Dec. 8, 2021

social media guru NewYorkRic on how to grow on TikTok, the metaverse & the evolution of social media.


Eric Jackman of MMAFighting.com joins the show for a wide-ranging conversation about the past, present and future of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram and TikTok. We discuss:

  • when social media started becoming toxic (5:15)
  • if he ever feels guilty as someone whose job it is to get people to spend more time on social media (11:15)
  • preparing for the metaverse (17:28)
  • what makes TikTok so unique (22:32)
  • TikTok growth strategies (33:22)

and so much more! If you want to see this video on my YouTube channel, check it out here.

Eric Jackman is the social media director at MMAFighting.com, an MMA news site owned by Vox Media. He is the partner-in-crime of world-renowned MMA journalist Ariel Helwani and makes regular appearances on The MMA Hour. Jackman, also known as NewYorkRic, previously spent three years at ESPN, where he helped grow the @ESPNMMA Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok channels exponentially.

You can follow Eric on Twitter @NewYorkRic.

Click these links to give me a follow on Instagram, visit my web site or subscribe to my podcast.

peace and love.

Transcript

So as I've laid out on the podcast, a couple of times I work in the field of mixed martial arts. I'm a podcast producer for a couple MMA show. And I work at the ringer, which is company owned by Spotify. Today's guest also works in the same field of mixed martial. Arts knows way more about it than I do is way better at his job than I am.

It's an honor to welcome to the show. Eric Jackman also known as NewYorkRic, to a certain subset of people in the world. Eric, it is so good to see you again, we met at ESPN, you were at a MMA fighting, which is a. MMA news outlet website, which is owned by Vox. You left Vox, went to ESPN for a couple of years.

We met there. You left ESPN. I left ESPN. You are now back at Vox as the social media director at MMA fighting. Congrats on the new job. I want to talk to you today. This is a conversation that I've been wanting to have for awhile. Kind of about social media, which is your wheel house. This is obviously something that is a part of.

The vast majority of 20 somethings lives every day to something that we have grown up with. It's how we communicate. We spend a lot of time on it. You could argue that we waste a lot of time on it. And so, uh, I just really looking forward to talking to you today about the state of social media as a whole.

Uh, but first before we do that, how are you so good to see you? Oh, I'm doing great. Thanks for having me, uh, what a journey you've laid out. Um, we've, we've taken some paths in our lives. Um, and yeah, it's a pleasure to be here. And I think the prevalence of social media is only going to continue to increase, um, things becoming remote, um, due to COVID and other, um, reasons for people kind of being disconnected in that way while staying connected online.

Um, social has only the presence of social is only going to continue to grow. So obviously very topical at the moment. Yeah. So thank you again for joining the fastest growing podcast in the world, uh, on this subject. So that's a nod to our guy, Ariel Helwani of course who Ariel, uh, you know, you could say for both of us, uh, is the reason that is the sole reason that we are, where we are in our respective careers.

Uh, I'm his producer at the ringer. You have been his right hand, man for years now. I will never, never, ever take over his place in your heart. And I am perfectly okay with that because there's no, no other person I would rather have be his number one. Yeah, uh, Ariel and I are connected for a long time. The six months that we didn't work together after he left ESPN, before I left ESPN were like the longest time we hadn't worked together in 10 years.

Um, I owe everything in my career to him. Uh, he's changed my life. Um, great friend, a great colleague. And, uh, I know, uh, you know, you're, you're aligned on that same path with me, so yeah. Shout out to the big man, shout out to the nose. Uh, so I want to look back. When did you just, as this forget work, when did you first get onto social?

I'm going to guess. And this is a question I hadn't thought about in a long time, I'm going to guess Facebook was probably the first entry, or even like, if you can, I guess if you consider my space and Leah, even like Zenga blogs and things like that, and like, um, forums even before. Um, the, uh, the beginning, then that would be where it started for me.

So, um, I was on internet forums from the late nineties. Definitely. Like I was when, when the internet was coming out, I was taking around on eBay and like the early stages of, of online, uh, life. I definitely had my AOL dial up on and I'm aging myself here. Um, Community started forming that way. And I'd say like, that's where it started.

