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TikTok has existed for over a year now; however, its algorithm remains a mystery for many. Everyone seems to be using the app and making content on it, from doctors, teenagers, singers, actors, teachers, and even technicians. But who, out of everyone, gets to become viral? Is there a logic behind it, or is it just pure coincidence? Here you have the answers, in the form of 5 hacks.
If you feel like you’re not using TikTok to its full potential, it’s probably because you never learned how—no need to worry. I have your back on this one as well, with Learn how to use TikTok here. Canva also created a valuable guide which you can find here.
Hack 1: Understand the TikTok algorithm
The first thing you should know about its algorithm is that it’s based on meritocracy (fancy, right?). So, what does that mean? TikTok is designed to give every video a chance by showing it to a small audience on the For You Page (FYP).
Therefore, even if it’s your first video and you have 0 followers, if it performs well in the small group shown, TikTok will continue to push it out to more people they think will like it. Now, the question is, how do you make videos that any small audience of people would find funny/ interesting/ worth their attention?
Keep your videos short - max 15 seconds
Start by keeping your videos short, share your message in 15 seconds. The longer it is, the more likely it is that your audience will get distracted. Sweet and short is your go-to.
Use trending music or sound
Even if you decide to do a voiceover or not, it’s always worth including a trending song or sound. As TikTok is all about trends, this way, people would psychologically be more inclined to like it.
Include text on the opening frame
This is another tip for the subconscious mind. By starting your video with text over the first slide, viewers in the FYP will most likely spend a few seconds reading it and, therefore, naturally spend a few seconds more on a video with text than on one without. And I know this might not seem much but let me tell you that when a video is 10 seconds, each second spent on it counts!
Make the most of your hashtags
If you haven’t noticed, TikTok has a limited number of characters you can use in the description box, thus a limited number of hashtags. Don’t use very generic and basic ones like #foryou. Instead, try using more niche ones, something that would be more likely to reach the audience you intend to.
Learn popular dances and challenges
Use the latest trends to your advantage. Give that catchy dance you see everywhere a try, grab a friend and attempt that funny challenge. These types of videos have a lot of views for a reason. Don’t shy away from them!
Hack 2: Create intriguing content
We’re all human. We like being intrigued, and there’s no denying that. So why not give the audience what they want?
Parts of your videos must be rewatched
One way to do so is by making it so that some parts of your video need to be rewatched. Let’s say some parts are too fast for someone to read, watch or understand the first time they view it.
For example, if the text is too fast to read, someone will likely rewatch the video to re-read the text and maybe pause at that point. When they do this, they’re spending more time on your video and signaling to the algorithm that it’s a better video, which will, in turn, get TikTok to show it to more people.
Tell a story to grab attention
Even though the app started getting famous for its dances, storytelling rules it now. The story can be anything. It can be something interesting that happened in your life, something random that happened during your day, a project you did, anything. Just tell a story, but make it as entertaining as you can; that’s the key.
Incite “FOMO” in users
Some of the most viral videos are those that incite some emotion in the audience. If FOMO is what you’re going for, then own it! It can be anything as simple as showing a delicious milkshake, with chocolate dripping down and carefully placing sprinkles on top. Now, who wouldn’t want that?
Share tips and advice
Don’t be afraid to get personal, to be real. Being relatable and open is what everyone is looking for nowadays. Make your videos show that side of you.
Hack 3: Make your viewers comment
Engagement. If TikTok’s algorithm could be described in one word, that would be engagement. What better way to achieve that than by encouraging your views to share their thoughts in the comments?
Reply to all your comments
Now, once they share them, do not forget to reply to them. A conversation is a two-way thing, and don’t ever let them have just a monologue with themselves.
Leave some questions unanswered
This goes back to keeping it intriguing, maintaining the mystery. Don’t spill all your beans in one video. Maybe do a part 2?
Hack 4: Record your audio
As basic as it may sound, this one can go a long way. Nothing screams authenticity than having your voiceover on the video you filmed, and you can still use a trending song in the background *wink wink*.
Hack 5: Post frequently & consistently
As the saying goes when it comes to working, “Consistency is key”, which applies to TikTok as well. I mean, it is the job of many people out there. And if you want it to be yours as well, post frequently and consistently.
Understand the 3-second rule
Remember what I said in the beginning about how the algorithm works when you post a new video, showing it to small audiences and all that? Well, the best way to make sure that it doesn’t flop your video needs to captivate your audience within the first 3 seconds! Those first three are crucial as they decide if the audience will continue to watch your video or swipe to the next one. No pressure, though!
Okay, I know that it sounds like a lot of pressure. But it doesn’t have to be. TikTok was created to be fun and playful.
If you want to improve your TikTok skills, consider learning the basics of Filmmaking. Here you will learn everything you need, to improve your film and video making skills.
How to go viral on TikTok FAQ
How many views does viral mean on TikTok?
How to go viral on TikTok today?
Keep your videos short but entertaining, unique but trendy.