TikTok You Don’t Stop with Amy Flanigan: Mediavine On Air Episode 19

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“TikTok isn’t for content creators.” Have you or anyone you know said this before?

Amy Flanigan of the website Belly Full, with her 600k+ TikTok followers, is here to change your mind.

A graphic designer turned food writer and photographer, what Amy initially started as just a “hobby” has turned Belly Full into a full time business with millions of visitors every month. When she took up TikTok, she quickly found the same success and is here to tell us how she did it.

Join us in this episode of our Summer of Live series to get Amy’s top tips for expanding your brand by getting real with your audience!

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Transcript

[ROCK MUSIC] JENNY GUY: Hello, everyone. And welcome, one and all, to another episode of the Mediavine Summer of Live. As hard as it is for me to believe, we are already to the end of July. And so, those back-to-school ads that we’ve been seeing for weeks are actually applicable now, as kids across the country will be returning to school in some form or fashion in the coming weeks.

Question, was I the only nerd who thought this was one of the best times of the year, shopping for school supplies, selecting first-day outfits? I was all about every part of it, both as a student, and later, as a professor. This was like magic time. Amy, what about you? Did you enjoy? Did you enjoy that stuff?

AMY FLANIGAN: Yes. Absolutely.

JENNY GUY: OK, good. Thank you for not making me feel like a sad little Hermione here all on my own.

AMY FLANIGAN: Oh, no way. I mean, my kids will even admit that they love going back-to-school shopping and picking out their folders and pencils and everything. It’s the little things, right?

JENNY GUY: And how important was that, like, making the decision for the lunch box? Like, this is going to impact my entire year.

AMY FLANIGAN: Yes. Yes.

JENNY GUY: If I choose wisely, or you are going to be in trouble for the entirety of third grade, clearly.

AMY FLANIGAN: And even the color of those folders and your binders was all about how to prevent being teased. But yet, you want to be unique. Yeah.

JENNY GUY: Totally crucial. Like, yeah, very, very important. But before we get into all of that, there are still a few weeks of glorious summer freedom before the fall semester kicks off. And I would love to know how everyone is making the most of it. And I would suggest learning more about the social platform with the slogan, make your day, which certainly ended up being true for me when I was doing a little research for this episode and promptly fell down a rabbit hole of puppy videos for way too long. Like, I was just next, next.

That is right. Today, we’re talking about TikTok, the short video app that swept the world during the height of the COVID shutdown. And while all of us definitely needed its popular dance challenges to get through that rough period, the question remains for many of us, is this platform for content creators or not? So it’s important.

For everyone that’s out there watching, do you have a TikTok account? Have you ever created a video for TikTok? Tell us in the comments. And while you guys are giving us your answers, I’m going to introduce our amazing guest who is crushing the TikTok game. Amy Flanigan is the recipe developer and video-maker behind the popular website Belly Full, mixing food and fun into everyday life.

After only a couple of months using the platform, Amy’s TikTok reached over 500,000 followers and continues to grow. Join her as she shares her experience and helpful tips. Amy, I’m so glad that you are with me today.

AMY FLANIGAN: Ah, thank you for having me. I love it.

JENNY GUY: You’re a delight. OK, here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to drop your slides in. She’s going to talk about TikTok. And then, for any questions that you guys have about TikTok– and I’m going to imagine you have a few, I have a lot– please drop them over into the comments and I will shoot them to Amy once she’s done with her presentation. But for now, here we go, Amy. Take it away.

AMY FLANIGAN: Well, one of the things that I wanted to mention right off the bat is I went through a website redesign. And my designer had said to me, I wouldn’t– she suggested that I not include my TikTok icon with my other social media icons. At the time, I only had maybe 2,000 followers. And she, like many people, thought TikTok is not here to stay. It’s not worth your time. You don’t want to call attention to it. And I was pretty adamant, and I said no. I want it there.

I had already fallen in love with the platform, just because it was just pure fun. It was an outlet for me and I was like, nope. I want it on there. And so, of course, you know, she’s like, OK. We’ll put it on there. And sure enough, here we are all these months later. And it was definitely a smart thing to include, not that I couldn’t have included it later. But you know, I’m glad that I kind of jumped on the bandwagon right away.

