Social Chameleon

How to Go Viral on TikTok


You’d have to be living under a rock to not appreciate the enormity of TikTok. Since first launching in 2016, the platform has gone on to amass over 1 billion users and completely transform influencer marketing and content generation within the social media landscape. It’s for this reason that many look to TikTok to go viral, and if you’re one of those people that want a slice of the viral pie then this blog is for you…

Decoding the Virality Factor on TikTok


Decoding how to go viral on TikTok


Going viral on TikTok requires a blend of creativity and consistency mixed with a deep understanding of the platform’s trends and algorithms. 

To go viral, you need a unique selling point – identify and carve out your niche to stand out amongst the crowd and accumulate a loyal following who resonate with your content. You then need to commit to creating engaging, high-quality content that strikes a chord with your target audience. Think; funny skits, instructive tutorials, or captivating ‘story times’ etc…And as with most things in life, consistency is key; you need to be posting regularly in order to keep momentum and your audience engaged.

TikTok is a platform that requires content creators to be abreast of the latest trends and challenges. For those looking to establish a unique brand, fret not, jumping on the latest trend doesn’t signal a lack of originality or hijacking of content. It’s rather an extremely effective method of getting your content seen and putting your own personal spin on what’s trending. 

There are other tricks and tips to bear in mind when trying to make a splash on TikTok. Collaboration with other creators is an effective way to tap into their audience and expand your reach. Whilst timing is crucial. Don’t underestimate the power of timing—posting during peak hours when your target audience is most active will guarantee your posts make the most impact. 


Essential Elements of Viral TikTok Content

There are several key elements that play a pivotal part in helping content to go viral on TikTok:


Unique concepts or personalised twists on popular trends instantly grab the attention of scrollers inundated with a mass of content. 


Authentic, genuine content resonates most with users and helps to build user loyalty. 

Timing is pivotal

Don’t underestimate the impact of what time you post – timing is everything. Make sure you share content during times of high traffic.  


Concise, snappy content will ensure viewers stay for the entirety of your video and don’t just swipe without finishing. 


Respond to comments, invite users to duet, or engage with challenges – participation will pave the way to a sense of community and greater follower loyalty. 


Eye-catching visuals and polished production will help stop viewers in their tracks and stop scrolling. 


Timing and Trends: Capitalising on the Right Moment



As the onomatopoeia of TikTok’s name might suggest, timing is everything. The platform operates on a fast-paced algorithm that thrives on trending content and recruiting users of all following sizes to participate in the latest trends. To strike at the right moment and capitalise on the movement, content creators must stay ahead of the curve and in the know on the latest trends. 

Successful TikTok profiles understand the importance of timing when it comes to sharing their content – coinciding uploads with peak traffic hours will ensure greater reach and increase the chances of their audience interacting. 

Whilst, trend-setting and, even more so, trend-following is a key part of the process. Pivoting content to align with the latest trend ensures that content remains current and resonates with audience interest.  Whether its hopping on a viral dance trend or participating in a popular challenge or audio track, riding the wave of trending topics can catapult a creator from unknown to viral with a single upload. However, it’s worth noting that there’s no guarantee that by merely jumping on a trend, you’ll achieve worldwide fame and reap in the followers. It’s also essential to strike a balance between riding the trend and adding a unique twist to stand out amidst the TikTok crowd. 


Building an Authentic Connection with Your Audience


Building an Authentic Connection with Your Audience


Authenticity and ‘realness’ is the name of the game on TikTok. Think of it as the valuable commodity that builds genuine connection between content creator and user. This powerful currency all hinges on the relatability of content – when it is relatable, users are more likely to stop and watch and follow. However, making content relatable and sincere can be more challenging than it sounds. There’s a fine line between relatable and try-hard – so how can users strike the right balance? Firstly, by being authentic and staying true to your ‘real’ self and genuine interests, the authenticity will naturally shine through. Active engagement with comments and messages also demonstrates an appreciation for the support and interest you receive and goes a long way in building loyal bonds. It’s crucial to create content that truly speaks to your interests and concerns, that way your message will be put out there for other like-minded people to find and follow – helping to further foster a sense of community. 

