20 Easiest Ways How to Go Viral on TikTok

20 Easiest Ways How to Go Viral on TikTok

You probably know this by now, but TikTok continues to be the hottest place to see and be seen among Generation Z. In fact, this platform has one of the youngest user bases among social media sites. One reason for this popularity is that younger consumers prefer short video content, such as the 15-60-second offerings available here.

However, another attraction of TikTok is the potential for a lot of people to see your content in a short time because of the way the TikTok algorithm favors content over followers. For everyday creators, the reward is a sense of accomplishment and lots of exposure. They can also become influencers after a video gets viral. Brands benefit through the wide distribution of their content and the resulting brand awareness, conversions, or other desired outcomes.

Luckily, it’s relatively easy to learn how to go viral on TikTok, although actually going viral will depend on a number of factors. Understanding how the algorithm works is important, as it’ll help you adapt your content and follow best practices. Then, take some inspiration from these twenty ideas.

Understanding the TikTok Algorithm

Ultimately, the TikTok algorithm is what makes you go viral. Certainly, content creators and users have an effect on the algorithm as they use the platform. However, going viral without specifically working towards that goal is difficult. By understanding the algorithm, you’ll be able to dramatically increase the odds.

Explanation of how the TikTok algorithm works

@tedtoks

You may *think* you know how the FYP works, but do you *really*? 🤔 Here’s how the man himself @TikTok CEO Shou Chew (@shou.time) says TikTok’s famous algorithm actually works. (Hint: It involves a lot of math 🤓). Visit the link in our bio to watch his full #TED2023 discussion with head of TED Chris Anderson on US data privacy concerns, how TikTok gave rise to the creator economy, the power of communities like #BookTok and more. #ShouChew #LiveOnStage #TikTokTips #TikTokAlgorithm #HowTikTokWork

♬ original sound – TED Talks

The TikTok algorithm works by analyzing user behavior, such as the videos they watch, like, and share, to determine what content to show them next. For instance, if someone is addicted to dance videos or certain challenges, the algorithm will add more of those to the user’s FYP. The algorithm will also display more videos that suit a user’s mood during that session.

The algorithm also takes into account factors such as video completion rate, engagement rate, and the quality of the video content. As a result, you should try to produce high-quality content that people want to watch and engage with. If you are successful, people will also follow you, which helps boost the other factors.

Importance of engagement rate, video views, and average watch time

Engagement rate, video views, and average watch time are important metrics to consider when trying to go viral on TikTok. If you perform poorly on one or more of these metrics, then you may need to improve the quality of your content before you’re likely to go viral. Take time to perfect your technique.

These metrics can help you understand how users are interacting with your content and can help you identify areas for improvement. Maybe you crack jokes that most people don’t consider funny. Or it could be that your content is out of touch with the latest trends or has poor video quality. Often, the problem isn’t your content so much as how it stacks up against the competition.

No matter why your metrics need work, the weaknesses of your content are a major obstacle to going viral.

20 Easiest Ways How to Go Viral on TikTok

Fortunately, the secret of how to go viral on TikTok is about more than just quality, engagement, and other metrics. Instead, the contents or subject matter can have a major influence. You can also interact with other TikTok users in ways that increase the possibility of producing a viral video.

Ride the wave of popular trends and create your own unique spin on them. This increases your chances of being noticed and shared by TikTok’s massive user base. In this case, being both relevant to the trend and some creativity is critical. Most TikTokkers value authenticity and don’t have time for copycat content.

2. Use hashtags wisely

Maximize your discoverability by using relevant and targeted hashtags. This will help your content reach the right audience and improve your chances of going viral. To find the right hashtags, do a little research. Pay attention to the hashtags your competitors and niche-specific voices are using. You can also leverage various hashtag research tools to both get started and stay ahead of the trends.

With that said, don’t just spray and pray with hashtags. If you use too many, or if some of the tags are irrelevant, it comes across as spammy. Nobody likes that. Instead, choose the most relevant hashtags and stick with those, making adjustments as appropriate. This helps ensure your content finds the right people.

Further Reading: 13 Cool TikTok Voice Generators

3. Create engaging and share-worthy content

Make your videos stand out by crafting content that resonates with viewers and encourages them to share with their own followers. Even people with few followers can help spread your content around, especially if someone they share it with has more followers. Sometimes, all it takes is for the right account (or two) to discover your video and engage with it.

4. Start with a hook and keep it short

Capture your audience’s attention within the first few seconds and keep your videos concise to maintain their interest. In the writing industry, this is called a hook. Often, this is the most difficult part of your video production because you only get one chance to make a good impression. At the same time, a good hook sets the stage for the rest of your video.

