How To Go Viral on TikTok: 16 Proven Ideas (2024) - Shopify (2024)

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 fifth largest, with 1.58 billion active users.

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 creators 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, anybody can go viral on the platform—even a brand new account. Ahead, learn how to produce content favored by TikTok users and the algorithm to increase the chance of going viral on the platform.

About going viral on TikTok

Virality 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 can help you create the next viral video. This includes keeping an eye on 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.

While your goal may be to reach your target audience 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.

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Understanding the TikTok algorithm

The algorithms of your favorite social media apps may be a mystery, especially considering the platforms are always evolving. That said, if you want to learn how to go viral on TikTok overnight, getting to know the algorithm will help you get there.

The TikTok algorithm considers user signals like comments, likes, follows, and watch duration, as well as video information such as keywords and hashtags used in captions, sounds, and embedded details.

All of these signals help TikTok serve tailored recommendations to each user through the app’s For You page.

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TikTok’s most popular content

Looking at TikTok’s most popular content can help you understand the types of content that resonate with the majority of users. In 2024, the most popular TikTok creators include Khabane Lame, Charli D’Amelio, Bella Poarch, and MrBeast.

While these creators can offer broad insights, it’s best to find influencers and popular creators within your industry or those with followers that resemble your own target audience. This will give you a better sense of what resonates with the users you care about most.

16 ways to go viral on TikTok

  1. Keep up with the latest trends
  2. Use trending and relevant hashtags
  3. Spark curiosity
  4. Use sound to your advantage
  5. Post consistently and at the right times
  6. Tell a story
  7. Interact with your followers
  8. Interact with other users and posts
  9. Collaborate with other content creators
  10. Keep your videos short
  11. Entertain and be relatable
  12. Add value and educate with content
  13. Start with a hook
  14. Jump on memes and challenges
  15. Cross-promote your TikTok content on other platforms
  16. Improve your editing skills

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

With TikTok being one of the most trend-driven social media platforms, one important way to go viral requires you to keep up with what’s hot on the app. This can inspire you to create similar content, whether it’s a specific dance challenge, audio clip, video format, or topic.

Fortunately, finding out what’s trending on TikTok isn’t difficult. TikTok’s Creative Center is packed with insights on up-to-the-minute trends. Within its keyword insights, filter by region, industry, and timeframe to see what users are talking about.

How To Go Viral on TikTok: 16 Proven Ideas (2024) - Shopify (2)

You can also browse TikTok itself to spot patterns on your own For You page. As you browse through and identify a trend, consider whether it’s relevant to your niche, and, if so, jump on it and create your own video.

How To Go Viral on TikTok: 16 Proven Ideas (2024) - Shopify (3)

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 tap into it right away.

2. Use trending and relevant hashtags

Hashtags are a key ranking factor on TikTok and allow 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.

Some hashtags have staying power on TikTok as well as universal appeal. Chief among them is #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, a hashtag for users to share products they discovered on the platform:

How To Go Viral on TikTok: 16 Proven Ideas (2024) - Shopify (4)

You 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.

Community hashtags also tend to stick around and have very specific audiences. Tapping into the ones that are relevant to your brand can be a goldmine for finding potential fans for your brand, influencers to work with, and ideas to help you create viral videos.

Here are a few of the top TikTok communities:

How To Go Viral on TikTok: 16 Proven Ideas (2024) - Shopify (5)

How To Go Viral on TikTok: 16 Proven Ideas (2024) - Shopify (6)

Tips:

  • 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. Spark curiosity

According to TikTok, content intended to spark curiosity keeps users watching 1.4 times longer. The longer users watch your videos, the more likely the algorithm will see the content as worth surfacing to other users.

Since 40% of millennial TikTok users and 44% of Gen X users say the platform helps them discover new things, give them something to discover. To inspire curiosity, create content around new ideas, groundbreaking technologies, innovative hacks, or other things users may not typically see on the platform.

In this video from Partly Sunny Projects, founder Sonja Detrinidad piques interest by teasing a big reveal at the end of the video:

4. Use sound to your advantage

TikTok is all about audio. In fact, 88% of TikTok users say that sound is a critical part of the TikTok experience.

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.

How To Go Viral on TikTok: 16 Proven Ideas (2024) - Shopify (7)

When 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 used it, making a great way to increase your reach.

TikTok’s Creative Center also offers insights into trending sounds and songs that you can use to create videos:

How To Go Viral on TikTok: 16 Proven Ideas (2024) - Shopify (8)

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 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.”

P.F. Candle Co. used trending sound “Girls are like candles” in its content and it became one of the brand’s most popular videos on its account, garnering more than 500,000 views.

When you click on a sound in a video, you can access a list of all other videos that have used this song. This can give you an idea of how popular the sound is:

How To Go Viral on TikTok: 16 Proven Ideas (2024) - Shopify (9)

Creating our own TikTok sounds

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

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 and at the right times

How To Go Viral on TikTok: 16 Proven Ideas (2024) - Shopify (10)

One factor TikTok’s algorithm looks at is the amount of activity (comments, likes, shares, etc.) a particular video receives. It does not necessarily 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 at virality. Plus, you can use every video opportunity to hone your TikTok video creation skills.