One way that content creators help create a feeling of authenticity is to remove the glamorous filter from social media and offer a barebone, stripped back view of reality. You can do this by sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your daily life or product to humanise your brand or offering. Embracing vulnerability is a powerful way of breaking down the metaphorical ‘fourth wall, ’gaining empathy, and strengthening connections.

Finally, it’s really important to listen to feedback and pivot your strategy based on these insights. By doing so, you demonstrate to your followers your commitment to their wants, needs, and experiences. 


Analysing Viral Hits: What We Can Learn from Them

According to Capital FM, these are the most viral TikTok videos to date:

1) Zach King’s Harry Potter illusion – 2.3 billion views

2) James Charles’ Christmas Wonderland transition – 1.7 billion views

3) Zach King’s hide-and-seek illusion – 1.1 billion views

4) Zach King’s cake glass illusion – 966.9 million views

5) Bella Poarch’s ‘M To The B’ video – 818.5 million views


All of these videos share common themes that reel the viewer in to watch and, crucially, stay. Generally speaking, there are a few tactics or ‘hooks’ that can be used to enhance the success of a video.


Curiosity hook:

Viral videos all provoke some type of curiosity, whether it’s in the title, description, or mere randomness and originality of the content. People are by nature curious creatures so the curiosity hook is a great way to get people to stop in their scrolls. However, when trying to evoke curiosity, be careful to avoid falling into clickbait territory.


The “reason why” hook 

This tactic is about providing life hacks, solutions to problems, and alleviating pain points in life – big and small. The type of viewer who’ll engage are those wanting to find the answers to their “why.”


List Hook

List content has been popular on the internet for a long time. It’s an effective way of summarising ideas, processes, or experiences into a succinct list that’s easy for the viewer to process. On TikTok, this type of hook gives the audience a round-up of the top thing that they’re searching. 


Direct Hook

As the name implies, this is an example of a direct headline, which plainly answers a user’s “why.” It’s straightforward, no-frills and quickly gives the viewer understanding of what’s in it for them and what they can expect to take away from watching the video. 


How-To Hook

This “How-to” format gives clear instructions to viewers to help them learn something. Whether it’s a step-by-step process to solve a problem or detailed instructions on how to learn a new skill, viewers want to be given a takeaway that they can apply after watching the video. 


Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Aiming for Virality


Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Aiming for Virality


In the quest for achieving the Holy Grail of virality, many Knights, sorry content creators, fall into the trap of common mistakes made by those who went before them. Here are some key pitfalls to avoid when seeking to go viral: 

  1. Lack of authenticity: Forced or fake content doesn’t resonate with viewers.
  2. Neglecting audience: Understand who you’re targeting and refine your content to align with your target audience. 
  3. Overlooking platform dynamics: Like all social media platforms, TikTok has its own unique requirements – don’t think you can buck the dynamic and get away with it.
  4. Ignoring trends: Stay relevant by tapping into current topics and trends.
  5. Neglecting quality: Poorly produced content won’t gain traction, for good reason!
  6. Underestimating competition: Stand out in a crowded space by carving out your unique niche.
  7. Neglecting engagement: Interacting with comments and messages goes a long way when it comes to fostering community and gaining views. 
  8. Being too promotional: Balance promotion with value and be sure to avoid clickbait titles!
  9. Ignoring analytics: Track what works and adjust your strategy off the back of these insights.
  10. Failing to adapt: You’ve got to be flexible if you want to go viral!



Balancing Creativity and Strategy in Pursuit of Viral Success


Viral success on TikTok requires a delicate dance between creativity and strategy. Whilst creativity fuels originality and captivates the attention of your audience, strategy paves the way towards visibility and engagement. By understanding the platform’s dynamics, audience preferences, and trends, creators can jump on trends and pivot their strategy to align with their audience’s needs. Ultimately, content creators need to consistently deliver authentic, ‘real’ content that resonates with their viewers – and make sure to post during peak traffic times to up their chances of achieving that coveted viral status!


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