I tried to get 1,000 TikTok followers in one week and wow, it was savage
What does Charli D’Amelio have that I don’t?
“I could, like, definitely get TikTok famous” is probably a phrase you’ve heard a million times before. Maybe you’ve even said it yourself. And I couldn’t blame you – it’s literally everywhere. Scrolling through Twitter? Boom! TikTok. Browsing Instagram? Boom! TikTok. Playing on your phone to stave off the ever-present anxiety attached to existing in the world today? You guessed it. TikTok.
But how do you actually get TikTok famous? And by that, I mean reaching at least 1,000 followers. Is it a simple case of learning the choreography to Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” or making the perfect Dalgona coffee? Or is it all about luck, where your chances of TikTok fame boil down to whether or not you can strike out and post a viral video?
With nothing but a phone and the endless abyss of quarantine at my disposal, I decided to find out. After all, if my brain has absorbed even a fraction of the TikToks it’s been exposed to, going viral should be a walk in the park. Barely an inconvenience.
This is how to get TikTok followers, fast
Thank me later.
Day 0: The research
Like any challenge, getting TikTok famous lives or dies on planning. So it’s important to know who the key players are, what kind of content they’re putting out, and how you can use their fame to your advantage.
A simple Google search told me everything I needed to know. Huge TikTok stars, like Charli D’Amelio and Loren Gray led the pack with an eye-watering combined follower count of 89.9 million. Their content largely consists of lip-syncing to popular songs, completing dance challenges, and collabing with other, equally famous, friends. Most importantly, though, they make sure to post multiple times a day, every single day.
Beyond that, you’ll never catch them dead in a bad outfit. Like, seriously, everything they own looks like it’s been taken straight from the shelves of Brandy Melville. And I’m not sure how much that has to do with their viral fame, but it must mean something.
Day 1: Seeing what sticks
Initially, I thought that entering the big bad world of TikTok would be a breeze. After all, if you’ve watched enough content, replicating it should be easy, right? Wrong.
Turns out, there’s a lot that goes into a successful TikTok. First off, you’ve got to come up with a concept that isn’t completely overdone or lame. Then you’ve got to find the right audio. After that, you’ve got to make sure that you’re exactly in sync whilst filming. One slip of the thumb, or shake of the frame and you’re done for. This basically means you’re going to have to shoot and re-shoot several times for about ten-seconds of content. So, yeah, it’s kind of a process.
By the time I finished my first TikTok, I was about ready to tap out. I cleaned everything up, selected a cute cover shot, and made sure to caption #fyp like my life depended on it. Then all that was left to do was wait. In the end, it took about an hour for my video to crawl past the five-view mark. But, once it did, the numbers kept going up. I got to a grand total of 1,415 views that day, and learnt my first important lesson: views do not translate into followers. If you want that, you’re going to have to sweat.
End of day stats: 11 followers and 350 likes
Day 2: Spam content
As the sun rose on day two, I was sitting on a measly total of 11 followers. Which was not only kind of heartbreaking, but also incredibly lame. It was clear that I needed to change tactics, and fast.
So I decided to double my output, posting a grand total of six TikToks in a single-day. The subjects ranged from Netflix’s Tiger King and Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight all the way to posting nudes on Google classroom for attention. In the end, being consistent didn’t matter. But volume of content did.
This is for two simple reasons. First, the more you post, the more exposure you get. Not every TikTok you make is going to be a hit. But if you’ve got more content, you’ve got a better chance. And second, because of the way that TikTok is set up, it’s easy to like someone’s video and then scroll right past it. On the off chance that someone likes your content enough to click on your profile, it’s crucial you have more good content to keep them hooked. If you’ve got your page on lock, the follows will start to roll in.
End of day stats: 70 followers and 917 likes
Day 3: Following trends
Anyone who knows TikTok knows there’s a different viral trend every other day. And do you know what comes with viral trends? Views. Lots and lots of views.
