How to go viral on TikTok: The recipe for TikTok success in 2024

Discover how to go viral on TikTok with essential tips to get your videos featuring in people's For You feeds.

Sandy Beeson
Image with visual representations of how to go viral on TikTok.

So you’re looking to find the secret sauce for how to go viral on TikTok? The beauty of TikTok is it gives creators of all levels a fair crack at making it big. But if you’re yet to see your content take off, you might be curious about what makes a viral hit.

Nothing’s stopping you from joining the many creators who have seen their TikTok videos blow up and are enjoying rapid growth off the back of it. Once you understand how you can go viral on TikTok, you’ll be able to flex your creative muscles and try to score a hit video of your own.

To give you the best chance of going viral on TikTok, this guide will show you how to master hashtags, find the latest songs, and ride the latest trends. By the end, you’ll know which strategy works best for your videos and you’ll be armed with some of the secrets to getting featured on TikTok’s For You Page.


How do videos go viral on TikTok

Image of different content creators looking for how videos go viral on TikTok.

So, first thing’s first, what does going viral mean? For your video to be considered viral on TikTok, it needs to have racked up hundreds of thousands of views. The trick is to get on the right side of TikTok’s algorithm, which is designed to show people videos they’ll want to watch.

If your content makes TikTok’s algorithm happy, it’ll be pushed to a worldwide audience through the For You Page. Sure, you're up against millions of creators all trying to get the attention of TikTok's billion-plus global audience. But if you really want your content to go viral and be shared far and wide, getting your video on TikTok’s For You Page is your best shot!

Videos that feature here usually tap into popular culture, meme-worthy moments, or popular songs. Just look at how the Wednesday Dance or the wiggle walk trend inspired by Aristocats appear on your feed time and time again. As you’ll see, there's more than one way to pop up on people's feeds. Let’s dive into some of the most effective ways to go viral on TikTok.


Image of content creators using trending songs and sounds in their TikTok videos.

Music plays a big role on TikTok. After all, it started out as a lip-syncing app called musical.ly before growing into a global beast with the power to catapult hits to worldwide stardom. Just think, trending songs on TikTok made up 13 of the 14 Billboard Hot 100 number ones in 2022.

But how does using a popular song boost your content? Featuring a trending song or sound in your video helps TikTok group it with similar content. If people are enjoying other videos that are soundtracked with the same song, TikTok is more likely to share your clip with them too.

Take Little Girl Gone by CHINCHILLA as an example. The song has inspired trends relating to both fantasy fiction and empowering women. If you create content in a similar niche and soundtrack it with that song, you’re more likely to appear in the For You feed of people enjoying those trends. It’s an effective way of finding a new audience!

Finding the freshest trending sounds on TikTok is a breeze. When you tap the "+" icon to create a new video, head to Add Sounds. Under Playlist you’ll find a selection called TikTok Viral. From here you’ll see all the top trending songs, which you can put straight into your video.

Another way to find trending sounds is keeping an ear out for songs you hear on other TikTok videos. Like what you hear? Simply tap on the title in the bottom left of the screen to add it to your favorite sounds and explore other videos using it.

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If you’re sharing your content on multiple platforms, remember you might run into copyright issues if you use popular songs. Play it safe and soundtrack your content with awesome copyright-free music from Uppbeat’s catalog.

Choose your hashtags wisely

Image showing how creators can use different hashtags on TikTok.

Hashtags can help you unlock whole new audiences if you use them wisely. All it takes is a few well-picked hashtags to help your videos appear in people’s searches, attracting more viewers to your content.

Choosing the right hashtags is crucial. Go too broad with a well-used hashtag like #FYP and you’ll be competing with literally millions of other videos. On the other hand, if your hashtags are too niche, it’s likely no-one will be searching for them. The best strategy is to find a few particularly relevant hashtags for your video and pick the most popular ones.

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Want to see how popular a hashtag is? Simply click on it. TikTok will show you all the videos using that hashtag, as well as the total number of views the hashtag has.

Don’t shy away from mixing up niche hashtags with more general ones. As long as they’re relevant to your video, there’s every chance you’ll capture new viewers interested in your content.

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Sprinkling more hashtags in your video comments gives TikTok additional info about your content. The more TikTok understands your content, the more search results it's likely to appear in.

Craft content to satisfy the TikTok algorithm

Image of a content creator filming a video for TikTok.

TikTok’s powerful algorithm has the potential to be your best friend as it matches billions of viewers with the videos it thinks they’ll want to watch. What makes this smart recommendation system unique is it tests each video with a sample audience. So each piece of content you upload will be shared further by TikTok and has the chance to go viral.

