Building a large and engaged following on TikTok has become a goal for many as the platform’s popularity skyrockets. While TikTok accounts are public by default, users have the option to switch to a private account at any time.
This gives creators more control and privacy over who can view their content. However, operating with a private profile can present unique challenges for attracting new followers organically.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore 21 proven tactics to effectively get more TikTok followers while maintaining a private account. We’ll provide in-depth explanations under each recommendation to help you successfully implement them. Let’s dive in!
#1: Use Relevant Hashtags in Your Captions
Hashtags are one of the most important discovery tools on TikTok. Even with a private account, using a mix of relevant niche and popular hashtags in your video captions allows your content to surface on key hashtag pages.
When you use hashtags aligned with your niche, your videos can appear to users already interested in those topics who browse the hashtag feeds. They may then be prompted to request to follow you to see your videos.
Be strategic with hashtags on TikTok. Don’t just pepper as many random tags as possible to try forcing virality. Research which hashtags are truly relevant that your target audience uses and are most likely to bring interested followers.
Blend major mainstream hashtags with niche ones. And while hashtags help, don’t rely solely on them. Use as supportive discovery elements but focus mainly on captivating content.
Additionally, many users have found that adding the hashtag #fyp or #foryoupage to their videos increases the chances of the video appearing on the “For You” tab of TikTok.
#2 Actively Engage With Complementary Public Accounts
Seek out public TikTok accounts with audiences similar to the demographic you are trying to attract.
Engage with their content through likes, thoughtful comments, duets, stitches and shares. Be a value-add follower by providing genuine feedback and community support. Avoid spammy comments focused only on attention.
This active engagement helps build relationships with other creators and prompts them to check out your profile.
Seeing you already engage with their content thoughtfully, they will be more inclined to approve your follower request and welcome you into their community. This exchange can help increase followers from mutually aligned audiences.
#3: Run Collaborative “Follow for Follow” Campaigns
One of the most direct ways to grow followers between compatible yet unique accounts is to run “follow for follow” campaigns privately.
Reach out to creators through another channel and mutually agree to follow each other’s TikTok accounts for a set period of time or permanently.
This instantly grows both of your follower numbers. It works best with accounts that have notable existing followings but have limited overlap in existing audiences.
Arrange short-term “follow for follow” partnerships or find accounts willing to permanently follow each other through aligned niches or brands.
#4: Cross-Promote With Complementary Accounts
In addition to simple “follow for follow” exchanges, consider ongoing collaborations with creators who have an audience compatible with yours. Cross-promote each other through various creative initiatives:
- Shoutouts in videos
- Embedding each other’s links in bios
- Co-creating content
- Joint Lives
- Playlist and channel takeovers
- Share/repost content
- Run comment/engagement campaigns
These collaborations introduce your account to new potential follower groups already interested in your broader niche or content style.
But take care to partner with accounts that truly complement your brand rather than random ones only looking to inflate follows.
#5: Link Other Public Social Profiles in Your Bio
While your TikTok account may be private, consider linking to other public social media profiles like Instagram, Twitter or YouTube in your TikTok bio.
This gives interested users additional avenues to connect with you and learn about your brand. After engaging with you on these public channels, they can then make a more informed decision to follow you on private TikTok.
Your other social platforms essentially act as your public entrance to then guide users back to your private TikTok account. So leverage them heavily for cross-promotion. Just be sure your public profiles align with your private TikTok brand.
#6: Consistently Post High-Quality, Engaging Videos
One of the most fundamental ways to attract an audience with any type of account on TikTok is to publish amazing content.
If you consistently post well-produced, entertaining and informative videos that resonate with your target viewers, you have a compelling reason for new users to follow you.
Great content that educates, inspires, entertains or otherwise adds value for people builds loyalty and gives your profile credibility. This prompts organic follows. So focus first on captivating content and second on follower gathering tactics.
#7: Go Live on TikTok Frequently
Leverage TikTok Live to give potential new followers a unique way to engage with you in real-time and get a window into your personality. Your existing followers also get special access through exclusive Lives.
Going Live provides a gateway for non-followers to interact and learn about you before deciding to follow. It helps convert profile views into follows.
The key is providing value during Lives through things like Q&As, behind-the-scenes access, challenges and conversations. Make sure to enable follow requests in your settings during Lives.
#8: Host Contests and Giveaways
Giveaways are a popular tactic to build buzz and incentivize users to follow you in exchange for a chance to win prizes. Require additional shares, tags and account follows for more contest entries to expand your reach.
Contests also encourage followers to be more active to increase chances of winning. Offer prizes that appeal to your target audience like gift cards, merchandise, experiences or your own products. Promote the giveaways across your other social channels as well. Just ensure giveaway rules comply with TikTok policies.
#9: Promote Your Private TikTok Profile on Other Social Platforms
Since your TikTok account is private, tap into your public presence on other major social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube etc. Promote your private TikTok profile on these channels through tactics like link-in-bio, swipe up calls-to-action, story links, channel descriptions and verbal mentions.
Your wider social following that knows you well is more likely to follow you on a private TikTok. So maximize your reach across every public channel, then drive traffic back to your private TikTok. This captures follow converts based on your overall brand recognition.
#10: Run Paid TikTok Advertising Campaigns
Investing in paid TikTok ads offers a way to get your profile and content in front of large amounts of targeted users fast. Then you can convert their initial ad impressions into follow converts.
Run video view, app install and traffic driving campaigns optimized around factors like your location, niche interests and demographics. Creative content and clear calls-to-action in ads boost results. Consider running ads both locally in your region and beyond to gain global niche followers.
#11: Partner With Relevant Influencers for Shoutouts
Getting endorsement shoutouts from influencers in your niche exposes your private account to whole new potential follower bases. The right influencer co-sign lends credibility.