Like aim chat rooms, um, was a way to stay connected. Then the blogs and forums and things like that. I'd say maybe like my space might be the first one that we consider, like closest to conventional, like social media as, as it is now where you could post, um, on people's walls and interact that way. Um, and of the ones that are still like in existence and really like around it's probably Facebook.

When I, when I started, um, in college. Just getting onto Facebook. So when you were just hanging out on Facebook and MySpace and all those places, could you ever say to yourself that this is something I want to do for my career? No, didn't didn't at that time, didn't have the vision. Wasn't, wasn't old enough and wasn't wise enough and wasn't experienced enough in my life.

Um, I was just. To see that this was the future of, uh, online interaction. So recognize that there were so many people, like they're like me out there that were looking for this kind of interaction. I also come from I'm 34 years old. I come from an era where. We went outside and played. And like, I feel like that doesn't happen as much anymore.

So like I had a ton of friends in school, in my neighborhood, made a lot of connections that way. Um, and I feel like online life wasn't as essential wasn't as important. I enjoyed it, certainly because it was something that I did I'd say earlier than most did. Um, but it wasn't as essential to life as it is now.

So I definitely did not have the. At that time. So I first got on to, well, I got onto my space, uh, against the wishes of my parents. I did so illicitly and I was, uh, grounded upon them finding out that I got onto Facebook when I was in eighth grade. So this was 2010. And then I think I joined on Twitter and Instagram.

The next year. And I got to tell you, I mean, these were the early days of those apps. They were so much fun. They were so much fun to connect with your friends. In my case, outside of school, to, to share pictures with and videos, with, and memes, and to laugh at things together. And the way that the timelines were all chronological, you could stay up to date, just keep refreshing.

And it was so much fun. And then at some point, It started becoming not as fun anymore. It started becoming, getting at the bad rap that a lot of the apps have today in your mind. Start to no longer be this like just fun atmosphere anymore. Yeah. I think when brands and money get involved is when those things kind of shift.

And I think that's inevitable in nearly anything. I think that's probably true for most businesses. Um, but when it stopped feeling like, or when they stopped feeling like, uh, you're building a small community of just you, um, and now money and advertisement becomes attached to. Um, I think that's when things start to shift again, like I make my, I make my living in the social business.

Um, so, um, you know, it would, it would not behoove me to say that, like, I don't see the need for that. Um, I, I certainly do. And, and it just provided me a lot of things. Um, but I think for the average day-to-day user, that sense of feeling connected to people. The sinews of that start to loosen and it starts to feel a little more nebulous and you, and you start to drift a little further once a big advertisement pops up in the middle of your interaction, or once you're thinking about, um, you're watching a video that your friend sent you and all of a sudden there's B roll advertisement on it.

And things like that. It starts to take you out of. Um, and takes you away from the authenticity and the core of what it is. Um, so navigating that I think is the platforms, um, thing to solve. Uh, but I'd say that's probably the point when the money becomes involved. And when there's there's business to be done is probably when you lose a little bit of that sense of community.

Yeah. That always complicates things. And so, so do politics. I mean, I, in my, in my opinion, it's the lead up to the 2016 election. So around 2015 is when things just got super. And obviously like we're not going down a political rabbit hole, but that election just kind of brought a lot of things that were beneath the surface out of a lot of people in this country.

You know, made itself known on social media. That was when I kind of got off Twitter and took a step back. I deleted my Twitter for maybe two years and really just kind of detached from social media as a whole, because it wasn't an environment that I wanted to be a part of. And. Excluding tick tock, tick tock, kinda, you know, it has its flaws of course, but it's more like that 2011 Twitter right now.

It'll, it'll be messed up in a couple of years. I'm sure. And then something else where we'll replace it and be more fun, but that was kind of the moment when it really started getting negative and Twitter, Instagram, Facebook really haven't recovered since. Yeah, I think that's certainly a turning point for a lot of people.