Obviously, with any new special media platform, it always helps to get in on the ground floor. But it’s never too late, never, ever too late to get in and start using it. I love it. I love TikTok. It’s my favorite. I could waste an entire day, waste an entire day on that platform watching, obviously, but creating stuff too. This is fun.

JENNY GUY: Well, we’re really excited to hear all of this. And we have a lot of people that are saying they feel intimidated. And more that they’re enjoying TikTok as a user, but they’re intimidated to start creating as a content creator. So we are more than ready to hear your tips.

AMY FLANIGAN: Yeah. So I think that as you can see in this first slide, I got on there. I started to create. It is not difficult to grow on this platform, honestly. I mean, within a few times of sharing content, you can grow to 10,000 followers pretty easily. I mean, I think the algorithm favors new content creators more so than some of the other platforms. So I say don’t be intimidated. Get started. Get your feet wet and just start. And I did say, you know, I am a small fish in a gigantic pond. There are enormous content creators that have millions of followers. But there is plenty of room for smaller fish who can also grow. So don’t be intimidated. Get started.

So this was one of the things that I wanted to talk about. Because, right, there’s– I don’t want to call it a rivalry, but some people love, love, love Instagram. And other people love TikTok. And one of the things with Instagram, I’ve had a very difficult time growing on that platform. I’ve been on Instagram forever. And for me, I think it’s a harder– it’s a harder place to grow.

Whereas TikTok, I think the algorithm definitely favors new content creators. And also, you can kind of be a plain Jane like I am. I kind of think, like, Instagram favors people who– like, the perfect. The perfect, the perfect-looking kitchen. The perfect pretty face and perfect clothes. Whereas TikTok seems like– I mean, I can’t– I don’t really do a whole lot with my kitchen or myself. And just get on there and people don’t seem to care as much. To me, it’s more real life.

I also feel like it resonates more with people, that they can relate. They look at and go, yeah, she’s got a messy kitchen. Guess what? So do I. That’s real life. And then, one of the other things is if you’re already creating content for Instagram, and most people are on Instagram. If you already have content and you’re creating videos for Reels, oh, my gosh. Use it. Use it over on TikTok. The aspect ratio is the same.

So you already have content that you can push over and see if it does well on TikTok. Don’t think that you have to create brand new stuff. So it’s like you already have this bag of stuff that you can carry over to another place. So do that. Unless this is changed, as far as I know, you can create up to 1 minute of video within the app itself. But they recently changed it where now, you can record up to 3 minutes. Actually, it might even be over 3 minutes. So that’s kind of a new thing. So in the beginning, you were really limited to 1 minute, which is good and bad. But now you have more options. So if you do have content that stretches over 3 minutes, you can use that as well.

OK, so the app’s features. I highly encourage everyone, if you get over there, take advantage of the app’s features. It helps. It really helps. They have a really strong music library. Again, I always go back and compare it to Instagram because everybody’s so familiar with Instagram. TikTok has an even better music library, I think. It’s just bigger. They’ve had it for longer.

Use their filters. They have a ton, a ton of filters. I can’t even keep up. It seems like every time I log on to the app, there’s a new filter. And one of the nice things is, there are content creators on TikTok who walk you through the filters. You just have to search for it. You can use the #filtercreation, or how to use filters, anything like that. And you’ll find creators that give tutorials on how to use the filters, which for me, was– I mean, other than asking my daughter how to do everything, the tutorials were really helpful.

But use the filters, because people do search for those hashtags, which kind of goes into the next point of participate in trends. Lots of trends on TikTok. There’s voiceover trends. There’s duet trends. I mean, there’s so many. And again, make use of the hashtags because people will search for those. And then, you can see the different trends and participate in them.

But you know, I mean, there’s something to be said for being unique. I try to create original content. But I also do participate in some of the trends because there’s a reason they’re trendy. You know, people enjoy them. That’s why they take off. And that’s why other people do it too. And then there’s other things called Stitch and Duet. So you can stitch a video, so where you take somebody else’s video and you kind of basically stitch it with your own video. So, say somebody, a content creator, asks a question. You film them, or you take a portion of their video where they ask the question, and then you film yourself answering it.

