No, I’m not recognized on the streets of Anchorage…yet. But I was quite surprised at the minor success of one of my TikTok videos. I, an old Millennial, will call it viral, but I know the Gen Z population wouldn’t bat an eye at my mere 104k views, 20k likes and 1,400 follower gain. Small potatoes. But I will bask in this small sparkle of fame, AND I even took away some tips for more VIRAL postings.
I showed my face in the first few seconds.
I’ve heard this tip before, and I have to agree. Showing your face automatically creates a relationship between you and the viewer and invites people to be engaged.
I picked a good music track.
While I didn’t pick a dubbed viral track, I picked a track that was popular and really fit the content I was showing. All in all, it simply created a nice and cohesive experience for the viewer.
I was authentic.
My footage was good, but not great, and I never showed myself with a filter. I showed up as I am, and people really resonated with that. More than ever, it seems that viewers are looking to see authenticity, whether it’s ugly, funny, both, or just weird.
I had a good story.
I created a hook in the first few seconds by saying “I moved to Alaska by myself for a summer job…” from there I proceeded to tell my story, through stills and video, on meeting my husband, starting a family, and making my home in this intriguing place. Granted this is only a story I can tell, but that’s also what made it so engaging. I found a uniqueness about my life and shared it. You don’t have to live somewhere cool to go viral...but I will say it helps.
You gotta get in the game.
While there may be no hard and fast rules to making something a HIT, if you’re in a creative field, you should at least be taking a few swings. Social media can be a powerful sharpener for the creative mind and a great sounding board for creative expression, AND you get instant feedback. Even if a post doesn’t go viral you will learn from it.
In the end, this viral experience didn’t catapult my life into influencer status, but it did leave me with new ideas and fresh perspectives for client work. It showed me that authenticity trumps perfection (which sometimes means video shot on a phone and images that aren’t perfect), a good story is always trending and the best way to learn about a new platform is by using it. You can find countless articles trying to explain all the nuances of social platforms, and some are very helpful, but I promise you’ll learn twice as much in half the time by diving in yourself. And who knows, maybe you’ll get famous.
See my VIRAL-ish vid below: