How to go viral? Algorithm Comparison TikTok vs. Reels

Let’s specifically compare how both Reels and TikTok algorithms work. Just so you know, because this is going to inform when you create your video content, knowing how the algorithm is going to deal with it is going to help you actually design content with that in mind. 

The Instagram algorithm is based on recency. Right? So people are generally going to stop seeing your content after 48 hours, especially feed posts. 

Growth is typically a slow and incremental grind. And that’s just the same for everyone, no matter how good your content is. Again, with reels, it’s a little bit easier and quicker. But generally it’s a grind. And you’re only really hitting people that already know you. And I’m going to show you some stats on that later from my account. 

And also the algorithm is going to serve people content according to what they’ve engaged with in the past. So that’s kind of how we understand what, who to show your content to is if they’ve engaged with content similar to yours in the past, which is why really niche down content actually helps you to reach your ideal people. But it’s a little bit different on tick tock. 

TikTok content has such a longer lifespan. It can be seen like days or months after posting. If that engagement is maintained, it just keeps going. Like it just keeps being shown to more people. One of my first viral videos was around December last month, and every day, I get new comments, likes and followers from that video, and that was literally months ago. 

You just don’t get the same thing on Instagram, even with a viral reel. And you also each video that you create gets shown to entirely new audiences. It doesn’t matter how your previous content has performed, each video has a chance to go viral. Whereas with reels, it’s going to look at how your previous reels have performed. And then that’s going to play into how many people you reach with your next reel. 

Finally, on TikTok, each person’s for you page is curated with content that they like or interested and engage with. So it’s similar, but it’s not as strict on TikTok, and you get shown more new content. If you spend time there, you’ll see that you actually get shown quite a broader range of things, right

I want to draw your attention to that in those days, when I posted Reels, the amount of non-followers I reached was huge. That’s the amount of followers versus the other stuff where I only reached followers. Yeah, so if you’re looking to reach new audiences right now, it’s all about Reels.

I think this was when I had a viral Reel, which is why it’s so high for those that date range, but typically, it’s a lot lower on here than on TikTok. So, what I’ve been doing, and what I would recommend to you, if you’re open to it is to use TikTok to drive traffic to your Instagram is there’s like a match made in heaven because you’re able to use like the extended reach of TikTok and to generate that traffic and reach all those new people. Then the people that are actually interested in what you have to say, and they’re warmer and they might actually buy from you, they will find you on Instagram. Then you can use Instagram to nurture that relationship. 

I actually found this out because I was stalking a load of people that had exploded on Instagram. And they were even selling like real courses. But I looked at them on TikTok, and they had actually grown on TikTok first. So, just yeah, a lot of people that have grown on Instagram recently have all come from TikTok because they’ve built their audience there and then people will go and find you on Instagram. So this is working really well for me right now. And the people that are following me from TikTok are actually like the serious ones, and the serious leads. 

So that’s kind of all. I’m gonna say this is not a workshop about TikTok versus reels, but I just wanted you to have just some information to make an informed decision. If you’re leaning towards TikTok, I would just say, you’re ready to start it. If you are looking for more traffic, you’re ready to start it if you’re seeking new audiences, or people that don’t know you. And this is really important, because it’s really creatively liberating, having like all these people that don’t know you, because then you just get really fun with your content. 

I’ve been keeping my TikTok a secret for the last three months, and it’s been great. And the cats out the bag now but still, I’m like, the people want that on. There aren’t people from my old school and stuff. So I’m not too concerned about what I post on there. And if you are generally super driven, and you’re like, look, I really want to grow a big audience. And you’re all in to go to TikTok because there’s less competition there. 

You are going to need more time to devote to content creation, but it’s kind of the same rules like you’re already going to be creating that spending that time creating content anyway, it goes further on TikTok. And as I said, top tip is if you are doing it just go incognito like start your account and don’t tell anyone about it. 

So earlier I said that it’s not all like rainbows and roses when you go viral. There’s just like a few things to watch out for. And this shouldn’t put you off but I just want to prepare you for it. Like when you get your first viral video and you message me being like, Why did I do this? 

Firstly, as I said, going viral doesn’t guarantee followers. So if you have a viral hit and the rest of your content doesn’t align, then they likely won’t follow you or be the right people. So this question here is something really important. And I’ve put it in your posting checklist, because I want you to ask yourself this, before you post a reel or a TikTok, will this attract the right type of viewer? And if not, would I be willing to pivot my entire business to capitalise on this one video? The answer to that is probably no, if it’s something completely unrelated to what you do. Okay? So just, it just goes back to being strategic and intentional with your top your content ideas. 