And that’s beneficial because you automatically are tagging the original content creator so they get credit. And then, if their original video did really well and was viral, now you’re kind of tied to it. So you kind of theoretically come up in the algorithm under that hashtag or that trend. So that helps. And a duet is kind of the same thing. I mean, I see Jenny plugged in this image of me. I was duetting.

This was a trend a while back where these crazy athletic gorgeous girls were doing these handstands. Well, I mean, I can barely sit down and get up without groaning. And I’m a big fan of Oreos, so I thought it’d be funny to kind of make fun of how athletic and perfect they are. And I’m old and not flexible at all. And so I did this duet where I’m just eating Oreos. And you can see my caption. It said, just watching is easier. And it was funny. That’s a fun way to duet something, is to make fun of something. Or you can also duet something and say how amazing it is. So those are two really good ways to get involved on the app.

JENNY GUY: So one of our graphic designers, Rosie, actually put these images in. And I bust a gut every single time I see you with the canoe paddle and the mashed potatoes. I lose it every time. I crack up every single time. It’s so good. I love it. I love it.

AMY FLANIGAN: That was a fun one to do. And I didn’t have a canoe or a paddle. I had to go on Amazon to find a paddle that I could use. So there’s– I definitely have spent a good amount of money on buying props. But that is completely optional.

JENNY GUY: So now the question is, where is the canoe paddle? Do you just have like a random canoe paddle hanging around your house? Because you don’t have a canoe.

AMY FLANIGAN: That is correct, not currently. I’m sure that– actually, I haven’t seen it in a while. I’m sure that my son confiscated and, you know, is probably doing something with it.

JENNY GUY: Yeah, making use of it.

AMY FLANIGAN: Yes. OK, so tips. So really, like, I mean, I think that these can really apply to any social media, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram. Engage. The algorithm likes to see engagement. So when you post a video, make yourself available. So when people who are following you post a comment, reply to them. They love it. Your readers, your followers love it. And the algorithm loves it.

Post new content every day, if you can– if you can. You can’t, you can’t. And honestly, this is more of a do as I say, not as I do. Because I kind of took the summer off. I’ve been dragging my feet this summer, and I make no apologies for that. But you know, it does hurt. It hurts when you’re not consistent. I’ve noticed it. You do lose followers. And then, if you post something and you haven’t posted in a while, and then you do post something and your followers aren’t interested, they’re like, oh, you know? And then they unfollow you.

So it definitely helps to be consistent. Be consistent. Post every day. There are content creators who post more than once a day, which is– I mean, it hurts my head to think about that. But post, you know, when you can. If you have something, don’t wait. Don’t say to yourself, oh. You know, this is great, but I think it’ll do better in two weeks. No. No. Post it now.

Unless it’s seasonally relevant, I mean, unless it has to do with Halloween, obviously, you’re not going to– not on TikTok. You’re not going to post something about Halloween right now. But if it’s evergreen or if it’s generic, don’t wait. Post it right now. If you think that you have a good idea, get it out there. Don’t sit on it. And don’t think about a good time.

If you’re thinking, oh. Well, 10:00 AM is when most people are on. You know, I found that it is so random. I have posted things on Tuesday that do better on a Tuesday than they do on a Saturday. And then, I’ll have something else that does great on a Saturday and flops on a Wednesday. Some things do well in the morning, some things do well in the evening. There’s really no rhyme or reason. If it is good content, it will get pushed out. It will.

And I want to read something. I actually read an article, I can’t remember where it was. But I thought this was so interesting, that really, it changed the way that I create content. It says shares, likes, follows, and what you watch, they all play a role in what TikTok shows you. But the most important metric is how long a user lingers over a piece of content.

So every second you hesitate or rewatch something, the algorithm records that. So to me, what that says is you’ve got to capture your audience right away, right? I mean, you have to create something that’s either– I mean, in my opinion, either helpful or entertaining. And you know, that’s really it. And you have to catch them right away. Because if you don’t have something interesting right away within 5 seconds, they click off. They keep scrolling. And the minute they do that, or the second that they do that, the algorithm has picked up on that.