On the third day of my quest for TikTok fame, two major trends were blowing up: the #blindinglightschallenge and the #pullintheparentschallenge. Unlike other dance challenges, this one didn’t look too complex. So I roped my dad into learning the choreography and convinced my mum to be our camerawoman.
Clearly, the idea of TikTok fame was getting to my head because it was, no doubt, the toughest thing I’ve ever filmed. Turns out, old people suck at technology. That being said, it was cute for exposure and taught me that some people simply aren’t cut out for fame.
End of day stats: 196 followers and 3574 likes
Day 4: Rest day
By the time day four rolled around, I was exhausted. Like bone-deep exhausted. My sleep pattern was in tatters and my screen time was through the roof. Weirdly, spending eight-and-a-half hours a day on TikTok is not cute for your mental health, so I opted to take a break.
But just because I wasn’t churning out content, didn’t mean I wasn’t hard at work. After all, only having 196 followers on the fourth day of a week-long challenge to get 1,000 is not a good look.
So I bit the bullet and made a desperate plea on my main instagram account. It wasn’t pretty and I received many a concerned message, but my follower count spoke for itself. Say what you like about shameless pleading, it works.
End of day stats: 239 followers and 6173 likes
Day 5: It’s all in the analytics
Looking back on it, the fifth day of my TikTok challenge was, without a doubt, the most important. And that’s because it was the day I found the TikTok Pro option.
It turns out, going TikTok Pro opens up a whole world of beautiful analytics on your account. Suddenly, I had graphs detailing my video views, profile views and followers. What’s more, I could see the distribution of my followers by gender and territory, as well as knowing what time they’re most active.
Obviously, this was a complete game-changer. Now, instead of throwing a load of content at the wall and seeing what sticks, I could be strategic. I filmed during the day, popped my videos into drafts, and then posted them at peak times. Easy peasy, give me followers please-y.
End of day stats: 275 followers and 8695 likes
Day 6: Going viral
When I first started this challenge, I never expected any of my videos to go viral. I mean, I wished they would – It just didn’t seem like a totally realistic strategy… until it happened.
It was one of my TikToks from the second day, when I doubled my content. I couldn’t have spent more than five-minutes filming, and totally forgot about it as soon as I hit post. One minute, it had a few hundred views. The next, a few thousand. And then, practically overnight, it was sitting on 78.6K views with 9,000 likes and 120 comments.
At first, I thought my app must have been bugging. I put way more effort into my other posts – this one was just there to beef up the numbers. And then I got it: TikTok isn’t always about quality. I mean, it helps, but if you want to go viral, you’ve got to hook your audience. That means getting your point across, fast. And that’s exactly what this TikTok did. It was only eight seconds long, capitalised on the established popularity/nostalgia of the Hunger Games and was, like, really funny. Turns out that that’s a winning combination.
End of day stats: 352 followers and 15.8K likes
Day 7: Signing off
Unfortunately, even with the unexpected boost of my viral video, I am still waiting to reach 1,000 followers. But, despite that sad news, the question remains: Is it possible to get TikTok famous in one week?
And honestly? I still think the answer is yes. Whilst it wasn’t my time to embrace TikTok fame and jet off to LA, it could still be yours. The key is in your strategy. If I’ve learnt anything, it’s that straight-up copying big stars, like Charli D’Amelio, will get you nowhere. No one cares if you’ve got the choreography to “Savage” on lock – I promise you. It’s all about delivering short, sweet content literally anyone can consume.
Once you’ve got that down, you’ve just got to figure out when your followers are most active, be smart with your hashtags, and smash that post button. As for my account? I’ll definitely keep it going. There’s nothing like the endorphin rush when your post climbs above 1,000 views. And sure, maybe my screen-time will never be the same, but what’s a couple sleepless nights for 15 minutes of TikTok fame?
Final stats: 363 followers and 16.4K likes