Finally, just get ready for a lot of like, hate comments, because it just comes with the territory of going viral. These are new people that don’t know you, it’s not like your usual safe crowd that loves you, and you’re just gonna get all sorts of shit. It’s just part of it. Just keep in mind, like these people don’t have anything better to do. 

I mean, you know, all that stuff, but I just want to prepare you for it. I came across it on TikTok. 

A woman said, the fact that she went 46 million viral for absolutely no reason. Now a load of bot accounts follow her, and her views are atrocious, but her family think she’s famous. 

This happens, when you reach loads of people that aren’t relevant to you. These are the top mistakes that you may be tempted to make going into creating viral content. I see this with everyone because it’s quite a long process, and you start getting impatient, but you can’t expect to blow up overnight. A really good rule of thumb is don’t expect any results for four months, literally four months from when you start creating this content consistently. Because first, it’s going to take that long for you to get good at it. But secondly, you need to earn that you need to earn it in the algorithm, and it will happen, but you need to be consistent. 

If you give up after a week, that’s not enough. I know it sounds stupid, but the amount of people that like posts for a week, and then just think it’s not working. Like of course it’s not working, you need to give it time and just don’t have any expectations, just like commit to creating good content and having fun with it and getting better. 

Then it will happen, right? Secondly, caring too much about the views. And then ultimately giving up like, you’re going to get lower views at first. And you just have to be a scientist, literally be a scientist of the data. It’s not about you, it’s how can I improve this piece of content to make it better. And you have to commit to that and not take the lack of us personally. 

Again, somehow, we managed to tie up our self worth into how many views our staff gets, it’s so ridiculous, but it happens. So just yeah, look at the data and improve, that’s all you need to do. You also get some people that worry about the algorithm all the time. And you can’t control this, literally, don’t worry about it. 

If you’re creating good content, which you will be if you are reading this and you’ve committed to this, then you’re going to do well, whatever the algorithms are doing, like it’s just a, it’s just a skill that you’re developing. 

You will be able to kind of override the algorithm, you can’t just worry about it too much, because it’s always going to change. And it’s just good to focus on the stuff that’s within your control, which is improving your content. And then finally being super inconsistent. So like posting, one week, posting like three reels, and that being your goal, but then the next week posting zero, and then the week after doing like two, and then the week after 10 or whatever,  you, you need to, choose a goal that you’re going to stick to whether that’s three, that’s cool. 

If you can do it every day, that’s amazing, but it’s not possible for everyone, but just pick a goal and then just stick to it. That goal needs to be achievable for you. So someone had asked me, “How many times should I post? I’m going to ask, I’m going to reflect back to you and be like how many times can you post because you just want to be able to be consistent with it.

With this, you are experimenting to get more data, you are posting this content to get data, you are not posting and experimenting to get more views. So a lot of people think with their first week on rails or TikTok, they’re like, I’m just gonna, you know, the next one, I’m going to get more views. 

The next one I do, I’m going to get even more views, and I’m going to get better and better, it’s like, no, you’re going to get more and more data, you’re not necessarily going to get more and more views. But the more you post, the more data you’re going to get. And therefore, the more you’re going to improve your content. Yeah, hopefully, that makes sense.

Basically, only 5% of your videos will go viral. And this is, again, just adjust your expectations, not every piece of content you create is going to go viral. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that it’s bad or wrong. And if you ever want to be short of this, just go to like a bigger creator, and you want to be on Instagram or TikTok. 

You’ll see that they have the same ratio, like, look at the number of followers they have, and then the views they get on their content, only about 5% of those will be like more people than the people that are following them, the number that are following them, okay, so don’t come to me and be like, either, I’ve made five videos, or eight videos, and I haven’t gone viral, because it’s only going to be less than 5%. Like, or maybe even less than that. But the important thing is to just every piece you create, just get all the basics, right? 

Because it’s going to make it a good piece of content. And then you are increasing your chances every time you post, right? Because a video is not going to go viral if it doesn’t have the elements that we’re going to talk about. So if you can do that every time you post, it’s not going to go viral, but you’re just going to give yourself more chances. 

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