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How to Make Your Videos Go Viral on TikTok

Published on 12.06.2024 by Tracey Chizoba Fletcher

Since its creation, TikTok has become one of the most popular social media sites. With over one billion monthly users, it's the fourth-largest social media app. That's a significant milestone, considering it was only created in 2016. This can be primarily attributed to the ease of making videos and growing on the platform.

However, with over 34 million videos posted on TikTok daily, the competition is getting stiff. If you want your TikTok videos to go viral, you need to think outside the box. Fortunately, this article will show you everything you need to know about making your videos go viral on TikTok.

How the Tiktok Algorithm Works

Before making your TikTok videos go viral, you must understand how the algorithm works.  The TikTok algorithm is a system that decides the content each user sees, depending on the individual needs of the user. That means the content shown on the For You page is highly personalized according to the needs of the user.

For instance, if you watch a lot of comedy skits, the For You page will recommend more of such videos. On the other hand, someone who views a lot of sports content will see a lot of such content. This means that the content you see on the For You page will depend on your viewing habits and preference changes. That is why TikTok views and impressions are important.

For instance, you might stop viewing comedy skits and start viewing motivational quotes. The TikTok algorithm will start recommending more motivational videos instead of comedy. By understanding how the TikTok algorithm works, you can now focus on creating videos that will appear on the For You page.

Ranking Signals Considered By the TikTok Algorithm

The TikTok algorithm considers several ranking signals. These are:

User Interaction

The TikTok algorithm usually considers user interaction while recommending content on the user page. Whenever you give the algorithm a clue on the type of content you like or don’t like, it considers that. TikTok considers whether you have followed an account or hidden it. Some of the major user activities TikTok considers are:

  • Videos you share or like on the app.
  • Accounts followed.
  • Favorite videos.
  • Comments made.
  • Videos you marked as not interested.
  • Sounds or creators you hid.
  • Watch time of certain kinds of videos.
  • Videos you have marked as inappropriate.
  • The interest you showed by interacting with specific videos or ads.
  • Type of content you created.

Video Information

The TikTok algorithm also considers the videos you search for using the search bar.

  • Sounds
  • Caption
  • Effects
  • Hashtags
  • Trending topic

Accounts and Device Setting

While it's not one of the significant ranking factors, it still affects the TikTok algorithm. These are the settings you need for your TikTok videos. Since you only make them once, they aren't considered very important by TikTok. They include:

  • Country setting. TikTok will show you more content from your country.
  • Language preference.
  • The mobile device you use.
  • The categories you show interest in as a user.

If you are unhappy with the content you see, you can always change your device settings. To do that, tap on Settings & Privacy>Content Preference>Refresh for You page.

Content That the TikTok Algorithm Won't Recommend

While we have noted the kind of content TikTok will recommend, there are also certain content the app won't recommend. These include:

  • Content already seen.
  • Duplicate content.
  • Content flagged as spam by the app.
  • Content that can be upsetting, such as graphic images.

It's also important to note that TikTok does not consider the follower count when recommending videos. This makes it an excellent platform for new users or those without an extensive follower base. Anyone can succeed on the app, as TikTok doesn't consider the number of followers when recommending videos.

If you have more followers, your account will enjoy greater visibility. However, you will see great results when you have engaging content that speaks directly to your target audience. This will give you a better opportunity for your content to appear on the For You page. That explains why sometimes you see a video on the For You page that is yet to garner thousands of likes.

How to Make Your Video Appear in the For You Section

The first step to making your video go viral is garnering impressions. Impressions are the number of times your videos are seen in the user’s eyes. To make your videos get traction, here are several tips you should follow:

Find Your Subculture

While every social media platform requires creators to comment on their subculture, this is even more important on the TikTok app. For instance, on Facebook, people connect with the people they know. On TikTok, they engage with content through the For You page. This means that the TikTok feed shows you content mostly from strangers.

Therefore, to amplify your content on Tiktok, you should try tapping into a particular subculture. The TikTok subcultures are usually categorized according to hashtags. Therefore, if you want your content to appear before the right content, tag it appropriately.

Understanding your subculture allows you to create content that easily resonates with your audience. This can, in return, result in brand loyalty and increased TikTok engagement. When TikTok sees people commenting and liking your videos, it will recommend them further to more people.

Capture Viewers Within Seconds

The first few seconds are the most essential part of a TikTok video. They determine if your viewers will continue watching the video or not. If you don't grab the viewer's attention in the first few seconds, they will scroll past your videos. This will impact the ability of your videos to appear in the For You section, as the viewing time is one of the factors the app considers.

Therefore, the introduction should hook viewers and make them stop scrolling. Igniting the viewer's curiosity within the first few seconds will increase your chances of hooking them up.

