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How To Go Viral on TikTok: 15 Ideas for 2023

TikTok’s incredible rise has been well documented since its launch. Not only is it one of the most popular social networks in the world, but it’s also the third largest

Given its ability to boost brand awareness and sales, TikTok is a must for ecommerce brands. But knowing how to make a video go viral on TikTok can sometimes be a mystery for users and businesses. What may work for other social networks won’t necessarily prove effective on TikTok. 

The good news is that due to TikTok’s unique algorithm, just about anybody can go viral on the platform—even a brand new account with zero followers.

Ahead, learn how to produce content favored by TikTok users and the algorithm to increase the chance of going viral on the platform.

Understanding how to go viral on TikTok

Two women dressed in vibrant clothing and makeup inside a retail storeVirality on TikTok can sometimes feel like pure luck. The TikTok algorithm might be a difficult nut to crack, but staying in touch with the platform, including which TikTok videos go viral, what TikTok users are liking and sharing, relevant hashtags for your brand, and the TikTok trends flooding your For You page, can help you create the next viral video.

While your goals may be to get noticed by TikTok users in your target audience or to sell more products through TikTok for ecommerce, your video content should still be true to your brand. That’s because authenticity is key on the social media platform. Aside from this important ingredient, other factors like video length and trending sounds can help your content go viral on TikTok.

15 ways to go viral on TikTok

  1. Keep up with the latest trends
  2. Use trending and relevant hashtags
  3. Hop on trending sounds and music
  4. Create your own audio
  5. Post consistently and regularly
  6. Post at the right time
  7. Interact with your followers
  8. Interact with other users and posts
  9. Collaborate with other content creators
  10. Keep your videos short
  11. Start with a hook
  12. Add value, entertain, and be relatable
  13. Be a little controversial
  14. Cross-promote your TikTok content on other platforms
  15. Upgrade to a TikTok business account

Here’s how to go viral on TikTok with tried and true tactics used by successful brands everywhere. Incorporate these ideas into your own videos to achieve viral success for your business. 

1. Keep up with the latest trends

As one of the most trend-driven social media platforms, one of the most important ways to go viral on TikTok requires you to keep up with the latest trends. Knowing what’s currently hot among users can inspire you to create similar content, whether it’s a specific dance, audio clip, video format, or topic.

Fortunately, finding out what’s trending on TikTok isn’t difficult. Simply hop on over to its For You page, which is a personalized feed of curated content, and you’ll be greeted with endless videos and ideas. As you browse through them, identify a trend, consider whether it’s relevant to your niche, and, if so, jump on it and create your own video.

TikTok desktop interface showing trending content

Note that TikTok trends don’t tend to last more than a few days, so if you have an idea that has the potential to go viral, it’s best to jump on it right away.

If you’re serious about going viral on TikTok, try to dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to simply browsing through the For You page to stay in touch with what’s currently popular and inspire new (and potentially viral) content ideas.

2. Use trending and relevant hashtags

Hashtags are a key ranking factor on TikTok and allows TikTok’s algorithm to categorize your content. But if you want to know how to go viral on TikTok using hashtags, you need to know the right ones to use. While trending hashtags are useful to know, niche hashtags that are relevant to your brand may offer more potential for going viral on TikTok.

TikTok desktop version showing a page about the #Booktok subcultureYou can search trending hashtags in your niche within the TikTok app. Enter a keyword in the search bar (without the hashtag) and once the list of results is loaded, tap on the Hashtag column and you’ll find a list of trending hashtags and the number of views received by videos with these corresponding hashtags.

Helpful as they may be, try not to overload your post with hashtags. As a general rule of thumb, three to five hashtags per post is sufficient to guide the algorithm. 

You’ll also want to avoid using generic hashtags as competition for them is extremely fierce. These include generic hashtags like #FYP and #foryou.

3. Hop on trending sounds and music

TikTok is all about audio. The entire library of music and sound clips available to creators alone is a testament to how much they value audio in their videos. The TikTok videos that tend to have viral success often include trending TikTok sounds or popular music.

Side by side mobile views of TikTok's sound libraryWhen looking through your For You page for what’s trending, consider paying close attention to the music, sounds, and songs used in the videos you come across. 

Incorporating them into your TikTok content can take you one step closer to virality. That’s because the platform’s algorithm actively recommends videos containing trending audio to other creators who have previously engaged, making a great way to increase your reach.

Here’s the best part: TikTok makes it extremely easy for creators to jump on trending audio clips. All you have to do is select any TikTok video with the audio, tap on the name of the clip used (usually located below the post’s caption and next to a musical note icon), and you’ll see an option to “Use this sound.”

4. Create your own audio

If you’re feeling particularly inspired, consider creating your own audio. 

