According to Statista, TikTok has rocketed onto the social media scene with over 130 million users in the United States alone. Half of the entire platform is made up of generation Z and it is this younger demographic that makes TikTok such an influential outlet for brands.
57% Of TikTok’s users identify as female adding to the popularity of the platform for companies seeking an environment younger women feel comfortable in.
That is why you cannot afford to ignore TikTok when it comes to data acquisition and brand recognition.
Today, we are going to teach you some tried and true ways that you can scrape data on TikTok and how you can better position your brand to have success with a younger demographic. Make sure you check out our other blog posts after you read this one.
Understand Your Market & Influencers
TikTok works like any other social platform in that you have users that generally specialize in a particular interest. Legally you must make sure that your product is fine for people under 18 years of age or don’t use their accounts for data gathering purposes.
Knowing what accounts to target is the most important factor when you’re going to set out to mine data from the platform or use influencer marketing to grow your brand.
It all starts with the users; you can use influencer platforms to cheaply compile a list of TikTok accounts that fit your vertical. Another way is to use a dedicated cloud based TikTok scraper to process account information for you automatically.
No matter the method you choose to collect usernames, you must accept that this is the first step.
What Data Can Be Acquired Through TikTok
There are a lot of different data points that you can analyze within the TikTok platform. You can use a scraper to identify profiles and hashtag results. Each has a different data set that can further expand the information you collect from the application.
For example, with profiles, you can find the influencer ID, picture URL, hearts, top videos, and biography information. Each one of these can be a data point you can leverage.
With hashtags you can expand your data acquisition on a broad level.
Hashtags will give you information such as top videos for a category, comment counts, video-related data, music information, and profiles associated with the hashtag. You can start with hashtag data to find out what profiles are connected to a general niche.
Methods For Scraping TikTok Data
There are two main methods for scraping tick tock and in this tutorial, we’re going to look at both of them so you can make the best decision for your organization. It’s important to self-analyze what you’re capable of and what type of data you are wanting to extract.
For example, if you’re a startup with limited capabilities you may consider using a cloud scraper to do the work but if you have a development department you could use Python to make your scraper.
Let’s explore the choices you have…
Use Python To Extract Data
This could be an option for companies that have dedicated servers and teams put in place to manage their own TikTok scraper. It’s important to understand that platforms change regularly so you’ll need the ability to constantly manage the code itself to meet with the application’s user interface.
To start you would need to take advantage of an unofficial TikTok API by David Teather.
This API serves as a wrapper for the application in Python where you’ll be able to fetch specific user information along with other data points.
You will need someone who is an expert at putting together Python scripts that will work for data mining purposes. That is why we recommend companies with small budgets and limited human resources avoid this option while larger companies can embrace it.
Leverage A Cloud Based Scraper
You can purchase monthly subscriptions to cloud-based software that can scrape different data points and output them in a readable format. It’s cloud-based, which means you do not need your own server and can’t connect to the tool from any device.
The main advantage of this option is that you do not need to hire developers.
For entry-level startups, this is the perfect option considering that it is up to the scraping company to keep up with the design of the platform so that the bot works properly.
The only downside is that you cannot customize what data points you want to collect like you could with a custom Python script. Make sure you choose a company that updates their web scraping tool often so that you are not paying for outdated software.
How To Use Residential Proxies With TikTok
Residential and mobile proxies work by connecting you through the network of a peer device in a specific location that you choose. By leveraging proxies, TikTok thinks that you are that device and a real resident that is visiting their platform.
If you custom build a web scraper or use a cloud-based bot you will still need proxies and those tools are only as good as a network that is powering it.
When you make requests on TikTok it is important not to cause red flags.
Operating too many accounts on one IP address, making requests from data center proxies, and setting up your script wrong can cause your accounts to be frozen by the platform. Mobile proxies work exceptionally well because TikTok is a mobile application.
Scraping video data, user characteristics, and metadata can be accomplished on TikTok with a very small entry-level cost. It’s important to choose software that is updated regularly and use premium proxies so that you do not jeopardize your data mining accounts.
If you have any questions about data acquisition as it relates to TikTok, feel free to reach out to us in the live chat where one of our experts would be happy to help you.