The algorithm immediately– and the algorithm is not a person, remember that. It’s data. So the data has picked up on that, and they’ve said, OK. That person wasn’t interested. Right away, they clicked off. And they will be keeping track of everyone that does that. And that’s how your stuff is going to get fleshed out to the masses.

So if you have something quick, I guess my point to this is I kind of think less is more. So even though you can share something that’s 3 minutes long, I personally don’t think TikTok favors that. I think that my sweet spot is between 15 and 30 seconds. A 15 and 30 second video is usually where people will watch till the end. And that’s important, because the longer someone watches until the end, then they’ll share it. Then the algorithm picks up on that. Then they show it to more people, and so on, and so on. And then, hopefully, you get a viral video and that equates to more people following you. So I know it’s hard to pack a good story into 30 seconds, but you can do it.

JENNY GUY: That’s what it’s about. That’s what the whole platform– that is all amazing. I have a ton–

AMY FLANIGAN: Yeah, and you have to remember, people are busy and have a short attention span.

JENNY GUY: Yeah. And I think that, yeah, this is– embrace that. Were everywhere else, we’re saying longer content, longer video. For the most places, this is just like, no. Embrace the short attention span. Hug it. Hug it real close to you, and enjoy that. And yeah, so we– guys, everyone, don’t worry about the presentation. We’re going to drop that into the comments when the show is over. Don’t worry about taking our dubious– or, copious notes, dubious copious notes.

I have a ton of questions from everyone. I’m actually going to start, though, with one that was burning for me, which is Sarah Arswald says, that I love your channel. This is the key, though.

AMY FLANIGAN: Thank you.

JENNY GUY: Yes, that is the perfect part. But does your audience click over to your website, or do they just stay on TikTok?

AMY FLANIGAN: I love that question. I do get traffic from TikTok. So, yes.

JENNY GUY: Boom.

AMY FLANIGAN: Yes. On TikTok, in your profile, in your account profile, you can include a link. Yay. And I include my home website link, so bellyfull.net. That’s what I have in there. You can put whatever you want. So if you’re a recipe developer and you want to push a specific recipe, you can put that link in there. If you’re a crafter and you’ve got a craft website and you want to link to a specific knitting post, put that link in there, whatever link you want to include.

So I include my home page. I think my home page is somewhat sticky, so I just go with that. And I get about 45,000 clicks a month. Yeah, I mean it’s significant.

JENNY GUY: That’s awesome.

AMY FLANIGAN: Now granted, obviously, that is going to vary depending on the size of your audience. I mean, I have a decent audience. And when I was posting regularly, that makes a big difference too. If you’re churning out content every single day, you’re going to have more eyeballs on your account. TikTok is going to push it out and more people are going to click over. But yes, yes. For me, it is a traffic driver.

JENNY GUY: So I’m going to ask a follow-up, and I will get to all of the follow-up questions from everyone as much as we can. But how long does it take you to conceptualize and plan and put the TikTok together? Are you planning like you do with blog posts? Like, I’ve got my editorial calendar, and in three weeks, I’m going to TikTok about the backseat of my car. Like, what is your workflow? Tell me, like, how does it go?

AMY FLANIGAN: OK. So, I mean, people who follow me regularly know one of my favorite things is to make fun of my family. I mean, I’m a parent, you know? And I’ve got a husband who’s goofy. And I’ve got a teenager that’s grumpy, and another teenager that’s a goofball. And you know, I love making fun of real life, right? Because it’s just relatable. It’s so relatable.

And I love making TikToks with my dog, because again, who doesn’t love a puppy? So those are kind of my bread and butter. I am, at heart, a recipe developer. I mean, I have a food blog. But I have learned the hard way, you know, that’s not really what my followers want. My followers want the funny.

So what I try to do is do more of the entertaining videos with like a sprinkle of the recipes. That has worked for me. That’s worked for me. But I will say– and it was on a previous slide. I will say, stay on message. I actually don’t recommend doing what I do. I say stay on message. Stay on your brand. If you are a craft blogger, post crafts. If you are a recipe developer, post your recipes. And if you’re purely there for entertainment, then do the funny, you know? And you can do a sprinkle of a little bit of this and that.

