Short-form video platform TikTok is heaven for browsing different niche topics. With an infinite number of content pieces, TikTok has just about everything you want to see. However, the question arises, how do you search through TikTok and get what you’re looking for?

There is so much content on the app that it could be overwhelming for users to find something specific. You might just want to find the best pizza in town and recommendations for movies that’ll make you cry. On the other hand, you might want to find TikToks created about your brand and your products. Or you might just be looking for content ideas and influencers for your marketing campaign. After all, TikTok has been massively growing in popularity over the last few years, together with the number of content pieces on the app.

Read Media Monitoring: The Ultimate Guide

TikTok’s search option is handy and can serve for smaller-scale work. However, if you want to include this social media platform in your marketing strategy, social listening tools are an absolute must.

Let’s explore how you can search on TikTok and how media monitoring tools expand your search and filtering possibilities.

Search on the TikTok app

TikTok’s search bar used to be in the Discovery tab, which has recently been removed from the app. This makes searching through the app a bit more tricky. Now, the function can easily be found on the app’s homepage, in its right corner, as a little symbol of a magnifying glass. This takes you to the search bar, where you can write down what you’d like to find. 

TikTok Homepage
TikTok Homepage

A new window will present you with your search results when you write down what you want to find, be it a username, a hashtag, a general search term, or a sound.

Your search results are then divided into the following tabs: Top, Users, Videos, Sounds, Live, and Hashtags. The app first takes you to the “Top” tab, showing you the best videos, related hashtags, and sounds. 

TikTok Top Search
TikTok “Top” Tab

When you reach the “Users” tab, you’ll get a neverending list of users whose profiles include your keyword. In the right corner, there is a handy filter that can help refine your search. You can choose the follower’s number range you want the user to have and whether they’re verified. This can be useful when looking for influencers. However, remember that the success of videos on TikTok is not only measured by the number of followers but by the number of views and engagement.

TikTok Users search and filtering
TikTok Users Tab

When you reach the “Videos” tab, you’ll get a list of videos with the keyword you’ve searched for, shown in relevance order. You’ll be able to sort them by relevance and most liked. The filter on this tab also allows you to sort them by the date posted but not by a specific date.

You’ll be able to choose between:

  • All-time
  • Yesterday
  • This week
  • This month
  • Last three months
  • Last six months.
TikTok Videos search and filtering
TikTok Videos Tab

Key differences between manual TikTok search and social listening tools

Yes, TikTok has a search bar inside the app and a few handy filters, but if you’re looking to search for content on a bigger scale, media monitoring tools might be the better choice. 

Here are some key differences:

  1. Desktop search: TikTok does not have a filtering option on its desktop version, and social listening tools do.
  2. TikTok account: There is no need to create a TikTok account to search for TikTok content in social listening tools, such as Mediatoolkit, unlike when you’re using TikTok. 
  3. Date posted: TikTok allows you to filter videos only in their predetermined time categories. Social listening tools, like Mediatoolkit, will enable you to search for videos created on a specific date or range of dates.
  4. Reports: Social listening tools allow you to combine the videos collected in a single report, which you can later use for your marketing strategy. You’ll get a complete overview of the keyword reach, impressions, sentiment, mentions over time, the word cloud, etc.
  5. Video overview: TikTok allows you to look at the video immediately without going through too much hassle. However, social listening tools require you to open the TikTok in a new window and won’t allow you to see the content inside the tool.
  6. Keyword combination: Social listening tools allow you to have a more refined search, combining more and excluding particular hashtags. 

Use case: Influencer marketing

Doing influencer marketing can be a bit tricky and might require a lot of leg work, especially if you’re looking to book a significant number of influencers. After you’ve done an excellent job planning your influencer strategy, now’s the time to bring this all to work and automate your processes with media monitoring tools.

Find the right collaborators

After planning your influencer strategy, you need to focus on finding the right influencers for your brand on the app. Imagine you’re a modern clothing company and partner with someone who creates content about only second-hand clothes. Yes, they talk about clothes, but how will this influencer include your product in their content in a way that seems authentic? 

Searching for influencers through TikTok’s app is doable and would serve its purpose, but a media monitoring tool might be handier.

When you already have a list of topics you want your desired influencer to discuss before you decide to book them, the next step is to set up your query (keyword search) for the words or phrases they might use as hashtags in their TikToks. This way, the media monitoring tool will track and collect all the relevant TikToks created with these hashtags

After you’ve collected some TikToks, you can filter your search results inside the tool based on the date created, reach, sentiment, interactions (engagement), etc., in a relevant way. And this can help you find the people that are already posting about things that are relevant to your brand.

Filters in Mediatoolkit
Filters in Mediatoolkit

Track influencer campaign content

After you’ve sorted out the collaboration with your influencers, ideally, you’ve chosen a hashtag that they’ll use to connect it to your brand. Ideally, you’ve even created a specialized hashtag for the campaign.

Let’s say you’re a smaller company that launched a new product and sent it out to a couple of influencers. As part of your agreement, these influencers let you know about the one content piece they agreed to post. However, they end to like your product so much that they create multiple content pieces with the hashtag in a month or two. But this time, they don’t notify you because this is content that they decided to post organically.

Here’s where media monitoring tools become handy; they help you have a clear and detailed list of all the content posted with the hashtag. 

Also, you can set up your tool to alert you once anything with the hashtag gets posted. These alerts will enable you to stay up to date and help you find content with either negative or positive sentiment as soon as possible.

