How do you go viral on TikTok?


Three million views for a lip sync video, 150,000 views for a screaming toddler; on TikTok, anything can go viral. However? Your brand in the picture Gen Z seems easy, but a viral video is not just made. If you still want to give it a try, keep these do’s and don’ts in mind.

TikTok versus Instagram

TikTok has opened a book about the algorithm, something Instagram can learn from. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be anything special about it, because TikTok also looks at hashtags and interaction. The more interaction a video gets after the first push, the better the video does. TikTok, like other social media platforms, first shows a video to a small number of followers, or to people who have the same interests as the hashtag you used or the videos you watch.

The big difference with other platforms such as Instagram is that the chance of many views at TikTok is high, even if you are just starting out. TikTok does not look at the number of followers on an account or the success of previous videos. A video on TikTok has a long lifespan. Do not delete videos that perform less, because there is a chance that the views will increase until a few weeks after posting.

Points TikTok looks at:

  • Which videos do you watch yourself;
  • How many people watch the video completely;
  • How many people share or respond to the video;

Don’t be a show-off

Where we normally show slick commercials and video material as a company, it is advisable on TikTok not to do this. In order to connect with the target group, it is important to create authentic content that fits well between the creations of other users. If a brand posts an old-fashioned commercial on TikTok, this will not generate a positive association with the target group.

Respond to trends

The trending hashtags are on the ‘discover page’. Use these trendy hashtags and music, but give it your own twist, like with #dogvscat. A trend to let both a cat and dog walk through different things to see what falls over. The cat is usually graceful and careful, the dog clumsy.

Hema Amsterdam uses the trendy hashtag #freezeframe. A video with a specific sound where someone sits on an object.

Such challenges, dances, jokes, stories or karaoke videos provide more interaction. This is because TikTok users already know the sound or challenge in a different form and then stick to the video faster.

TikTok’s goal is entertainment, so capitalize on that with authentic, entertaining content

As a brand, this way you can reach the target audience better than a formal standard commercial. TikTok’s goal is entertainment, so capitalize on that with authentic, entertaining content.


Keep it short and simple is also important with a TikTok video. A video can last up to sixty seconds. Fifteen-second short videos have not been proven to outperform longer videos. It is important to keep the viewer’s attention. For a longer video, it is therefore wise to make a voltage arc in the video. The viewer has to keep looking further to finally find out the punch line. Foodchain Chipotle shows the end result at the beginning of the video below so that viewers immediately know where they stand. In the following example, they do it the other way around. They make people interested by saying they are going to release the secret. This is also a longer video. You can only see the result when the video has ended. The longer video scored better with 172,000 likes compared to more than 70,000 likes with the short video.


Place text in the middle or top of the video and not at the bottom. When the video is placed, it will contain text, so that the message cannot be read. Very annoying for a viewer!


Make videos in English? It does not contribute to more range. TikTok distributes the video to users in the same country where the account is registered. The chance of a lot of reach from abroad is therefore small.

Laugh and a tear

Videos with recognizable situations and emotions – without wanting to sell – do well on TikTok. The purpose of a video is a smile or a tear. Just like with a movie you will feel at the end that it was a good movie. You want to avoid negative emotions. The Washington Post uses recognizable situations in videos. This video shows a sugary situation that many dog ​​owners will recognize.


  • Use trendy hashtags
  • Make use of trends, challenges, songs, stories and sketches that are already trendy
  • Place text in the middle or top of the video and place at the bottom
  • Keep the viewer’s attention with varying images
  • Don’t use slick images to appear more authentic

My own experiment

I also started to make a viral video. I used a trendy number that depicted different types. I use Dutch texts because TikTok looks at the location of the account. Finally, I sketched recognizable situations with a big wink. So far, this video has over 160,000 views, but another video has done even better. And I did not expect that video. The views of this video have meanwhile risen to over 270,000. A simple video with that wink again. It is striking that this video is with English texts, but the reactions are only Dutch.

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