The Latest Episodes of INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet
March 10, 2022

The Formula For Going VIRAL - From 0 to 1 Million Followers With Social Media Expert Ryan Magin

The Formula For Going VIRAL - From 0 to 1 Million Followers With Social Media Expert Ryan Magin

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Ryan Magin (@ryanmagin) is an entrepreneur and social media growth expert. He joins Chris Van Vliet at the Blue Wire Studios at Wynn Las Vegas to talk about the formula to creating viral videos and posts on social media, how anyone can gain followers, why you should absolutely start a TikTok account, why creators are doubling down on Instagram Reels, the value of adding captions to videos, how often you should be posting and much more!


So if someone doesn’t have a TikTok account, should they have been on this yesterday?

“Well they should have been on it a year ago. There is still is time though. If you look at the time that Instagram has been popular and YouTube has been popular, TikTok has really amplified, especially over the last 2 years with everything going on. But I still think that it is so infant. TikTok is only a few years old, Instagram and YouTube didn’t pop right away, but the competition is coming.” 

Some people think that TikTok is just 98% dancing.

“In my world I have never done a dance or a trend. I don’t care what hashtags are popular and I don’t know what songs are popular. If I am going to turn this into a business, I can’t rely on external factors that make this popular. So I dove into the platform, which lead me to Reddit. Whatever is popular on Reddit is popular on TikTok. If you want to get a lot of TikTok views, you have to tap into the community and do it better.”

My girlfriend had 4 followers, posted a cute video of our dog, and it got 160,000 views. Now she has 37 followers, but she is like ‘How did this happen?’

“They do a lot of things and there are a lot of smart people behind the app. They make you keep going and go down that rabbit hole. Then you are just hooked. It’s just a never ending scroll and there is something there, that’s why Instagram and YouTube have now copied it.”

Do you think that there is a recipe for going viral?

“I do. Controversy is always the best recipe in my opinion. But also tutorials, recipes and matter of facts, practical people problems. TikTok doesn’t do well with the flexing culture. If people come on with the fancy cars, it might get a few views. But if you want to get the followers and the views, you have to give them something tangible. When they go to your profile, there has to be something else there to make them follow you.”

So if someone is grinding away and they only have 300 followers, what would you say they need to do?

“Look at your analytics and see which videos are doing better, then make more of those but make them better. TikTok is driven on watch time. The sole purpose should be to make the person watch the whole video, if not, it’s going nowhere. You have to make them watch 20 seconds, it sounds easy, but try to make them watch a full 20 seconds.”

So say you are doing one type of video, but you do something else and that takes off, should you follow that?

“So I experimented a lot. When I started on TikTok, I had some viral tips and grew to 30k quickly giving camera tips. But when I was making camera tip videos, it capped out at 100,000 because there were not a lot of people on the app. Now there are more, we are reposting those same videos and they are getting hundreds of thousands, because there are more people. There might not be a particular market yet, but niches will become more and more important. The broader the topic that relates to you, the more reach TikTok can give it.”

How do you feel about reposting your content?

“I do it all the time. I haven’t made a fresh video in 2 months. But it is also down to what kind of content you are making. We are making good videos that are not based on trends and will hopefully outlive the app. A lot of people want fresh and new, which is great until you get busy. I have reposted that have done a lot better and a lot worse. Right now I feel that it is more like the consistency over the content.”

What would you say is the viral formula?

“There is a formula to every viral video. There is a hook, a riveting story or something that is educational. It wasn’t something crazy like someone jumping off a building, but it is harder to make an educational video if there is no education. Say this video is only for men, then it limits who sees it. People on YouTube say ‘What’s up guys?’ So that will show it to guys, what about women? You have alienated half of the world. Say the video is about putting a shelf on a wall, if you say ‘What’s up guys? Here is how to put a shelf on a wall.’ It will only show it to guys. In our experience, the titles and hashtags don’t mean that much. They help in some scenarios, but I think hashtags box in the video before it starts.”

The amazing thing about TikTok is that the first 80% are people I don’t follow.

“That means you haven’t watched the ones you follow all the way through. We see a lot of data, and certain words will not go over 1,000. Anything with depression, COVID, virus, anything down that realm. If you talk about suicide prevention, the word suicide doesn’t work. If someone makes a video about their experience with pain pills, it won’t get the views that it deserves.”  

The micro content is now the gateway, it leads to the longer content. In my case, the TikTok clips and Instagram reels lead to the interviews.

“I think another argument is well how much influence can you give in 20 seconds? Well not a lot, but you can be lead to a profile, watch 30 videos and that’s 10 minutes.”

Everybody is an expert in something, figure out what it is and turn the camera on.

“Yes, but do it in a certain way. Like woodworking, break it down and teach it in a way where they will get the same enjoyment as you do. It’s not that easy anymore to go viral. The audience will tell you if your video is sh*t or not. It’s up to you whether you want to adapt or not. They drive what is viral, and what is viral on TikTok is viral everywhere. A lot of clients, their main focus is Instagram. They say ‘Put whatever you want on TikTok but not on our Instagram.’ Well you should care more about TikTok, because that is the more viral platform.”

A lot of people don’t want to join TikTok. They think it is for 14 year olds.

“Yeah a lot of people think that it is a young person’s app, but my demographics are like 18 to 30. But there are a lot of older creators that are blowing up.”

So what are 3 things that people can do right now to make their videos viral?

“One of the trigger words for TikTok is viral. We had a video on TikTok on how to make videos viral, it had 350 views after an hour. We took off the viral tags, reposted it, and it got 780,000 views. The word viral could be on the suppressed word list due to what is going on in the world. Also the hashtags may have not worked, and the video flopped.”

OK, so what are 3 things people can do to get 1 million views?

“Pay close attention to the first 3 seconds of your video. What I mean is provide something thought provoking or get people to stop scrolling. Say what is being said in a way that relates to the audience. The more you can give a personal story attached to the hook, the more people will watch the whole thing. And finally be relatable. While it’s cool seeing a Lamborghini and someone talking about not being able to drive it in Hollywood, I don’t have a Lamborghini and I don’t live in Hollywood.”

I end every interview talking about gratitude. What are 3 things in your life that you are grateful for?

“I would say TikTok, being able to support my employees and family.”

Image credits: Instagram