specific geographic locations.

As a local business, you should have edge over larger competitors, but it’s important to take action now before the space gets too crowded. Localize everything you can from search terms to content. For starters, you have to get verified by Google. You can do this by signing up for Google My Business. Make sure that your business listing is up-to-date on Google My Business, as well as every other free online directory. This helps you rank higher in Google SERPS & gives you the chance to offer additional information about your company to online searchers. Additionally, start updating your SEO with local & intent-focused keywords. Obviously, prioritize the name of your city or town as a top keyword, but you can go the extra mile by also incorporating related keywords.

Interactive Content

Although this trend has been popular for a while, we predict that producers will now push it more often, as people begin to learn that engagement is good practice via social media. Interactive content includes quizzes, open-ended questions, surveys, contests, giveaways, polls, etc. Along with practicing engagement through interactive content, users also enjoy that push, & entertainment towards consumers retains them as followers in the long run.

Image & Video SEO for visual searches

More & more users are discovering how to utilize visual search techniques, which changes the overall landscape of SEO in general. Along with searching for images & videos through keywords, you can also submit existing images for a search & search for context through original photos. That means, instead of typing a description into Google, users can now upload an image & get information about an item just from a picture. When a user searches a product, it returns similar products & where to buy them. Google Lens, Pinterest Lens & related search tools turn a user’s camera into a search bar. Brands that advertise with them get the benefit of boosted search results. Businesses can leverage visual search by adding high-quality images tagged with descriptive keywords, introduce an image search into your online inventory, & (if your target market uses Pinterest), consider advertising on this platform.

Of course there are more trends for this new year, but these are the newest ones that have never been seen before…& we believe these four predictions will take digital marketing by storm. Although some trends began in 2020, we predict they will continue growing in 2021. We believe that “shoppable content” & utilizing nano & micro-influencers are two trends that will definitely continue growing this upcoming year. 

Shoppable content/posts:

  • Link in bios & linking links to specific products in Instagram Stories are great for e-commerce stores…if you like interruption from ads & extra steps
  • Over the years, Instagram, Pinterest, & Facebook all introduced ways for e-commerce stores to create shoppable posts
  • Shoppable content/posts are social media posts that directly connect users to product checkout tend to increase conversions by streamlining the payment process
  • Using a native integration, they’ve made it easy to tag and shop products directly in your posts. For online retailers, this is a great way to drive traffic to product pages
  • See if you’re eligible for Checkout on Instagram

Nano & micro-influencers:

  • Influencers aren’t dead. In fact, these smaller level influencers are important to local businesses
  • As opposed to premier influencers, microinfluencers are more like average people who have a larger-than-average social media following count
  • If you attract enough of these smaller-based influencers, you can achieve the same numbers as top-level influencers at a fraction of the cost & effort, with a more authentic & local feel
  • With a focus on keeping it local, these influencer allow you to cultivate a real relationship

Along with “shoppable content” & utilizing nano & micro-influencers, businesses’s pivot to digital in 2020 is here to stay. Most businesses shifted to digital as a necessity, but it’s here to stay because of a lower cost for more people & a higher ROI. What does that include?

  • Virtual events
  • Virtual meet-ups
  • Virtual consultations
  • Virtual experiences, such as live interactions through digital outlets
  • E-commerce

What do you think 2021 will bring to the digital marketing industry? We would love to hear your thoughts! Email us at contact@uptowngirl.media if you have any questions or opinions.

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