Join Jeff Sieh and Erik Fisher as they talk with Alexa Westerfield about brands boosting sales with TikTok and how you can too!

We’ll also cover the latest updates to TikTok Privacy, Community Guidelines, Resources, and a new Creators program.


Jeff Sieh: [00:00:00] Welcome to social media news live, where we keep you up to date on what’s happening in the world of social media.

[00:00:05] We talk with industry experts, innovators, creators, and storytellers about the latest social media tools, tips, and tactics, and we broadcast live. So you can ask the questions that matter most to you and your business, but I want to introduce my awesome co-host Eric Fisher. Is the host of the long running, beyond the to-do list podcast.

[00:00:28] He’s been doing it for over eight years and he talks with real people who to implement practice I can never say this, Eric, you got to change this tagline, implement practical productivity strategies in their professional and personal lives. He is also the director of social media education for a greater pulse where he heads up the social media manager school.

[00:00:46] So Eric tell a little bit, what is the social media manager school at? Agorapulse. 

[00:00:51] Erik Fisher: [00:00:51] Yeah, the social media manager school is the place to go to get up to date or stay up to date on your social media manager, tactics and strategy. Not only is it a great place to go to go through the course, but we’ve also got free stuff.

[00:01:08] We’re starting up new webinars that are free soon, as well as there’s a group where you can jump in and it’s a. It’s basically, it’s a private but safe space to ask questions and get answers from other social media managers. So you can find out more about this at social media manager, 

[00:01:23] Jeff Sieh: [00:01:23] Awesome.

[00:01:25] Thanks Eric for that. And it’s really cool. So I’ve got some training there. There’s all sorts. There’s a ton of. Cool stuff. So make sure to check that out, but I’m so excited to be joined by our guest today, Alexa Westerfield and she is going to be talking about a brand brands, boosting sales and reach on Tik TOK and how you can do it as well.

[00:01:47] We’re also going to cover the latest updates to Tik TOK, privacy, community guidelines, resources, and a new creators program. But if you do not know who Alexa is let me tell you a little bit about her. She is the multi-phase marketer designer, creative strategists professionally. She’s worked for over 15 years with arts and craft companies like tulip.

[00:02:10] Is that it art bin and deco art deco artist designer, and a strategist guiding viral content, marketing campaigns, influencers, and retail, retailer relationship. Her work and insights have been on featured on the Rachel ratio, Buzzfeed Huffington post, and Alexa, thank you so much for being here.

[00:02:33] I’m so excited to have you with us today. 

[00:02:36] Alexa Westerfield: [00:02:36] Thank you guys so much for having me. I’m really excited to be 

[00:02:39] Jeff Sieh: [00:02:39] here. We’re going to jump right off the in this tick-tock stuff, because I really want to know why that. Brands and businesses should pay attention to Tik TOK. Cause I, to be honest, I’m not on it that much, but there’s some news.

[00:02:54] And this came from sensor tower. That tic talk was the best rated of 2020s top us iOS apps. So this was happened in December 14th, 2020. Tick-tock had received over like 278,000 written reviews on the app store and 80% of those reviews. We’re positive, which was really incredible. They actually beat out Facebook to become the most, the top most downloaded app worldwide in 2020.

[00:03:22] And even the guy who runs Instagram said that Tik TOK is not only blurring the lines between social and streaming, but it’s a force to be reckoned with in the streaming world. He also said that’s their biggest competition over on Instagram is that He’s not really happy. The way reels is run, it has gone but he says Instagram has a long ways to go and they admit the Tik TOK is ahead.

[00:03:49] Alexa, what I want to ask you is like we’re covering why Tik TOK is important. Can you tell us why brands should be on Tik TOK two? Especially like small or medium-sized businesses. 

[00:04:03] Alexa Westerfield: [00:04:03] It’s, really where we’re starting to move to tick talk is becoming a force to be reckoned with in January.

[00:04:11] It had 22 million users, I think, in the U S and now it has 48 million active users by the end of this, past year. And one of the things about it is. I think people have really gravitated toward it in this pandemic because it’s easy, digestible, relatable content that is fun to watch. It just there’s.

[00:04:38] It’s also brought a lot of joy to people and learning. From a business standpoint, it’s really a really great way to entertain if you have products or if you’re an influencer and you like to entertain, it’s a great place to be, but also it’s a great place to learn and to teach people about your product, whether it be an online service that you have or actual physical product.

[00:05:04] Jeff Sieh: [00:05:04] Awesome. What are you telling your clients about Tik TOK when they ask you about it? I’m sure you have a lot of people going, Hey Alexa, should I be on this or not? What do you, tell them? Are you saying you don’t have the right demographic or what do you suggest to clients when they ask about, should I spend money on Tik TOK?

[00:05:25] Should I get in and out? Is it too late? What do you tell them? 

[00:05:28] Alexa Westerfield: [00:05:28] I think the very first entry point for anybody getting started in Tech-Talk is to be like, go get your handle, go reserve your name and Scouts. Go get a lay of the land, really go in there and start to understand. The dynamics and the nature of this platform and why it’s becoming so compelling to people.

[00:05:49] I think a lot of people just go, Oh, take talk, but they don’t understand the nuances of why it’s so special. And I think that’s the very first part is to go in and do your research. Look at the hashtags for your industry. Look at a lot of these brands, to be honest, they might not be on ticked off, but I can, I’ll tell you a good example.

[00:06:10] Yesterday I went and I looked looking at Baskin Robbins and I was like, wow, bicycle Robbins doesn’t really have a presence, but man, their employees are showing up on this app. So people are talking about your brand on take talk or your topic or industry of interest, but. I think it’s, time to get in there and start doing that research and seeing what are they saying?

[00:06:33] How are they presenting this information in a really real way? 

[00:06:38] Jeff Sieh: [00:06:38] Gotcha. 