Offer to sponsor influencer content featuring your products for reviews. Or simply pay influencers for one-off promotional shoutouts in their videos and stories. Micro and nano-influencer partnerships often provide the best value.
#12: Share Teaser Videos and Previews on Other Platforms
Post short teaser clips or video previews from your private TikTok account on other social profiles like Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. When these clips gain engagement on their own, add captions prompting users to head to your TikTok for the full video.
This technique builds curiosity, gives your audience a taste of your content, and incentivizes heading to your TikTok to see the complete video. It’s an effective lead generator to your profile and helps convert into follows.
#13: Configure Your Bio With a Clickable Link
Properly optimizing your TikTok bio can drive more followers. Take advantage of the clickable link option within your bio that redirects to the URL of your choice. Send this to your other social profiles, website, or content landing page.
This makes it seamless for interested users find and navigate to your other online real estate with just one click. From there, they can follow and engage with you, then traffic back to your private TikTok. So a strategic bio link maximizes conversions.
#14: Post at Optimal Times Based on Insights
Pay attention to when your target audience is most active on TikTok and aim to post your content during those windows for maximum visibility.
Analyze your TikTok audience insights to detect key traffic patterns. Schedule using TikTok’s native scheduling tool or third-party apps. Testing different posting times helps determine when your niche engages most. Optimal timing is critical to trending hashtags as well.
#15: Partner With Related Brands and Companies
Contact brands and companies related to your niche to inquire about collaborative partnership opportunities on TikTok. Offer to create custom content involving their products/services that spotlights your creative angle while catering to their audience.
These types of partnerships allow you to tap into whole new target demographics aligned with your niche and the brand’s industry. Structure co-marketing agreements that include cross-promotion of each other’s TikTok channels within content. The right brand deals provide massive visibility.
#16: Jump on Viral Trends and Challenges
Capitalize on trending moments on TikTok by participating in viral challenges, dances, audios, songs, hashtags and effects. This injects your content into the momentum of trends already spiking in engagement.
But simply remaking the same trend content won’t stand out. Add your own creative spin. Blend niche topics and effects into trending formats.
By making content on buzzing trends, you gain more visibility, especially on hashtag pages around the trends. This gets you in front of a wide range of users who can convert to loyal niche followers over time.
#17: Actively Engage With Your Current Followers
It’s important to continue nurturing your existing followers even as you attract new ones. Respond to comments, ask questions in captions to spark discussion, go live with your followers frequently and survey them for content ideas.
This active engagement strengthes your relationship with current followers. It keeps them highly engaged, less likely to churn and gets them promoting your profile organically to their own networks. A strong core base of followers signals credibility to prospective followers.
#18: Properly Utilize Captions on All Videos
Well-crafted captions optimize your content for greater visibility and reach on TikTok. The in-app text should compliment the video itself.
- Title/introduce your video
- Elaborate on key information
- Include relevant niche hashtags
- Post engaging captions that prompt discussion
Captions also make your content more accessible for people who have visual or hearing impairments. Overall, compelling text supports the video, provides context and helps content get picked up by FYP and hashtag algorithms.
#19: Analyze Your Best Performing Content
Pay close attention to the specific videos that drive the most profile visits, follows and engagement for your account. Review the themes, topics, styles, formats etc. that clearly resonate most with your audience.
Then put focus on creating more content aligned with those successful elements tailored to your niche community. Analyzing your top content provides a blueprint for repeatable success.
#20: Utilize Multi-Video Stories
Posting sequences of multiple videos on the same topic or storyline keeps viewers invested in watching the full story unfold across clips. Use cliffhangers, teasers and prompts to watch the next video to string engagement together.
This technique builds suspense, encourages profile visits to see the series and eventual following to catch the latest updates. Promote the first video of a series on other channels then deliver the full experience on TikTok exclusively.
While there are inherent challenges in gaining a large TikTok following with a private account, strategically employing these methods can attract the right audience for your brand authentically. Remember that quality over quantity matters most. Focus on great content and forming genuine connections. Growth takes time, so be patient and persistent.
#21: Promote Your Account Offline
Use offline methods in your local area to promote your private TikTok account. This could involve:
- Wearing t-shirts, buttons or carrying phone cases branded with your TikTok handle when out in public. This prompts questions and interest from people who then search and follow you online.
- Posting flyers or stickers with QR codes that link directly to your TikTok profile for scanning. Strategically put these in places your target audience frequents.
- Attending relevant local events and networking to share your private account details directly with interested people.
- Finding opportunities to promote your account on local radio shows, newspapers or magazines focused on your niche and location.
Tapping into offline promotion enables discovering followers distinctly within your local region. Those followers then tend to be more engaged long-term since they have a geographic connection as well. Offline drives provide a unique boost for a private profile.
Common Follower Campaign Mistakes to Avoid
As a final reminder, here are some common mistakes creators make that hurt TikTok follower campaigns:
- Prioritizing quantity of content over thoughtful quality content
- Overloading videos with irrelevant hashtags that look spammy
- Utilizing bots to auto-comment vs. personal engagement
- Buying fake followers from disreputable services
- Making desperate pleas for follows instead of earning it
- Paying for followers with no authentic interest in your content
- Inflating vanity metrics like views through artificial means
The key principles for gains that last are focusing on organic growth built on real human connections, value exchange, and captivating content. There are no shortcuts. Consistency, patience and gradual community building are crucial.
Growing a sizable yet targeted following on TikTok through a private account takes creativity, strategic networking and promotion, captivating content and active community engagement.
However, employing these tactics can unlock authentic audience growth and opportunities. Remember, you control your profile. So focus on the visibility level and follower strategies that make the most sense for your brand’s needs and goals.