Create Search-optimized Videos

While hashtags are essential in categorizing content, you should not forget to use keywords. TikTok SEO ensures your content is ranked well on the app. Here are the key elements of TikTok SEO:

  • Use trending keywords: Use trending keywords that match your content. This will ensure your content is shown to people interested in your niche.
  • Use video elements. You can use TikTok captions with a maximum of 2200 characters. Use other elements such as sound clips and captions.
  • Perform keyword research. You can use keyword tools such as Semrush and Ahref to get an idea of what content people search for on TikTok.
  • Improve user interaction. Ensure you encourage engagement on your videos, such as the number of likes, comments, and shares.

Create High-quality Videos 

The quality of videos is a ranking factor. While creating unpolished videos can show your authenticity, quality videos will help you appear in the For You section. Unlike what many TikTok creators think, a high-quality video isn't only about using a high-definition camera. Here are the key elements that will make your video stand out:

  • Use clear visuals and sound. Ensure that your videos have clear audio, decent editing, and transitions to help keep the content dynamic; again, this doesn’t require any special equipment. Instead, you only need to consider whether your videos are easy to understand and look pretty decent on people’s screens.
  • Create short videos. TikTok allows you to create videos that are up to 10 minutes long. However, the video completion rate is one factor that TikTok considers when recommending For You videos. The longer the videos are, the more people are likely to drop off from the video. On the contrary, shorter videos have a higher completion rate than that. Ensure you make short videos at least 10 seconds long to create a good impression.
  • Be funny and entertaining. Funny videos are among the most popular on TikTok. Be original and find a way to make people laugh.
  • Put sound on. Don't forget to set your videos to play with the sound when creating videos. Most TikTok videos play with the sound on. You can easily make your videos go viral using a good and trending sound.
  • Use vertical video orientation. There are suggestions that TikTok is experimenting with different formats. However, many users still use the vertical format which is 9:16. To keep them hooked, use this format.
  • Try editing. TikTok has an editing feature that allows you to experiment with its built-in features such as transitions and text overlays. TikTok suggests these features will help make your content feel native to the platform, which helps get the content more on the For You page.

Understand the Best Posting Time

No matter the social media platform you use, the posting time is a critical consideration. That's why you must post when your followers are most active online. Since engagement is a key metric, you can increase your ranking by posting at a time when your followers are most likely to engage with your videos. There are several ways to find out when your audience is online. These are:

  • TikTok analytics. To access the TikTok analytics feature, tap on the three dots at the top right corner. Click the Creator Tool, Analytics, and the Followers tab. This will show you when your audience is mostly online.
  • Third-party tools. You can use tools like HootSuite to provide analytics on the best posting time.

Remember that the first few hours of posting are usually the most important. Posting a video with the highest interactions in the first few hours will signal to the algorithm that your audience appreciates your content. Therefore, ensure you use TikTok’s analytics to learn when your audience is most active online.

Engage with Other Accounts

We mentioned earlier that building engagement is a surefire way of having TikTok recommend your videos to other users. One way to increase your engagement is by engaging with other TikTok accounts. You can do that by:

  • Reacting to trending content.
  • Joining hands with other creators to remix trending ideas.
  • Respond to trending prompts or questions.

There are TikTok tools that can help you improve your engagement with other account holders. One of these is Stitch, which enables you to integrate critical moments from other TikTokers into your videos. Another one is Duet, which allows you to record a video with another creator by simply commenting on the creators' videos. If there are video comments to your videos, you can create new videos in real time using those videos.

Use the Right Hashtags

You can find the trending hashtags by going to the TikTok creative center. You can then click on the analytics button to see if the trending hashtags and the breakdown of the most popular subcategories of those hashtags are also very popular. This tool will show you the audience demographics and their related interests.

Here are a few TikTok hashtag rules you should follow:

  • Avoid overstuffing hashtags on your videos.
  • Combine popular with less popular hashtags.
  • Participate in hashtag challenges.
  • Use #fyp or #foryou, but don’t rely on these hashtags.

Hashtags related to challenges can give you hints on new content ideas, and TikTok will appreciate it, too. Alternatively, you can target hashtags in your niche and focus on them. Remember that there are no special rules related to TikTok hashtags; therefore, you must keep experimenting with different types.

Use Trending Music and Sound

As noted earlier, one of the top ways of appearing on the For You page is by using trending music and sound. Sounds have become a big part of TikTok culture. According to one study, 67% of Tiktok viewers prefer videos that use trending music.

Just like hashtags, your choice of music affects your content discoverability. Using trending music works for several reasons:

  • It sets viewers' expectations.
  • It can be catchy.
  • Improves the discoverability of your videos by viewers.