[00:06:39] Erik Fisher: [00:06:39] Products and services that you’ve seen or, that you’ve personally discovered on Tik TOK. 

[00:06:47] Alexa Westerfield: [00:06:47] I discover. Okay. So a lot of what you get served is based on the algorithm. So everybody has a slightly different algorithm. If you’re there for the dogs and the dance videos, you are generally going to get served dogs and dance videos, because I am a marketer.

[00:07:05] I get served. A lot of people that are like-minded to me. So a lot of marketing professionals who are doing videos, they’re sharing Kind of the marketing professionals I’m seeing, they’re sharing their insights and then they’re doing a call to action it in at the end to learn more about their coaching services.

[00:07:27] Or they’re briefly talking about that there. I’m also seeing people share products. You’re, getting people sharing products like Amazon hot buys. People are using this for affiliate sales. There are people with massive Amazon Tik TOK accounts that are literally buying the product.

[00:07:51] They’re doing a video of it and they’re, getting, I think there’s this one. That’s like this glue product that I see, and it’s just an Amazon 16 million views on that video. And then the person has an Amazon link in there. Bio linking to all these products that they sell in affiliate it’s, crazy.

[00:08:10] It’s, like people are really embracing this in a new way and there’s a lot of selling potential possibilities, but not only that, just community nurturing that lead to sales. 

[00:08:20] Jeff Sieh: [00:08:20] Gotcha. Gotcha. So Eric is going to break down this next this next topic we were talking about this shoppable live streams, and I know we talked a little bit before this about what your thoughts on it, but so Eric breakdown, this.

[00:08:34] You know what’s the news that Walmart is doing 

[00:08:37] Erik Fisher: [00:08:37] or dead. Yeah. This is an example of a big brand that’s using Tik TOK. So Walmart was doing, they were testing, I should say the shoppable live stream experience. And this was the first of its kind so far on tick tock, on their profile. And it happened on Friday, December 18th last minute gifts.

[00:08:58] Window right there. And during this, they basically were doing Walmart fashion items and people were able to shop those things, buy those things, purchase those things right there without having to leave the Tech-Talk app itself. And I’m curious it seems like this is yet another thing that many other brands are wanting to get into.

[00:09:21] Did you see this? What do you think of this? Did this work. 

[00:09:27] Alexa Westerfield: [00:09:27] Yeah, this is this shoppable experience that you saw Walmart tick-tock do is actually something that Amazon has been playing around with. And that actually in the Chinese culture. They’re using other apps that are competitors to tick talk, do yin, where they do these shoppable live streams.

[00:09:46] And it works really well in their market, but this is a rather new thing in the U S market. These shoppable lives. I saw a lot of publicity and PR around this for Walmart, but I didn’t really see. Was this an actual sales result? Did this actually work? I think that’s yet to be determined. I think that what Walmart was doing with Tik TOK was very much a beta test of this shoppable platform that is not quite yet available to us.

[00:10:16] So I do think. That Walmart also has a great investment with Tik TOK in that they wanted to be a part share owner with Oracle in the purchase of tick-tock. So they’re looking to take over this Amazon space. Wouldn’t that be pretty amazing if Walmart was now the partner with tick-tock and now you can not buy products.

[00:10:39] From Amazon or lead to, they were the direct source to That’s one of the reasons I think Walmart got so involved in this and is really tapping into this live stream feature. I, wish I could say I watched it and saw the nuances of how like people were buying, but I didn’t, they were using the influencers on the platform.

[00:11:02] To be in this live stream. Which, is interesting. I don’t know what I’ve always personally found is a lot of these brands when they bring the influence over to their brand, it doesn’t do as well as when the influencer stays actually on their own channel. 

[00:11:21] Jeff Sieh: [00:11:21] So it, it seems and you mentioned, you mentioned Amazon and some other ones, but it seems like every platform is getting into like live shopping and Chappelow posts.

[00:11:31] How should brands. And once again let’s, try to talk about some small to medium sized businesses. How can they make the most of selling, like their product on Tik doctor? They need to make an event what they did at Walmart. 

[00:11:44] Alexa Westerfield: [00:11:44] I don’t think it’s so much an event it’s take talk that live feature is his, I think a little bit finicky right now.

[00:11:53] And from just my experience and having used it a few times for myself and for clients. Yeah. What is the winner chicken dinner with the live feature on Tik TOK is when you have a viral video. So you want to be creating organic content in your feed, maybe potentially related to the topic or what you’re selling.

[00:12:16] If you have a service or a product showcase that. And then when you get some viral traction on it, it starts showing up in what tick-tock calls the for you page in the, for you page is basically. Your, the algorithm serves you popular content. They think you would like. And so I, the other day I saw this happen where a guy’s video went popular.

[00:12:37] Now this was not a brand of product, but he immediately, you could see when you get served a for you page, if you like that person or you like that product in their life. You see their little graphic pulsating. So it’s Oh, this person’s life. And if you gravitate your girl like that, you’re going to click on it and you’re going to, and it’s it’s, an add on to the rolling.

[00:13:03] What is it that stone that’s going down the Hill. It’s an add on the light feature. I feel is an add on to that because now people can contextualize who you are. They get a real breathing person or a real Person talking about a product or a service and they can ask questions and they can interact and engage, which thus leads to could be potential in more sales.

[00:13:26] If you’re talking about your product in a really natural way, but also it leads to more followers so that you can then thus more amplify your business. 

[00:13:35] Jeff Sieh: [00:13:35] Gotcha.

[00:13:40] How, Oh, go ahead, Eric. I was going to say 

[00:13:43] Erik Fisher: [00:13:43] if somebody saw this Walmart test and thought even if I’m not a giant business like Walmart what do they need to do to get ready? Or is it even possible with smaller sized businesses to be able to do this kind of selling on Tik TOK?

