So you’re here to go viral on TikTok, huh?
I don’t blame you. With the app taking over literally everyone’s phones — Boomers, Gen Z, doctors, celebrities, teachers, even moms! It’s hard not to acknowledge that this app has changed information into bite-sized videos that can entertain, inspire, and educate.
It may have started out as a casual lip-syncing app, but today it has evolved to a community where people can share a variety of content. From cooking tips, adorable cat videos, a day in the life of a sailor, or pro gameplay tips- anyone can post anything on the platform, and that’s a big part of what makes it so appealing.
Thanks to its wide popularity, it is not unheard of for the occasional youngster to wonder; “Can I possibly make it big as an influencer?”
Short answer: Yes and no. Long answer: It depends.
TikTok is a fast-paced app where you have to grab viewers’ attention within the first few seconds. Fail that, and your chance of going viral on TikTok is out of the window.
So here’s what you need to do..
If there’s no action in the first few seconds, people won’t bother to watch.
Set the tone of the video within the first few seconds so people immediately know what they’re watching. Using text is a great way to do this. Here’s an example below:
Pro tip: Statistics have reported that people are more likely to watch a TikTok video if there’s a girl in it. Most popular TikTok influencers use this to their advantage by putting a girl in the first few seconds of the video before cutting straight to the topic. Sneaky, but it works!
With all the catchy tunes and funny voiceovers, TikTok is a song-dominated platform. Content creators such as Keara ‘Keke’ Wilson posted a short choreography of her dancing to Megan Thee Stallion’s song ‘Savage’. It raked over 50 million views and became so popular as a dance challenge that even Megan Thee Stallion herself noticed! Even celebrities like Justin Bieber and Jennifer Lopez were grooving to the song and sharing their own versions.
People freaking love popular songs. And once it hits viral potential, it only goes upwards from there.
The best part about songs is that you can use them for any kind of TikTok — it doesn’t have to be for choreographies alone. Use it as background music for a challenge, a comedy skit or a fashion showcase to show off your favorite outfit!
Viral trends on TikTok are plenty and they gain millions of views every day. Naturally, you want to hop on the bandwagon to increase your virality. You can either wait until you stumble on a new trend and do the same thing everyone is doing, or work smart and spot it early enough to be a trendsetter.
It does take up a lot of time to keep up with the ever-changing trends, but it’s a worthwhile sacrifice if you’re serious about going viral on TikTok.
Try using the Discover page to explore people’s interests. Take note of the type of videos that are gaining high engagement in comments and likes. The more comments a video has, the higher chances it will spark a new trend. Use this to inspire your own content and post it with your own creative twist!
Wait, can stories even go viral? Aren’t they lengthy and like, pretty boring?
You have been misinformed, dear friend. Slick dance moves and a sick choreography might have a higher chance to go viral on TikTok, but let’s be real — not all of us are blessed by the gods of rhythm. So unless you’re a natural born dance-wonder, it’s up to you to cook up the mundane details of your life and turn it into a compelling story. Here’s an example:
If I’ve learned anything from my time spent scrolling endlessly on TikTok, it’s that people love to comment about random things in the video. It can be anything — the dude who’s casually backflipping in the background, or your younger sibling who’s making funny faces in the corner.
Think of it as a mini-game with your viewers. By putting Easter Eggs in your videos, you’re actually rewarding viewers when they watch your TikToks and catch the reference. It’s an enjoyable pastime for them and an increase in engagement for you. A win-win situation for both!
Ever heard of the quote ‘Leave them wanting more?’
The trick is to post a video that will leave viewers with a burning question at the end — and purposefully not answer it. This will drive them crazy as they spam your video with comments demanding an explanation here and now. Remember, DO NOT ANSWER THEM.
The key is to get comments — as many of them as possible. Of course, you’re not baiting them — you’re simply waiting for the right time to go live, where you’ll answer it then.
A wise man once said “One cannot go viral on TikTok without adding controversy to the mix.”
Kidding, I actually made that one up. But the truth is, people love controversy. And what better way to attract attention than to create some drama of your own?
Give your two cents on silly topics like whether pineapple on pizza should be illegal (I totally support this, btw) or if eating fries with ice cream is plain crazy. People can’t wait to jump in and give a piece of their mind in the comments!
At the end of the day, embrace your haters and love them- they’re the key to hitting virality. You should also try to steer away from sensitive topics like religion and politics. The purpose is to get more comments and engagement, not start a World War 4.
Another smart way to go viral on TikTok quickly is to manipulate the algorithm. TikTok categorizes the type of content you post before matching you with users who are interested in your content. Depending if the user has liked, commented, or shared a similar video previously, the algorithm will push your video out to them.
To break it down, if a user likes watching cat videos with a particular song track in the background and you so happen to make those, the algorithm will do the work for you and connect your videos to them.
Which is why it’s just as important to decide on a niche when you post. Stick to one category and don’t switch strategies too early- the algorithm might get confused about the type of content you’re going for.
To sum it up, going viral on TikTok is a numbers game. The more often you post content that is relatable to your audience, the more likely you are to go viral.
As you kick off your TikTok journey as an influencer, remember to be authentic, honest, and kind. Don’t be afraid to share your personal struggles and insecurities as it allows your viewers to relate with you and feel more connected to your content.
Authenticity is key to making it big on any social media platform. As you grow your followers and keep posting quality content, don’t forget your roots as an aspiring content creator. Support other creators and they will back you up as well. Who knows, in a time of Twitter wars and cancel culture, you might need them!
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