A deep dive into going viral on TikTok

Going viral is a phenomenon that most of us are familiar with in today’s era of social media.  

TikTok is a platform that caters to all ages and professions where different groups of people with varying content can go viral. 

But what does going viral on an app like TikTok actually mean for the people behind the videos?

Four creators who had different videos go viral, have all had their say.

Liz Mosley

Graphic designer Liz Mosley posted her video on TikTok with zero expectations of going viral. 

Mosley explained that she was posting on TikTok after she found Instagram’s algorithm was unreliable. 

After posting a tutorial on how to get a repeat pattern by hand, her video went viral.

The video, which currently has 2.4 million views, still gets likes to this day. 

She said: “When I went viral I got a taste for it and thought, how can I continue to create content that is going to potentially have the same impact?

“Going viral for me happened before I could even think about making viral content.”

Mosely described seeing other graphic designers on TikTok grow their following and business by posting content on the app. 

She added: “I started to realise Tiktok was a really good place to post about my business.

“I had 45 followers and then it grew to 7,000 pretty rapidly.

“It has definitely made me consider what I post on there in the sense that you need to be careful that if you post things and they take off if you’re ok with millions of people seeing it.

“They’re going to form an opinion on you.”

She feels hopeful that by continuing to post videos it will help grow her business too.


Some times it’s fun to do things by hand! Here is how to make a repeat pattern tile just using ink and paper – coming up see how I put it on the computer and start to use it! #repeatpattern #handdrawnpattern

♬ original sound – Liz Mosley

Catriona Jolley

Catriona Jolley, 20, said going viral was not the plan when she posted her video. 

She explained that going viral isn’t always the target when she posts on her account.

She said: “That’s the thing with TikTok, you never know what’s going to get peoples attention.

“When my video went viral I thought ‘why is that interesting? Why is that interesting to people?’

“It is slightly worrying when you think 1.3 million people have seen me in my pyjamas. I don’t know how I feel about that.”


This better be worth the 3 hours that it took. ✨ #curlyhair @antoniajolleyart #transformation #straighttocurlyhair #challenge #curlygirl

♬ Bad Habits – Ed Sheeran

Jolley, like most users and creators on TikTok, is aware that it is an algorithm based platform. 

That means sometimes posting at the wrong time or using the wrong audio means that your video will not be seen. 

This begs the question, is there really a secret to going viral on TikTok?

Genieva Davidson

Genieva Davidson, who creates videos with her family on their sailboat, started posting on the app during the pandemic. 

She said: “It felt like a happy place in the midst of a wild world.

“With TikTok I feel as though the harder you try, the more likely it does not happen. I feel like it is these random videos that you take on a whim go viral.”

Their following started to grow when people started asking lifestyle questions about her logistically living on a boat. 

TikTok is an app which is arguably more playful than other social medias.

Davidson said: “TikTok is that fun ‘just show me what it is, what do you have for me?’ app and its not full of expectations which is why I like it the most.”

Since growing their TikTok page, it has brought more traction to their Youtube channel and they have had some brand deals.

Davidson herself is an editor and her husband is a videographer.

She explained that TikTok has enabled them to find some work through their business as well. 

Davidson added: “I just feel like TikTok is so good at bringing your content to people who are going to be interested in it, it’s easier to grow and you can get infront of more eyes quicker.”

But with more followers comes more eyes watching you and going viral has made creators more aware of what they are posting online.

When posting on social media there are various privacy settings which limit who can see your posts. 

On TikTok, anyone can find your video once it’s posted to the For You page. 

Antonia Villagra

Antonia Villagra, 23, posted her video in January of this year and it still get likes. 

She has always wanted to be an influencer/content creator and said that posting content and going viral only fuelled her love for it even more. 

Villagra said: “I said to myself ‘going viral is real, and I can do this’, and it inspired me to put myself out there.

“Growing up in Chile meant that wanting to become a content creator was weird and no one understood.

“I was always so scared because people didn’t understand but then I just said ‘I’m gonna do it’.”

And she did. 

Picture credit: Nordskov Media via Flickr CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

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