[00:14:01] Alexa Westerfield: [00:14:01] I think that the selling actually is more powerful in the organic nature of just creating Tik TOK videos and. With the outcome of your you’re just keep touching the dial and posting content and interesting videos in the kind of hopes of going viral. I think that for brand has more impact than a live video per se right now.

[00:14:23] Like the brand could go live, but I feel like having a, viral hit with your product is. Is going to turn the dial. That’s where, and I think we’re going to talk about this, but we’re talking about a pair of airy leggings that went viral that really. It’s a nuance of different things. Like you could be a brand and you can be putting out your own videos or you could be going the route of partnering with influencers.

[00:14:50] And that to me, looks like I don’t even think it was an influencer sponsored video. It just happened to be an advocate and fan of Aerie. And she showed up looking amazing in these leggings and people immediately in the comment. Weren’t paying attention to her dance. They were like, Oh my gosh, I need this pair of leggings.

[00:15:07] So it’s almost like to me in my personal opinion is I think a lot of people with brands and products want to lead with. Oh look, at this thing. I have look at this thing I’m selling but you got to realize that people aren’t on Tik TOK, most of the time to be sold to they’re there in a passive kind of way.

[00:15:26] So if you’re wearing a hat or you’re wearing a necklace while you’re sharing information, That actually is more compelling. Like just like here in my video here, somebody might be like, Oh my gosh, I love this clock. Where did you get it? That’s a passive thing, people, Oh, where’d you get this art?

[00:15:45] Oh, I designed it. I’ll send you the link to it. Like I think that’s really how we’re starting to consume content. It’s a, little bit more, I would say, where you need to come up with great content. Or if you have a product, it just depends on it. If you’re an expert, if you guys are experts on social media show up and talk about social media if you happen to have a product or service, always referenced it or Lincoln at the end of your video and say, click link, click my link and bio, and you can learn more and get my download.

[00:16:18] Like you can. Do it that way, or if you have a product, which I worked a long time in the craft industry, and there’s a lot of products that have a magic virality factor in the craft industry, like tie, dye, or paint. And if you can show that in a very compelling way, the product sells itself, it’s really telling the story of what that product can do and how cool it is.

[00:16:40] Jeff Sieh: [00:16:40] So I wanted to go and cause you mentioned influencers a little bit, so it seems like users are, not afraid to spend money on Tik TOK. Cause they’re like you mentioned the leggings and we’ll talk about that a little bit later how can brands and agencies prepare for monetizing on Tik TOK?

[00:16:55] Should they go the influencer route or should they do direct links to their page? How, should brands get ready? Or if or maybe even now to monetize Tik TOK or, sell things on there. 

[00:17:10] Alexa Westerfield: [00:17:10] I think it is again, like what I said, it’s doing your research, knowing what kind of content in your industry’s already performing.

[00:17:19] I think brands need to really break down the nuance of this platform. They need to really understand that you can’t just do a kind of a me too. Hey, I’m going to post this YouTube video on. Tick-tock and expect it to perform. It has to be you have to really create, to be honest accustom strategy.

[00:17:41] I was watching Gary V and he was talking about how he actually hasn’t been dedicating enough of his time to tech talk because the. As great of a influencer as Gary V is. And his pumpkin’s on point. He, wasn’t necessarily filming videos in vertical format for that tick-tock consumer, he wasn’t doing things like replies.

[00:18:04] There’s a reply feature in tech talk. When people ask you a question, you can just. Go quickly make a video reacting to it. And a lot of those actually go viral like people, cause it’s, you’re simply answering a question. So I think it’s, understanding brands at the very core need to understand the nuance.

[00:18:22] What about their product is performing on Tik TOK and developing a custom strategy. Around tick talk as, opposed to just a passive, I’m going to throw this up on ticked up too. 

[00:18:35] Jeff Sieh: [00:18:35] Gotcha. So let’s go right into this since we already teased it a little bit. Let’s talk about this. They have tick-tock has driven record trafficked to e-com.

[00:18:47] This is really interesting to me. We talked about legging, this was one of the viral craze from Aerie. They actually they, flew off the shelves faster than employees could restock them. Thanks to tick dock. It actually started the offline real me high-waisted crossover leggings.

[00:19:05] It exploded in popularity in November after tick-tock user Hannah. Sharing her, I think is how you say a poster, a video of herself clad in a pair of leggings while dancing to a pop song. So the original post, which this is fascinating, which was really originally shared, didn’t even have a link or commissioned by airy it just, but it went viral.

[00:19:23] And so then it started this, like you were talking about before Alexa. Prompting thousands of, queries about these leggings. And according to Stacy McCormick, senior vice president of marketing and airy, the leggings sold out immediately after the post went live on November 20th, the video drew so much buzz for the brand that it prompted more than seven.

[00:19:43] Hundred thousand searches alone for the product on area’s website, as well as nearly 200000% increase in Google searches. This went nuts. And so they have said Tik TOK is such a powerful platform, has the ability to set and highlight trends among a very engaged community. She taught the insider in an email.

[00:20:05] It’s really interesting. There’s also and we’ll drop the link down below Yahoo money compiled a list of 24 products that blew up on Tik TOK. So that included mascara pins, cleaning agents, rollerskates. It’s just so funny to me of the things that Went viral on this. So Alexa, tell us a little bit, how do you get in, on one of these crazy viral trends?

[00:20:28] Is it a roll of the dice or can you actually be strategic? And I guess you can’t ever make something go viral, but I guess you could do some things that would help it along. If it, could. 

[00:20:40] Alexa Westerfield: [00:20:40] I think it’s a multifaceted. I think it’s probably a multifaceted strategy that you’re going to have to trust and try out.

[00:20:47] We never know really, exactly. What’s going to go viral on Tik TOK. A lot of times you can. Probably the more you make something go viral, the more you can get an inkling of what’s going to go viral. I did for myself a challenge in December where I spent 30 days of just making videos, I wasn’t really judging the videos.