One 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.

When to post on TikTok

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.

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In 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.

6. Tell a story

Storytelling is consistently one of the best ways to attract followers and customers to your brand. That’s because authenticity and human connection can build trust and affinity with your target audience. This is especially true on TikTok, a platform that values good content over polished content.

If you can tell a great story, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have professional equipment or editing chops.

TikTok identified “Storytelling unhinged” as a trend force for 2024. This refers to unpredictable storytelling with unique characters and formats. One of the most popular among these is creator Reesa Teesa’s 50-video arc, “Who TF did I marry?”

But brand’s too can embrace storytelling to attract users. In this example from apparel brand Girl Crush, one of its founders told the emotional story of the company’s inception:

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 the platform, your efforts should not end at posting content. Social networks are a great place for interaction with your customers—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 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

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Partnering with popular creators using influencer marketing can not only boost your reach and increase the chances of your content going viral, it can also increase trust. In fact, 82% of TikTok users consider creators to be authentic and 76% of users say they’re relatable.

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. When 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 wants 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.

Inkbox partnered with a popular creator, Mollie Rose, to produce content in the style of the popular #GRWM (get ready with me) format:

“When we started on Instagram it was a lot easier to grow your following, and a lot more important of a channel back then,” says Inkbox co-founder Braden Handley. “Now, TikTok is where you can actually acquire consumers, especially if they’re in that demographic of 18 to 24 year olds.”

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 getting shorter.

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 even 10-minute-long options.

Despite this, TikTok users still seem to prefer bite-sized videos, and experts recommend creating videos of nine to 15 seconds in length for maximum impact and to meet user average watch time.

11. 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 and entertaining 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. And it works: 30% of TikTok users said humor is a top motivation for making a purchase from a brand or creator.

Chipotle is one brand that has perfected the TikTok content mix, striking the right balance between entertainment and branded content:

12. Add value and educate with content

How To Go Viral on TikTok: 16 Proven Ideas (2024) - Shopify (13)

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. If you want to cater to the TikTok crowd and go viral with this content—be relatable and authentic.

That means offering value to your audience with information, recipes, hacks, or product tips while also staying true to your brand. Sweets brand XO Marshmallow uses TikTok to announce new and seasonal flavors, but it also gives users more reasons to watch with how-to content that’s clever and timely:

13. 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. Over 63% of videos with the highest click-through rate (CTR) have their key message in the first few seconds of the video, according to TikTok.

Tease what’s to come, use humor or shock value, or flash the “after” or outcome at the beginning of your video to encourage users to stick around.

14. Jump on memes and challenges

Challenges are a big part of TikTok, setting off waves of content from a single hashtag. While some, like the Tide Pod challenge, can be controversial and even dangerous, for the most part, they’re a fun way for users to connect around a common theme or cause.

If you have a loyal following, you can start a challenge around your brand or create your own audio to start a meme. If you’re trying to grow your reach, you can jump on a trending meme or challenge using popular hashtags and sounds to increase your reach. That’s what beauty brand Sol de Janeiro did when it added its spin to the Shark Tank meme that included a trending sound that’s been used more than 100,000 times:

15. Cross-promote your TikTok content on other platforms

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

Short and punchy videos are now the norm across social media, with platforms like Instagram and YouTube following TikTok’s lead with their versions of the format. 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.

16. Improve your editing skills

Punchy TikTok content that grabs users’ attention and encourages them to stay can be achieved with clever editing. You don’t need to be a professional videographer to create dynamic cuts. Free tools like TikTok’s native editor and apps like CapCut allow you to add text, combine and edit clips, add effects and transitions, and coordinate your visuals with sound.

More TikTok tips for businesses

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Using 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 allows you to understand your followers better, how they’re reacting to your content, and ultimately fine-tune your TikTok marketing strategy for success.

Connect with shoppers on TikTok

Shopify comes with powerful tools to help you tell your brand story and create TikTok in-feed ads in minutes. Make sales on TikTok and manage all your orders, returns, and payments from Shopify.

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Reach viral status with your brand’s TikTok videos

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 and potentially making money on TikTok.

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!

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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 or your own audio
  • 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 as you learn how to make a video go viral on TikTok, but there are several ingredients that are common to most viral videos. They are usually either funny, entertaining, culturally relevant, or related to a viral trend. 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?

Many types of content go viral on TikTok every day. To understand how to go viral on TikTok overnight, look at what’s currently trending, and consider content types like humor or a compelling story. Create videos that are short and use trending audio, hashtags, and other TikTok trends to appeal to the TikTok algorithm.

How To Go Viral on TikTok: 16 Proven Ideas (2024) - Shopify (2024)
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