How to Search on TikTok: Find Influencers, Videos, Etc.

Updated on September 11, 2023

7 min to read

Content Writer

Published August 15, 2022

How to Search on TikTok: Find Influencers, Videos, Etc.
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Learning how to search on TikTok is more important than you think. 

All the essential components of a successful TikTok strategy—from using TikTok quotes to partnering with potential influencers—can be discovered with the right research strategy. 

If you don’t know how to search on TikTok effectively, you’ll miss out on TONS of helpful information that, when used, could help skyrocket the performance of your TikTok marketing campaigns for your clients.

That’s why in this guide, we’ll help you find out the best ways to search videos, hashtags, influencers, and more on TikTok.

Table of contents

What you’ll learn:

  • Benefits of learning how to search on TikTok 
  • How to search TikTok using the mobile app
  • How to search conversations on TikTok using social media listening
  • FAQs for searching on TikTok
  • Elevate how to search on TikTok with Vista Social 

Benefits of learning how to search on TikTok

Here are the top benefits of learning how to search the TikTok servers:

1. Analyze the competition

Use the TikTok search bar to find your client’s competitors. Watch videos, look at their hashtags, and observe how they create TikTok content. 

One of the best ways to conduct content research is to “borrow” proven strategies from competitors. With the built-in search bar, you can easily identify the top competitors who figured out how to become a TikTok influencer.

2. Find content ideas

If you know how to browse TikTok and search videos, you have a virtually infinite supply of content ideas. 

You’ll find tutorials, funny clips, interviews, speaking engagements, and various short-form videos about a wide range of topics. You can also use the audio, effect, or both from existing videos—no need to worry about plagiarism. 

3. Take advantage of trends and challenges

TikTok is a heavily trend-driven platform. Participating in trends, including challenges, will maximize your client’s discoverability to users who want to do the same. 

The “for you” discover page is loaded with trending videos, hashtags, audio, and challenges. Using the search bar will also provide you with trending content and challenges around a specific keyword or hashtag. 

4. Understand your audience’s content preferences

Another way to use trends is to understand the content preferences of the TikTok community.

TikTok videos shoot up in views and visibility because of several factors, and user engagement is one of them. Keep looking for popular hashtags and the content of other users to get an idea of how to elevate your client’s popularity. 

5. Discover potential influencers

Working with influencers is one of the secrets on how to get 1,000 followers on TikTok (and beyond). 

Use TikTok to find popular and verified users in your industry. These are potential influencers who can lend their reach, authority, and content creation skills to your client.

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How to search TikTok using the mobile app

The simplest way to search TikTok is through the mobile app. 

Here’s how it’s done: 

1. Click the search icon

Tap the magnifying glass icon from the app’s main interface. As of writing, this can be found in the upper-right corner of the app screen.

Screenshot of TikTok search icon.
Image Source: TikTok app

2. Enter a topic or hashtag 

The TikTok search page starts with “Suggested searches” at the bottom. These are trending topics that might be worth a look at if you need content topic ideas.

Screenshot of TikTok ideas.
Image Source: TikTok app

If you want to run a search from scratch, type in any topic or hashtag and tap ‘Search.’ 

The search results start with popular TikTok videos related to your topic or hashtag. 

Screenshot of related content.
Image Source: TikTok app

3. Look for related searches 

In addition to popular and latest posts, the top results from a TikTok user search include related hashtags, users, and searches. Use these suggestions to widen your search and get more ideas out of the TikTok application.

Screenshot of more ideas in TikTok search.
Image Source: TikTok app

4. Refine your search with filters 

Use filters to sift through the search results and find a specific type of TikTok video, user, or hashtag you need. 

Tap the ‘Filters’ button in the upper-right corner (below “Search”) to see your options.

Screenshot of filtering results in TikTok.
Image Source: TikTok app

Here’s a quick rundown of the filter options you can use: 

  • Activity (Liked videos): Toggle this filter if you want to check Tikok servers for relevant videos you already liked. Use this if you’re conducting content research by ‘liking’ posts on the explore page of your client’s TikTok account. 
  • Date posted: Find videos posted at specific time ranges, like “all time,” “this week,” “this month,” “last 3 months,” and so on. Utilize this filter to check for popular videos posted recently, during an event, or within a custom timeframe. 
  • Sort by: Tick “Relevance” if you want to find results that align with your search keyword or hashtag the most. Otherwise, check “Most liked” if you need to look for the most popular results. 
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5. Look specifically for users 

Switch to the ‘Users’ tab if you need to check TikTok servers for relevant user accounts. 

The results page includes each account’s name, TikTok handle, and basic account metrics (followers and videos posted). 