[00:21:07] And in that time I had a couple videos that had some virality, one with over 500,000 views. And, it was just really. I think brands at the very get, go. You can, just go in there and just create this really fine tune strategy. But I think, you have to, as an organization, or you have to, be nimble.

[00:21:32] You have to know that you don’t know what you don’t know with this app and you have to be willing to take risk and try things, even if it feels stupid. I think that’s the thing. I think that a lot of. People are forgetting about Tik TOK is there’s this fine line between it being strategic and stupid but I was talking to somebody the other day because sometimes it’s the dumbest stuff goes viral or, I will tell you an example of this.

[00:22:05] One thing I learned, I helped a guy over this past year ago in about four months, go get 40,000 followers on Tik TOK. And all I did was I observed him. Like I documented him playing violin, his name’s violin on he’s really awesome by the way. And it was so interesting. The videos that went viral for him were never, ever a lot of them.

[00:22:28] It was about he’s a phenomenal musician, but it was all something else in the video. That made it go viral. It was this Oh, why are you standing in a handicap parking space? Oh my gosh, your phone’s going to fall out of your back pocket. It was always these weird nuanced type things. So I think as a brand, you gotta.

[00:22:51] Be filming in a real life environment, not in a like these real daily moments, you gotta be capturing them. You got to show things with flaws. You’ve gotta look like actual human brain. And that is what influencers get so right. Is because if you don’t get somebody super seasoned in a, social media kind of strategy way, sometimes they come up with some brilliant content that you would have put maybe parameters on.

[00:23:19] Jeff Sieh: [00:23:19] Awesome. 

[00:23:21] Erik Fisher: [00:23:21] Speaking of that speaking of that, how can brands then pre push their seasonal or unique merchandise organically by partnering, say with a, 

[00:23:36] Jeff Sieh: [00:23:36] in 

[00:23:36] Erik Fisher: [00:23:36] an influencer or a brand partner or a creator, let’s say someone who is already creating great stuff. How do they approach them? How do they partner with them too, like with this violin person violin on fire, is that what you said?

[00:23:53] I would somebody, if I’m brand, how do I approach him? 

[00:23:58] Alexa Westerfield: [00:23:58] I would say from a brand standpoint, If you wanted to be included in that I was looking at actually Joe, C was content yesterday. She’s actually had a huge brand, a reawakening on Tik TOK. It’s added this layer of vulnerability and realness and she was working with the bang energy drink.

[00:24:18] And so she literally took a drink of this bang energy drink. She said it on the table, in the context of this vertical video, the bang was in the forefront of and she was in the background doing a dance. It was like this creative integration of the product with the dance. It didn’t feel too overly staged, even though it was in the shot like you have to like, again, it’s the.

[00:24:44] It’s the brand is the supporting character. So you have to really understand that you want to insert your brand in a supporting character kind of role I’ve seen. Or the other one is brands could have super successful content just by sending products and developing an influencer strategy around TechTalk.

[00:25:05] And simply saying, I want you to document the unboxing of this. I want you to document that, or I want you to go in the store. I feel like brands really get this wrong personally. And I’ve worked in brands for a really long time is they forget the customer experience. They forget that person is going to walk in Walmart.

[00:25:26] They’re going to get that lash mascara off the shelf. They’re going to rip open the look at the back of the packaging. They’re going to rip it open. Then they’re going to take it out and use it like. Oftentimes brands just are like, Oh, look at him in it’s pretty final stage. No, it took a shocking experience to have that.

[00:25:44] So engaging people in that shopping experience or when it arrives on their door and now how do they open it up? That’s why I think unboxing videos have become so popular is because it really is a full, immersive brand experience of here. Here’s this thing, the context of what it looks like in the packaging and how you’re going to find it at the store it, just takes that, that journey with the consumer. 

[00:26:11] Jeff Sieh: [00:26:11] So we, talked to we at the beginning of the show, one of the sponsors is a girl pulse, and they’re a great social listening tool. Now you can’t listen to tick talk with a girl pulse that just the API isn’t there, but how can brands listen? How did they find and out of somebody is talking with them on Tik TOK.

[00:26:28] How do how can you listen to even learn other things? Things start coming off your shelves, but how do you know that people are talking about you and how can you engage with people who like your brand may not even virally, but maybe somebody mentions it and you want to respond to them.

[00:26:42] How do you know if somebody is talking about you on Tik TOK? 

[00:26:46] Alexa Westerfield: [00:26:46] The one thing you’re going to need to do as a brand is it’s probably smart, free on your brand account that you establish. I would establish a brand account and then potentially a personal account because. Basically each, thing has its own algorithm.

[00:27:01] So if I’m a social media marketer, Or a tool I want to do the listening in the searching of other people or benchmarks in that industry. Naturally, what’s going to happen on my, for you page, which is the algorithm that you get served. You’re going to get content that is of that topic. So if I go and I search.

[00:27:24] Let’s say I find Starbucks aficionados cause I love Starbucks. Okay. So I go and I searched Starbucks, drinks, Starbucks fans, Starbucks employees, and I, and then I start following these people. My feed is going to be a mirror and reflection of that content. It doesn’t mean I won’t occasionally get some other brand in there, but as a whole, I’m willing to be.

[00:27:48] Served it I’ll tell you a good example of this is Rosie. O’Donnell started showing up on this app in a very authentic, engaging way. And a lot of people were saying, Hey, that’s how you need to show up as a celebrity on this app. So I started following her and lo and behold, I started getting. People asking rosy questions in my, for you page, just because I’m engaged with Rosie.

[00:28:12] And they were like she obviously likes Rosie content. So we’re going to serve that up more. So you need to be engaging and understanding the content that’s in your industry, searching hashtags, engaging following brands that are alike. And you will probably inevitably you could be tagged. People do tag brands.