But generally speaking, I would be consistent. But in terms of conceptualizing, I mean, honestly, it’s kind of easy because I just make fun of my family all day. And I say, oh, my gosh. That would be– I say this all the time. That would make a good TikTok, you know? Or my daughter will say to me, oh, my gosh, Mom. That would be a good TikTok. And then I just jot down notes and then take it from there. And then, usually, I will spend one day just doing TikToks.

So it’s easier for me to just do them all in one day than doing one each day. And then, what I do is my husband edits them in Final Cut Pro. I don’t typically create content within the app. I do it on my phone, because unless you’re doing a duet or a stitch, the content needs to be edited. So I will hand it off to him and he’ll put it together. And some TikToks take 10 minutes, and then others take an hour. It depends if I have the whole family involved or if it’s just me. If you’re just doing a voiceover, it takes 10 minutes.

JENNY GUY: So we have– yes, and I think that I wanted to just say that anyone who is familiar with Amy’s website, there is some humor there too because that’s who you are. So the Belly Full brand is not just, I mean, it’s not just recipes. It’s your personality too. So I don’t see it as much of a departure from your TikTok to do humor because that’s the Belly Full brand. That’s who you are.

AMY FLANIGAN: That’s true. Thank you.

JENNY GUY: So, yeah. I just think that that’s one of your gifts. So if one of your gifts is making things really pretty, people will want to see that, whatever that is, whether that’s food, or your beautiful living room, or the great vacation trip, or the outfit that you put together. Whatever it is, what is your gift, and showcase that on TikTok, you know?

AMY FLANIGAN: Yeah. I mean, honestly, one of the reasons that I kind of went over to TikTok is because my husband, Paul, and I, we used to do a funny show on Facebook. And we did it for a few years, actually, and built up a following from that show. But the Facebook algorithm is just not kind to me. And it was a lot of work. It was a lot of work. There was no ROI on it.

And I do believe in having fun. I definitely think that you should do something that brings you joy, because if you don’t, it’s just misery. So this is– TikTok is fun to me. Creating the content is fun. It’s the one platform that is not– it doesn’t kill the joy. It brings me joy.

JENNY GUY: Good.

AMY FLANIGAN: So that’s my outlet. But what happened is, when the algorithm went on Facebook, Paul said, you know what? Let’s take it over to TikTok. And it works over there. It works over there.

JENNY GUY: That’s awesome. And I think it’s exciting. I want wanted to– so we have a couple of questions that are in this vein. We have Tory saying, is it necessary to do face-to-camera videos? And we have Michelle asking, hands and pans are not here. Is it about the personal and visual connection?

AMY FLANIGAN: So, not always. There are plenty of– so if we’re speaking specifically about recipe development, there are plenty of content creators on TikTok that don’t show their face, they just show their hands. And they’re very successful. So if you are someone who does not want to show your face or speak on camera, don’t let that deter you from getting on there. There’s definitely, definitely content creators on TikTok that are very successful without actually being on camera.

You know, by making use of the– make use of the library, the music library, that helps. Because people search for that music. So put that in your background. And make it fun. Try to make the content fun. And you can do that without actually being on camera. So, yes.

JENNY GUY: It could be a good way to get started, too. Like, dip your toe in there.

AMY FLANIGAN: Absolutely. Absolutely. Do that, and see if it resonates and if it works. And if it doesn’t, then maybe at that point, try something new. I mean, I know it sounds so cliche, right, ever since Finding Nemo. But you know, I do say, just keep swimming. I have a ton of duds, a ton of duds. You know, you have to– I probably have more duds than I do virals.

I mean, I do have a lot of viral content at this point. But I have way more duds. But if you let that– if you put something out and you do it, say, three or four times and every single one doesn’t resonate, keep doing them. Keep doing them. I mean, I think I published, boy, probably 20, maybe even more before I had something viral. So don’t give up.

JENNY GUY: And that ties into Leah’s question, which is, how often do you have to post to grow your account? I’ve posted about a dozen TikToks and only have 15 followers.

AMY FLANIGAN: Yeah. You know, I would say it depends. You said, Leah? Is she– is it food? Is she a recipe builder?

JENNY GUY: I believe. I’m not certain. We’ll just have to see. Leah, will you share your niche in the comments?

