As a former Hollywood publicist, I have witnessed and experienced the truth that everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame — except in today’s world it’s 15 seconds and on TikTok. In case you’re unfamiliar, TikTok is a social media platform that’s become notorious for giving everyone an equal chance of going viral. After going viral on TikTok, I wanted to write this post as a guide for how I built a social media strategy to go viral on TikTok.
As a professional in the media space, I’ve spoken with experts who all agree that TikTok is built to give everyone a sense of fame. Fame is just like a drug, it’s addicting, and some people cannot handle the high. After going viral on TikTok not once, not twice, but thrice — I have some thoughts on how to capitalize on this moment and make a winning strategy to maintain active followers.
How I Built a Social Media Strategy To Go Viral on TikTok
In case you don’t know me, or you need a refresher, my name is Will Samayoa and I’m an L.A. based social media enthusiast. My claim to fame is that at 23 I’ve been to the Oscars twice — and this is the same out of the pocket story that popped on my TikTok. Since about last March, at the top of quarantine, I made a commitment to level up my social media presence. I’ve always looked at social media as a tool for learning. This mindset is what helped me break through the viral dances and climb to 10 thousand followers in under one week.
Like all social media platforms that came before it, TikTok began as space for people to celebrate their quirks. But after the mega rise of Gen Z users becoming overnight social media influencers, and then President Trump trying to ban the app, TikTok became more than just an app. TikTok has become a major tool in influencing pop culture and contemporary discourse. Again, anyone for anything can go viral on TikTok. But it’s about having a strategy that translates to longevity.
My strategy for TikTok for the beginning was to simply learn how to use it. TikTok is far from intuitive and great for content creation. What draws people to it is the access to millions of users around the world. Like my other platforms, my strategy on TikTok was to showcase the “Extra” in every bit of the ordinary. In simpler terms, I wanted to share my one-of-a-kind entertainment career journey to inspire and educate others. The secret to my seemingly overnight viral success was a short video sharing an overview of my LinkedIn profile. This could be seen as a bit of boasting to some oversharing, but it was that level of discomfort that I needed to go viral. Everyone says we grow when we’re uncomfortable.
A good social media strategy includes identifying a niche and understanding whether you are providing information or entertainment. As mentioned, I use my social media to learn about trends in both business and lifestyle. The influencers I follow are those sharing products, services, or advice for personal development. My strategy for growing on social media includes replicating this theme of sharing advice. I try to post 2–3 times a day either making videos in response to specific questions or sharing advice on how to find a way into the biz.
Since this 1 post introducing my career in entertainment that started at the Oscars I’ve gone to hit several social media milestones. The success that I’m talking about includes acquiring 13 thousand followers, joining the TikTok creator program, and a steady increase in my other followings.
I don’t see TikTok as my end game, instead, it’s a key towards working towards my overarching goal of becoming a full-time content creator. As my following grows I try to introduce more of my personality and interests outside of working in media. There’s no guaranteed way to know that your followers will respond — it’s about trial and error. For anyone trying to crack the code of TikTok, ditch the YouTube tutorials or those clickbait videos on, “How to get TikTok famous.” Instead of trying to study how to go viral, do the work to make media that will go viral.
Keep up with me on Instagram @Willsshowem
Thanks for reading these Words by Will!
Author William Samayoa
Marketer by profession and storyteller by passion. L.A. raised, proud Latino, and pop culture enthusiast.