[00:28:33] They also do what them. I don’t know if you guys know about the duet or stitch feature, they will do that. And you get notifications when that happens. So that’s another incredible brand thing. A tool to use for brands to stay engaged with their consumers as well. Is these, trends in these features that Tik TOK offer within that.

[00:28:54] Jeff Sieh: [00:28:54] Gotcha. So this next section, Eric, this is a yeah. Talk about this, cause this is interesting. 

[00:29:06] Erik Fisher: [00:29:06] Essentially Tik TOK has updated their community guidelines. And what they’re doing is, they are restricting MLM or multilayer multi-level, I should say marketing and other quote, deceptive content on the platform.

[00:29:21] And this is this is, also the, first major platform to, to ban them. So that’s interesting. I’m very curious about this because we we, in the past few weeks we saw a lot of banning and or changes in terms of the social media landscape, which we don’t need to go into, but specifically for Tik TOK, Alexa, what do you think of this update?

[00:29:49] Alexa Westerfield: [00:29:49] I think it’s, really trying to protect people. It’s more that, that pyramid scheme type. Idea of you’re now fishing for people to be your upline or downline your downline. I think that’s a lot of what this deceptive content is really about is preventing people from now scouting and targeting people on this app into MLM.

[00:30:14] Or, schemes I don’t personally get served again. I’m not looking for this kind of content, but I think if I was the MLM content, let’s just say I liked a brand like an essential oil brand or earrings or whatever. I might potentially get served content from these people. And I think. I don’t think it’s wrong that you would want to be a marketing You know what people consider MLM like a central real business, but you really come at it from a place of service and insight. And as long as it’s not, like you’re saying it’s FDA rules and all these weird things, you’re making claims. I think, It’s the service 

[00:31:04] on 2021-01-22 at 10.59.37: [00:31:04] aspect. 

[00:31:05] Jeff Sieh: [00:31:05] So are there any work that you know of cause there are some honest and legal MLMs out there and we always hear about the bad ones to reach new customers on Tik TOK.

[00:31:15] So would you do it as a search? I’m assuming that you can’t, if you would tag it, like with the MLMs name, you would get kicked off because they’re, banning it now. But is there you mentioned services. Do you have any practical tips on the way, a way a brand could do that? 

[00:31:33] Alexa Westerfield: [00:31:33] I think it’s a, it’s an insight and education there’s a hashtag learn on Tik TOK and they have a big program where they’re actually wanting to become the experts in in, in learning the six 60 S 15 to 62nd little moments where people can learn and get nuggets of information.

[00:31:53] And I’d say, as a seller, you want to Show the uses show the proprietary effects. But one thing that I, we haven’t really talked touched on, but I think is really important in selling regardless is tick-tock is really a community. Like I think that people forget, they think, Oh, I can sell on this app.

[00:32:16] I’m going to sell, The more that you’re yourself in that you do the trends and that you show up. And then, Oh, and I happen to sell this to, and these are some insights and lessons and things I’ve learned that is actually going to go a lot more. If, the thing you’re selling is one out of five posts out, as opposed to you just keep throwing because nobody is there on Tik TOK to be really sold to in that way.

[00:32:42] We don’t, you don’t go to quick talk to watch a bunch of commercials. You go there to be entertained. So you need to really think of how do I integrate or teach or serve people with this content. In the case of an essential oil, it might be like eight great uses for lavender oil or, Hey, I take this stuff and I missed, I put in an, a Mister and I put it on my pillow.

[00:33:03] I don’t know. This is something that makes me happy and really settles me in for bed at night. What are those practical things you could be. Showcasing your product in a way. And I will say this about selling. I think that there’s going to be some products that are a little sexier on Tik TOK than others.

[00:33:20] I don’t know. I don’t know if you might think, Oh, I’m going to get on ticked off and make a lot of sales, but you got to really look at it and be like, is this product really? Can I really build a great narrative around this product on Tik talking? Sometimes it might be like, no, I’ll stick to Facebook or my, ads, strategy.

[00:33:39] I don’t think Tik TOK is a place for me. 

[00:33:41] Jeff Sieh: [00:33:41] So like Eric could go and do a really cool dance with his Batman shirt on and he might get a lot of or his little Mondo bobblehead there. People would like, Hey, how would I get that? So, I see what you’re saying. It’s very organic and it’s very, that’s the way brand should do it.

[00:33:57] They shouldn’t be overtly let’s do the Walmart challenge or something like that. They want to. 

[00:34:05] Alexa Westerfield: [00:34:05] One thing about Walmart that I was going to say is I, when I looked at Walmart’s page, I was like, okay, they’re getting some things right here, even on their organic thing. But then I was looking at it and I was like, Oh man, nobody’s here for this.

[00:34:17] Nobody’s here for that blue screen, with their logos. That, seventies show opening. They felt like the people dancing. Which looks like commercials. I’m like, nobody’s here for that content, but you know what people were there for. If you brought back that little old lady greeter at the front of the store that wears her little Walmart smock, and she tells you and shows you around the store, the things that are special or it’s a relationship build, people want to connect with them.

[00:34:49] That person, they want to connect with the checker. That’s really extroverted and fun and maybe has an accent. Like people want to connect to people and they want to see it in the context of your store, where they wouldn’t be having those experiences. I absolutely love the idea of Walmart. You can take that idea.

[00:35:06] You need to credit me though. If you ended up taking a series with an old lady breeder, because I will tell you that is one thing that’s really blown up older people on take talkies blowing up because yeah. These what’s happening. It’s really interesting. If you think about it, I read the comments. So I read the comments at scale.

[00:35:25] I really try to get in there. I’m like, why is this blowing up? And I read people say like my grandma died, or I never knew my grandmother in this. And this, really is wholesome and makes me feel good. And I feel seen I feel like this lady is my grandmother. And so it’s an emotional connection. If you build an emotional connection, you’ll win it.

[00:35:48] Yeah. 