What’s a good hook? That depends on your content, but consider repeating the challenge (“show your can of soda”) or asking a question such that it reveals you’ll provide an answer (“What happens when an earthquake comes?”). These tie your video to the challenge or invite people to learn the answer.

With that said, don’t make a hook too long. Otherwise, you’ll detract from the rest of your content.

Further Reading: 15 Powerful AI TikTok Video Generators to Simplify Video Creation

5. Engage with other creators

Forge connections with other TikTok users and support their content to foster a sense of community and increase your visibility. Connecting with others can involve a little effort or a lot, depending on the situation. Start by giving engagement to other people’s content, especially if they’re in your niche. Then, respond to other people’s engagement. Over time, you may start messaging other creators and forging relationships.

6. Be consistent

Establish your brand and content style by regularly uploading videos and maintaining a consistent theme. People follow creators who post regularly, even if it’s just once a week, because they look forward to the latest content. At the same time, they want to see that a creator’s style is consistent. Otherwise, it usually isn’t worth their time to watch the videos.

Prioritize hashtag challenges that use trending effects

Participate in popular hashtag challenges and incorporate trending visual effects to boost your chances of being featured. One thing that people love about TikTok is the ability to apply filters, add stickers, and otherwise customize content far beyond the originally produced footage.

Challenges are an old-school TikTok technique that dates from before the platform used its current name. And because people often follow a challenge or its relevant hashtags, participation is a great way to earn view time. People might discover your content simply by searching for the hashtags.

Further Reading: Try These 15 TikTok Challenges to Generate Engagement in 2024!

Stay up-to-date with current events and trending topics to ensure your content is timely and relevant. Unless there’s massive devastation, most people outside the immediate area won’t care about last week’s thunderstorms. Or last year’s product release, for that matter.

What’s my point? Make sure that your new content isn’t dated. Instead, talk about topics that are relevant right now. You can also produce some evergreen content for your profile. This kind of content might not go viral, but it can set the groundwork for future videos because it helps you grow your channel.

Further Reading: TikTok Hashtags: Where to Find and How to Use to Grow Your TikTok

Utilize popular songs and sound bites to make your videos more engaging and increase their chances of going viral. Copyright can be an issue here, so be sure to use songs that are either public domain, available for royalty-free use, or come from TikTok’s media library. With a lot of options, this tip isn’t as hard to follow as you think.

For music and sound trends, you’ll often integrate the material into the soundtrack of your videos. The music will often be an integral part of your content for dance videos due to the relationship between music and dance. However, part of how to go viral on TikTok is using music in unexpected ways. Many creators will use a short clip to introduce their content. Or, use a soundtrack to set the mood and pace for the visual part of your content.

Further Reading: How To Add A Sound To TikTok And 6 Tips To Make It Go Viral

10. Create your own audio:

Set yourself apart by crafting unique audio tracks for your videos, potentially starting a trend of your own. Many creators on other platforms will have a quick introductory piece of audio that leads into a longer video. In this case, the sound becomes part of your personal branding.

I also see people using music they’re composed or adapted themselves. Doing this demonstrates your creativity. And if you are a musician, the audio becomes a kind of advertisement for the rest of your work.

11. Post consistently and regularly:

Maintain a steady posting schedule to keep your followers engaged and increase the likelihood of being noticed by the TikTok algorithm. If you’re relatively new to TikTok or lead a busy lifestyle, once a week may be enough. This is frequent enough that followers remember you, yet light enough workload to avoid being overwhelmed. Over time, you may decide to increase the frequency of your postings.

When you post, make sure that your content is consistent. Creators with a large following have a distinctive style or personality that their followers expect, and these expectations are part of the creator’s brand. Then, creators build relationships with people in the spirit of that brand.

12. Post at the right time

Determine when your target audience is most active on TikTok, and post during those peak times for maximum exposure. No matter your time zone, you’ll often find that the bulk of your audience is online at a particular time. A teacher, for instance, likely logs on earlier than an office worker. Likewise, if you have a distributed fanbase, you may choose to post at a time that everyone can watch your content, but not necessarily at the same time.

Many creators find it hard to get everyone online at once. One of the advantages of TikTok is that there isn’t as much pressure to livestream, so people learning how to go viral on TikTok can still participate easily. A social media scheduler can be valuable for creators with wide geographical differences in their niche since it lets creators post at a time when they wouldn’t otherwise be at their desks.

