There’s no set formula for how to go viral on TikTok, but there is one thing that viral content has in common. Does your brand have the X Factor?
“How do I make this go viral?” is a question we get asked a lot. And if we had a simple answer, this blog would have about 10 million views. (I’m guessing it won’t, but feel free to pass it to your friends anyway). Unfortunately, there’s no set formula for making something go viral, but there is one common factor that usually exists in those spreads-like-wildfire posts: emotion.
Content that taps into emotion is begging to be shared because, as humans, it’s our instinct to be excited by a sense of collectiveness or togetherness. Something we’re all in on and enjoying together. This concept is called “collective effervescence.” In a nutshell, it’s the energy and harmony people feel when they come together in a group for a shared purpose. Now we just need to create the type of content that warrants this instinctual desire to share.
So, even if the social media content we’re consuming isn’t uplifting, enlightening, joyful or funny, there’s something gratifying about sharing in any emotion (think fear, intrigue, sadness, anger, etc.) If we watch a TikTok video that prompts instant laughter, it’s natural to want to share. If we watch something that evokes fright, the same goes. Sharing content gives us a sense of camaraderie and belonging.
And right now, the best social platform for testing the waters is on TikTok.
TikTok has created an environment where someone with no following can create something that has millions of views overnight. It is one of the only places where organic content is still treated, well… organically. This also makes TikTok a great playground for testing and troubleshooting, playing around with different types of content to see what’s resonating.
So how does the algorithm work? Like all other social networks in their infancy, the basics of the algorithm are simple: the more likes, comments, shares, completions, re-watches, etc., the more the video will be served to larger audiences. But a big difference in how TikTok serves up content, and probably the reason why it is so addictive, is the way it categorizes subject matter. TikTok selects videos based on your interests, activities and prior watches, and then categorizes them “for you.” Anybody who has been sucked in watching TikTok videos for hours knows that this algorithm is very effective.
So, whether your content is of a poodle jumping off a diving board, a DIY tabletop nacho spread, or a prank gone terribly, horribly wrong, just make sure it has emotion. Because without emotion, there’s no desire to bring other people into the fold. Always start by asking yourself these three questions: 1) What feelings does this content trigger? 2) Would I share this with others? And 3) Why is this interesting? From there, you can better identify weaknesses and strengths within your content so the next thing you share is one of those spreads-like-wildfire posts we all so badly want.