[00:35:48] Jeff Sieh: [00:35:48] That’s a great point. Speaking of emotional connection. If you’re wondering how in the world I’m making all these cool graphics and things move, do not miss out and checking out ECAP. They are a great, if you have a Mac and you’re doing live streaming, you gotta check them out. It does an, they do an awesome job.

[00:36:05] You can find more about them at social media news, cam that’s E C a M M. But it was so simple to put together. This is eye-catching stuff on social media. It’s a lot of fun. Of course. I you’ve seen me screw up a little bit. I’m getting the hang of it. But it’s just really easy to switch between cameras and these custom layouts that they do.

[00:36:24] So to make sure you go check out my friends over on e-com. Speaking of small businesses. We’ve, tried to focus this down and talking about small and medium sized businesses. But this next thing that we’re going to talk about is that Tik TOK launches a new small business resource center.

[00:36:45] I’m always for when when people do thanks for small businesses. Cause you know, th they wear so many different hats, but they launched this new small business resource center and to help these small and medium sized businesses make their most of their in-app promotion. And it’s a pretty.

[00:37:01] Robust page. I went and checked it out, but it gives you a bunch of case studies. So you can get some inspiration there. It has some creative tools and explainers to help the small businesses tap into tech, talk a little bit. There’s also webinars and details on how to run tick-tock ads and performance metrics.

[00:37:18] Have you checked this out? Alexa have you, gone and seen what they have offered there on this new small business resource center? 

[00:37:26] Alexa Westerfield: [00:37:26] Yes, I have. And it’s, pretty cool. It’s. What I, gleaned from this small business resource center, it is really for the person that they want to tap into advertising on tech talks.

[00:37:39] So it’s really, for people that are developing paid ads, I think Facebook and all these other plates places how you on Facebook, you’ll get like a dedicated business. Manager or whatever that will call you. I think that’s what this model is. And then they’re giving you all these tools like templates and tips on how to make your videos better for when somebody’s scrolling through Tik TOK, how it works is you’ll scroll and you’re swiping up and you’ll see an ad in the middle of your.

[00:38:12] Yeah. So I think that it’s really the what, I learned from looking at this resource center is really, it’s a it seems like Tik TOK ads could be a game changer right now for a lot of businesses. And it might be worthy of kind of some investment in potentially some content creation, because I always think a lot of people were like, Oh I don’t have tick tock, It’s you can, we still have a presence on there. You just need to make a piece of great content on there and you pay ads to be on there. So I think it’s a worthy investment if you have a very great product, but I think you have to be very mindful that the piece of content that you’re even using as an ad doesn’t come overtly off as an ad.

[00:39:03] Jeff Sieh: [00:39:03] Yeah. 

[00:39:04] Erik Fisher: [00:39:04] I think this is a good place for small businesses to get started with tic-tac if they don’t yet have a presence or should they start there first or do both at the same time? 

[00:39:19] Alexa Westerfield: [00:39:19] I would say, try out building the organic following first and it might be that. I think, brands need to just develop a strategy that they’re going to stick to for a couple months.

[00:39:32] Learn from that strategy. See if it’s turning the dial and then decide if they want to make a more significant investment in the paid ads. Because I can tell you, I follow a lot of Etsy artists and I follow a lot of coaches and authors, and they’re saying my book sold out and I don’t think that had anything to do.

[00:39:54] I don’t think it’s having anything to do with paid advertising. I think it’s really, or using these business resources. I think it’s really. W take talks bite for organic virality right now. 

[00:40:07] Jeff Sieh: [00:40:07] Before we move on to the next news item, I wanted to bring up some comments. Mark said, yeah, I, virtual Greta greater is an excellent idea.

[00:40:15] He loved that idea. If he talks to Walmart, I’m sure he’ll give you credit. But my pal, Ian, he had mentioned me before and I’m glad he reminded me about this, but he goes not sure if you’ve asked Alexa, my question about this security concern yet he and installed Tik TOK last year, amid all the privacy and security concerns are things okay now, or is it, or now everyone’s burying their heads in the sand and just ignoring it because as a small business, this is a concern we’ve all focused about business.

[00:40:45] So what would you. Tell Ian about how safe is tick-tock to actually use and even give to your kids. 

[00:40:54] Alexa Westerfield: [00:40:54] I think any of these apps I think it’s a, case by case research. If you feel comfortable, what are your, ethics that you personally feel comfortable with? I had somebody the other day I told them I was like I think you would make a lot of sales with your, business.

[00:41:13] There was an artist if you started showing your drawings or whatever on Tik TOK and the safety. Concern came up like, Oh, I it’s a Chinese company. I don’t, know. I feel leery and I’m like, okay, don’t do it. To be Frank, but right now, Take talk is what is turning.

[00:41:34] These brands are having sellout products because they’re committing to tic talk and they’re taking the potential security risks. When I see big brands like Walmart or Chipotle or a Starbucks really embracing the app, I’m as a small business, you might not want your data set and you have to really just make that choice.

[00:41:56] But a lot of people were making the choice to be on it and having a lot of success. 

[00:42:00] Jeff Sieh: [00:42:00] That’s a great, those are great points. It is a case so that no easy answer there for you and sorry, you’ve got to do your research, do your homework 

[00:42:09] Alexa Westerfield: [00:42:09] easy like last year Trump really was trying to ban tech talk and I’m not trying to get, it’s just a matter of fact that there wasn’t he was trying to ban it and it caused a lot of concern.

[00:42:22] They were in the process of selling it to, I think Oracle potentially Walmart being a partner, there was to try to get it away. It needed to be owned by not bite dance, the owners of Tech-Talk, but a US-based company. And I think what happened to be honest is that became a big security concern that got bubbled up.

[00:42:42] Everybody was talking about it, and I think Trump’s initiatives and agenda changed away from ticked off that became not a big deal. And then it right. Yeah, we’re not talking about that anymore. So it’s it came a big media buzz factor and then suddenly it’s like, Oh what happened? 

