2022 TikTok Benchmark Report

Competitive Analysis Data-Driven Marketing Social Media Best Practices

It’s here: our first (but definitely not last!) TikTok Benchmark Report, with all the metrics you need to see how your brand is performing on TikTok.

Key metrics like engagement rates, hashtags, and posting frequency? On it.

Analytics sliced and diced by industry, follower count, and more? Check and check.

Profiles of standout performers to inspire your brand’s videos? Oh yeah.

Read on for all the info your brand needs to outperform your competition on the #FYP and beyond this year.

Key TikTok Benchmarking Takeaways

TikTok is out-engaging other channels.

Median brands are earning an average engagement rate per follower of 4.1% on TikTok, which is 6x Instagram and way, way more than Facebook and Twitter.

Mentions matter.

Brands are seeing an engagement boost when they include mentions in their videos, and you can bet those mentions are helping with follower growth as well.

Health & Beauty, Higher Ed, and Sports Teams dominate. 

These industries are consistently at the top of the pack across other social channels we study, so it’s not too surprising that their content is engaging fans on TikTok too.

Brands are producing less content for TikTok than for other channels.

With the average brand posting just 1.8 videos per week, it’s clear that brands are still ramping up posting on TikTok.

Grab the full report with even more TikTok #inspo.

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TikTok Videos per Week

We get the question, “How often should my brand be posting on social media?” a lot, because nailing your posting frequency really matters. Establishing your brand’s TikTok posting frequency benchmark against a) brands of a similar size and b) competitors in your industry is the best way to figure out how many videos per week you should be aiming to post.

TikTok Videos per Week: Distribution

The average brand in this study publishes about 1.8 videos per week, or about 8 per month.

A graph of the average number of videos a brand publishes per week with a TikTok benchmark median of 1.8 videos/week

Creating compelling videos for TikTok is definitely an investment for brands. The median posting frequency here is about 2.5x lower than what we see for Instagram posts in our annual social media benchmark report.

TikTok Videos per Week: Account Size

The larger your account, the more likely you are to publish more frequently.

The distribution of videos per week by account size, with larger accounts reliably publishing more videos per week as our TikTok benchmark

It’s not surprising to see this correlation between follower count and posting frequency. Of course, having more followers doesn’t make you post more. Rather, accounts that consistently post a higher volume of quality videos are going to grow their accounts. As they grow, we see the investment in posting grow along with it.

TikTok Videos per Week: Industries

There’s a wide range of frequencies as we examine posting behavior by industry.

The distribution of videos per week by industry, with media brands publishing most frequently and food & beverage brands publishing least frequently

Media and Health & Beauty post more frequently than other industries on nearly every channel we study, so their TikTok frequency is no surprise. The same can be said for the lower posting frequencies of Higher Education and Food & Beverage. One notable deviation is Nonprofits; their investment on TikTok is relatively low compared with their posting on Instagram.

Engagement Rate by View

Engagement Rate by View on TikTok is one of the best measures of a video’s quality. Why? Counting the number of times a viewer liked, commented, or shared and dividing it by the overall number of views measures just how compelling your content was. If your video wasn’t high-quality, thought-provoking, or even controversial, viewers will be less likely to engage with it, and therefore you’ll earn a smaller engagement rate per view. If your video was attention-grabbing, viewers will be more likely to take the extra step of engagement before swiping to the next video.

Engagement rate by view is one of the most important TikTok benchmarks and is the total number of engagements divided by the total number of views

Engagement Rate by View: Distribution

The average brand in our study earns an engagement rate by view of 5.8%.

The TikTok benchmark for engagement rate by view

Engagement rate by view is a roughly comparable metric to engagement per impression that we see on other platforms like Instagram. In our most recent Instagram report, we noted that brands have been consistently earning 5.5% engagement per impression.

Engagement Rate by View: Account Size

Starting with accounts larger than 50K followers, we see an upward trend in the average engagement rate by view.

Engagement rate by view as distributed over account size

Given the strong role that the FYP algorithm plays in the world of TikTok, it isn’t surprising to see a positive correlation between account size and engagement rate by view. Brands with large followings didn’t get that way by creating mediocre content. Consistently producing high-engagement videos is a sure way to grow your following.

Engagement Rate by View: Industries

Sports Teams, Nonprofits, and Higher Ed top the list when it comes to highly engaging content.

The TikTok benchmark for engagement rate by view as distributed over top industries. Sports Teams have the highest eng. rate by view, while Fashion brands have the lowest.

