How to use TikTok for Social Listening

In this post, we explore how TikTok, with over 1.5 billion monthly users and projected $21.1 billion revenue in 2024, is essential for brand marketers. Social listening on TikTok helps track sentiment, identify trends, and discover influencers. Tools like Phyllo enhance these insights, making TikTok vital for effective brand management.

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Despite being banned in the most populous country in the world, TikTok boasts an astounding figure of over 1.5 billion monthly active users, according to the latest reports. Fueled by in-app purchases, e-commerce revenue, and advertising, TikTok's revenue is estimated to reach a staggering $21.1 billion in 2024, solidifying its position as a major player in the tech industry.

According to Statista, the largest demographic of TikTok is Gen Z and millennials, constituting around 62% of its user base. This is all to say that if you’re formulating a robust social media strategy for your brand or your organization, you must devise a strategy that caters to the audience on TikTok.

If the past few years have been any indication, you must know that the trends born on TikTok can quickly become mainstream conversations. This is where social listening comes in.

By actively monitoring and analyzing conversations on TikTok, you can gain valuable insights that inform your brand’s social media strategy. You can track sentiment around your brand (or competitors), identify emerging trends and challenges, and discover potential influencer partnerships. However, you must not confuse social listening with social monitoring.

In the next section, we'll delve into the specifics of using TikTok for social listening, exploring techniques and tools to help you unlock the platform's potential for gathering valuable consumer insights.

What is Social Listening on TikTok?

Social listening is the art of listening to conversations across social media platforms to understand your existing and potential customers better. A social listening strategy allows you to actively track, understand, and respond to discussions across your choice of platforms relevant to your brand, industry, or a specific topic.

Businesses can learn more about their target market and industry trends by keeping an eye on discussions, comments, and interactions. This helps enhance their decision-making skills. Social listening has proven to be a ground-breaking innovation in gathering user feedback.

However, you must be able to filter out the data that is particularly useful for you. You must be aware of what you need to listen to! You're the one who decides what exactly you’re going to take away from the data, but if you're just starting with social listening, then maybe, the section below can help you.

What should you be listening to on TikTok?

Here's are a few things that a brand marketer should focus on, while social listening on TikTok:

Brand Mentions:

  • Direct mentions: Keep an ear out for videos that directly mention your brand by name or username. This includes positive reviews, complaints, comparisons to competitors, or parodies.
  • Indirect mentions: Look for videos that use branded hashtags, product names (even if slightly misspelled), or reference features specific to your brand.

Industry Trends and Challenges:

  • Trending hashtags: Pay attention to trending hashtags within your industry or relevant to your target audience. These can spark content ideas or indicate emerging interests.
  • Challenges and memes: See what challenges and memes are circulating that relate to your industry. You might be able to participate in a lighthearted way or use the format to address customer concerns.
  • Educational content: Watch out for educational content creators who discuss topics related to your industry. This can give you insights into what information your audience seeks and potential content gaps you can fill.

Customer Needs and Preferences:

  • Product reviews and tutorials: Identify videos that review your products or create tutorials on how to use them. This reveals customer sentiment and potential areas for improvement.
  • Pain points and frustrations: Listen to the videos where users express frustrations or challenges related to your industry or the products/services you offer. You can also use a sentiment analysis tool to understand the feelings the post is encouraging or evoking amidst other potential or existing customers and get to damage control while there’s still time. 

This can also help guide your innovation efforts.

  • Content preferences: See what type of content resonates with your target audience on TikTok. Are they drawn to funny skits, informative breakdowns, or visually stunning videos? Analyze what grabs their attention and capitalize on that information.

Influencer Marketing Opportunities:

  • Creators who align with your brand: Identify creators whose content style, values, and target audience match your brand identity. Look for creators who use your products authentically or create content relevant to your niche.
  • Micro-influencers: Not all brands can afford or even prefer mega-influencers with millions of followers. Micro-influencers (with less followers but higher engagement rates) can be valuable partners for targeted campaigns.
  • Engagement metrics: Look beyond follower count and prioritize creators with high engagement rates (likes, comments, shares) on their content.


  • Competitor Analysis: Monitor what your competitors are doing on TikTok. See what kind of content they create, what trends they participate in, and how their audience reacts. This can help you refine your strategy and stay a step ahead of them.
  • Trending Audios & Templates: Stay updated on latest trending audios, video formats, features, and editing styles on TikTok. This ensures you can leverage the platform's full potential for your brand.