[00:43:01] Jeff Sieh: [00:43:01] Sure.

[00:43:02] It’ll be probably brought up. It’ll come back in the new cycle eventually, but so no easy answers on the security issue, Ian, but I want to go. Yeah, he goes, thanks for that. Really helpful assume the app has cleaned itself up since then. So yeah. Do some research and see, I I’m not gonna recommend yay or nay, but we’ll see what happens in 2020.

[00:43:23] Alexa Westerfield: [00:43:23] That my friend also told me the one that was, the artist was like, Oh yeah, I’m concerned about the security concerns. And then she went on to mention that she’d been hacked two times in the past year on Instagram. And I was like, 

[00:43:34] Jeff Sieh: [00:43:34] yeah, that’s not good either. So 

[00:43:37] Alexa Westerfield: [00:43:37] he’s absolutely 

[00:43:39] Jeff Sieh: [00:43:39] right. Yeah. Break down this new privacy policy for us that a Tik TOK is rolling out.

[00:43:49] Erik Fisher: [00:43:49] Yeah. So speaking of security and privacy and all those good things so they’ve got a new privacy policy update that is geared towards protecting younger users. And essentially they’ve announced that the changes are to the, default standards for user privacy. And what this means is that there’s now a new set default privacy setting for all registered accounts of ages, 13 to 35 that will be set to private.

[00:44:20] So that’s actually interesting. This is remember for a long time it was like, no, you can’t have Facebook. You’re not 13. And yet all your friends were, and this is interesting now to have 13 to 15 automatically set to private. Now I think that, then that also means then the, they’re tightening the commenting options on videos created by those of 13 to 15 year olds.

[00:44:42] So again, People the, account users that are 13 to 15 can then select that comments can be allowed by friends or no one. So you would, so public comments would be done with, so that’s interesting to me that may actually, that’s probably a pretty decent move. And then there’s a different setting for users that are 16 to 17 and the default setting there for do wet and stitch two friends I’m forgetting.

[00:45:14] I think I’m reading this wrong, but ultimately, cause again, I’m not a tick-tock person, right? But that turning off the default setting also for ages 13 to 15 of suggesting your account to others. So in other words, not automatically algorithmically trying to push the 13 to 15 year old accounts out there.

[00:45:38] Interesting. 

[00:45:41] Alexa Westerfield: [00:45:41] Good move. I think that there’s, to be honest, I’m sure there’s a lot of predatory behavior on this app. I don’t, know if you guys observed this just in general, but the 13 to 15 year old, does it look the same way it did when we were, I grew up in the nineties like you literally tell if they’re 14 or if they’re 25, like it’s so they’re coming on.

[00:46:08] They’re doing these walk dances. I’m not going to explain what, is, but look it up. And it’s, Mo it’s really inappropriate content. Obviously the parents aren’t monitoring it. That. They’re trying to clamp down on that, being distributed to adults especially it’s one thing for your other school kids to see it, but for people to be searching for that purposefully it’s I will say as a parent, I would have some issue with the tick talk to be honest, not as a marketer, but it’s very interesting place.

[00:46:49] A lot of stuff hangs out, like just like the, let it all hang out. The the, conversations. 

[00:46:55] Jeff Sieh: [00:46:55] Yeah. It’s a little bit scary. And so we have this whole thing brought up a lot of comments that grace goes, you are right. Yeah, there’s very inappropriate stuff out there. And Mark brings up a great point.

[00:47:06] He goes, I wish there was an age verification system that parents can trust. And I wish there was, some standard that we could almost, I know they have the ratings for the, like the. Video games and for like movies and stuff. But if there was some like security thing that all the platforms could say we’re going to use, I think that would be a good idea.

[00:47:26] So I totally agree with you, Mark. So thank you for that comment. Do you want to say something else? I’m sorry. Okay. No, 

[00:47:35] Alexa Westerfield: [00:47:35] I think that’ll be interesting. I think. I think that so much of this social media stuff tech talk and other platforms as well, it’s just come at us all of a sudden to figure out all these things that are blurring the lines and I think there’s probably going to be some fallout of it, media buzz one thing I see a lot on Tik TOK I’m sure a lot of you guys seen is this.

[00:48:02] It’s almost there’s part of Tik talk in a weird way. That’s a little bit. I don’t want to eat it’s fake news. Like what you, or visualize in a video, isn’t always the case. So somebody can go on and tell a story and everybody believes it. And is it true or not? I don’t know, but I definitely think there’s a lot of conversation and information going on.

[00:48:26] Tic talk that is unmonitored or could be. Detrimental. I don’t really in those spaces personally, but I know there’s probably a lot of people in those spaces getting consuming 

[00:48:38] Jeff Sieh: [00:48:38] that, so grace ed has a great point. How effective is the restrictive mode on Tik TOK? I didn’t even know there was a restrictive, Modina what she’s talking about.

[00:48:49] Alexa Westerfield: [00:48:49] Yeah, I’m not sure on that restrictive mode. I haven’t gone in and looked at those settings. 

[00:48:56] Jeff Sieh: [00:48:56] But your kids are smart enough usually to get by that stuff. In the meantime might work at nine. So 

[00:49:04] Alexa Westerfield: [00:49:04] figure out how to get around it. They’re going to figure out Oh my parents don’t I don’t have a tick tock.

[00:49:11] Oh yeah, you do. But your parents just don’t know 

[00:49:13] Jeff Sieh: [00:49:13] about hidden account. 

[00:49:14] Alexa Westerfield: [00:49:14] So you’re going to go with the 

[00:49:16] Jeff Sieh: [00:49:16] Tik TOK account. So I want to make sure we get to this, the this, last final piece is I think it’s really great. And I, thought I wanted to talk about it. So Tik TOK launches a black creative program to foster new talent.

