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How we grew to 140k on Tiktok

Jason Wong
Jason Wong
If you’re trying to crack into Tiktok or had trouble moving the needle, today’s memo is for you.
Know someone looking to build on Tiktok? Forward them this memo and subscribe for weekly quick bites of founder memos

A little over 2 years ago I made the decision to start our Tiktok account for doe. At the time, no brands took it seriously as an acquisition channel. The money on Instagram was too good, and Tiktok just looked like an app filled with pre-teens dancing to music.
But I knew I would regret it if I missed out on this wave.
Almost 9 years ago I made the same bet on a micro-blogging platform called Tumblr. I was 15 years old at the time, spending 8 hours a day creating and curating meme content to an audience network of 32 million people. It propelled me into the world of digital marketing, where I was helping small start-ups at the time like SHEIN acquire customers for pennies on the dollar.
Tumblr eventually fell down a spiral after some questionable decisions and getting acquired by Yahoo, but when it was good, it was really good. When I saw Tiktok a couple of years ago, I had the same feeling I had when I was on Tumblr. This is the new Wild West with untapped gold nuggets that no one else took seriously.
Our first fews months of Tiktok were a big flop
I thought I could just cross post Instagram stories or our story ad videos onto Tiktok. We had our social media manager try to learn Tiktok, and it backfired. I was wrong to treat Tiktok like another social media channel. I should know better, I saw the same mistake brands made when they went from Instagram to Twitter.
It’s no surprise that the audience (and algorithm) rejected us immediately.
We changed our game plan
I wasn’t ready to give up on Tiktok just yet, I saw the potentials that small creators had when they made the right video. It literally propelled them into stardom. For a brand to thrive on Tiktok, we can’t approach the platform as a brand.
I spent a few weeks scrolling through Tiktok, curating a list of micro-creators that would fit our voice the best and could tell a story that keeps people watching. We hired the creator to make Tiktok content for us, changing Tiktok as a behind-the-scene channel rather than a storefront that Instagram is.
Tiktok is the backstage pass for your audience
We started making content that tells the story around our brand and product rather than just telling people what our product does. The revelation is that Tiktok is a platform for discovery. People open the app looking for the next new thing they can learn, a piece of knowledge that they can share with their friends so they’re the people that introduced a new idea.
This evolved into treating Tiktok as the backstage of our brand. People on Tiktok get excited when they feel like they’re participating in the success of your brand. So many indie brands grew out of Tiktok because of the power of community that brands built there.
To build this community, you have to be vulnerable. Break down the walls between the brand and the audience and show them journey. It allows your audience to feel involved and motivating them to share your content. You’re now pitching your story and your right to exist to a group of micro-investors who are investing with their likes and comments.
You’d be surprised at how much positive feedback you can get if you’re transparent about what’s going on in your business. We recently had to make price adjustments due to inflation, and it made our customers even more committed to supporting us.
Tiktok is an opportunity for your brand to be raw and unfiltered. To show your customers who is running the business and let them participate in the success. Reframing how you approach Tiktok will transform your business on the platform, and I’ve seen this work time and time again for multiple DTC businesses I’m involved with.
Building a Performance Inactivewear Company
I sat down with my friend Andrew Goble, the co-founder of the at-home inactivewear company Jambys on how he turned boxers with pockets into a full fledge business, getting feedback from customers to improve, and why product development is so important to Jambys. This is an episode for anyone looking to build a new category in eCommerce. Watch it here
Yes, you need an app
Having an app for your store was a silly idea, but when you consider how expensive and challenging retention marketing has become, an app becomes a no brainer. We’ve been on Tapcart for over 2 years now and it’s consistently one of the highest ROI and highest LTV channel.
If you have questions about setting up Tapcart, I’m going to film a short tutorial on it this week, stay tuned.
jason wong
Last year 10% of our revenue came from our mobile app

Bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars outside of our website without spending any extra money to get those purchases

I'm going to tell you how we did it with @tapcart_app

Sorry this came a bit later than my usual newsletter. I got sick a few days ago and the brain fog wouldn’t let me think of anything to write. Hope this was a helpful insight for you guys and as always, ping me if you want me to elaborate on any particular points.
Enjoy your Sunday!
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Jason Wong
Jason Wong @eggroli

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