As we see in other industry-level studies we’ve done in the past, Sports Teams, Nonprofits, and Higher Ed gather relatively high engagement from fans. For each of these industries, viewers are passionate about their team, school, or causes much more than they are for their favorite brands.

Engagement Rate by View Standout Performer: Arsenal

Top TikTok posts and stats for Arsenal FC

Arsenal earned an outstanding engagement rate per view of 14.9% with TikTok videos focused on two main things: Arsenal team members kicking *ss, and a Q+A series with a popular player.

Fans ate up watching videos of their favorite football club scoring goals or breaking away on the pitch, and Arsenal curated this engagement by focusing on short videos featuring or even looping the moment of triumph.

A Q+A with fan fave Kieran Tierney back in February was a successful gamble for the team that led to big engagement totals.

Views per Follower

Now that the For You Page has entered the chat, it’s not just followers seeing your content anymore as TikTok’s algorithm rushes to serve content they think it’ll like to viewers. It’s important for brands to make sense of how videos are reaching followers and non-followers alike, and benchmarking your brand’s views against your followers is a useful engagement metric for understanding how your views stack up against your follower count.

Views per follower metric explanation, which is calculated by dividing the number of views by the number of followers

The average brand in our study earns about 17.6 views per 100 followers on each video they post.

The median brand earns views equal to 17.6% of their followers

On TikTok, the For You Page is a strong driver of reach for any account. Still, following accounts to stay up to date with their content is a thing. We find it useful to benchmark how many views an account will achieve, on average, as a function of followers.

Views per Follower: Account Size

In general, we find that the larger the number of followers, the lower the views per follower.

Views per follow grouped by account size, with smaller brands earning a significantly higher percentage of views per follower than larger ones

It isn’t surprising to see that views per follower decline, on average, as accounts grow in size. This dynamic is one that we also see on other platforms like Instagram. Smaller accounts tend to post less frequently, which also helps increase the views on each individual video.

Views per Follower: Industries

Higher Education, Sports Teams, and Nonprofits top the list of industries earning views per follower.

Views per follower broken down by industry, with higher ed earning the most views per follower and tech brands earning the least

As we see across all social media channels, Higher Ed, Sports Teams, and Nonprofits tend to rise to the top for metrics having to do with reach and engagement. Each of these industries has an audience with high affinity and passion for their cause. Higher Education accounts are relatively small compared to Sports, driving their average views per follower higher in this analysis.

Views per Follower Standout Performer: James Madison University

Example TikTok videos and metrics for standout views per follower performer James Madison University

James Madison University slays on social year after year in our annual Higher Education Social Media Engagement Report, and their TikTok performance is no exception. 

The university is at the front of the pack for colleges and universities with views per follower thanks primarily to a heavy dose of campus nostalgia. Alums and students alike ate up TikToks that featured JMU’s mascot and school traditions, and the university’s strong hashtag game helped videos reach any and all Dukes scrolling the FYP on TikTok. 

Engagement Rate by Follower

If you’ve ever read a Rival IQ benchmark report before, you won’t be surprised to see our most-used engagement metric making an appearance on TikTok too. Engagement rate by follower helps users control for audience size when measuring engagements on social. It’s crucial to go beyond engagement total because audience size is hugely important: 200 likes is great engagement for a brand with 2,000 followers but is a drop in the bucket to a brand with 200,000 followers.

Engagement rate by follower is calculated by dividing the number of engagements by the number of followers

Engagement Rate by Follower: Distribution

On a per-video basis, the engagement rate by follower for the median brand comes in at 4.1%.

Engagement rate by follower distributed by follower bins

We share this engagement rate to help brands understand their TikTok performance relative to other social media channels. Engagement rates per follower that brands are earning right now on TikTok dramatically outpace that of other channels, with Instagram being the next closest.

Engagement Rate by Follower: Account Size

On average, brands with larger accounts see lower engagement rates by follower on average.

The TikTok benchmark for engagement rate by follower distributed by account size

There are multiple factors that drive engagement rate, including average video reach and content quality. As we saw in the previous section, larger accounts tend to earn fewer views per follower, on average, and that lower reach will contribute to lower engagement rates by follower.

Engagement Rate by Follower: Industries

Higher Education and Sports Teams top the list for engagement rate by follower with performance well beyond the cross-industry average.

The TikTok benchmarks for engagement rate by follower broken down by industry, with higher ed seeing the highest eng. rate by follower and health & beauty brands seeing the lowest

Similar to the performance we saw for views per follower, Higher Ed, Sports, and Nonprofits out-earn other industries for the average engagement rate by follower metric. Combining above average reach with content their audiences are excited about is a surefire way to yield high per-follower engagement.

