Tik Tok, Social Media, Brand Authenticity

How to go viral on social media

Heather Klatt, Corporate Communications Specialist

Unfortunately, there is no step-by-step guide for going viral on social media. If there were, everyone would be doing it. There is however, one constant among the posts that take off on the internet: authenticity. Regardless of the size of your brand’s platform, keeping your tone real and honest is the key to reaching beyond your audience.

In October 2020, I posted a video on TikTok handing off a coffee to my dad. Within a week, the video eclipsed 1 million views.

A week later, I shared another video, handing him a piece of avocado toast. Within a day, it had 1 million views.

But why and how would a video of a 60-year-old man eating avocado toast go viral?

The videos themselves weren’t anything elaborate. Each is a single, continuous shot with closed caption text popping in and out when necessary and low background music to fill dead air. My dad’s reaction is the only dialogue and the ultimate reason both videos went viral.

His pure emotion made the content relatable. People who watched the clips felt a certain way, which made them want to share with friends, who then shared with their friends, and that led to more than 2.5 million views for one video and the other topping 1.4 million likes.

The spontaneous happiness my dad expressed being surprised with a coffee or the runny yolk of an egg wasn’t something that was trending or could be recreated. It was a real, unscripted moment that resonated with people in some way, especially at a time when so many were looking for any type of bright spot.

Think of some viral pieces you’ve seen. Most probably showcase emotion, whether it’s joy or shock, a surprise that leads to uncontrollable laughter or something beautiful that moves you to tears. Sure, there are dances and songs that make waves across the internet, but when it comes to going viral, people are drawn to content that features others’ natural reactions.

Of course, there’s always going to be FOMO (the fear of missing out), with new trends sparking daily. And if you’re able to make the trend your own and react in a way that aligns with your values, go for it!

If you have not already, check out our 4 Tips to Fuel Your Social Media Strategy, or for a discussion on this topic and others that impact your brand, contact:

Jeff Lutz
VP, Corporate Communications & Content