Hashtag mention in Mediatoolkit
TikTok hashtag search result in Mediatoolkit with positive sentiment

Quality assurance

When working with influencers, it’s crucial to be cautious of everything this influencer posts in the weeks leading up to and following your campaign. 

You can set up your media monitoring tool to precisely track the influencer’s social media handle (@). This way, you’ll find everything this influencer posts and not just on the social media you’ve booked the content on. Also, you can set up tracking for their name to collect everything posted about them on any other online source.

Specific profile tracking in social listening tool
Setting up specific profile tracking in social listening tool

Imagine this, the influencer you’ve booked posts a TikTok you paid for and, a couple of days later, posts an Instagram post claiming that your products are not good. What a waste of your influencer marketing budget! However, if you find this content on time, you can stop the collaboration on time, pause the payment or maybe even upscale it, depending on what actually happens

Use case: User-generated content 

Audiences tend to respond well to user-generated content and even join in themselves.

Incorporating UGC into your content strategy will help you connect and build trust with your audience, boost brand awareness and social media engagement, and much more.

However, finding user-generated content is sometimes very hard if content creators don’t tag you in the content. You won’t get a notification and might miss out on engaging with your audience. To avoid this from happening, make sure you’re using media monitoring and tracking all the relevant hashtags for your brand. 

Finding user-generated content gems

Hashtags should include your:

  • company’s name, 
  • CEO’s name, 
  • names of other prominent people related to your company, 
  • slogans, 
  • campaign hashtags
  • products
  • etc.

The better you optimize your search keywords, the more relevant results.

In the feed, you’ll be able to scroll through all of the TikToks of your brand hashtags and potentially discover the hidden UGC gems. If a post catches your eye, click on it, and it will take you to the original post. 

If this content is something valuable for you, you might want to even repost it on your own channels. But remember, always ask for permission to publish/repost your customers’ posts and give them credit for it when you publish the post.

Read User Generated Content: Why is it important?

Brand reputation

The most significant benefit of tracking and regularly finding user-generated content is being aware of your brand’s reputation. Consequently, keeping track of your brand’s reputation and managing it properly can help you ensure higher sales, instill trust and loyalty into your customers, retain employees, and many other benefits. 

Read Brand Reputation 101: Monitoring, Analysis and Management Tools

Use case: Content ideas

Being updated with trending topics or trends can be a great source of inspiration for your TikTok content creation. If you see a new topic emerging, it could boost your reach immensely if you hop on this when it’s on the way to becoming extremely popular. That way, you’ll stay on top of the game.

The following options are available in the Reports section of your query (keyword search) and the tool allows you to customize the date range it takes into consideration!

Mentions over time by source in social listening tool
Spikes in topic discovery in social listening tool

Topic discovery

The word cloud in your media monitoring tool is an excellent feature for locating these topics. For example, if you’re teaching a salsa dance class, word cloud will show you all the keywords used in posts together with your search. In Mediatoolkit, there is even an option to click on related individual keywords and see the original posts for more context. 

Word cloud in social listening tool
Word cloud in social listening tool

Additional TikTok search and filtering features inside Mediatoolkit

Search your query feed

In Mediatoolkit, you have the option to use the search bar at the top of your query feed. This enables you to search for specific words or phrases inside the keyword search (query) you’ve already set up without having it saved permanently. 

So, let’s imagine your search is set up to track the keyword “capsule wardrobe”. The TikToks you’ll find will all have this keyword included in the caption or the on-screen text. This search enables you to filter through the TikToks that the tool has already collected. In the case of our example, you might want to search TikToks which also mentions the word “sustainability”, “ethic production,” or “second hand”.

However, remember that if you do not set up your query for this specific word(s) you’re looking for in the search bar, you might not find as many results as you’d like. In this case, creating a new query that will collect all the TikToks mentioned with your desired keywords is best.

Search inside keyword search
Searching through collected mentions in Mediatoolkit

Sorting options

Above the search bar in Mediatoolkit, you can find the two sorting options in the interface.

  1. Sort by: This option allows you to choose whether you want to view your mentions by published time, last added, reach, and virality (only for websites).
  2. Arrow: The arrow allows you to reorder mentions in your feed depending on which sorting option you choose, and when clicked, the order is reversed. By default, it sorts mentions from highest to lowest.
Sorting options in Mediatoolkit
Sorting options in Mediatoolkit

Filters

You can also filer your mentions by: 

  1. Date range: You can choose one of the preexisting time categories or set up your desired date range.
  2. Sources: You can set up TikTok as the only source when setting up the query, or you can track all sources available. When previewing the feed, unclick all the others except the one you’re interested in looking into right now.
  3. Reach and interactions: You can filter your search results with a reach range or just include the minimal or maximum value. The same applies to interactions, which are defined as the sum of all likes, comments, and shares of the content.
  4. And so much more. Try using Mediatoolkit for 7 days for free to explore the endless possibilities!

All in all, you can combine all filters listed above only to see a feed of mentions that reflect the applied filters. Additionally, you can combine numerous filters with the feed search option. Combining multiple filters allows you to fine-tune your query results to the finest detail possible. The opportunities are endless!

To sum up

Naturally, it’s no surprise you’re looking into TikTok and trying to discover the best way to search and filter thousands of videos that get posted daily. Implementing a social listening tool might be a good choice if your brand is looking to search through the app on a bigger scale. The possibilities of filtering your options, exporting your search, and having access to automated reports are undeniably a big advantage for such tools!

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