As many as 88% of TikTok users say sounds are “essential” to their experience on the app. That said, creating your own audio plays right into TikTok’s algorithm, which considers originality and the audio used as ranking factors and uses them to boost a video’s visibility.

Now, this doesn’t (necessarily) mean producing your own music from scratch. You can make your own audio by editing and customizing existing sounds from TikTok’s sound archive or recording a separate voiceover for a video. The latter can help TikTok understand what your video is about and in turn, know what types of audiences to promote the video to.

5. Post consistently and regularly

One factor TikTok’s algorithm looks at is the amount of activity (comments, likes, shares, etc.) a particular video receives. It does not consider whether a user has had high-performing videos in the past.

What this means is, going viral on TikTok pretty much boils down to basic math. Since each video stands an equal shot at going viral, the more often you post, the higher your chances. Plus, you can use every video opportunity to hone your TikTok video creation skills. A good guideline is the lifespan of TikTok trends, which research puts at three to five days

A woman leans on a pink brick wall using her phoneOne key consideration when creating a TikTok strategy is to follow a posting schedule that’s predictable for fans. The goal here is not to hit a certain number of posts in a period of time but to be consistent. For instance, posting two videos a day for a week and then going silent for a month isn’t a good tactic. 

6. Post at the right time

Aside from posting frequently, doing so at the right time is also important. After all, going viral means getting as many eyes on your TikTok video as possible, which means you should be posting when the majority of your target audience is active on TikTok. 

You want your post to be published during peak usage hours, as that’s when you’re most likely to get views. According to research, there are several time slots throughout the day that can result in high engagement rates.

Chart showing the best times to post on TikTokIn particular, Tuesdays at 9 a.m., Thursdays at 12 p.m., and Fridays at 5 a.m. are the three best times to post on TikTok, as the content published during these hours tends to generate higher engagement. 

However, keep in mind while these are great guidelines to go by, the best time for you to post will ultimately depend on factors like your niche market, your target audience’s location, and when they’re most likely to be browsing TikTok.

7. Interact with your followers

Knowing how to go viral on TikTok means understanding the importance of interaction and engagement. If you’re serious about going viral on TikTok, your efforts should not end with the Post button. Social networks are a great place for interaction, and TikTok is no exception.

Apart from posting TikTok videos, you also want to engage with your followers and encourage them to interact with you. Replying to comments from your TikTok audience can create a sense of community and increase the chances of your content going viral as the video platform’s algorithm rewards interaction. 

You can also encourage engagement by including a call to action in your videos. For example, you can sign off your videos by asking your followers to leave you a comment, share their thoughts, share your TikTok video, follow your account, or even respond with a video of their own using the Stitch or Duet features.

8. Interact with other users and posts

Aside from interacting with your followers, you’ll also want to engage with other videos and content creators—especially those in your target audience. This is especially helpful for new accounts or accounts trying to gain TikTok followers.

Interact with the TikTok community by engaging with TikTok videos, preferably ones that are trending and have the potential to go viral. Basic interaction includes liking and commenting, but if you want to go the extra mile, you can create your own Stitch or Duet videos in response to another user’s viral video. 

9. Collaborate with other content creators

Another way to help you go viral on TikTok is to partner with popular content creators using influencer marketing. A good partnership leads to a win-win situation for both, as it helps both parties expand their reach and increase their content’s visibility.

A make up artist applies cosmetics to a model's faceWhen looking for TikTok creators and influencers to work with, consider whether they’re relevant to your niche, as this ensures that you get the right attention. 

If you’re new to TikTok, it may be difficult to find a content creator who might want to work with you immediately, because of your low follower count. But don’t be discouraged. Start by following the influencers you may one day want to collaborate with, understanding their style, and interacting with their posts. Once you’ve built up a solid following, reach out to them with a collaboration proposal.

10. Keep your videos short

Another way to increase the chances of your TikTok content going viral is to keep your videos short. Over the years, consumers’ attention spans have been shortening. When TikTok first launched, users were only able to publish videos up to 15 seconds long. Over the years, the social media platform has added 60-second, three-minute, and 10-minute long options.

Despite this, TikTok users seem to still prefer bite-sized videos, and experts recommend creating videos of nine to 15 seconds for maximum impact and to meet user average watch time. Understanding how to go viral on TikTok relies on finding the sweet spot for content length. Check out other users’ viral videos for guidance.

11. Start with a hook

With shortening attention spans and most TikTok videos lasting mere seconds, you’ll need to grab viewers’ attention instantly. 

The “hook” needs to be established in the very first few seconds—if not the first frames. Research has shown that videos that start with powerful emotions lead to a 1.7-times higher six-second view rate than those opening with more neutral expressions.

