Yes – I have a TikTok account – trying to figure it out! And … a few weeks ago, I actually went viral on Tiktok!
What happened? I posted a short video of a weird thing my fingers do (Raynaud’s disease – in my case, it’s harmless and just a bit annoying). It looks a little strange visually, so I posted a short video, showing what I do to get circulation back into my fingers. I thought someone might find it interesting.
Well. I was correct about that! My TikTok videos don’t generally get watched all that much (up to now, my most “popular” video had been watched around 650 times). Hey – I’m a middle-aged dad on TikTok – not exactly the target audience.
I hit that that many within an hour after posting. Within 5 hours, it had been watched over 194,000 times. As of today (about 2 weeks later), it’s been viewed over 204,400 times.
It’s been really interesting to watch what happens when something this immediate (Tiktok can be very in-the-moment immediate) starts getting viewed a lot.
Side effects of one video going viral:
- My other videos got watched. People visited my profile page and watched some of my other videos.
- I gained more followers – about 100 more.
- I received a LOT of comments on that video.
- I reached 2 out of the 3 requirements to turn on the TikTok Creator Fund (a way to earn money using TikTok). There’s no way I’ll reach 10,000 followers, so not gonna happen. But still, I did get “at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days.” And I’m over 18, so I nailed that requirement.
Why did my video go viral?
- It was a very short video – those play better on TikTok.
- Slightly weird, quirky content (my strange fingers)
- Accidental clickbait labeling (see below)
Accidental clickbait labels – some people misunderstood the labeling on my video. That labeling said “Thawing my Fingers.” From that, some people thought I had frostbite, and was “thawing my fingers” the wrong way. I received a lot of comments about that, even though I said what was going on in the video description and in the hashtags. Apparently that helped keep my video showing up in the For You page of the TikTok app (that’s my guess at what happened with TikTok’s algorithm, anyway).
That type of “accidental viral video” has happened to me once before with a YouTube video. My video titled “Learning Blues harp” … was just a video of me, documenting that I was learning how to play harmonica (blues harp). But some people thought I was actually sharing a lesson on how to play Blues Harmonica (and were pretty disappointed when they watched my video!).
In both cases, that type of slightly “bait and switch” labeling can sometimes lead to more comments and interaction on the video. Not suggesting that as a permanent strategy! Just documenting what I think happened.
Finally, just a reminder that social media content IS important and can get you noticed in the weirdest ways, and can be an interesting way to grow your account. Even after a couple of weeks, my video is still being viewed.
This can also happen to your library content! My library has had a couple videos get really popular (at least compared to our other video content); one is a music parody video, and the other shows off some of our more unique content (fore edge books).
We have also had Twitter content picked up in international news (back when we had a book challenge).
Definitely fun to have your content noticed!
PS … feel free to follow me on TikTok. Mostly pretty random content (sorta like my instagram account). But if it helps you figure out TikTok, feel free. There’s also a growing number of libraries to follow, as well!