By actively listening to these elements on TikTok, brand marketers can gain valuable insights to inform their social media strategy, product development, and overall brand messaging.

Which Sources Of Data Help In TikTok Social Listening?

TikTok doesn't provide any social listening tools, yet. However, there are still many sources of data one can rely on to understand what people are saying or thinking about their brands.

One thing that goes without saying is that a true and complete understanding of your target audience requires integrating it with your broader brand analytics. You must ensure that your website and app are connected with Google Analytics.

That being said, there is so much more to social listening, starting with the data we can obtain from Analytics. Here's a comprehensive list of data sources we can rely on:

Analytics Dashboard

Integrating your TikTok data with website and app analytics can help you gain a bird's eye view of the audience’s journey. This allows you to track how TikTok engagement translates into website visits, app downloads, or conversions.

TikTok Insights

TikTok doesn't offer a native social listening tool. You'll need to rely on alternative methods like third-party platforms, manual analysis, or connecting your TikTok account to Google Analytics.

You can pick a great third-party app which you can use to extract data from TikTok. There are various tools available in the market that can help you extract data from social media platforms. An amazing third-party app like Phyllo can facilitate data extraction from TikTok, specially when it comes to analysis of textual content available on TikTok.

Phyllo can help you catch the pulse of any conversation about your product, brand, and competitors by helping you track conversations where your brand or competitors you want to track are mentioned!

Analyzing Video Content

While some might argue that video content is subjective and fleeting, it can be a surprisingly reliable source of data for social listening on TikTok, especially when used in conjunction with other methods.

By analyzing the types of videos performing well within your niche, you discover what content resonates with your audience.

Creating a Social Listening Strategy on TikTok

A mandatory pre-requisite for having a social listening strategy on TikTok is having a TikTok account for your brand. If you’ve a TikTok account for your brand already or are in the process of creating one, here is a step-by-step guide that you can use to employ a social listening strategy:

  1. Set your goals & objectives.
  2. Identify your niche as well as your target audience.
  3. Use a combination of Analytics dashboard, manual scrolling, and TikTok insights to listen for relevant data.
  4. Identify relevant keywords & hashtags. Your brand might or might not have a relevant hashtag under their brand’s name but it is always a good idea to have a few hashtags particular to your own brand. These hashtags could be anything ranging from your brand’s name to your brand’s messaging.
  5. Start by listening for relevant keywords & hashtags.
  6. Analyze video content & latest trends.
  7. Use a third party tool like Phyllo, to perform sentiment analysis on comment section of posts where your brand is mentioned.
  8. Look for creators on TikTok who align with your brand identity and resonate with your target audience.
  9. Analyze the content style, engagement metrics, and follower demographics to find the right fit for your brand.
  10. Keep refining your approach and tweaking it as you get closer to achieving your goals.

How Can You Check TikTok Analytics for Social Listening Within Your Profile?

TikTok's built-in analytics provide a starting point to understand your account’s performance on the platform. However, they're limited to comprehensive social listening. Here are the data points you can find in your TikTok profile:

  • Follower Growth: Track how your follower base expands over time.
  • Video Views and Engagement: Analyze how many people see your videos and how they interact with them (likes, comments, and shares).
  • Traffic Sources: See where your viewers are coming from (in-app browsing vs. external links).

Other than this, you can integrate your TikTok data with Google Analytics to gain a holistic view of the customer journey. You can easily track how TikTok engagement converts into website visits, app downloads, or customer acquisition for a truly data-driven approach.

How Can You Do TikTok Social Listening For Comments & Hashtag Analysis?

You must dedicate some time to combing through comments under your videos and those mentioning your brand (or relevant hashtags). That is definitely going to prove a valuable exercise within your social listening strategy. Look for recurring themes, positive or negative feedback, and areas for improvement. 

You can also consider sentiment analysis tools or AI powered tools like Phyllo that will help you process large volumes of comments, categorizing them as positive, negative, or neutral, letting you know the general sentiment of your audience.

How Can You Do TikTok Social Listening Using Video Analysis?

Video content is indeed the lifeblood of TikTok. You can not ignore or completely avoid analyzing videos and hope to succeed at the same time. 