12. Add value, entertain, and be relatable

In terms of content, there’s no one single type that’s guaranteed to go viral. But if you want to raise those odds, being funny, entertaining, and relatable in your posts can definitely help.

Humor goes a long way in TikTok. Many viral TikTok videos tend to be ironic, self-deprecating, and sometimes even embarrassing content. But if humor isn’t your thing or the tone doesn’t match your brand voice, you can still be entertaining by adding value through educational or behind the scenes content.

A person takes a photo of a cake with their iphoneTikTok is also all about authenticity, with 64 percent of users saying they can be their true selves on the platform. If you want to cater to the TikTok crowd and go viral—be relatable and authentic.

13. Be a little controversial

Controversy is a double-edged sword. When used tastefully in your TikTok videos, it can be the nudge you need to go viral. Though this isn’t a method that’s specific to TikTok, it’s one that has been tried and tested over the years and has a high chance of working. 

Controversial posts boost engagement because they’re sensitive in nature, which stirs up powerful emotions and drives people to react.

Should you decide to use controversy as a tool to go viral, you want to be extra cautious and sensitive. The goal here isn’t to offend but to offer your opinion and inspire people to reflect and react. 

Of course, you’ll also want to pick a topic that’s relevant to you. For example, if you’re in the plant niche, you could talk about your watering preference and whether you prefer to water your plants top down or bottom up. If you’re in the tech niche, go ahead and ruffle some feathers by comparing two popular mobile devices or gaming consoles.

14. Cross-promote your TikTok content on other platforms

Cross-promoting your TikTok content on other platforms can actually increase your chances of going viral.

Short and punchy videos are now trending across social media, especially Instagram and Facebook, and this is largely because of TikTok’s influence. By promoting your TikTok videos on other social networks, you’re increasing your reach, getting more eyes on your content, and, at the same time, driving traffic back to your TikTok channel. 

15. Upgrade to a TikTok business account

Business account page on the TikTok websiteUsing a TikTok business account and the TikTok app for Shopify, you can monetize your videos by selling your products via TikTok ads and content. Whether you’re making merch for TikTok or adding TikTok shopping to your sales channels, using TikTok for business is a great way to get value from the platform as a brand. 

Having a Business account on its own has no direct bearing on the chances of your content getting promoted by the TikTok algorithm. What it does do, however, is provide you with greater visibility into your content’s performance, audience behavior, and more. This, in turn, allows you to understand your followers better, how they’re reacting to your content, and ultimately fine-tune your TikTok marketing strategy for success.

Your brand could have the next viral video

Learning how to go viral on TikTok is only the first step. Putting these video content ideas into practice requires patience and time. Once you’ve found the sweet spot—the right content to the right audience at the right time—you’re on your way to viral success.

But remember, with TikTok’s algorithm and trends constantly changing, your chances of going viral on TikTok will diminish if you stick to the same old ideas. Understand how each video performs, stay on top of trending music, and create content that brings true value to the users you care about most. Let’s go viral!

How to go viral on TikTok FAQ

How do I get my TikTok to go viral?

Learning how to go viral on TikTok requires understanding the TikTok landscape, your target audience, and the trends that come and go. There is not one magic formula that guarantees that your content will go viral on TikTok. You can, however, try some tested strategies for appeasing the TikTok algorithm and getting video content to go viral on the platform. These include:

  • Optimizing video length for viral videos
  • Promoting content on other social media channels
  • Using a trending sound
  • Testing funny videos
  • Creating a response video to another user’s viral content

How many views are considered viral on TikTok?

Whether a video has gone “viral” is largely subjective, but generally speaking, videos with more than a million views are considered viral app-wide. That being said, videos can go viral within specific TikTok communities with as little as 5,000 to 10,000 views, while the most viral videos may have hundreds of millions of views.

How long does it take for a TikTok video to go viral?

Videos that go viral usually reach their peak three to seven days after the first signs of rapid growth. However, it’s impossible to know when a video will start to go viral on TikTok. Videos may be posted weeks or even months before gaining traction and going viral. Post frequently, test content formats, and pay attention to video performance to know the minute your content goes viral on TikTok.

What can make me go viral on TikTok?

The TikTok algorithm may be a mystery, but there are several ingredients that are common to most videos that go viral on TikTok. They are usually either funny, entertaining, culturally relevant, related to a viral trend, or controversial. But viral video success also depends on that content reaching the right target audience on the video platform. Factors include length of video, consistent posting schedule, and current trends.

What types of videos go viral on TikTok?

While it may seem like viral TikTok videos are always comedy or dance videos, the truth is, many types of content go viral on TikTok every day. Viral success depends on a number of factors. For the best chance of going viral on TikTok, look at what’s currently trending, and consider content types like humor or a compelling story. Short videos that use trending audio are also good contenders for the TikTok algorithm.

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