13. Interact with your followers

Engage with your fans by responding to their comments and messages, fostering a sense of connection and community. As people develop a relationship with you and each other, they are more likely to share community content with other users. And as I mentioned in one of the other ways on how to go viral on TikTok, sometimes a little sharing has big potential.

Further Reading: How To Unfollow Someone on TikTok (Without Them Knowing)

14. Interact with other users and posts

Interact with other users and posts

Actively engage with content from other users to increase your visibility and attract new followers. Not only does the interaction show up on the FYP, but there’s always the chance of a video taking on a life of its own. When content becomes more widely consumed, there’s always a chance the item will go viral.

Besides improving the circulation of your content, getting new followers gives you more opportunities on TikTok. Eventually, brands may want to work with you as an influencer or affiliate. Accepting those offers exposes other people to your content who might not see it otherwise, such as the other brand’s followers. In this way, knowing how to go viral on TikTok can help you make money as an influencer.

15. Collaborate with other content creators

Team up with fellow TikTok users to create unique and engaging content that can expand your reach and grow your following. A common way to do this is by inviting the other creator onto your channel or vice versa. Similarly, you can do collaborative content whereby you both film footage and edit the video so that you and the other creator are doing something together.

Remember, working with other creators gives you the opportunity to share with that person’s followers. Some of them might help you go viral, even after they decide to follow you on Instagram. Just be sure that you choose collaboration partners in the same niche who are respected. Few things are as embarrassing as having your guest shunned at a dinner party, especially since the problem is avoidable with careful planning.

Your content collaborations should be with compatible creators to avoid embarrassment. This means only working with collaborators who you can trust because otherwise there can be problems. If your content is family-friendly and a collaborator cracks a dirty joke, there’s potential for significant consequences.

16. Keep your videos short

Embrace the short-form nature of TikTok and create punchy, concise videos that hold your audience’s attention. Originally, you only got 15 seconds for a TikTok video, which didn’t give much room for creators to make a point. Now that you can have a minute, there’s a lot more flexibility. However, when you think about how to go viral on TikTok, you should plan on the shorter end of the time range. That way, you won’t lose out on views due to viewer fatigue.

Further Reading: How to Edit Videos on TikTok Like a Pro: 5 Actionable Tips

17. Start strong

Make a memorable first impression with a powerful opening that hooks viewers and keeps them watching. A great way to do this is with a custom intro, which most top TikTokkers use. All you need for a basic intro is some graphic or custom logo, some music or sound effects, and some creativity. This intro becomes part of your channel branding.

Likewise, you don’t want to give too much away, so a teaser is the way to go. Combined with the intro, people will want to watch the rest of your video to see what you came up with. For serious topics, quickly introduce what you are going to talk about.

18. Be funny and relatable

Create content that resonates with viewers by incorporating humor and relatable situations, making it more likely to be shared and enjoyed. The cardinal rule of how to go viral on TikTok is that you don’t bore your audience. Likewise, using some humor or demonstrating the common touch can help people get to know you. As viewers become more familiar with your work, they’re more likely to share the content.

19. Be a little controversial

Generate engagement and discussion by tackling controversial topics or sharing your unique perspective on current events. One reason that TikTok itself is controversial is that people don’t shy away from a good debate. In fact, TikTok debates are regularly discussed on television, websites, and other forums. Starting or engaging in a controversy is one of the more effective ways how to go viral on TikTok.

With this suggestion, though, be careful as you don’t want to alienate a lot of people. Engaging in controversy on TikTok can be counterproductive if you don’t do it right.

20. Cross-promote your TikTok content on other platforms

Expand your reach by sharing your TikTok videos on other social media platforms and encouraging your existing followers to engage with your content on TikTok. An existing audience knows what to expect from you upfront. If any of your followers know you from other contexts, they may become some of your best advocates because they know what to expect.

When you promote your content, one of the easiest options is to talk about your channel in niche groups. For example, there are plenty of forums for marketers on Facebook and LinkedIn, where we socialize and attract business. Here, make sure it’s OK with leadership that you’re going to promote your TikTok unless the policy is clear.  If it’s OK to share, do so tastefully so that your material doesn’t become spammy.

Ultimately, this technique works primarily because it invites people who you’re associated with on other platforms and can help you raise awareness of your content. And, because your sharing channels frequently have the same interests as you, people are more likely to share your content.

Conclusion

For individual TikTok users and companies alike, going viral is a common goal. Individuals get great satisfaction in seeing their videos viewed millions of times, and it can help them earn paid collaborations. Likewise, businesses with viral videos get plenty of publicity at a minimal cost.

No matter why you want to know how to go viral on TikTok, however, producing a viral video is a wonderful milestone. Good luck.

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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