Um, again, like if you follow the money, right. Political campaigns, agendas, those things are where now narratives and storylines and things like that are being pushed, uh, for one side or the other. We're again, we're not, we're not picking party lines here, but for one side or the other, um, it takes away from.

The reason you downloaded these apps in the first place was to connect with people, not necessarily for those kinds of missions. Um, and I'm with you, I'm aligned on Tik TOK. Uh, it feels, it feels authentic. It feels, um, fresh. It feels fun. Uh, rest in peace, divine, which was a platform. I was very, uh, I loved, um, I was, I was a big fan of vine.

Um, so I, I found that again in tech talk and I'm a fan. It's a quick side note. Why didn't vine really last? Yeah, I think there was some kind of a business dealing there where somebody bought them. I forget whether that was Twitter. Uh, it might've been Twitter, um, bought them and I just think they didn't know what to do with them.

The, the way of the platform seems to be by, and especially, this is true of Instagram. Uh, owned by Metta is too. Cram everything into the singular app, as opposed to where vine had its place. And, and now I think the days are gone of that, where you would take the functionality as we see with like Instagram reels, right.

They take the functionality of Tik TOK and bring it into the platform. I think vine was probably a victim of that, of being a really strong idea that could then be taken and put into a platform. Gotcha. Okay. Now I'm no area Hawaii. I should have probably done this, uh, at the start. Can you just kind of lay out you're the social media director at MMA fighting, but can you just kind of lay out in non MMA terms?

Just what your job. Yeah. So I oversee, um, the account health, the growth, the engagement across our accounts with our fans, um, on platforms like Twitter, like Facebook, like Instagram, hopefully like Tik TOK, 20, 22, um, YouTube as well. So we're fans, um, get off platform consumption. So on-platform would be MMA fighter.com.

Right? That's where our business exists. That's where our news entity exists. Um, off platform. Uh, device, um, landing spots like, like Twitter, like Facebook, like Instagram, like Tik TOK, um, are not owned by us. They're owned by third parties, but we have a presence on them so that we can interact with our fans and engage with fans and provide them news content.

Twitter is a great platform for, for a lot of news publishers and a place that people find that Facebook as well. Um, Instagram is a place that may be visual content is, is best seen. Um, but being able to diversify that look of our brand and represent our brand in that social space is what I'm in charge of.

Okay. So that helps me set up this question that I, that I'm dying to ask you. I don't know if it's name escaping me right now, but that, that Netflix documentary, I'm sure you saw it about just kind of the toxicity of social media that came out a couple of years ago. Yes. The name is escaping me as well, but yeah, I'm on the same page.

I've seen that. Yeah. So basically, you know, a lot of us saw that and were kind of horrified by it about how these companies, the. The Facebooks and the Googles and the Instagram's owned by Facebook med or whatever. Uh, Rewire the technology to try to get inside of our brains. Like they try to use our body's own hard wiring, our own chemical DNA against us to get us addicted, to spend more time on their platforms when the, when the app is free and it's us that are the product they're throwing ads, they're vying for our time.

All that good stuff is what that was about. Know. In that film, you saw a lot of executives from Google and from Facebook, whose job it was to make the consumers us more addictive. Admit that that was their job. Feel bad about. It leaves the company as a result because they felt bad about it. And they would also, while they're working at the companies, not allow their kids to be on the apps because they knew how bad it was for them.

So for you, as someone who works in social media, I am curious. Is there ever a moment in your minds where you're making a graphic for MMA fighting for whatever it is you're trying to do to try to make something that stands out to grab someone else's attention. Is there ever a moment where you feel bad or a sense of guilt about what your.

Yeah, it's a valid question. I would say no, personally, I don't, I'm coming from a place of, I'm an active and willing participant in the social ecosystem, right? Like I am somebody who, beyond what I am producing and providing to the world. I'm a consumer of social media. Um, I like to be on these apps. We talked about how much fun Tik TOK feels like.

I'm a, I'm a fan. I like to be on Tik TOK. Um, As an, as a willing consumer of a lot of these products. Um, I am recognizing that I have agency. You spoke about shutting down your Twitter for awhile. Um, there is, there is a point where I think that that is probably appropriate for some folks, but I do feel like this is a personal preference thing.

