Breaking news: TikTok isn’t only for dancing teenagers anymore.
The platform has evolved into one of today’s most dynamic social media communities. It also makes virality accessible in a manner that no other social media networks can provide or even begin to compete with.
Anyone can go viral on TikTok, whether they have 1 follower or 100,000 followers.
It’s not by chance.
The app’s algorithm gives all users an equal chance to become viral and create an audience over time should you continue to consistently post content.
Can you believe that? An equal chance. It’s a very rare case of social media meritocracy.
BUT, even if TikTok provides a fair playing field for its users, it doesn’t mean there aren’t factors you can take to help a video go viral.
Find out the three major factors that determine whether your video has viral potential on TikTok below.
Table of Contents
How does TikTok’s algorithm work?
TikTok curates content for its users by recommending videos similar to those they’ve already watched.
The platform’s recommendation algorithm analyses the videos that users have viewed, liked, shared, and commented on, breaking down factors such as video content, language used in the video, and background music. It then serves them content from TikTok users they may not currently follow. This is posted to the For You Page feed.
Unlike other social media channels, the TikTok algorithm does not take into account a TikTok profile’s following count or historical engagement levels.
You’re just as likely to encounter a million-view post as a video from a brand-new user.
Furthermore, every TikTok video has the potential to go viral via the For You Page (FYP).
When you publish a video, the app displays it on the FYP of a tiny handpicked set of people.
Depending on how well it does on this tester pool of users, it may be promoted to a bigger audience.
Not every video will fall this way, but this TikTok algorithm function provides every video an opportunity to make a big impression.
1) Keep it short
TikTok isn’t YouTube. TikTok is not Instagram. It’s now the cooler younger brother of Vine, which had a video duration limit of six seconds. That may not sound like much, but consider some of the greatest Vines of all time. Would any of them benefit from being longer? Probably not.
A quick video does not allow the spectator to lose interest. When the autoplay option kicks in, it gives them even more time to go back and revisit it. Because of this, short videos tend to have better viewing and interaction.
There’s also a potential that by keeping your video’s running length short, you’re not simply smartly increasing your watch figures. Your content’s creative quality is also increasing. And that’s the key here.
2) Understand the audience
There’s a lot going on on TikTok these days. It’s home to a plethora of ultra-niche communities centred on everything from satisfying cleaning videos to kpop. These communities are extremely supportive of one another.
While you are not required to adhere to one niche per se, it is beneficial to concentrate on one specialised area of competence or passion.
The more often your material appears in a certain community, the simpler it is to gain a following. This may result in increased views from a core audience and an improvement in the video’s performance on the For You page whilst reaching the correct audiences who will genuinely engage with the content.
We have to remember that TikTok displays content based on users’ interests, NOT based on who they follow (We’re looking at you, @Instagram.)
3) Trends! Trends! Trends!
Another factor that can determine your virality on TikTok are… TRENDS!
Keep an eye on those trends. The more current you are with TikTok content trends, the easier it will be to develop relevant and contemporary material.
Because of the nature of the algorithm, the more people engage with a trend, the more videos that play into it the app recommends.
As we know by now, TikTok is fiercely trend-driven, bringing memes and video formats to the forefront. The next great phenomenon may sweep over us in a matter of days, but every meme has its time in the spotlight.
You don’t have to search far for a trend to follow. There’s probably one on your For You page right now.
We’ve already discussed the three main factors that fast become viral on TikTok. And the good news is that you can become viral even if you’re a new TikTok user with a small number of followers.
TikTok differs from other social media sites in that the algorithm encourages high-quality content regardless of your following size.
So, if you stick to these factors, your reach will skyrocket.
Can you get viral on TikTok if you don’t have any followers? Yes. Absolutely.
Is it necessary to have already posted a lot of content? No, not always.
The goal is to make the finest video for a relevant TikTok community, and then watch the views – and long-term audiences – pile up.