Education, Entertainment, Tech

What makes a TikTok go viral?

words by: Natasha Marsh
Dec 11, 2020

Admittedly I am not on TikTok. At 29-years-old and with a minimal following on Instagram, I think I’m too old. However, the dances that are on TikTok became somewhat addictive for me this past summer. Despite not being a TikTok user, I couldn’t scroll Instagram, Facebook or Twitter without seeing fun and equally challenging dance routines continuing to climb in popularity thanks to fans.


I soon joined and created these “make-shift TikTok” dances with my sister where one of our phones would play the song and the other phone would record. It got addicting and as we reached 1k, 2k, 3k views, I began to think we could climb to the top too. Long story short: we didn’t. I don’t think we understood the man power and in-your-face technique one needs to succeed on TikTok. Which brings me to my point, what makes a TikTok go viral?


Apart from the dances, the kids making fun of their parents, and the infamous Nathan Apodaca skateboarding to Fleetwood Mac, most TikTok videos seem simple, harmless and not warranted for as many laughs and clout as they get. But yet people like Apodaca get millions of fans and establish partnerships with notable brands once they go viral – so what is the secret? 


To find out, I read what seemed like hundreds of TikTok “stars” lofty advice on how to make it big. If you’re interested in going viral, keep reading.


Keep it short

Attention spans are low. Regardless of how involved your story or joke is, keep things under 15 seconds.


Use trending songs

You’ll do better if your audio is matched to what people want to hear. 


Share tips, advice, and favorite things

Shockingly, people actually learn on the platform. There are tons of unboxing products videos that users review, or recipes that they show you how to cook. These go viral all the time. 


Reply to all comments

The more comments, the more viral. 


Post often

The more you post, the better chances you have of going viral.