TikTok has shared how it recommends videos, which makes life easier as it means we know exactly what a video needs to go viral. We’ve distilled this down to the following five rules. Apply them to every video you upload to give yourself the best shot at success.

1. Start with a hook

Nobody’s going to continue watching your content if it doesn’t grab them. Capture people’s attention right from the get-go and give them a reason to keep watching. TikToker COLTY does this brilliantly with a quick intro to his challenge videos that intrigue people right from the start.

2. Keep it punchy

You want TikTok to know people are finding your videos addictive to watch. Which means there’s no time for long drawn-out cuts and rambling monologues. Get to the point and cut out any part of your video that gives viewers a reason to scroll past it.

3. Master the edit

As well as keeping your content super punchy, you want to keep people hooked by making the most of TikTok’s editing tools. Add eye-catching effects, choose a standout soundtrack, and get creative with the edit. Use TikTok’s features to bring your video to life and keep people watching.

Take a look at yoeslan’s creepy clown clips for inspiration. He uses snappy shots and effects to keep people gripped right the way through his videos.

4. Encourage interaction

TikTok has told us user interactions play a part in deciding which videos it’ll share to a wider audience. Encourage viewers to hit the like button if they’re enjoying your video, or consider asking people to drop a comment.

By asking your audience what they’d like to see next from you, you can even get fresh ideas for your next video. For example, Australian chef Andy Cooks often asks his followers to suggest the next recipe for him to try out.

5. Aim for regular posts

The more content you post, the higher your odds of producing a viral hit. TikTok doesn't explicitly suggest this will enhance your chances of a video's success, but by posting regularly you’ll have more chances to hit it big.

It’s worth noting some TikTok videos don't skyrocket immediately. On average, 55% of views come in the first week, so a decent chunk of views will come later. Which means there's always the possibility one of your earlier videos could become a sleeper hit.


Image of different content creators taking part in TikTok trends.

Jumping on a TikTok trend is one of the most effective ways to get your content shared far and wide. As a trend gains popularity, more TikTok users begin to search for it, prompting the algorithm to deliver related videos into viewers' For You feeds.

Keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s trending can give you inspiration for new videos and introduce you to a bigger audience. But how do you find out what’s trending?

The easiest way to see what’s trending on TikTok is to visit the Discover page where you’ll find some of the top trending hashtags in the region you’re in.

But if you’re looking for something more specific to your niche, head to TikTok search and you’ll find suggestions in the You may like section. The topics with a flame emoji next to them are trending right now.

Of course, you’re also likely to start noticing trends on your For You Page. Keep your eyes open to opportunities to hop onto any trends you see!


Going viral on TikTok: Answering your FAQs

Image showing a TikTok video with icons showing that it is going viral.

There are no guarantees you’ll score a hit on TikTok, but understanding how to go viral on TikTok will give you a headstart over other creators. Follow our advice and you’ll give your videos the best chance of blowing up.

Remember, TikTok pushes videos into people's For You feed they're likely to enjoy, so focus on crafting captivating content for a large audience. And if you’re wondering how many views counts as viral on TikTok or the time it takes for a video to explode, we’ve got you covered.

How many views is viral on TikTok?

There’s no exact number to indicate your TikTok video has gone viral, but getting over 250,000 views is a good indicator your content is being shared far and wide. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from getting views in the millions!

Why do I never go viral on TikTok?

The key to going viral on TikTok is creating engaging videos that resonate with a large audience. If you find you’re not getting large views, consider whether your intro is enticing enough and whether your content keeps people hooked.

You might also want to consider whether your content is too niche to attract a bigger audience. Keep experimenting with your videos until you discover a winning formula.

How long should I wait for a TikTok to go viral?

TikTok will start sharing your video right away. If it engages viewers and sparks interaction, you might see views rack up fast in the opening 48 hours. But TikTok can also be a game of patience, with some videos taking weeks or even months to start gaining traction.


Create great TikTok videos for the best chance of success

Image of a content creator using different tactics to go viral on TikTok.

By learning the different ways to go viral on TikTok, you’ve given yourself a shot at seeing your videos take off. It’s true that viral success can happen overnight. But your best chance of racking up big numbers is taking the right approach when making and uploading content.

Now you know how powerful trending sounds and hashtags can be on TikTok, try them in your next video and help new audiences find your content. Make sure you’re also checking TikTok analytics to see if your videos grab people’s attention from the start and keep them hooked throughout.

Once the views start to roll in and you start attracting more people to your content, it’s time to turn them into followers. Check out our guide on how to get more TikTok followers with tips on how to convert viewers into a ready-made base of engaged fans. Do that and you’ll help build the foundations to turn your future videos into viral hits!

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