Why any brand can become viral on TikTok

Published Oct. 17, 2022, 1:52 p.m. by Julia Nordlund

Followers have been celebrated in social media for more than a decade – now TikTok is shaking things up with an algorithm that puts content front and center. Julia Nordlund, Creative Director at Spoon dives in:

1. You don’t need a lot of followers

TikTok is actually less social than other social media platforms. You don’t need friends to get started. You don’t even need to hit like or subscribe. TikTok serves up a never-ending feed of engaging videos that the more you watch become more tailored to your interests.

If you create videos that people watch, the TikTok algorithm will push it out to others – regardless of how many followers you have.

2. TikTok is all about viral content

Where other social media platforms are creator-centric, elevating the role of The Influencer, Tik Tok is content-centric. A viral post from someone you have never heard of will get more reach than a Kardashian.

Memes, Beauty, Fails, Finance, Sports or whatever else you can think of. What’s in the video doesn’t matter. If people watch it, TikTok will find you more of the same. For brands, this creates opportunities to tap into categories people have marked as interesting, going with the flow of the crowd.

3. Brands need to be bolder, faster and more relatable to survive

So if content is organized around virality and not followers, what does it take to stand out? Videos need to grab people quickly. Brands will need to flex their creativity, combining eye-catching art direction with catchy musical hooks. You need to be bold and entertaining from the jump. Otherwise, you’ll be flicked to the bottom of the pile. Many of the app’s features enable content to be quickly recycled and remixed. This creates opportunities for brands to join live conversations. But you need to be fast, there is no time for complicated internal approval processes.

Are you feeling TikTok?

Finally, TikTok is a place for feelings. People want to feel connected, even without big follower numbers. Leave the superficial stuff to the Instagram crowd. For brands, this means understanding the emotional world people live in while tapping into their feelings and making them feel something worth sharing.

Julia Nordlund, Creative Director, Spoon

Read more: 5 things you need to know about social media in 2022.

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