Top videos and metrics for standout eng. rate by follower performer Patagonia

Engagement Rate by Follower Standout Performer: Patagonia

Outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia climbs high above its fashion industry competitors on TikTok with a whopping 51.7% engagement rate by follower. 

The brand posts just about once a week and almost always features short videos overlaid with nostalgic filters and sounds without so much as a product shot for miles around. Fans race to the comments to compliment Patagonia’s social media team on videos that hit just right, keeping the brand at top of mind for customers without hitting them over the head with a hard sell. 

Average Monthly Follower Growth

TikTok’s growth has been explosive over the last few years and shows no signs of stopping, so it’s useful for brands to measure their own growth to see if they’re increasing their audience size or not.

Across all account sizes, brands on TikTok are growing their followers at least 2-3% on a monthly basis.

Monthly follower growth rate grouped by account size, which shows small accounts see the most growth and large accounts the least

TikTok is very much an expanding platform, and we see brands of all sizes finding success in growing their accounts. This shouldn’t be surprising given that TikTok has been the most downloaded app for the last several years.

Hashtags per Video

Brands are using hashtags to entice viewers and to give TikTok a clue as to what their content is about to increase the chance of landing on the coveted #FYP.

Brands include about four hashtags per video on average.

Hashtags per video, with a TikTok benchmark median of 4 hashtags per video

Hashtags are a powerful way to land content in the all-important #FYP. Be sure to note your brand’s individual hashtag engagement to pick the right number of hashtags for your videos.

Videos with Mentions

While TikTok isn’t necessarily as effective as, say, Twitter at starting and maintaining conversations between followers and brands, there’s still an awful lot of mentioning going on. From replies to trying to catch the attention of a favorite TikToker, mentioning another handle in a video is a powerful way to amplify reach.

The average brand doesn’t mention other accounts very often, only in about 14.5% of their videos.

Videos with mentions graph, with the median brand including a mention in about 14.5% of their videos

Mentions help non-followers find new videos that are related to brands and accounts they already love. These numbers suggest that brands are favoring original content over replies or mentions.

Brands that include mentions consistently in their videos tend to see higher per view engagement rates.

The effect of mentions on average engagement per view

Don’t be afraid to start conversations with mentions on TikTok. These numbers show that aiming to include a mention every fifth video (or more frequently) will boost engagement while helping grow follower counts as more fans discover your brand.

Videos with Mentions Standout Performer: Sol de Janeiro

Top videos and stats for standout performer for videos with mentions, Sol de Janeiro

Health & Beauty brand Sol de Janeiro saw a ton of engagement thanks to videos with mentions. Their secret? UGC. The brand clearly keeps an eagle eye out for fans posting love letters to their beloved products and reposts them for a major engagement boost. Listening for UGC is a smart strategy for any brand on TikTok, and works especially well for product-focused brands like beauty or CPG.

Like many Health & Beauty brands, influencer collabs also led to soaring engagement rates, especially when Sol de Janeiro mentioned the influencer in the video description, which they did in about a third of their videos. 

TikTok Terms Glossary

We know there are many different ways to measure engagement, so here’s a quick round-up of all the TikTok engagement metrics we studied in this report and their definitions.

Engagement Rate by Follower: The average number of engagements per follower on a per-video basis.

Engagement Rate per View: The average number of engagements per view.

Engagement Total: The total number of interactions (likes, comments, and shares) on videos.

Hashtags per Video: The average number of hashtags on a per-video basis.

Monthly Follower Growth Rate: The average monthly growth rate over the report period.

Videos with Mentions: The percentage of a brand’s videos that include at least one mention of another account.

Videos per Week: The average number of videos a brand publishes per week.

Views per Follower: The average number of views per follower on a per-video basis.

Wrapping It Up

We hope this report helps you benchmark your TikTok performance while providing oodles of #inspo for your brand’s next contribution to the FYP. We’re impressed by brands pivoting with such commitment to portrait-style videos, and can’t wait to see what comes next for this dynamic social channel.

Ready for even more social media analysis? Join us for a dynamic convo with top beauty brand The INKEY List on July 6 to talk all things building community, TikTok, and more.

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Seth Bridges

Hey there, I'm Seth, one of the co-founders of Rival IQ, where I stay busy working on product design and marketing! When I'm not working, I'm probably playing with my sons. Follow me on Twitter for rantings and opinions on all the things.

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