[STUDY] TikTok Engagement Benchmarks: The Latest Performance Data and Stats
TikTok Analytics Original Research & Studies

[STUDY] TikTok Engagement Benchmarks: The Latest Performance Data and Stats

From TikTok’s engagement evolution from view rate by video and caption length, these TikTok benchmarks offer insights into TikTok’s performance.

Elena Cucu
Elena Cucu
Table of Contents

From a lip-syncing and dance challenges app to the fastest-growing social media platform up to date, TikTok has come a long way since its debut in the world.

Thanks to its constant effort to come up with ways to innovate and offer greater experiences to its users, TikTok’s role in the creation of a successful marketing strategy is bound to increase significantly in the future.

To help brands that are focusing on TikTok marketing create an effective strategy that’s aligned with the current algorithm trends, we’ve dug into some data and uncovered what are the latest TikTok performance benchmarks in terms of engagement and video views.

Let’s dive in!

TikTok performance benchmarks for 2023


A. Summary
B. Key insights

1. Engagement on TikTok has started to decrease by 43% YoY, scoring an engagement rate by views of 5.38% at the moment
2. The usage of a trendy song increases engagement by 20% for small profiles
3. Including a mention is a more effective way of getting increased engagement for small profiles
4. TikTok’s view rate per video stands at an average of 14.49%
5. After exceeding the 15-second length limit, TikTok videos get a 16.55% decrease in the average view rate
6. TikToks with shorter captions get a higher view rate
7. Pro tips for creating a powerful TikTok strategy

C. Methodology


A. Summary


Reading this TikTok benchmarks study, you'll discover:

How did TikTok's average engagement rate by views evolve over time? We show how engagement has evolved on TikTok over the last two years.

What is TikTok's engagement rate correlated with mentions presence? We reveal to which extent the presence of a mention influences a video's engagement.

Usage of original sounds: is a successful or rather ineffective technique for getting more engagement on TikTok? We look at TikTok's engagement rate when integrating within a video an original sound compared to using a trendy song.

What is the average video view on TikTok in 2023? We uncover how interested are social media users in watching video posts on TikTok.  

What is the average view rate for different video lengths? We aim to discover if different video lengths have different a performance.

How does caption length influence TikTok's average video view rate? We highlight how a certain caption length leads to a higher or lower performance.

B. Key insights


1. Engagement on TikTok has started to decrease by 43% YoY, scoring an engagement rate by views of 5.38% at the moment


Together with a creative and rather unique content strategy, some companies, such as Ryanair or Duolingo, have succeeded in capitalizing on TikTok’s great exposure potential and getting massive brand awareness.

However, while, at the moment, some brands, like those two above, have made TikTok their first-touch channel, probably not every company that is on TikTok has got its successful content formula figured out yet. Surely, many are still experimenting.

Nonetheless, with an average engagement rate by views of 5.38%, TikTok continues to be the best-performing social platform of today.

By providing a great asset for companies that are looking to increase brand interest and customer loyalty, TikTok unquestionably makes for a must-try marketing tool nowadays.

Here is a chart showing how TikTok's engagement has evolved over the past two years.

For being a video-exclusive social network, TikTok displays engagement differently than other platforms. Instead of calculating this KPI depending on the following size or reach, TikTok calculates engagement based on video views.

Following the same pattern, for this study, the average TikTok engagement rate was calculated as the sum of interactions (counting likes, comments, shares, and saves) of a given post divided by the number of video views within a specific timeframe and multiplied by 100.

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2. The usage of a trendy song increases engagement by 20% for small profiles


Creators and brands that have hopped on the TikTok marketing train and earned tremendous visibility within the platform claim there are two focus points when creating a TikTok video: making it entertaining and using a trending song.

Emphasizing the idea that songs are crucial for TikTok videos’ popularity, a TikTok sounds study conducted by Influencer Marketing Hub revealed that 90% of TikTok users say that sound is the key element of the TikTok experience.

Being a different type of “endorsement,” trendy tunes are more likely to make a TikTok video more appealing simply because the melody itself is popular and beloved.

What is particularly interesting when looking at the average TikTok engagement rate correlated with sound usage is that integrating trendy songs is particularly beneficial for small accounts.

As highlighted by data, in the case of small profiles (with less than 5K followers), the usage of a trendy song can increase engagement by 20%.


Here is a chart showing engagement rate benchmarks for TikTok when using a trendy song vs an original sound.

3. Including a mention is a more effective way of getting increased engagement for small profiles


Collabs make for a significant part of TikTok’s videos.

With the launch of specially designed features to facilitate collaborations, like TikTok Stitch or Duet, it’s pretty obvious the platform itself pushes and encourages video partnerships.

Usually providing extended brand exposure, collaborations can also have a significant impact on a brand’s social engagement and, ultimately, even sales.

But let’s focus on that first part for a bit.

