How I went viral on TikTok

For those who are unaware of the social media platform of the moment, TikTok is a video-sharing app which saw a boom in users in 2020. The format is 15 to 60-second videos, with the front page having a ‘For You’ page in which an algorithm guesses what you would want to see and a ‘Following’ page which is only content from accounts that you follow. The primary users of TikTok are teens and young adults, but it is a place where anyone and anything can go viral overnight.

blind-and-blonde

The boredom of lockdown inspired myself and my partner, Reece, to create a TikTok channel called @blindandblonde. For context, Reece is visually impaired, and we run the account together. We post both comedy and informative content about disability and living as an ‘interabled couple’, a term neither of us were aware of before TikTok.

A few weeks ago, I thought going viral on TikTok was something that could only be achieved once in a blue moon through sheer luck. There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to why some of the videos we posted stalled below 200 views, and why some climbed a bit higher. The ‘For You’ page seemed so oversaturated with content already - how could we possibly get a video seen by more than a handful of people? Well, I’ve now discovered that there’s a lot more science behind it than I had first thought.

The first of our videos which amassed over 100,000 views in only a day was most certainly an accident. But since then, having achieved similar success with multiple other videos in the space of a couple of weeks, I have been able to pinpoint the things that can be actively done by a content creator to maximise the potential for going viral on TikTok. Here are some tips.

Authenticity and a USP

Another motivation for starting the page was seeing other visually impaired and blind creators in the space. But what really inspired our content, was the comments on said creators’ posts. They were infuriatingly stupid, with the likes of, “how do you know you are alive” being asked to one blind woman.  Instead of going down the route of trying to educate people on blindness, we decided to flip it on its head and poke fun at the ridiculous questions and comments we saw on TikTok and that Reece is often posed with in everyday settings. We posted ‘Blind Morning Routine: Stereotype Edition’ as a response to this frustration, never expecting nearly 500,000 views, 125,000 likes and thousands of followers to come of it. The key to this success was the USP. Other creators were not successfully providing a comedic take on disability and many found the authenticity of the content to be refreshing.

@blindandblondeHow sighted people think I spend my mornings as a ##blind man 👨🏻‍🦯 ##spoof ##parody ##comedy ##fyp ##blindtok ##visuallyimpaired ##morningroutine ##vlog♬ Night & Day - Instrumental

 

Maximise Interactions

After reading through the comments on our first ‘viral’ post, we noticed the trend for users commenting about things that were not necessarily pointed out by us, but encouraged interaction, such as the toaster being plugged in next to Reece pouring water all over the counter when making tea (oops!). It is also the case that the more comments you have, the more the in-built algorithm will push your content out to peoples ‘For You’ pages. Therefore, we added subtle things to subsequent videos, such as saying “Alexa, play Stevie Wonder”, triggering viewers Alexa devices who found it so amusing we amassed hundreds of comments related to this. This certainly helped us to appear on the For You page and gain the same level of virality.

@blindandblondeHow sighted people think I spend my evenings as a ##blind man 💤👨🏻‍🦯🛌 ##spoof ##parody ##blindtok ##nightroutine ##comedy ##fyp ##visuallyimpaired♬ Night & Day - Instrumental

To maximise engagement on posts, we found that replying to comments and building up a relationship with viewers was key and very much encouraged people to hit the follow button.  It has proved well to ask a question in the caption to invite comments. On our 'Gifts I’ve Bought My Blind Boyfriend' video, I wrote a caption which asked for people to give me more ideas – to which I received a number of comments with suggestions for accessible gifts.

@blindandblondeGive me some more gift ideas 🎁🥺🙏🏻 ##lockdownlove ##valentinesday ##blindtok ##blind ##couple ##giftideas ##fyp ##interabledcouple♬ Memories (In the Style of Maroon 5) [Karaoke Version] - Instrumental King

Analytics

A great feature of TikTok is that anyone can switch their account to a ‘Creator’ account in the settings. Doing this will allow you to see the analytics behind your account as a whole, as well as your individual videos.  Here you can see the gender and location percentage of your followers, the average watch time on your videos, whether your video was seen mostly by followers or on the For You page and when your audience is most active.

 

Having this insight enabled us to pick the best time to post a video, according to when our followers were most likely to be scrolling, and to take into account our growing viewership from the USA. It is a great motivator for posting consistent and on-brand content that we know our audience will interact well with.

Overall, going accidentally viral has been an excellent introduction to the workings of TikTok. Unlike other platforms, you don’t necessarily need a fanbase already in place – it is more reliant on authentic and consistent content. When we started in January, we had 40 followers, and now we are approaching 8,000 just a month later. Whilst I’m certainly not being invited to Dubai to promote Sugar Bear Hair anytime soon, it’s been a fun experiment to distract from the monotony of lockdown.

 

 

 

 


See what our clients have to say about working with us.