Analyzing videos can prove really helpful for not just your social listening but for your overall social media strategy. Here’s how you can leverage the time you spend analyzing videos on TikTok to its full potential:

  • Identify Trending Sounds and Hashtags: Pay attention to popular sounds and hashtags within your niche. These can spark content ideas or indicate emerging interests.
  • Identify Challenges and Memes: See what challenges and memes circulate that relate to your industry. You might be able to participate or use the format to address customer concerns.
  • Understand Content Preferences: Analyze what type of video content resonates with your target audience. Are they drawn to funny sketches, informative content, or visually stunning videos?

How to Use Insights from TikTok Listening?

The insights you gather from social listening on TikTok can be used to inform various aspects of your brand’s social media strategy:

  • You can customize your content to suit the audience’s preferences on TikTok. Use trending sounds, formats, and address the topics your audience seems to care about.
  • It can prove to be a valuable forum for gathering customer feedback. Comments and video analysis can help inform several product improvements and identify potential features that could potentially put you ahead of the curve in your field.
  • You can also use social listening to identify influencers who align with your brand and target audience. Leverage the insights you find on TikTok to draft targeted marketing messages and create impactful campaigns. For example, if you’re a brand promoting sustainability, you might seek out the influencers who are vocal about sustainability and eco-friendly products.
  • You can also nip a potential PR disaster in the bud by addressing any negative sentiment promptly. You can also adapt your brand messaging to improve brand perception.

A great example of how TikTok can be leveraged to create a robust, unshakeable branding is Taylor Swift. The American singer-songwriter who is also the most searched artist on Google Search in past 25 years, has created a great example of what solid marketing looks like by her active presence on social media platforms such as TikTok. She interacts directly with her followers under the hashtag #SwiftTok, generating a continuous, proactive, two-way feedback loop and leveraging user-generated content to her advantage (Not that she really needs it, at this point). 

How TikTok Social Listening Tools Like Phyllo Make Things Easier?

Phyllo Social Listening API is a tool that allows you to monitor conversations across major social media platforms to gather data and insights. Not only that, Phyllo APIs also offers a robust set of features to empower you with the state-of-art social media intelligence.

Here's a breakdown of its key features:

Social media coverage

Phyllo APIs will help you listen-in on conversations across various social platforms including YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Real-time data

Phyllo keeps you ahead of the curve with constant updates. You'll receive accurate social data as it happens, allowing for immediate responses to crises, engagement in trending social conversations throughout, and leveraging positive brand mentions.

Sentiment analysis 

Phyllo tracks positive, negative and neutral mentions to understand audience sentiment and preferences. This allows you to understand how your audience feels about your brand, specific campaigns, or industry topics. You can also understand audience's sentiment towards your competitors. Taking a sneak peek in your rival's psyche would help you stay ahead of them at each step.

Campaign analysis

Identify your top performing campaigns and understand what's working well. Phyllo helps you measure the success of your own social media marketing and campaigns. You can identify your top performers based on metrics like engagement, reach, and sentiment.

Actionable insights

By analyzing and understanding customer sentiment, you can tailor your approach towards content creation. Positive sentiment indicates areas where you're succeeding, while negative sentiment allows for course correction and improved communication. You can leverage trending topics and ideas to inform your product roadmap social media strategy and content strategy.

Customizable dashboards

Phyllo allows you to develop customizable dashboards for clutter-free analysis of audience sentiment with AI-powered insights. 

Phyllo leverages AI to provide you with insights that go beyond raw data. This can include highlighting key themes relevant conversations, identifying influencers, and uncovering sentiment shifts.

Creator data access

Phyllo offers access to creator data, including post-login information and audience demographics. It can help you find creators who resonate with your target audience and gain insights into a creator's audience demographics and engagement levels.

Informed decision-making always saves your time, effort, and money.
Overall, Phyllo Social Listening API can be a valuable tool for brands and marketers to understand their brand perception, analyze campaigns, and gain insights from social media conversations. 

Get Phyllo now to get a head-start on your competitors.

Common Challenges with TikTok API and How to Overcome Them

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Vishnu Verma
Marketer at Phyllo with 3+ years of experience. I love creating content and marketing strategies for B2B brands. Outside of work, I enjoy traveling and trying regional cuisines.

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