Tap the ‘Follow’ button next to the account you want to connect with. This is useful in connecting with potential influencers or gaining “follow-backs” from your client’s target audience.

Screenshot of Tiktok's follow button.
Image Source: TikTok app

Search for TikTok user accounts to identify your client’s top competitors. 

Conducting competitor research will give you ideas for planning a content strategy for new clients. Understand how to get more views on TikTok after posting by analyzing their user engagement strategy, like how they respond to comments and what interactive elements they use.  

Take note that the filters for certain TikTok search pages vary from each other. 

For the user search page, the filters are:

  • Number of followers: Look for accounts with 0-1,000, 1,000-10,000, 10,000-100,000, or more than 100,000 followers. Quickly identify your client’s most popular competitors or potential macro/micro-influencers. 
  • Types of profiles: Filter results using three categories: “Verified,” “You may know,” and “Friends and followings.” Check verified accounts for authoritative competitors or influencers.
  • Other preferences: Select ‘Username’ if your search query uses a TikTok handle rather than a keyword or hashtag. This is useful if you’re looking for a specific TikTok profile. 

6. Look for specific videos

In the ‘Videos’ tab, the search page will focus on videos posted by other users. Video results include the account name, posting date, likes, and truncated title.

Screenshot of sample specific videos in TikTok.
Image Source: TikTok app

A video search is great for TikTok content research. Look for TikTok questions, effects, and video formats you can use for your client’s campaign. 

7. Look for useful hashtags

Instead of using third-party TikTok tools for trending and relevant hashtags, just use the built-in search bar. 

Switch to the ‘Hashtags’ tab to reveal a long list of hashtags related to the topic (or another hashtag) you entered.

Screenshot of how to look for more hashtags in TikTok.
Image Source: TikTok app

The only downside is, TikTok will only show “phrase match” hashtags. These are hashtags that include the exact word you entered in the search bar.

To find punchy and original hashtag ideas, use the automation hashtag suggestions feature of Vista Social

You don’t have to take your hashtag research efforts elsewhere. Just tap the hashtag icon in the Publish tool and click the ‘Hashtag suggestions’ tab—all the hashtag ideas you need are there.

Screenshot of Vista Social's hashtag suggestions

8. Check other search categories 

Look for TikTok sounds, shops, and LIVE streams by switching to the appropriate tab.

  • Sounds: Look for popular sounds you can use in your TikTok content. Sound results include the song title, artist, and duration so you can plan how to weave it into videos appropriately.
  • Shop: Check product listings on the TikTok marketplace. Do this for competitor research or if you actually need to purchase something. 
  • LIVE: Learn how other TikTok creators use LIVE videos to garner attention and gain followers. LIVE videos let you connect with the TikTok community on a deeper and more “in the moment” level.

How to search conversations on TikTok using social media listening

Vista Social’s social media listening tool lets you search for mentions of a product or brand. 

From the main dashboard, go to ‘Listening’ and then click ‘Add listener.’

Screenshot of Vista Social's listening tool

Select your TikTok profile and fill in the details of your social listener. Give it a name and enter the keywords you wish to include or exclude.

Screenshot of Vista Social's listening tool

Vista Social’s listeners automatically detect conversations that include the keywords you specified. This lets you search information that TikTok’s built-in search feature doesn’t cover—actual conversations.

FAQs for searching on TikTok

Is there a search bar on TikTok?

Yes, the search bar on TikTok appears when you tap the magnifying glass icon from the app. The search bar is always present in TikTok’s web browser version. 

Why is there no search bar on TikTok?

If your search bar is missing or malfunctioning, check TikTok servers for a possible downtime or bug. You can also try restarting the TikTok app and resetting your internet connection. 

How do you search for videos on TikTok 2022?

Four steps to search for videos on TikTok: 

  1. Open the TikTok app and tap the magnifying glass icon.
  2. Enter a hashtag, username, or topic and tap ‘Search.’ 
  3. Scan for related searches and suggestions.
  4. Use filters or switch to specific search tabs to refine the results. 

Elevate how to search on TikTok with Vista Social

Doing research on TikTok is essential to a competitive social media content strategy. 

You can find hashtags, competitor videos, and potential influencers—all within the app. 

With Vista Social, you can take your TikTok content research further using automated social media listening. 

Get started today with a free Vista Social account

About the Author

Content Writer

Jimmy Rodela is a social media and content marketing consultant with over 9 years of experience, with work appearing on sites such as, Yahoo, SEMRush, and SearchEnginePeople. He specializes in social media, content marketing, SaaS, small business strategy, marketing automation, and content development.

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