This is, there are a lot of things that are bad for us, and we know this. Um, and yet we still choose to do them at times. Um, this is not an argument. Across the board or objectively like social media is good or even bad for you. Um, but I recognize that that hard wiring is there and I recognize that that we are being manipulated in that way, but I'm a willing participant in it, um, from both the production side and the consumer side.

Um, so I don't have a moral, I don't have any moral strife, um, in producing content, uh, because I'm also willing to consume content. In fact, I want to consume content. Interesting. Okay. So. Not that this is a show about parenting advice, but your, your, you have two daughters. You're, you're the father of two very young daughters.

I mean, so they're a couple years away from entering this world, but how will you let technology and social media be a part of their lives? Yeah, I mean, I haven't thought as deeply about it as I will in the next few years as they're, you know, approaching that age. My, my oldest is, uh, just turned four, so we're still a little bit away from it.

Um, Um, probably it would be, I would feel personally hypocritical if I, if I took a stance of, we can't use these platforms, um, I think that there is good to be had. I think there is value in a lot of these. I feel like I am a more knowledgeable media consumer due to a lot of these platforms. Um, again, you have to be careful about disinformation and understanding what you're consuming, but I think it's, it's more in the education of.

Um, I will probably be very diligent in educating them in what these platforms are about before they are using them and understanding them like any tool. I think I need to teach them safety and teach them how to utilize these things properly. Um, before I allow them to just go out into the world and experience it.

So I think it's that it's the education ahead of the use, but I will not restrict them. Okay. And then just on your own consumption, I mean, we heard earlier on you had a notification. I mean, you're, you're. Keeps your phone always buzzing. You I've got distractions coming at you from every which angle, especially in your position.

Do you, do you ever step back and be like, I need to take a break. I need to chill. I need to go for a walk. Like how do you separate if at all? Yeah, there is, there is a blurring of the line, certainly, and especially made harder in the pandemic. Um, as people move toward home. And I moved toward home. My home becomes my office and now all of a sudden, not only do I not have that physical separation of office and work, um, but my job and my, and my living is based on a constantly moving environment that gets served to me through notifications and things like that.

So the answer is yes, like if I need to say. Um, I need to mentally uncheck for this next two hours to go pick up my daughter and go grocery shopping. I'll try not to be locked in at that time. Um, it, again, it becomes hard. There's certain times where you get pulled into it and, and the job is what the job is and I, and I can appreciate and recognize that, and I don't have any problems with it.

Um, but I do, I do have to mentally kind of compartmentalize and say to myself, like, yes, let me, let me physically, uh, step away from this and try not to pay attention to. Um, and put my mind on something else, the physical world that, you know, I was kind of talking about before, where I used to go out and play.

I have to reset that a little bit. And, um, in my job at MMA fighting, it has been easy to find that work-life balance. Um, and it's, and it's been helpful and healthy. I don't know. I don't know how much you follow kind of emerging technologies and stuff, but I'm starting to dig into the metaverse, which is kind of cool.

Uh, Facebook names, Metta as kind of an homage to what is coming, what Zuckerberg and crew are trying to build. How do you feel about that? How do you feel about this idea that on social media, uh, criticism of it is you've got a bunch of people on there pretending to be someone they're not in the metaverse, you can be someone that you're not.

How do you feel about, about that world and what may or may not be. Yeah. I feel like the idea of misrepresenting who you are or hiding behind anonymity is only going to continue to grow. But I don't think that. Metaverse or platform specific. If you want to be anonymous online, you can be anonymous. It's online then, you know, as long as you're able to try hard enough and figure out the workarounds, um, I think it goes back to what I was talking about in terms of safety.

Like the, the platforms need to build in and the consumers need to be aware of the realities of, of what's to come. I don't think there is any available. That the world will continue to move closer and closer to the metaverse and closer and closer and closer to, um, virtual life in a way from physical, um, life.