AMY FLANIGAN: And she’s posted a dozen.

JENNY GUY: And let’s– we’ll come back.

AMY FLANIGAN: Yeah, and I guess, what is the niche? You know, is it–

JENNY GUY: She says Peloton, excuse me. Peloton.

AMY FLANIGAN: Oh, so exercise.

JENNY GUY: Yes.

AMY FLANIGAN: OK. So I’m not familiar with that. I mean, I know what that is. But I don’t–

JENNY GUY: We know, we saw the Oreo TikTok.

AMY FLANIGAN: Yes. No, I mean I’m familiar with what that is, but I’m not familiar with that world of video, fitness. You know, I don’t follow the fitness accounts, so I don’t know. I’d probably have to just see maybe a couple of her TikToks to see if maybe she could do something different. Are they– I guess I’d want to know, are they entertaining? Are they helpful? Do they include tips? Like, what’s the message? What’s the message?

JENNY GUY: And that’s a great thing to put in right now, to always be asking yourself, what’s the message? What’s the goal? How do I want my audience to feel when you’re doing it?

AMY FLANIGAN: Yeah. And maybe, I don’t know if she– Leah, maybe follow other accounts within your niche and engage on their TikToks. Because then, maybe people will see your comment and then click over. Duet. You know, I always say duetting is such a great way to call attention to your account. So somebody else that is doing a fitness video, duet that video.

And honestly, all you have to– now, of course, you have to be on screen. So if you’re not somebody that wants to be on screen, that could be a problem. But be on screen while you duet that video and you could have like a reaction video where they’re doing something amazing and you could just be sitting there like, oh my god. This is, like, incredible. That’s all you have to do.

Or, you could, depending on what they’re doing, you could be like, OK. This isn’t happening. Like, I could never. Like, this is crazy. I couldn’t do that. Not that you’re making fun of them, but you’re kind of making fun of getting in shape. I did a ton of duets when I first got on TikTok. And people love them because they’re fun. So try that.

JENNY GUY: They are fun. And I wanted to also– Leah has followed you, so she she’ll be on there, on your followers. But we have another question saying, Michelle Price says what percentage of original content do you put up versus the duets and the stitches? You said that you are doing– you did that a lot in the beginning, particularly.

AMY FLANIGAN: Yes. I would say original content to duetting, 80/20. Most of my content is original content. It’s original stuff that I create, like I said, based on being influenced by my kids, or my dog, or just everyday life, or cleaning the house. Yeah. And then 20% is taking advantage of the trends.

JENNY GUY: And that’s a great ratio. Love that. OK, Rachelle says not TikTok related, kind of. I love the fun food t-shirts you wear on TikTok. Where do you get them?

AMY FLANIGAN: Oh! Thanks. They are fun.

JENNY GUY: She wants to know where you get them.

AMY FLANIGAN: Oh. Oh, my gosh. OK, so a bunch of the t-shirts I got from, it’s called is it 5– it’s either called $5 T-shirts, $5 T-shirts. I think it’s called $5 T-shirts.

JENNY GUY: It’s a good name.

AMY FLANIGAN: I need to look that up.

JENNY GUY: I like it. I like it.

AMY FLANIGAN: And then, a bunch of them have been given to us as gifts. So when Paul and I used to do our show on Facebook, we had t-shirt companies that gifted them, kind of like a sponsor. And so we would mention them in our videos.

JENNY GUY: Schwag.

AMY FLANIGAN: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, but I’ve got a couple of them on Amazon. But most of them come from, I want to say– I actually haven’t bought one in a while so now I can’t remember. But I want to say it was $5 T-shirts. Because when you do enough of these videos, it gets expensive.

JENNY GUY: Yeah.

AMY FLANIGAN: I mean, these t-shirts are like 20 bucks a pop. But this $5 T-shirts, they’re like $5.

JENNY GUY: So good. So I’m glad that the name is not a lie. Thank you for letting us know. Lacy says, I noticed recently– and this ties into something we’ve been talking about– Instagram Reels, if I use a trending sound, that my Reel will get more views as opposed to original sound content. Is TikTok the same way? Does using trending sounds help increase the reach?

AMY FLANIGAN: Yes, 100%.

