How to Go Viral on TikTok

A new contender for short-form video content delivery has emerged, TikTok, a new app that is making waves. With that said, content creators on TikTok hitting a home run.

What exactly is TikTok? Why is it important to get onto the TikTok platform early? Today we will look at these questions to provide an overview of the TikTok platform. 

Further, we’ll dive into best practices to go viral on TikTok including key metrics to examine which is used heavily by TikTok’s algorithm.

What is TikTok?

TikTok has only been around since 2017 and even in today’s fast-paced app-based world, it’s a fairly new brand. It is still evolving quickly. TikTok is a merger of several different apps, including Douyin and Musical.ly. Douyin was first launched in Sept. 2016 in China and within one year had 100 million daily active users, viewing more than 1 billion videos a day. 

The international version of the app was named TikTok and launched in Sept. 2017. By the 23 of January 2018, it was ranked #1 in several countries’ app stores. ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok spent 1 Billion USD to purchase Musical.ly on November 9 of 2017 merging existing accounts and data into TikTok.

Massive Potential on TikTok

TikTik offers massive potential for creators

The platform today presents a wonderful opportunity for content creators. While the TikTok app already reached over 1.5 billion downloads, the app started to outperform the social media juggernaut of the last few years, Instagram. To this point, the TikTok platform offers a wonderful opportunity for content creators and businesses to reach a new audience on social media. 

With this massive base of users, the platform also provides an interesting take on content which can help many traditional content repurposing models popular today. The platform brings together the core aspects of repurposing content including the ability to edit video, as well as inserting custom graphics and audio such as music to your posts. This gives TikTok creators a huge advantage over other social platforms.

Don’t Miss the TikTok Opportunity

Despite the massive user count on TikTok already, the platform is still relatively new. With this in mind, we can look at historical examples of the benefits of a new and popular social platform. 

As with other platforms in the past, early content creators have a major advantage over people who show up to the party late. TikTok is exploding in popularity and this has largely been in a similar manner to other creative content platforms have in the past; think of TikTok like a young Youtube, Twitch.tv or Instagram.

To this point, it’s almost as if ByteDance heard the collective outcry of thousands of voices when Vine died and seized the opportunity to fill the vacuum. There are many content creators who have already gained subscribers numbering in the millions.

It has been proven with other platforms that have exploded in a similar fashion and thus, users getting in early can have a huge advantage. It’s much harder to break into a platform once it already has established stars that are power users when it comes to the algorithm.

While the ability to create quality content still remains a cornerstone to reaching the most users, TikTok does not currently stifle organic reach because the platform is so new. As social networks age, they tend to decrease the ability of organic posts to reach audience members, in a plow to have their ads purchased more throughout their network. Thus, this is the “golden hour” to become a TikTok content creator.

The TikTok Algorithm

The TikTok algorithm uses artificial intelligence to feed users’ content tailored to their interests. This machine learning is leveraged in several ways throughout the platform. TikTok also takes advantage of other aspects of a video such as individual video statistics to determine whether it is recommended to other users on the platform.

An account’s statistics from videos that have been posted are used to determine which videos are recommended to content consumers and which are not. These statistics include but are not limited to:

  • View count
  • Like count
  • Completion rate
  • Follows/Subscribes
  • Watch time

While there are many other factors that go into the ranking of videos on TikTok, there is another statistic that is the sum of the success that an account has and it’s a likelihood, called authority. The term authority here could also be called the ‘weight of the account’. These factors and other factors have been determined to have effects on the success of an account by determining how much the videos posted by the creator are recommended to other consumers. 

On a similar note, for a new user, they will get a slight boost to their videos being recommended. After that, as the user builds statistics and begins to build the authority stat, TikTok takes authority into consideration over the age of the account. 

The algorithm also uses a content consumer’s past actions on their account to recommend videos based on past choices. This helps keep engagement high by delivering content to users they are more likely to be interested in. It is used to automatically review videos to eliminate copyright infringement, racism, and other unwanted content, preventing it from being recommended to viewers.

Having engaging content and good statistics, paired with considering what is already trending on the app is the formula for initial success. Sticking to that strategy and producing similar content for a while can gain you massive followings. 

You could be the next TikTok star

Knowing that this platform exists and that it is growing at such an amazing rate is a big advantage. Getting into a new platform while it is still growing quickly has many advantages. ad

Now that the algorithm has been distilled, there are some examples of what content is popular on the app. Thus, the time is right to step in and take your shot at becoming a TikTok celebrity. The platform is still evolving and the possibilities of where it can go are endless.

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