On TikTok, pretty much like on any other social platform, one way to spot collaborations is through mentions presence. When correlating this case with TikTok’s average engagement rate, data has revealed that including a mention is an effective tactic for generating more engagement, particularly for small accounts.

Here is a chart showing engagement benchmarks for TikTok when including a mention.

Now, you’re probably wondering what’s the deal with the biggest accounts, right?

Well, TikTok is a platform known to favor the little guys, so it’s only natural for these accounts to get more engagement when integrating a mention.

On the other hand, the biggest accounts’ videos are less pushed by the platform’s algorithm toward new people. Most of their engagement comes from their follower base, and therefore, an integration of a mention does not become a differentiator factor for increased engagement.

4. TikTok’s view rate per video stands at an average of 14.49%


What sets TikTok apart from all the other social media platforms is undoubtedly its unique algorithm and the user’s intent, mindset, and behavior when navigating the platform.

If on all the other networks, the following base is probably the number one metric indicating an account’s popularity, TikTok’s case is a bit different, with the platform positioning views as its most relevant KPI.

By the way, to count as a view, a TikTok video must be played for at least three seconds.

Alongside video views, another key metric that should be tracked when analyzing your content’s performance is your watch rate. Being an indicator of how effective your videos were in keeping your audience’s attention, this metric is equally important in monitoring.

We mentioned earlier that TikTok’s algorithm favors new, fast-growing accounts, and this is noticeable when looking at benchmarks for the average watch rate as well, following engagement’s case.

This is a chart showing what's the average video view rate for TikTok for different profile sizes.

As shown earlier, for a while now, TikTok’s engagement has taken a decreasing track, aligned with the overall trend across social media. And the dropping numbers do not stop here.

When looking at average watch rate benchmarks, data has indicated that over 2023, there’s been a decrease of about 10% in the time people spend in watching a TikTok video.

To calculate the average TikTok watch rate, the post’s views count in a given timeframe must be divided by the total number of profile followers and multiplied by 100 to get a percentage.

5. After exceeding the 15-second length limit, TikTok videos get a 16.55% decrease in the average view rate


Coming out strong with its initial 15-second video time limit that hooked the entire world, TikTok became the pioneer of short-form content.

While over time, the platform has gradually extended its maximum video length to satisfy more advertising needs, according to data, the shortest videos remain the best-performing ones in generating a higher view rate.

From a numbers perspective, TikToks shorter than 15 seconds get a view rate of 9.40%, and once exceeded this video length, the values lower down, reaching an average of only 7.84%.

In this chart are presented video view rates benchmarks for TikTok for different video lengths

6. TikToks with shorter captions get a higher view rate


With its short-form video format, TikTok positioned itself from the beginning as a social platform for rapid content consumption.

Becoming the new benchmark for the time, people are happy to invest in consuming a single piece of content, it has certainly had a major impact on social media users’ behavioral patterns, leading to shorter attention spans.

Considering this, while also taking into account that what gets people hooked on watching a video is the combination of the entertaining nature of the video itself and the audio used, we wanted to see how additional factors also impact TikTok’s video view rate.

By now, it got pretty clear that slowly but surely, TikTok is becoming more than just a social media platform used solely for entertaining, transitioning towards shifting into a search engine.

Consequently, more and more marketers have started to wonder about the importance of TikTok SEO, and trying to understand how a video’s caption affects its performance.

Therefore, with captions turning into an increasingly influential factor for TikTok videos’ success, why not scoop a bit about this topic?

This chart shows TikTok's average video view rates for different caption lengths.

When looking at how the caption length influences TikTok videos’ performance, we discovered that the longer the caption is, the lower the video view rate gets.

To better understand how effective your TikTok marketing strategy really is, it’s important to put your KPIs into context and compare them against the platform’s average benchmarks, which are the following:

  • videos with captions shorter than 10 words score an average video view rate of 10.25%;
  • captions between 10-20 words get an average view view rate of 8.24%
  • captions between 20-30 words have the lowest video view rates, of 6.59% on average.

7. Pro tips for creating a powerful TikTok strategy


All in all, after digging into all this TikTok data, for increased chances of increasing their visibility within the platform, there are a couple of lessons that digital marketers should remember when creating their TikTok strategy, those being:

  • If you’re a small account, try integrating a trendy song altogether with a mention whenever possible;
  • Make short TikTok videos (preferably below 15 seconds);
  • Create captions that are below 10 words to get a higher video view rate.

Methodology

The dataset used to uncover these TikTok benchmarks consisted of 616,409 TikTok videos coming from 3,127 TikTok profiles that had an active presence on TikTok from January 2022 - August 2023.

Elena Cucu

Elena Cucu

Content Manager @ Socialinsider

Content & SEO Manager @ Socialinsider with 8 years of experience in marketing. I like to describe myself as a social butterfly with a curious mind, passionate about dancing and psychology.

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