JENNY GUY: OK.

AMY FLANIGAN: Go ahead.

JENNY GUY: No, you go.

AMY FLANIGAN: Definitely. Definitely, take advantage of the music library. And when you’re in TikTok, you can search up favorites, popular, like you can– they have a section where you can search for actual music. And within that section, it will show you, like, what’s popular, what’s trending. And what I’ve done in some of my videos, even when I’m talking, I will include that music in the background really, really quietly so you can’t even hear the music.

You just have it in the background so that the algorithm picks up on the music being there, even though it’s not really– well, it’s there.

JENNY GUY: I love it. Pamela says, as a follow-up question, should I try to match my music to the theme of my TikTok or just go with the trending sound?

AMY FLANIGAN: Oh, either. Either. If you can find music that matches your TikTok, like it is just on point, do that. Because followers love that. Followers will actually say, you couldn’t have picked better music for this content. They’ll pick up on it. They will definitely pick up on it if it’s really on point. If it’s kind of, eh, then I would say no. Try to use something that’s trendy.

You know, because again, I go back to if it’s trending, there’s a reason it’s trending. If something is popular, there’s a reason it’s popular. It’s because people like it and that’s what people want. So even if you’ve heard the same song a gazillion times and you’re so sick of it, use it anyway.

JENNY GUY: Lazy Curtis said, do you have a good resource for figuring out the edits? My 12-year-old son showed me, but I just can’t remember them easily and I struggle to upload something decent. Will you tell us about Paul’s work in Final Cut Pro?

AMY FLANIGAN: Oh. I should go get him. You know, unfortunately, I can’t. So he’s a video guy. He actually used to work in Major League Baseball, not as a player, but doing video production. And so that’s kind of his background. And he’s the video guy. I mean, if I tried– he even edits my recipe videos too. I don’t even edit those because I don’t know how, and I don’t have time. And thank goodness for him, he just– he knocks them out like that. So I don’t know how to give tips and tricks on that, unfortunately.

JENNY GUY: That’s OK. But at least, he’s using Final Cut Pro and you’re not creating them natively in the app. For the most part, you’re creating them outside and then uploading them into the app?

AMY FLANIGAN: No. And I know a lot of content creators use Premier, which my understanding is even better than Final Cut Pro. So if people are using Premier, don’t think you have to use Final Cut Pro. I think Premier is actually better.

JENNY GUY: And Michelle just said InShot, actually. They have a setting for TikTok.

AMY FLANIGAN: Oh. Oh, gosh. Then use that.

JENNY GUY: Yeah, jump on that.

AMY FLANIGAN: I’m not familiar with that program. But if there’s something that specifically caters to TikTok, then use that. Anything to make life easier.

JENNY GUY: Totally agree. Leah said, we touched on this a bit, but how important are hashtags for people to find your content? And if so, how do you research appropriate hashtags?

AMY FLANIGAN: So I think hashtags are very important on TikTok. I have not found them to be important on other platforms, but I do think that they help on TikTok. So again, going back to if you go to the TikTok home– I’m going to call it the home page– they have sections that will show you what’s trending, what’s popular. They break it down into different categories. And each one has a hashtag. So you can see what hashtags are being used for popular content.

So, yeah. It definitely helps to look at those hashtags and use them. Because people, they search for them. They search for those hashtags. That’s how I found a lot of stuff.

JENNY GUY: I mean, use the inspiration. I think that’s great.

AMY FLANIGAN: Yes.

JENNY GUY: We have some people asking about– Brenda said, do you recommend sharing TikTok videos to your other channels? And then we also have a question from Pamela that says, does Facebook frown upon videos copied to their platform? For repurposing your Toks, your TikToks, is there a shortage there? Do you call them replacing your Tiks?

AMY FLANIGAN: Facebook frowns on everything.

JENNY GUY: Ain’t that’s the truth.

AMY FLANIGAN: So I cross-promote my stuff everywhere. I feel like if you are putting the time into creating your own original content, absolutely take advantage of all the platforms. Because it’s yours. It’s your content. You own it. You created it. It’s yours. So no matter how small or how big your other channels are, use it. And what’s the worst that can happen? I mean, I’ve shared some of my TikToks on– what I can remember, because I mostly share my recipe stuff on my Facebook page.

