Unleash Viral Success: 3 Proven Strategies for TikTok & Instagram Videos

Social Media
May 24, 2024

As a seasoned social media enthusiast, I’ve spent countless hours unraveling the mystery of viral content. It’s a tricky game, especially on platforms like TikTok and Instagram where trends change at lightning speed. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with three proven strategies to craft videos that are bound to go viral.

These aren’t just theories, but tactics I’ve tested and seen work wonders. They’re simple, effective, and adaptable to any content niche. So whether you’re a seasoned content creator or just starting out, this guide is your secret weapon to cracking the viral video code.

Ready to take your social media game to the next level? Let’s dive in and explore the magic behind viral videos on TikTok and Instagram.

Understanding Viral Video Dynamics

For any video to go viral on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, it must master the tightly wound mechanisms behind viral video dynamics. As an experienced social media enthusiast, I’ll provide insiders’ knowledge on two critical aspects: the psychology behind viral content and the role of algorithms in video reach.

The Psychology Behind Viral Content

Viral content, specifically videos, tap deep into human emotional and psychological reaction. By creating a surge of strong feelings like joy, surprise, or inspiration, your content stands a better chance at becoming viral. For instance, in January 2021, a video titled “Sea Shanty TikTok” from Nathan Evans invoked nostalgia and intrigue, leading to more than 9 million views and a subsequent recording contract for Evans. Videos that stimulate an emotional response, as this one did, increase the likelihood of user interaction, be it a share, comment, or like, which can lead to a viral spiral.

The Role of Algorithms in Video Reach

Algorithms on TikTok and Instagram have considerable influence in dictating a video’s reach. They function as gatekeepers, determining which content appears on a user’s feed, and they prioritize content based on varied metrics including user interaction, viewing time, and video quality. TikTok’s algorithm, for example, operates with a focus on a balance between new content discovery and user preference. A video from an account with just a few hundred followers can reach millions if the algorithm deems it worthy. So, understanding and leveraging these algorithms is crucial for reaching wider audiences and increasing the potential of a video garnering viral status.

Cracking the Code: 3 Proven Strategies for Crafting Viral Videos on TikTok & Instagram

Crafting the perfect viral video may seem like a daunting task. To help ease the challenge, I’ve prepared a list of three time-tested strategies that have proven effective in crafting viral videos for TikTok and Instagram.

Strategy 1: Leveraging Trending Music and Sounds

For TikTok or Instagram content creators looking to make their mark, music is a potent tool. Videos featuring trending music or popular sounds tend to attract more views, as this corresponds with the choices of a wider audience base. Just think about how the hit song “Savage Love” catapulted into unprecedented fame on TikTok, thanks to its widespread usage in numerous viral videos.

Strategy 2: Engaging with Timely and Relatable Content

Creating content that reflects current events, memes, or popular culture trends can serve as a catalyst for going viral. The key is to deliver such content in a manner that resonates with your target audience. For instance, a comedic take on the common frustrations of remote work could quickly amass views, shares, and likes, driving its popularity on the platform.

Strategy 3: Effective Hashtag Utilization

Hashtags are much more than simple add-ons for your posts. They are pivotal in enhancing your content’s visibility amongst the sea of videos on TikTok and Instagram. Utilizing trending and relevant hashtags accurately not only improves reach but also categorizes your videos under specific topics, simplifying discovery for interested viewers. Remember, it’s not about including as many hashtags as possible but about choosing the ones that maximize relevance and reach.

Case Studies: Success Stories on TikTok & Instagram

Breakdown of Top Performing Viral Videos

Delving into the success stories on TikTok & Instagram, a common pattern emerges. Top performing videos often share similar traits, creating a template for viral success.

Take the case of Chipotle’s #GuacDance challenge on TikTok, which became the platform’s highest-performing branded challenge. The challenge encouraged users to create a dance to celebrate National Avocado Day, using a catchy song as their backdrop. Over 250,000 users participated, generating 430 million video starts.

Next, consider the phenomenon of the Instagram egg – an image of a single brown egg that, simply by asking users to help it become the most-liked picture, amassed over 55 million likes. This ingenious campaign played on curiosity and the human desire to be part of something bigger.

Let’s examine these instances:

Case Study Key Factors in Viral Success
Chipotle’s #GuacDance Challenge on TikTok Leveraging a trending song, creating a challenge, timing the challenge with National Avocado Day
The Instagram Egg Using curiosity, creating a sense of collective effort, and leveraging the platform’s feature of liking an image

Lessons Learned from Viral Campaigns

Key lessons can be gleaned from analyzing these case studies. Firstly, it’s advisable to capitalize on trending music, sound or themes. Seeing Chipotle’s success with #GuacDance, we learn that tying a campaign to an event or day can ignite engagement.

Secondly, sparking curiosity, like the Instagram egg, can harness the power of an online community, leading to more interaction and virality.

Lastly, leveraging platform features can significantly boost the reach. For example, Instagram’s โ€˜likeโ€™ feature played a pivotal role in the Instagram egg going viral.

Taking a leaf from these viral stories, crafting videos that capture attention, spark curiosity, and leverage platform features strongly encourage the content to go viral.

Tips and Best Practices for Video Creation

Nailing viral content creation requires an arsenal of tools, with the implementation of key strategies from developing compelling visuals to mastering timing for maximum engagement. Let’s delve into these further.

Crafting Compelling Visuals and Captions

Creating persuasive visuals represents an integral part of TikTok and Instagram content creation. It’s about more than just aesthetics; it’s about telling a story through your content. Use high-resolution images for a polished look, vibrant color palettes to grab attention, and dynamic compositions to drive visual interest.

An example of compelling visuals can be seen in Dove’s self-esteem project campaign on Instagram. Dove used a mix of creatively crafted videos and images โ€” all carrying its signature pastel blue branding โ€” to generate millions of engagements.

After working on your visuals, don’t forget about your captions. Captions shouldn’t be an afterthought. They bear the power to underscore your visual message, stirring deeper emotional reactions.

For substantiating my point, consider the Instagram campaign, “#ThisGirlCan.” Women all across the globe shared their stories of resilience and triumph with powerful captions, gaining massive traction online. Hence, craft your captions carefully, incorporating brand-related keywords and inserting a call to action, to push your content closer to that viral edge.

Timing Your Posts for Maximum Engagement

Next on the list is timing your posts right. They say, “time is money,” and it holds compelling truth in the realm of social media content creation. Finding the sweet spots in your posting schedule can significantly amplify your reach, impressions, and interaction rates.

According to Sprout Social, TikTok users are most active in the evening hours from Tuesday through Thursday. On Instagram, the best days to post are Wednesday and Friday, particularly between 10 AM and 11 AM, and 2 PM to 3 PM.

Take these data points as benchmarks, but remember to test these timings in relation to your specific audience behavior patterns. Use TikTok and Instagram analytics to glean insights into when your audience is most active. Tailor your content to meet their online presence, thereby improving visibility and engagement opportunities, and pushing your content towards viral status.


Cracking the viral code isn’t a game of luck. It’s a blend of strategic planning, creative execution, and a keen understanding of your audience. By capitalizing on trends and leveraging platform features, you’re already setting the stage for viral success. But don’t stop there. Craft compelling visuals and captions that resonate with your audience, just like Dove’s self-esteem project.

Time your posts wisely to maximize engagement. Remember, it’s not about being the loudest in the room, it’s about being the most relevant. So, keep your finger on the pulse of what’s trending, understand your audience, and you’ll be well on your way to crafting viral videos on TikTok and Instagram. It’s a challenging yet rewarding journey, and with these strategies, you’re armed to take the viral world by storm.