You can easily find the latest trending music by looking at the content on the For You page. If you need to be more specific, you can go to the TikTok Creative Center to find the trending music in your region. You can see analytic data such as related interests and audience demographics.

Remember that not every trend suits your business, so choose a trend relatable to your target audience and industry. Create shareable and relatable content to increase the chances of your content going viral. Since your audience relates to such content, this increases its chances of people commenting, sharing, and even tagging their friends. Such interactions will help improve your brand and help build a community around it.

Stay Authentic

No matter the kind of content you are trying to create, you cannot afford to be overly serious on TikTok. Many TikTok audiences are looking for content that isn't overly serious. According to one study, 65% of TikTok users say they find brands that post serious content out of place. 

77% of users say they love it when brands show behind-the-scenes videos of their processes. Therefore, consider creating content that makes you unique and celebrates your culture. Make your content playful and unpredictable, as this is what TikTok users want.

Use Engaging Captions

You should avoid turning your TikTok account into a microblogging account. When writing your captions, you are limited to 150 characters, including any hashtags you may add. That means you will have fewer characters to work with than on Twitter. With such limited real estate, you should focus on writing short captions to convince readers to engage with your audience. A good TikTok caption should be:

  • Short.
  • Have related hashtags.
  • Encourage engagement.

But how do you use captions to increase engagement? You can use statements such as:

  • Watch until the end. This will encourage viewers to stick until the end.
  • This took me 10 minutes to understand. This will spark an element of curiosity.
  • Use questions that will provide a reply.
  • Use a teaser hinting at the information you will provide in the video.

Use TikTok Stories

While this hasn't been turned into a feature yet, TikTok has been experimenting with stories. After the initial experiment, users in some regions started to get notifications about the new feature. The TikTok stories are usually available for 24 hours before they disappear from the timeline. They usually have a blue clock-like look next to them.

To discover TikTok stories, users should:

  1. Open the posting tools on TikTok.
  2. Create content.
  3. Select the Story Button. Tiktok will automatically post it in the For You feed.
  4. Check the profiles of other users and check video posts.

Tips to Make Your TikTok Content Go Viral

When your content appears in the For You section, the number of people who see it multiplies, increasing its chance of going viral. But in addition to your efforts to appear on the For You page, there are also a few measures you can use to make your content go viral.

Cross-promote on Different Platforms

One of the great steps you can take to make your content go viral is to cross-promote your content on different social media platforms. You can share your TikTok videos on other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. You can increase your reach, engagement, and follower count by cross-promoting TikTok content. Here are tips to follow when cross-promoting your TikTok videos:

  • Link other social media accounts to TikTok. You can share your other social media profiles on TikTok by including links to them on social media. On your Instagram bio, write something like this “You can follow me on Instagram at username” or "You can follow me on YouTube at username” for my longer videos. Similarly, include your TikTok link on your other social media pages.
  • Repurpose TikTok videos. You should also repurpose your TikTok videos for other platforms, such as websites and blog posts. Then, you can include links to the videos on those other platforms.

Post Regularly and Consistently

One of the benefits of TikTok is that it allows you to experiment with different types of content. You can, therefore, try out different audio to see which one has the best results. This will help providers maintain a constant flow of fresh content and help you maintain a consistent posting schedule.

TikTok recommends posting one to four times a day. If it's within your reach, you can do it. But you can post three to five times weekly if it's not a reachable goal. The key is to have a manageable posting schedule and stick with it. Remember, the more you post, the more you will remain in people's minds.By posting regularly, you can increase your TikTok click through rate.

Be Unique

It can be tempting to copy the popular ideas on TikTok. However, if you want your content to stand out, you should create unique content. You can use sounds, hashtags, and other effects others are using for inspiration, but consider having a unique angle for your content. You can add to your creativity when editing by using filters and other tools.

Time Your Content 

If you want your TikTok content to go viral, you must also think about the future. When creating a content calendar, consider holidays, occasions, and seasons. The goal is to ensure that your TikTok content goes viral when it matters most. For Instance, using a nice love song around Valentine's Day can help make your content noticed.

Tag Location

When recommending content, TikTok considers the user's location. An assumption that the TikTok algorithm has is that users are more interested in content created in their cities or regions. For your content to appear in the location of the people in your area, you can use your city’s hashtag or simply tag the location. 

Stitch Other Videos

Go through videos in your niche that are doing well and think of what they are doing right. Videos that tell a story or ask a question often go viral because of their stitchability. Just like song trends, stitch trends are also favored by the TikTok algorithm. Experiment with controversial trends if you want to take it a notch higher.


TikTok is undoubtedly one of the top social media platforms users love. Since the tool does not discriminate against top creators, it's a great platform to start your content creation journey. If you are wondering how to make your content go viral, our guide will help you.