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How to target a US audience on TikTok from outside the US using a US SIM

How to target a US audience on TikTok from outside the US using a US SIM


You live outside the US, but you want your TikTok content to reach a US audience? Common problem, because the TikTok algorithm uses geotargeting. Depending on your settings, the app uses where you live as a factor in who sees your content and whose content you see.

Most people don’t give this a second thought. But here’s why you should – especially if you’re an online business owner or an affiliate marketer and US reach is important to you.

Are you being targeted by your location?

Don’t be surprised if someone sees you in your local supermarket and says, “Hey, you’re that guy on TikTok!” Happened to a friend of mine who lives in Yorkshire. This tells us TikTok targets not only by country, but by location.

Of course, other factors are in play too. Connected social media channels. Apps we grant permission for location tracking. All those Facebook privacy settings we’ve forgotten about. …

For a detailed look at the information TikTok gathers and stores, check this post on the Proofpoint website.

In short, we know it happens. And because it does, there’s a simple hack you can use to skew this geotargeting. Your SIM card.

TikTok treats you as if you’re located in the US if your phone has a US SIM card

Simple as it sounds, swapping out your SIM card for a US SIM card will trigger TikTok’s algorithm to see you as a USA user. You’ll see more content from US creators and your own content will get seen by more people in the USA.
Maybe you live the UK, Australia, New Zealand, somewhere in Europe, Thailand, The Philippines… but you want your content to be seen by people who live in the USA.

Some people say you need a VPN or a proxy, but I can tell you, it’s really not that complicated.

Here’s how to set your phone up to get more views and followers from the USA

With this method, you create a new TikTok account on an old phone you’re not currently using (or a cheap refurbished one you buy to do this).

Got an existing TikTok account you want to use instead of creating a new one? Read this >>

Here’s what to do.

Step 1 – Buy another phone or use an old one you’re happy to use just for this purpose.

My recommended UK retailer for refurbished mobile phones is MusicMagpie. I’ve bought 3 iPhones and an iPad from them. Great quality and superb value for money.

I haven’t yet tested this on Android, but it definitely works on iOS.


Step 2 – Buy a US SIM card.

What you want is the same kind of SIM card someone in the USA would buy for their phone. Don’t buy a pre-paid SIM card. You won’t be connecting it to a mobile phone network.

I bought this US SIM card from It was recommneded to me and the results are show below are from one of my TikTok accounts running off a phone with this card and no network.

As these cards are so cheap, it’s worth getting 3 or even 10. Then you have the option of testing different TikTok strategies and finding what works best for you.

As an affiliate marketer and Amazon Associate, I give my research freely on the understanding I earn from qualifying purchases.

Price of US SIM Card including shipping from Amazon USA

cost of buying 1 US SIM price compared with buying 10

Step 3 – Load the US SIM card into your phone.

You can use an existing AppleID if you want or set up a new one.

When asked to select your country or region, choose United States.

Select United States iPhone setup

Step 4 – Download the TikTok app.

Create your new TikTok account from an email address you haven’t previously used to open a TikTok account.

Choose English as your language. When prompted to allow TikTok to track your activity, choose Ask App Not to Track.

Ask App not to track

Step 5 – Search, view and follow content before you post.

Use TikTok Search to find content in your niche. Filter search results to show most liked in last 3 or 6 months.

Check out the profiles for creators of the top videos. Follow them, like some of their recent content and comment too.

Step 6 – Make sure your settings have Analytics ON

You’re all set. Start creating content. You don’t need to try to speak with an American accent or use US spellings. Just make videos as normal.

Give it a few days, then hit More data to check your geo breakdown.

If all goes to plan, you should see most of your views come from people in the United States.

US SIM geo data vs UK SIM geo data

Do you need a VPN or Proxy to target a US audience? Nah.

Sounds too simple to be true, right? But it works. No VPN. No proxy. None of that stuff some people insist is necessary if you want to target a US audience.
Nope. For now, at least, TikTok detects a US SIM card and treats you as if you’re a US mobile network user who just happens to be located outside the US.

Want to get more views from USA for your existing TikTok account instead of starting a new one?

Most of us install the TikTok app on the phone we use for everything else. So if you live in the UK, you probably set up your TikTok account on a phone with a UK SIM card. And you have a UK mobile network provider, such as O2, Three, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile.

Now, if you were to remove your UK SIM and replace it with a US SIM, you’d lose your network connection. That’s why you need to use a different phone.

The easiest way to set things up is with a new TikTok account on a phone with a US SIM that you don’t connect to a mobile network.

But what if you want to move your existing TikTok account to your US SIM card phone? Can it be done? Is it just as easy?

Things to know before you change the SIM card for an existing TikTok account

First, I have not done this myself yet. What I’m about to share is based on what I’ve heard from others in my team who live outside the USA.

Step 1 – Get yourself a new (refurbed) phone and a US SIM card. Load the SIM card and set the phone up with United States as your location.

Step 2 – Do not simply download the TikTok app and log into your existing TikTok account! You need to leave at least four hours between using it on your main phone and using it on the phone with the US SIM card.

Step 3 – Take care with this – make a backup before you delete anything. After you’ve set your existing TikTok account up on the phone with the US SIM card, delete the app and its data from your main phone. 

Step 4 – When the four hours are up, log into (or finish setting up) your existing TikTok account on the phone with the US SIM card.  Then browse through your For You feed and engage with content as normal.

Step 5 – Create 1-5 new videos. You want to make these original and not an exact copy of what you’ve already done. Maybe try some different hashtags too.

Step 6 – Give it a few days, then check your analytics. Compare the geo breakdown of your most recent content with past content.

The data should show most of your views coming from the United States. Once you see this happening, you can be confident your content is now showing up on the For You page for people who live in the USA.