Pop Culture

How To Go Viral On TikTok

Now that we’re stuck in quarantine, many people have been migrating over to the ‘Tok. Whether or not some people/couples should be allowed on TikTok is a different story, but I digress. If you don’t know what TikTok is, it’s essentially an app for making 15-60 second creative videos. You can post whatever you want (comedy skits, dancing, art projects, pranks, you name it), but a lot of people tend to post trending dance videos OR unique videos to a trending song. Let’s break down what those even are.

Charli D'Amelio TikTok

Trending Dance Videos & Songs

If you scroll through the app, you’ll notice that you keep hearing the same songs over and over again and keep seeing the same dances over and over again. Well, more like ‘similar dances,’ not ‘same’ – we aren’t trained by Abby Lee Miller so let’s be honest here, we can’t mimic each other perfectly. But anyway, this is because huge TikToker’s like Charli D’Amelio (more on her later) will post videos of herself doing a certain quick dance routine to a certain song that goes viral. Then, everyone will start learning and posting the same dance, or just using the trending song for their own personalized video. 

You can kind of compare it to a fashion trend on Instagram. Once Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat posts herself wearing a certain headband, everyone will start posting themselves wearing a similar headband. This is like TikTok but with dances and songs instead: Charli posts herself doing a complicated dance, and we try (with TRY being the keyword here) to post the same. Or we say f*ck it and just use the song but make up our own dance. 

However, the cool thing about TikTok is that literally anyone can go viral. So, new people are popping up each day with entertaining videos that go viral and become trends. And once they become trends, you’ll start seeing THOSE videos and songs all over your feed. 

Who Is Charli D’Amelio?

Now, back to Charli. Gen Z rules TikTok, and Charli is the head Gen Z betch! She has 45.7 million followers and is 15 years old. Not even going to pretend I’m not jealous of that, I just am. Moving right along! 

Charli D'Amelio TikTok

She got famous just over 6 months ago when she posted herself learning a simple dance routine at her home in Connecticut (small town gal!), which she was learning just for fun. She said that she was in the car with her mom on the way to a dance camp (she grew up competitively dancing) when her phone started blowing up. Charli got over one million likes on that first video and continued to grow from there. If you check out her page you’ll notice she doesn’t post anything too crazy in terms of the production – it’s really just videos of herself dancing in sweats and cute dainty gold jewelry like a true TikToker! *Googles where did Charli get that necklace?*. 

I also recently watched a YouTube video James Charles posted of him doing Charli’s makeup where Charli discusses how overwhelmed she was after going viral and all of the opportunities that came her way as a result. So, she left her then-current high school and enrolled in an online school to give her life more balance. She was already in a Super Bowl commercial, and methinks this girl is going to be BIG in entertainment – so sounds like homeschooling was a solid option for her. 

Charli D'Amelio and James Charles TikTok

While Charli reigns as the TikTok queen, there are many other famous TikTokers including Addison Rae (31.3 million followers), Loren Gray (42 million followers), and Baby Ariel (31.9 million followers). All of these guys are basically overnight sensations just like Charli. They were getting tons of likes on their videos and just kept growing. This doesn’t send the best message about working hard to get to where you want to be, but it is what it is I guess?!

Loren Gray
Loren Gray

How To Go Viral

Now, back to you. As I said, TikTok is still gaining traction, which means it’s a great platform for newbies to gain followers and a great opportunity to go viral. It’s not like Instagram which has kind of turned into a pay-to-play or just desperate situation with influencers everywhere being like, “oh me gosh this algorithm HATES me please go like my ~new post!!!~. People just WILL find and like your post if it deserves to be liked on TikTok.

Charli D'Amelio TikTok

We want to help you! Here are some basic tips to keep in mind when creating content on TikTok, if you GAF:

  • Quality over quantity: If you post quality, entertaining videos, people will watch them. The more people watch your video, the more the TikTok algorithm will be like, oh, this is a good video – let’s keep pushing it out. So take the time to make a good video, and you’ll see results and follows. 
  • Post in batches: Don’t post a million average videos in a row, because those videos will end up competing with one another. So, wait about an hour between posting videos – one good video is better than 12 below average videos in the eyes of the TikTok algorithm! 
  • Pick a niche: Pick a niche to create an engaged audience. If you create a niche and stick to it, you’ll know that you are attracting the right audience for YOU. On TikTok, a niche can mean a group of up to ~3 things to post about. For example, you could post trending dances, fashion/beauty tips, and travel/sightseeing videos. It doesn’t have to be super specific but have a general theme in mind and your followers will, therefore, know what to expect from you and in turn, stick around for longer.
  • Create a bio: Creating a bio helps people understand who TF you are. They’ll look to you as the expert in whatever you write in your bio, even if it’s just, “Girl that likes to post funny videos.” It will help them understand YOU, and be way more likely to shoot you a follow.
  • Good lighting: TikTok favors well-lit videos over non-well-lit videos. So make sure you have good lighting! 
  • Don’t use the trending songs: This is counterintuitive, but if you don’t have a huge following yet, it’s in your best interest to use original songs and make original content. If someone has already heard X trending song or seen X trending dance 10 times before they even got to your video, they’re probably going to skip past yours (unless you’re a celebrity and if you are, hey thanks for reading!!). You need to DISRUPT the TikTok news feed in order for people to watch your video. And as we discussed, the longer the watch time, the more TikTok algorithm will know to push your video out.
Charli D'Amelio TikTok

All in all, just make sure your video is good. TikTok’s main objective is to keep people on the app for as long as possible, so if they see that people are watching your video, they’ll push it out. Hopefully, this was helpful. NOW GET TO (SUPER ORIGINAL AND DISRUPTIVE) DANCIN’!

I shared this over on too!

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