[00:49:27] So this is a great thing. A Tik TOK is launched a new program that its initiative is to. As part of its broader effort to ensure a greater diversity and representation on the platform. And it’s actually focusing and developing a hundred black creators and music artists helping to open doors for them to reach new Heights in their careers.

[00:49:46] And yes, it’s open until January 27th. So if they meet the eligibility people they can apply and finalists will be named on February. I really liked this initiative that they’re doing. And it’s one of the things that I think tick-tock has a lot of Goodwill for a lot of places is because they want to seem to be interested in paying their creators, which is unlike some of the other platforms like even YouTube.

[00:50:12] And I know it’s sometimes hard to get they’re creating all the content, they should get some of the money. So I’d love to know your thoughts on this. 

[00:50:22] Alexa Westerfield: [00:50:22] Yeah, I think it’s really good. I I’m going to be honest. I think tick talk is a conduit for a lot of change. Cultural change. I can just tell you when people talk about on Instagram, for example, No, I don’t know how to, it doesn’t have a discoverability feature.

[00:50:45] For the most part. I tend to get served the same content. I always see. Whereas TOK, I feel has a more powerful discoverability tool as far as on the, for you page. So you can go and you can engage. Like I get a lot of black creative content and I really like it cause there’s some really amazing talent on this app and I am getting incredible learning about other people, other other cultures, like just from being on Tik talk and just consuming.

[00:51:16] I read a comment the other day it was a video. And I just say this from the power of it. I thought this was really insightful. There was a woman sharing her ex a black woman, sharing her experience of fixing her hair in the morning. And you could just tell it was so much stress. And I think that’s something that white people in particular, like we don’t, know like that process of what they have to do to set their hair and fix their hair.

[00:51:41] And somebody said, I’m going to be honest. I have learned more from this one year of being on Tik, talk about black people and black culture than I have learned in the past 20 years. So speeding up education and information. And I think it’s, awesome that Tik TOK is investing in these voices because I think that they know how to amplify them and get, really get some great voices out there.

[00:52:09] And that can really help us see ourselves and other people and recognize great talent. And I think it’s a powerful, it’s powerful in that way. 

[00:52:19] Jeff Sieh: [00:52:19] Awesome. 

[00:52:20] Erik Fisher: [00:52:20] How do you see businesses being able to take advantage of this opportunity and become part of this movement that Tik TOK is doing to, promote diversity and inclusion?

[00:52:37] Alexa Westerfield: [00:52:37] I think if, takes off has a black creator program going in and. Seeing like what you need to submit to be a part of it, as a brand is the very first step, I think, in addition, looking at your products and your services, not just in a black creator They’re programmed, but also for your brand and see the other creators that are using your products and aligning with them in a very organic way.

[00:53:10] I feel like at the onslaught of a lot of black lives matter movement, a lot of brands were doing, I think, because of the pressure, they were doing some knee-jerk reactions and making those decisions. But I think personally, let’s. Let’s be really mindful of finding really great relationships.

[00:53:31] We can nurture with real people in real using our products and establishing these voices and representation across the board. Because I th I think it’s not just a knee-jerk thing. It really is something you’re implementing in your organization or for your brand over the course of time. I think that’s one thing I like about Tech-Talk and.

[00:53:56] I think again, it’s back to that community build aspect. You’re building a community you’re, listening to the voices of the people in your comments. You’re reacting to them. You’re developing a relationship. This is not about Tik. TOK is not about driving a viral sale as much as it is really creating something people believe in.

[00:54:21] Jeff Sieh: [00:54:21] I think that’s awesome. Awesome stuff. So well, we’ve reached the end of our time together, but I wanted to make sure Alexa, because you’ve got given us so much for small businesses to how to use Tik TOK, things that I didn’t even think about before. And I hope that our audience may have gotten some inspiration as well.

[00:54:36] So where can people find you on the interwebs? What’s the best place to connect with you? 

[00:54:43] Alexa Westerfield: [00:54:43] You can find I have examples of my work up there and kind of some list of services of how you can partner with me or consult with me. I also am on Instagram. I’m on Tik talk the contents very, non tick-tock.

[00:55:00] Sometimes it’s that’s random, but you really do get what’s so interesting about tick-tock is you get a whole scope of a person, right? All they’re multifaceted. So they might be into, they might be into like, I’m wearing a Freddie mercury shirt they might be into clean and they might be into crass and they also might be into social media.

[00:55:17] So you get that full facetedness I’m on Tik TOK at swell Creek, and then you can find me and connect with me as well on LinkedIn at Alexa Westerfield. 

[00:55:26] Jeff Sieh: [00:55:26] Awesome. And as always want to make sure that we say thank you to our sponsors, first of all, for a Gore pulse, and make sure you go to check out social media manager, and also the awesome people at E cam who this whole show is powered by.

[00:55:41] So go to social media news, forward slash e-comm that’s E C a. M and thank you guys all for watching today, but I want to give Eric Fisher a shout out too, because he is amazing. Eric tell people where they can find you and all of your stuff. Yeah. 

[00:55:59] Erik Fisher: [00:55:59] Hit me up on Twitter, with a K the letter J F I S H E R.

[00:56:04] And then also check out beyond the to-do Great episodes recently, and a lot of great ones coming up. If you’re in a productivity, rut, like even I’ll admit, I’ve been at times recently it’ll, shake you up. 

[00:56:19] Jeff Sieh: [00:56:19] Awesome. Thank you guys for showing up today. Thank you guys for all you guys in the comments for Mark and grace and Ian and all you guys appreciate you guys.

[00:56:28] Our next show is Friday, January 29th, 2021 at 11:00 AM. Eastern time, 10:00 AM central. You can find us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and soon the podcast will be launching. It’s still getting approved, but we appreciate you guys going over there and leave us a rating review when that launches as well.

[00:56:44] And with that, we’ll see you next week. Have a great one, everybody. Bye now.



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