While no one can predict the exact formula for how to go viral on TikTok, there are proven methods to get served up more often and grow your audience on the burgeoning platform’s For You page (FYP). The FYP is your opportunity to reach new users and users who have previously watched your content but haven’t followed your account yet.
The first step in your approach should be to set goals and determine your brand voice upfront as a guiding light. Spoiler alert: “going viral” is not a goal! Ask yourself what purpose your TikTok channel serves for your community. Setting objectives for your videos may help develop your content strategy and reach your ideal users. Keeping a consistent tone will also let your audience know what they can expect when they follow your account. These objectives don’t need to be rigid. As you post and learn more about which of your videos are resonating on TikTok, you can adjust accordingly.
The topic of your video should be clear to the audience within the first few seconds, especially as your video may be shown to users that are unfamiliar with your brand. Getting the point across early will capture attention and encourage the viewer to watch the video until the end. The more your videos are being viewed to completion, the higher chance they have to be served up across the FYP, reaching more new viewers. The most successful videos across TikTok tell a story and benefit the user. Make your videos educational, informative, aspirational, or entertaining to provide value and give people a reason to watch, share, and comment.
With TikTok, it’s a best practice to keep a regular publishing schedule—not only so that your followers can look forward to your content—but to provide a bit of runway for when you want to experiment with a new style of video. The Following feed is not shown in chronological order, so there is less chance of bombarding your followers with “too much” content.
Being consistent also applies to cohesion and authenticity. The videos you post on TikTok should match in terms of tone and quality so your style is consistent across the board. Your presence on TikTok should also be authentic to your brand’s presence off of TikTok. If your videos come across as inauthentic and disingenuous, your viewers will be able to tell. This practice also applies to the creators you partner with. It’s best to work with creators who genuinely care about your product and message.
Creativity and originality are rewarded on TikTok. The platform is designed to make it easy for anyone to be creative in their own way. Trending hashtags and sounds can change quickly, and the platform is filled with users adding their take to these trends. Pay attention to popular and up-and-coming trends to share your unique take on them and surface your videos on the FYP to those who are engaging with those trends. Another tactic to try is to use seamless transitions to keep the pace of your content moving, captivate your audience, and keep them guessing as to what’s coming next.
Take an active role in managing your presence on the platform and leaning into what makes it unique. Community is big on TikTok. Like and reply to comments and questions that users leave on your videos to build community and encourage engagement. Leverage viewer sentiment to guide your content strategy where applicable and ask your viewers questions where you can. Another tactic for visibility and community building is spending time interacting with other users’ videos within your vertical, and exploring what else is being done in your niche.
As the digital habits of customers evolve, the approach brands take to social media must evolve with them. A seamless e-commerce experience and investing in building an online community are aspects of digital strategy that have become expected of brands and retailers. To dive deeper into how TikTok best fits into the marketing mix, watch our panel discussion with TikTok and Vogue Business on-demand now.