And as that happens, we need to as consumers and they need to as platforms and brands and businesses, um, establish the safety of that. But I think there's a personal responsibility that has to be taken there. I think there's a responsibility for those platforms that needs to be taken. Um, because I do not think this train can be stopped at.

Does that scare you at all? I mean, I try to explain this to my parents the other day. And they were like, what are you talking about? There's going to be a world where you don't even have to exist in the real world at all. And I was trying to say, I mean, yeah, kind of, you can spend a bunch of time.

Non-existent reality. I mean, so like, what is that? That's such a crazy thought to me. It doesn't scare me because it doesn't feel here yet. It doesn't feel tangible. It, it still feels like there's time between, and there's going to be evolutions between the time. We exist as like a cloud that is connected to, um, a network.

Um, but I don't know, we spent all these years watching these films that romanticize that idea and like the connections with technology and like the development of this and what it could theoretically do for advancement of our species as far as like health and other things and extending life. Um, if you consider.

Existing on a, on a server life. Um, and I don't know, there's, there's something romantic about it to me. Maybe I'm maybe I'm off. Maybe I'm a little imbalanced. Um, but I've watched enough of those movies and there is, I do see the appeal of it. I understand why we're moving in that direction. Um, and I'm not really scared of it as much as recognizing that I need to prepare and take precaution and figure out how to navigate that world, that new world.

Um, but I wouldn't say I'm scared. No, I'm not. I'm not really scared. I'm glad to hear that. You're so open-minded about it because, and this is something I talk a lot, uh, talk about a lot on this. As you get older, you become increasingly more stubborn in your ways. You know, I'm sure there's a lot of three four-year-olds in your circle that, you know, that still talk all the time about the, uh, Oregon trail days, uh, on the computer and about those early chat rooms and the aim and how shitty Tik TOK is, and that they don't understand it.

Yeah. And so there it's in my mind, it's you always, especially in your job, you need to kind of be on your toes all the time, willing to change with the times, because that will be a skill that will serve you well for the rest of your life. Because the older you get, people often tend to just like, remember the good old days and lean into those even more.

So it's really good that you are not being one of those people. Yeah. I think to be resistant and kind of not want to change, um, and be pulled along reluctantly. It's another thing that. Downright refuse and not recognize what's coming. Like, I think this is a reality that we can't escape, that these things are happening.

Fe Metta is not the only one who is considering a metaverse like your favorite company is thinking, how do we make this happen? Um, every single one of them is trying to figure that out, because then they're also trying to sell you things in that ecosystem, which is the end goal of all of this. Um, so. To not recognize that this is coming in and keep yourself open to that idea and then be best prepared for it.

I think it would be negligent. I think you'd be doing yourself a disservice. Um, but you can still be nostalgic. It's still it's. Okay. And maybe in that metaverse maybe in that metaverse Dave developed a way that you can play Oregon trail with your friends in the metaverse. So take advantage. I honestly, the way I think about this a lot of times is opportunity, like the same way that businesses are thinking of this as an opportunity I'm thinking of this as an opportunity to.

Do things in my life that I can't now, if the metaverse provides me those opportunities, that will be the direction I'm going. That will be the area that I will lean into. And if it provides opportunities for my family, for my children, um, that is where I will take it. And I, and I'm open to that possibility and figuring out how to navigate that.

I can't wait to be the first podcast producer, uh, first. So you should give me some ideas here. Uh, we've mentioned Tik TOK a couple of times that feels like the app, the place to be. I think it's a lot of fun. It resembles that that 2008 Facebook, that 2010 Twitter were just fun. Yes. I mean, China has complicated things.

Yes. Trump like threatened to, there's been a lot of controversy around the more so early on and Tik TOK then early on. But it's a lot of fun in your mind. What makes Tik TOK so unique and attractive in this? The moment? The thing that we touched on about in the beginning, which is the fact that it was creator-driven, um, it was the creators were the ones who were, uh, influencing how the platform functioned.

