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Mastering TikTok: Tips to Go Viral and Captivate Your Audience

Updated: Mar 19, 2023

If you’re on TikTok or any social media platform enough, the odds are you’ve probably heard of or follow some of these big content creators: Alix Earl, Addison Rae, or Zach King. All these creators have three things in common: authenticity, engaging content, and a loyal community.

Photo credit: TikTok

Tips for Growing Your Following on TikTok

Some of these creators (and many more that maybe you don’t follow or haven’t heard of yet), have really cracked the code on how to grow on TikTok and not just through viral videos. The difference between a platform like TikTok and one like Instagram for example, is the ability to create a community of followers that trust you, through simple talking videos such as ‘Get Ready with Me’s,’ entertaining sound bites or consistently posting about a niche topic. For example, following a recent celebrity feud, one creator used this opportunity to start filming videos of flow charts she created about how particular celebrities may be tied to one another. Almost overnight, through consistency, this creator reached an audience of 36.7 million viewers.

Exploring the Effectiveness of TikTok for Advertising

This type of consistency and authenticity doesn’t just translate to better audience engagement and brand awareness but greater ad revenue as well. According to a recent study conducted by Neuro-Insight, “a neuroanalytics company that uses unique in-lab, privacy-safe brain-imaging technology,”1 they found that there were 15% higher engagement rates in response to content that had more likeability and was deemed more memorable (in comparison to other Social Media platforms). Where commercials on TV and ads on other long-form video content fall short, advertisements run through TikTok are more likely to be linked to market sales. This is because the TikTok algorithm delivers ads “and brand content… at a moment when consumers are most open to receiving that messaging.”2 TikTok also does this in a more seamless and natural way by blending the ads in with other forms of content you will find while scrolling; while YouTube for example will pause your original video to bring you an ad.

Tip: Use trending sounds and hashtags in your videos to increase visibility and reach a wider audience. This can help your content appear in the "For You" page and gain more likes, comments, and followers.

This new level genuineness that consumers respond to so well online, forces brands to ditch their previous lack of transparency and gravitate to a more authentic brand with higher value. Another prime example of this would be ESPNs ad that they ran in October of 2022 when they announced the return of the NBA using the beginning sound bite from the ‘That’s so Raven’ Disney-show theme song, as well as the graphics and branding from the show itself. Not only was this level of ingenuity not seen before from an organization such as ESPN or the NBA, but this resonated with a wider audience, even one that perhaps may not watch basketball regularly. Even months later, this is still one of the most memorable ads ever seen on TikTok.

The shift in response to ads on a platform like TikTok has also resonated with users or content consumers, not just brands and creators. This is due largely in part to the fact that users are trusting what their creators are saying – due to the community they have built, and due to ads being of creators using the product or service and providing an honest review. This is not often the case on other social media platforms, or at least not in the same authentic way that short form videos on TikTok allow for. The one thing brands and creators alike need to understand and be aware of is the ‘curated perfection’ that was once popular on Instagram just a few years ago, does not resonate the same way on TikTok today. The more important factor is remaining consistent so that the algorithm notices you and rewards you for it!

Who Are the Key Players on TikTok?

According to Forbes magazine, approximately 60% of TikTok users3 come from the Gen Z demographic, one that has arguably responded better to short-from ads or videos than longer-form commercials. Because of this, brands have struggled to find a way to reach this substantial demographic. In a study carried out by Nielsen media in 2021, they found that “60% of users [felt] a sense of community on TikTok [because the ads were] more fun, real, honest, trustworthy, and authentic,”4 while “79% of users [spent] time reading through comments on other videos, [reinforcing] the [sense of] community on the platform.”5 This again attests to the way social media users today are approaching authenticity, engaging content and a sense of community in a different way than they were in the past.

Understanding the Importance of TikTok

So, what does this mean for brands trying to garner more brand awareness or creators trying to grow a loyal fanbase online? Start creating content on TikTok. Let the TikTok algorithm work for you, not the other way around. This can be done through consistency (whether you pick a niche topic or consistently posting on your account) and authentic in your branding, customer and product reviews. This ever-growing platform has made it easier than ever before to form a community, provide brand authenticity and create impactful change.

Unlock the potential of your social media content with a complimentary strategic consultation!

Sources cited:

1. “TikTok Ads Break Through Better than TV and Drive Greater Audience ...” TikTok For Business, June 2021.

2. Editor. “Study: Tiktok Ads More Memorable than TV, Digital Video.” Advance Television, July 20, 2021.

3. Brucker, Nick. “Council Post: Why Businesses Should Take Advantage of TikTok.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, October 17, 2022.

4. Goodwin, Sabrina. “TikTok Is Redefining Authenticity in Advertising.” Spaceback Social Display Ads for the Web – Creative Technology Automation for Programmatic Advertising, October 20, 2021.

5. Ibid


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