But if I can remember to share a TikTok, especially if the TikTok is viral, if I share it over on Facebook, some of them have done horribly. They just tank. Nobody cares. And some of them have done really well. And don’t get– also, with Facebook, so when you do a TikTok, your aspect ratio is 9 by 16. I mean, it’s vertical.

Don’t worry about– everyone thinks that on Facebook, you only can share like a square video. No. You can absolutely share a portrait video. You can share a landscape video. Yeah, and I’ve had some that don’t go anywhere, and some that have done really well. And as I mentioned earlier, absolutely take those videos and share them on Reels. I definitely share them on Reels.

JENNY GUY: I mean, they’re the same aspect ratio, as you just said. There’s no reason not to reuse that, set some different music, different effects.

AMY FLANIGAN: Right. And I know, are Reels– are you still limited to a minute on Reels?

JENNY GUY: I don’t think so.

AMY FLANIGAN: Because that’s the one thing, if you share over a minute on TikTok, but Reels will only allow a minute. Well, then your video is going to get cut off. But if you have, say, 59 seconds on a TikTok, oh, my gosh. You could totally share that on Reels. I just started getting my feed wet into YouTube shorts, because that’s another one. I mean, I know it’s in beta. But I think most people have it now. So I just started taking my TikToks and sharing them over on YouTube. They have not caught on over there.

YouTube is very, very, very different.

JENNY GUY: It’s different.

AMY FLANIGAN: With YouTube, all I can think is like 30 minutes.

JENNY GUY: Yeah, their whole goal is to keep you on there just watching, watching, watching, for hours and hours and hours.

AMY FLANIGAN: But I’m going to keep trying.

JENNY GUY: Yeah. If it’s something that YouTube is trying to pour their resources into, it’s the same with Instagram. If they’re telling you that that’s what they want, you’ve got to do it because they’re telling you, this is what we want you to do. Do the thing.

AMY FLANIGAN: Yeah, I totally agree.

JENNY GUY: OK. So we are unfortunately out of time, because I could sit here and talk to you all day long. But before we go, I wanted to ask you, we’ve got some other questions lingering here about how to get that traffic going back to your website and making a great ROI for yourself. So if you will that, plus maybe just one tip to get somebody off the fence and onto TikTok. And I’m going to let you think about that while I make a quick announcement, which is that, guys, next week, the Summer Live continues Wednesday, August 4, will be at 3:00 PM Eastern time.

The man, the myth, the legend himself will be here, Mediavine CEO, Eric Hochberger. We were actually going to do a SEO topic, but instead, we have so many Mediavine updates going on right now, and so many products that we want to talk to you about, that we’re actually going to push Google Search Console to September and talk about Mediavine updates next week.

So all of the things, all the questions, bring them to us. I will have him captive and we will discuss. So bring your questions and join us next week. Now Amy, you’ve been incredible. We’re going to share your presentation in just a moment. We can find you at Belly Full and we’ve got your TikTok linked in the presentation as well, so people can come find your hilarious videos. But tell us, how do you drive the traffic and get people off the fence?

AMY FLANIGAN: Share content that you enjoy making that’s true to your brand. Again, if you’re a craft blogger, share crafts. If you’re a food blogger, share recipes and mix in some humanity to it. And just be consistent and take advantage of all the features that the app offers. And include a link. Put a link in your bio. And as your channel grows, people will go to your account, and they will click on that link.

It’s clickable. I mean, that’s the nice thing. They don’t even have to swipe up. They can literally click that link. It’s so nice. Nice. And you know, it’s not just about traffic. I’ve gotten some good brand work out of it, too. So there’s always that.

JENNY GUY: Well, you’ve won me over. TikTok sounds like it’s a platform for content creators. And I’m very impressed because I came into this with– I was a hard no, but you plus the puppies have done it.

AMY FLANIGAN: Puppies, man. Everybody, get a puppy. Everybody, get a puppy.

JENNY GUY: All right. Pamela, we will– we’ve got some questions. We’ll answer you offline. Amy, thank you so much for being here, everyone. We will see you next week.

AMY FLANIGAN: Thanks, everyone.

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