And if you were into it, you ha you had a home. And now you found a like-minded group of people. If you weren't, you just didn't use Tik TOK, or you never arrived on it in the first place. Um, so I think that. The trends, a lot of the trends that you see on the other social platforms originate on tick tock, tick tock is the place of innovation.

Tick-tock is the place that these things are happening. Um, and so, um, that sense of community that you touched on kind of went away and that connection with other like-minded people. It's still there. It's still president Tech-Talk. Now they're obviously talking about monetization and figuring out and there's advertisements and things like that that are coming to the platform.

I still think the heart of it is very, um, grounded in that creation. Um, there's problems that exist on that platform across any platform, uh, you know, uh, ownership. Right? You can just, there's a lot of people who could just take content that isn't theirs, um, or utilize content that is in there is that's a problem.

Um, but there's also a lot of like genuine. Creativity that comes out of that platform that then gets transferred onto other platforms and people come to later. So like, as an example, our friend, Derek Hawaiian, he fell in love with island, boys, um, that song, but by those two, uh, musicians, I'll call them musicians.

Um, Tik TOK had that three weeks before. People were discovering it on Twitter and we're discovering it on Instagram. So, um, there is a, there is a discovery, discovery is a good, uh, you know, uh, creation and discovery are still happening on that platform. Uh, much like rip vine, um, at the time that, that we were utilizing that and spreading elsewhere.

So that's what I think is so appealing for at the moment you touched on the creativity on Tik TOK. I mean, it blows my mind, the things that I'm seeing on there everyday things that I never would've thought to do. My favorite thing to do on Tik TOK honestly, is I know what to target to get a, it gets a bad rap in terms of the commenting that you have people saying that the comment there's can be ruthless because again, you know, people just love to be keyboard, warriors and such.

I lived to do the opposite when I see some creative dance or a song or something just like really innovative. I just love leaving a comment and just being like, yeah, this is awesome. Congrats. Good for you. This is 17 seconds right here. Really just made my last half hour. I'm glad I found this. Yeah. That those two things are the same scar are opposite sides of the same coin, right?

Like the, the positivity and the encouragement and the sense of being seen and belonging, um, is there as, is the people trying to break other people down and things like that. I think you have to, again, I think this platforms are responsible in a certain, in a certain capacity for that they need to police that they need to make sure that people are not invading other people's spaces because these virtual spaces are real.

Um, now they need to make sure that people are not invading other fields spaces, but there also needs to be a personal responsibility in terms of let me block this person, let this net, this person never show up on my comments or my timeline again. Um, let me find those positive community. And, and I think that, um, With the combination of those two things, taking the personal accountability for it, producing content that you want to produce, um, and the platforms doing their job to police it.

Um, it that's, that's where the creativity is fostered because if, if it was only the negativity, everything would get shit on. Everything would get shut down and nothing would ever come of it because everybody be too depressed from what the a hundred comments were set on their first tick talk. Um, but there is that there is that positivity to our people.

Like you, there are people like me who are there to see. Um, content flourish and, and not to shut other people down and make them miserable. So, um, yeah. I love that you do that. And I think there are people out there who are creating that as well. Yeah. Arguably the best thing about it is. And I mean, I, I think of people who were owning businesses or trying to get jobs in the 1980s, I think of all the services they had to pay for the ads they had to take out in the newspaper all the time and money they had to spend because they didn't have this phone.

And all of those apps that are free, Tik TOK is free marketing. I don't know how the algorithms work, you know, much more than that. But you are literally having overnight sensations, people making viral videos on Tik TOK, having 10 followers and still having a video, get a million views. I have heard several stories of people.

Getting hired based on their work on Tik TOK, they weren't applying for any jobs or anything. Someone just found their video and tech doc and said, wow, you're really knowledgeable about this subject. Wow. You're a really good video editor. We could use you at this company that is amazing to me. And it's something that is so far removed from what was happening 20 years ago.

Yeah, absolutely. People can be quote unquote. Um, through a lot of these platforms, the danger of that is the same kind of addicting quality that we were talking about in terms of how the platforms know how to make you addicted Tik TOK. In particular, their average watch times are very long. People spend a really know the videos are short.

