How to Go Viral on TikTok to Boost TikTok Shop Sales

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First, let’s rattle off a few interesting numbers: TikTok is big in Southeast Asia, and 4 out of the top 10 most-active TikTok users in the world are in this region. These countries are Indonesia (2nd), Vietnam (6th), the Philippines (7th), and Thailand (8th).

The combined number of TikTok users in the region is a massive 265 million, which is huge, considering that TikTok currently has more than 1 billion users monthly. The good thing is, this 1 billion is expected to rise to 1.5 billion by the end of this year.

It is no wonder that recently, TikTok introduced its own in-app shopping features and jumped into social commerce headfirst. Speaking of social commerce, sales from this kind of online platform are expected to reach close to $80 billion in the US alone.

So, if you’re wondering how to take advantage of this wave, then perhaps the top question on your mind would be, “How can I go viral and boost sales?”

What Does It Mean to ‘Go Viral?”

We can revisit our definition of “going viral” which means content—in the form of a simple set of text, a photo, or a video– has been shared many times over a relatively brief period over the Internet.

Industry experts say it is difficult to pin a single metric to determine if a piece of content has become viral. But the majority seems to agree that a figure, say, 100,000 views can be considered “viral.”

So now that we have an idea of what going viral means, and with a few content ideas, the next question is how do we go viral and how can we use our viral content to earn money?

How to Go Viral

In this piece, we will discuss some tips on how you can go viral and use them to boost your sales on TikTok. Being creative, knowing the trends, and a few other tried and tested content management tactics to increase your audience is still highly effective, but we will try to look at a few more.

Time is of the essence. First, we know that TikTok automatically shares your recently uploaded video content on the “For You” pages to a select audience. The reason for this is TikTok’s algorithm wants to find out if your content is interesting enough so that it can show it to more users.

However, TikTok will not show the entirety of your video content. What it will do is show a short snippet of the content. Some say this window is only 3 seconds long, which means the first 3 seconds of your video should be interesting enough that people will click on it, instead of scrolling to another video.

Considering that there are thousands and thousands of videos uploaded every day, it might seem daunting to come up with content that some the potential to go viral in only 3 seconds.

TikTok uses metrics such as “watch time” and “completion rate.” If a user merely glances at your video before jumping into another one, then TikTok will not boost your content. However, if users click on your video and “complete” viewing it, there is a higher chance that TikTok will further “push” it to more users.

Experts recommend that to captivate an audience, you need to keep them hooked on your content. Give a good intro, a good pace, and a conclusion at the end, and don’t forget to compel them to comment.

Identify your ‘target.’ Social media platforms are currently being used by all age groups, but some age groups or demographics do spend a bit more time on a particular platform. In the case of TikTok, members of “Gen Z” seem to have a particular preference for short-form videos.

Here’s an industry insight: TikTok now has more than 1 billion monthly active users, and 60 percent of these users belong to Gen Z.

So, imagine if you can create viral content for Gen Z. There’s a ready audience—and market—for your content.

Gen Z is not just an on-paying audience. Industry estimates say this demographic also has the huge buying power, and in fact, they make up 40 percent of those buying from social media platforms.

Keep track of trends. One trend that seems to appeal to many users is the so-called “fear of missing out” or being “left out.” 

This means there is a motivation for a potential buyer to upgrade or buy, because (almost) everybody else has already done it. Your content comes in if you can tap into that same motivation.

You can feature the latest trends or tech gadgets, and if you happen to have an online store and have it in your inventory, be sure to heavily promote it and use hashtags extensively.

Use sounds and enhance the buying experience. Say that you already have a product, say a pair of Bluetooth speakers. What you can do as a seller is to heavily feature the product by using TikTok’s audio library. Find a good beat, experiment, and try mixing your music.

A piece of good music in the background, plus a short video on unboxing can enhance the buying experience of consumers, so much so that they would want to buy your products. Additionally, if they like your creative unboxing video, they might also spread the word and share your videos.

Open up to sponsorships and promotions. Although this is strictly not selling, opening your store to sponsorships and promotion might also help drive traffic to your channel. You can still do an unboxing, but this time, you are merely describing a product and encouraging your audience to visit the product website. Essentially, you are promoting products outside of your online store and pitching them to your audience. 

TikTok, as a platform for short-form videos, is perhaps the best medium for sponsorships and product promotions.


Going viral on TikTok is a challenge, especially if your main goal is to sell your products to an online audience. Indeed, there is no magic formula to make viral content. You will need to do a bit of work on your content, and you should be willing to experiment and explore.

Keep track of trends, while still being original. Know the latest and try to replicate—and even improve—trending content. Study your content and find ways to improve.

As an online seller on TikTok, spend a bit of time on basic business practices. Revisit your content and review if there are business opportunities that you can exploit. 

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