Wondering how to go viral on TikTok? Well, you should be! With over 2.5 million active users in Australia, if your brand’s not already on TikTok – well, we’ve already got your first New Year’s resolution for 2023: GET ON TIKTOK!
Sorry, don’t mind the yelling – it’s more enthusiastic encouragement than anything else. We love nothing more than seeing brands killing it in the social media marketing game, and TikTok is one of the best ways to grow your brand and cement yourself as the go-to player in your brand’s category.
The insane uptake of TikTok speaks volumes to the type of content consumers are loving and want more of. In fact, TikTok has the highest engagement of any major social media platform, including the percentage of followers who engage with influencers. Representing an incredible opportunity to drive greater brand awareness and increased sales as a result, here’s how to make TikTok work for your brand and go viral in 2023.
How to Go Viral: The ONE Key Factor
One of the most important factors that determines if your video goes viral is the average watch time. The watch time, relative to video length, is what causes the TikTok algorithm (more on that later) to push your video and show it on a users’ For Your Page (FYP). The more users watch the video in its entirety, the greater chance it has of going viral. Likes, shares and follows are still important components of reach and engagement, how much of your video people watch is arguably the most important data metric.
In saying this – how do you entice users to watch your TikTok until the end? Here are 9 actionable tips you can jump on straight away.
- Keep Up With Trends
One of the easiest ways to go viral on TikTok is to do what everyone else is doing (with your own twist, of course). Keeping up with what other popular users are doing and creating on TikTok can not only give you inspiration for your own content, but it also gives you an insight into what users are loving to watch. Finding what’s trending on TikTok isn’t hard – all you have to do is head over to the FYP and take note of the popular videos relevant to your niche, and create a similar video with your own spin! Of course, if you’re outright using another creator’s idea, always make sure to credit and tag them in your post.
- The First Few Seconds Are Crucial
You have three seconds to hook a viewer on TikTok. If your video doesn’t start off with a hook – something that grabs the user’s attention – it’s highly likely they’ll keep on scrolling to the next video. It might take some trial and error to find what works for your brand, but research has shown that videos that start with powerful emotions lead to a 1.7x higher six-second view rate than videos opening with more neutral expressions, so that’s a good place to start!
- Create Short Videos
The algorithm pushes videos that are watched from start to finish, so the shorter you keep your videos, the more likely users will watch them in their entirety. Try to aim for 15 to 20 second videos. Shorter videos also force you to be punchier and more concise, which is a great way to grab a user’s attention and keep them engaged.
- Frequency is Important
Once your brand gets the ball rolling, you need to keep the content coming. According to TikTok, to captivate new audiences, the key is to keep sharing fresh and diverse content – roughly posting 1-4 times per day. This is a great way to test how different types of content is received, and if you find certain content is performing well, you can add a paid view to get the most out of it.
- Use Popular Sounds & Effects
You can boost your videos views by using trending sounds and effects because TikTok actively promotes videos using trending features. How do you find trending sounds and effects on TikTok? Once you’re in the app, go to the search function, search for “viral sounds” or other similar keywords and start creating! Just remember, users are eight times more likely to remember a brand for the unique sounds and songs it uses in its TiKTok videos over elements like visual style, colour, slogan and logo.
- Use Popular Hashtags
Like with most social media platforms, using popular hashtags is a great way for audiences to find your brand. On TikTok especially, using popular hashtags – in particular hashtag challenges – can have a significant impact on how TikTok pushes out your video. A hashtag challenge is a trending activity that people do on TikTok, usually something like a dance or performing a certain action to a particular sound. If you need some inspo for popular hashtags, you can find them in the Discover tab in the TikTok app.
- Collaborate With an Influencer
Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to go viral on TikTok because you’re tapping into an audience who is already engaged and interested in the content the influencer is creating. Having the right people spread the message of your brand on social media is vital, and in some cases can be the catalyst that makes your brand explode. The reason influencer marketing on social media is so powerful is it builds trust – and when people trust a brand, they’re much more likely to buy from that brand.
- Accessibility is Important
Making your videos accessible isn’t just a good tip for going viral, but it also shows that (most importantly) you’re a brand that is inclusive. Features like text to speech or auto captions will allow everyone to enjoy your content – whether that’s for people who are hard of hearing, or for people who prefer to browse TikTok quietly.
- Don’t Delete Old / Underperforming Videos
Unless you have a specific reason for deleting old videos, it’s best to not delete any of your videos, even if they didn’t perform as well as you’d hoped. The TikTok algorithm doesn’t use data from your old videos to determine the ranking for new videos, with each evaluated on its own merits. And, even old videos have a chance at going viral, even after extended quiet periods, so by deleting these videos you ruin the chances of having them reach a mass audience.
How the (Not-So) Elusive TikTok Algorithm Works
Everyone wants to go viral on TikTok and understanding how the TikTok algorithm works is the first step in the viral recipe.
The TikTok algorithm is engineered in a way that gives equal opportunity for all users to go viral. It doesn’t matter whether you have 0 or 10,000 followers, anyone can create a viral video.
The key to going viral on TikTok is earning a spot on the FYP, which according to TikTok is where users spend most of their time. The FYP is a personalised, scrollable feed of content which is generated based on the user’s actions on TikTok.
This means no two FYP feeds are going to be exactly the same, with videos you’ve liked, shared, accounts followed, comments posted and videos created all making up what shows up on each user’s FYP. Hashtags are also a major part of which videos are recommended, with any user that watches or creates a video with a specific hashtag will be more likely to see videos that use that hashtag in the future.
TikTok also confirmed that its algorithm takes device settings and account settings into consideration, but these factors don’t influence the FYP as much as likes and video plays.
Be Bold, Take Risks, But Be Authentic
At the end of the day, your brand’s reputation and authenticity is most important. While jumping on trends can be cheeky/witty in your videos can help boost visibility, it should never be at the expense of your brand’s reputation and credibility.
You don’t want to be participating in too many random trends to the point where your brand’s message and vision gets muddied – this just screams inauthenticity and will likely turn users off your brand.
It’s all about balance, and it might take some trial and error to get it right, but once you do, you’ll start reaping the rewards in no time.
Kickstart Your Brand’s TikTok Journey with The Right Fit