People spend a lot of time going through multiple videos and their average watch times are huge. That's. Tik TOK is a platform that people are looking to figure out how to monetize it and get their businesses on. Um, because those watch times are so long, but much like we were talking about how they can get you to the platform.

There's also the addiction of followers, right? Like there's the addiction of now I have this audience and I have a responsibility and, and I'm now quote, unquote famous or Tik TOK famous. Um, it has an intoxication quality of how. This addicting feel to it. So there are those people that you mentioned that like, they have a low follower count and they had one video that got served into the algorithm, but then there's also people that have these repeat videos and they start to build the audience.

And now all of a sudden they're Tik TOK, famous quote unquote, you know, Addison Ray, I think is an example that many people know as like one of the most famous, uh, tick tock, tick talkers. So that's the, that's the potential danger, right? It can also be lucrative. It can be something where Addison Rae, I believe is in films now and making a career for herself and music.

Um, so it can be beneficial in the way you're describing, but it can also be dangerous because, um, our on-platform monetization isn't there yet. People are not making a ton of money on Tik TOK itself yet. Um, and so. You can think that, oh, I have this many million followers I should be making so much money.

And the reality is you might not be, um, and people can not lose sight of that and not understand that. Um, but in terms of. Discovery. It's still there. It's still the platform for that. Um, the algorithm is very, very good. I'd say they have one of the strongest algorithms I've seen in terms of what you like on that platform.

You will be served content that is very similar to your interests. They have fun. The precision on their algorithm is, is extremely good. But the other problem with that is, and there's another danger, which is you get sucked into a funnel, right? So if you only see things like. Then are you being a responsible consumer on social media?

Are you being a responsible person in the world? If the only things you're seeing are these things that you love and only them, um, are you getting the full picture? So there's the dangerous, there, there are the dangers of social media that we talk about. Um, but if we are responsible and the platforms act responsibly, uh, we will be able to find.

Yeah. And what you're just referring to there is also along the lines of privacy and data gathering, which has, which is causing a bunch of problems. Especially at Facebook. I feel like we've all just kind of accepted that this is a part of our realities now that we no longer control our data, that all of these companies are kind of hacking into our phones.

And that, I mean, some people literally think like our phones are listening to us, that Siri is there to actually just listen to us. And that's why we get to. Uh, an Instagram ad about what we were just talking about 10 minutes ago, have you noticed just in your line of work and observations that people were resistant to this idea of the companies having our data and I'm just now fully accepted it and just been like, I don't even care anymore.

Yeah. I mean, I'll, let me start with personally, I'm in the camp of, I recognize it's a necessary evil, because that is the value. That is what these platforms are asking from us in order to participate. I don't have anything to hide. Like I'm not a particularly PRI private in that sense. Like my data is, um, something that I'm not as protective of.

Um, but I recognize the danger of that. I recognize, like I am making a conscious decision. I'm making an informed decision based on my personal preferences and needs. I recognize that. Being able to protect that and not have companies have, that would be beneficial to the public. And I recognize that anybody who has that position, that they are not willing to fork over their data, more power to them.

I support them. Um, they don't need to use those platforms. I am somebody who wants to and willing to participate in that, in that, um, exchange, uh, there, um, I've noticed that there are many like me. I also will. I w I would wager, and, and I imagine that this is true, and I see that this is true. There's also a huge sub-section of people that just don't know that that is the exchange that is being made terms and agreement, maybe something that they see and recognize, but have not read and understand what's being collected and won't know until it actually comes back to impact them.

What has been exchanged there? Um, I would, I would recommend that we have more people who are ignorant of what's going on than consciously opting in to provide the data, um, is my guess. Hmm. Okay. Uh, there there's just so many, there are so many things that can be monetized. There are so many pieces of data.

Now there are, so people don't think about when you're walking through the supermarket, your consumer habits and what you're looking at and what items are scanning and things like that. There is, there are entire businesses built on this, and it is the most lucrative part of what these platforms are doing.

