Viral TikTok Secrets Revealed! How To Gain Followers Fast and Generate Quality Leads For Your Small Business

September 2nd 2021 | Jhalisa John

Image of 3 smartphone screens showing screenshots of Jhalisa John's TikTok profile

Burning question: How do you go viral on TikTok, and why does having viral videos matter?

If we're being completely honest, almost all of us have dreamed about one day sharing something on the internet that becomes so popular that we somehow "make it" in the social media space.

Going viral could help you get your name out there, reach more people who might be interested in your product or service, and help you generate a ridiculous amount of sales in a relatively short period of time.

But unlike other social media platforms where your 15 seconds of fame is very much short-lived, going viral on TikTok comes with substantial long-term benefits.

Here are 3 reasons why you should actually want to go viral on TikTok in 2021:

The effects spill over to other platforms

Creators whose videos go viral on TikTok can easily gain thousands of followers in a single day and millions more over the course of a few months. Many of these new followers may then choose to connect with, subscribe to, and follow TikTok creators on other platforms like Instagram and YouTube. In fact, TikTok provides a dedicated space on every user's profile where they encourage you to link your Instagram and YouTube accounts.

Photo or screenshot of Jhalisa John's TikTok profile showing how to link an Instagram and YouTube account.

Your credibility gets a powerful boost

Credibility is the quality of being trusted and believed in. Being credible simply means that you have a good reputation and people are more likely to view you as convincing and believable. If you own a business, you want people to see you as credible. Especially if that business is service-based. It could open doors to new opportunities, clients, and relationships.

On TikTok, it's incredibly easy to be seen as credible - especially if you're creating the most valuable content in your industry.

Credible people are also confident and can back up the things they say. There's something about video content that makes people see the real you. If you're faking anything, it shows. People can feel it instantly. That's why your energy (or aura), personality, and intentions must align with the things you're doing and saying.

You're able to monetize quickly because TikTok is full-funnel

The right video on TikTok can generate awareness, increase interest, spark desire and strongly persuade viewers to make a purchase. This is game-changing! Persons who watch TikToks are actively searching for products, brands, and movements to support. TikTok allows users to discover new and interesting things every time they sign in. With the right strategy and mix of creative elements, small businesses can literally sell out their inventory after having just one viral video.

And yes! Quite a few local companies have already experienced the phenomenal effects of viral TikTok marketing in Trinidad & Tobago.

But, going viral once should not be your goal

Something you should know about TikTok is that it's not like other social media networks where you only see content on your feed from the persons you follow. TikTok's main feed is called the For You Page. This feed shows you an endless stream of videos you are likely to be interested in.

TikTok's For You Page will show content from creators in your country or region first, then, when it's exhausted all of the local content that it thinks you'd be interested in, it will show you content from those you follow, as well as other users from all over the world.

So what does this mean for you?

Well, if you want to have videos that go viral, you have to create TikToks that are relevant and relatable to the citizens of your country. There is no way you can go viral on TikTok without blowing up or gaining significant traction in your home country first.

Therefore, you should treat every TikTok you publish as an introduction and strive to hook viewers with a solid reason as to why they should continue watching within the first few seconds of the video. This will ensure that you receive good watch times, and then TikTok will distribute your video on more users' For You Page.

What does a viral TikTok video look like

Contrary to popular belief, having a piece of content go viral on the internet does not mean that it has to receive millions of views, comments, likes, and shares.

Content can have viral moments. These viral moments can be isolated based on location, time, and even niche. For example, a video about online gaming that has 30,000 views, 100 comments, and 50 shares can be considered viral in Trinidad & Tobago when you compare it to similar videos posted by Trinbagonian users within the same niche.

Additionally, here are two videos I posted on TikTok. One currently has just over 2500 views, 15 comments, and 6 shares (VIDEO A), while the other has 33.5k views, 128 comments, and 89 shares (VIDEO B). Video B obviously had a viral moment that resulted in me gaining over 500 followers in just 12 hours after the video was posted.

Photo or screenshot of two of Jhalisa John's TikTok videos comparing a viral video against a non-viral video.

How to improve your chances of going viral

After dedicating an entire month to experimenting and going all-in on TikTok, I've learned so many valuable lessons about what works and doesn't work on the platform. Below, I've compiled a list of the top 4 things I believe have contributed to 9 out of the 26 videos I posted, going viral.

1. Understand and focus on your audience

As I've mentioned earlier in the article, the first group of people that will see your TikTok videos are persons located in your home country.

Therefore, you have to thoroughly understand their mindset, interests, pain points, goals, and struggles if you want to get their attention.

Because your content will show up on the For You Page, and be seen by people who don't know you (because they're not following you), you must understand that to stand out, you cannot make your content all about you. Nobody cares about you. At least, not yet. People want to know what's in it for them.

Does your video make them laugh?

Is it relatable, entertaining, or funny?

Does it help them solve a problem or offer actionable tips?

Is the video oddly satisfying or inspiring?

QUICK TIP: Create detailed buyer personas for 2-3 different types of persons you would like to target with your TikTok videos. Use a template like this one to help you understand your audience better.

2. Define a purpose for being on TikTok and create a personal mission statement

Something that trips up a lot of people is that they lack clarity and direction. In a desperate effort to go viral, they hop on every trend and create videos that are all over the place. There's no center of gravity or one thing that connects all of their content.

If you want to enhance your credibility, generate leads, and truly reap all of the benefits of going viral, then you have to decide what is the one thing that you would like to be known for.

For me, that's social media marketing. My brand's purpose is to teach people how to use social media platforms for business. My personal mission statement for TikTok is to educate Trinbagonians on the different strategies, business models, promotional tactics, and tools that exist.

My videos cover a range of topics but the thing that ties them all together is that they are heavily focused on entrepreneurship.

PRO TIP: Download this brand company purpose statement workbook to help you define a purpose statement that's unique to you. I use this with all of my clients to create their bios on LinkedIn, Instagram, and now, TikTok.

3. Set SMART goals that motivate you

Going viral on TikTok will most likely not happen overnight. It will require much time, effort, and creativity on your part. You may also need to create multiple videos before you get comfortable on camera and find your sweet spot.

For times when you want to quit and trust me, you will feel like giving up, you should have goals or a target that will keep you motivated and focused.

My primary goal for going all-in on TikTok was to prove that my content planner could be used to plan and develop strategic videos that put followers into a funnel and turn likes into sales.

My secondary goal was to see if I could gain 10k followers in one month.

Whenever I didn't feel in the mood, I always reminded myself of the bigger picture and set my gaze toward my goals.

4. Plan and batch-create your content

Speaking of which, one way to ensure that you achieve your goals is to create a plan of action.

Set aside ample time each day to come up with ideas for your TikTok videos, do research, get inspiration from others, work on your storytelling skills, and practice being on video.

Whenever I had an idea for a video, I would immediately write it down in my content planner. The thing I love most about this planner is that it helps you take a simple idea and develop it into a story that has a specific objective, target audience, and natural flow that just works for short-form video.

I also use this planner to write scripts of things I plan to say in the videos, and afterward, I write notes with ways I think my videos could be improved.

Once you have these 4 things down, your success on TikTok will be inevitable.

Follow me on TikTok to stay up to date with my content and for more social media marketing + small business tips.