Um, and I don't think they quite understand how granular and microscopic this collection of data can be. So they are, they're not aware of what the impact is. Um, and I, I'm saying that as somebody who doesn't have a sense of all of it, I have a sense of some of it, but I don't have a sense of all of it.

And so, um, I would think that more people are not aware that opting in, but there's also people who opt in I'm, uh, I'm for sure up hello, in your mind, as a, as a content creator or someone who, uh, you know, you were doing it at ESPN. And now I'd ever made fighting. What, what wins on Tik TOK? What strategies when onto.

Yeah, there's a lot of, um, there's a lot of different ways to do it. Obviously one of the most tried and true strategies is utilizing sounds that are being reused. Um, a lot of people follow the same trends and utilize the same sounds you can on that platform, click into the sound and then you can see other people have used similar sounds and you start to see trends and patterns.

Um, so that's one way, um, Certain hashtags are very popular and continue to show up in the, for you page and are utilized. Um, but I think, and this is going to be the most cliche BS, like nonsense answer. Um, but it is, it is actually true. Trust me, it is actually true original thought content creation works on every platform.

If you have something that people. That is the key to success. There isn't an overnight, like I used this sound and had a good idea for it. And now I'm a superstar, the key to any platform. Tik Tik TOK, Twitch, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, to a lesser extent, um, is to be original, is to have Elaine figure out what it is that you want to do.

Right? You want to present something that's valuable to people. The, the best way to present something is to do something that nobody else is doing. Because if you're the only one doing it, you're the only source they can. They can only come to you. So do something original, um, and be consistent with it. So if it's a podcast, right?

If, if podcast is what you do. Do a really good high quality podcast that talks about topics that you think there's an audience for, that you're passionate about. And the audience will come. It's the same on Tik TOK and it's the same everywhere else. But, um, as far as like the, the easier, more surface level, um, things is once you have that idea, once you have that kernel of what you want to do, Make sure you're consistent and make sure you're posting.

Um, and not just hoping that like, oh, I made two, you know, videos on Tik TOK. I'm hoping they'll take off. They could, they might, but realistically, sometimes it's a slow grind. You need to be continue to be putting that into the world. Engage with other people is something that works really well on Tik TOK and really well on other platforms as well as, um, the tech talk has the.

The ability now where you can reply to people's comments and produce another video in reply to them. Um, they are also piloting, um, answering other people's questions. Like just being able to feel like, take a question that's that's out in the open and out in the field that people have asked and provide your video response to it.

So that kind of organic engagement and interacting with other creators on the platforms, um, is something that will work there's also, and this is very much of the vine era mentality. The ability to work with other creators. So if you're a creator and somebody else is a creator and you guys have platforms, um, meet up in real life, figure out things to do, or don't meet up in real life, meet up with fibers.

Yeah. Or the metaverse, or even on the DMS of, uh, whatever platform you're using and make that connection, make content together, amplify the audience, the potential audience for your voice. Um, Be genuine, be authentic, come up with something that, that is most uniquely you and you can be passionate about, and that you're not struggling to create that you really want to put the time and energy into creating and interact with other people on the platform, um, and see where that takes you.

Um, the reality is there is no guarantee of overnight success. There's no guarantee of that on any platform in any walk of life, right? Like you may kill yourself and grind and make yourself miserable at, at something. And it just may not be successful for you. Um, so that's why the passion is so important.

Do something that you really, really want to do, that you can put the effort and the energy into that if 10 people or 10 million people see it, you're going to stand behind and be proud of. So if, if someone comes to you and I appreciate that, that was tremendous insight. If someone comes to you and they, they run a business, or, you know, they sell flowers, they're a yoga studio, they have a podcast, whatever it is.

And. They come to you and say, I recognize that I need social media in 2021, to get my message out there about my product, about my service. They ask you, where should I be? And what should I do? What do you tell them before I tell them where they should be and what they should do? I'd ask why do they need social media?

Um, because I think everybody thinks they need to be on social media. Uh, the reality is not everybody needs to be on social media. If you, if you are not primed for. Producing content for social media that can be distributed. It's better to not play the game than to play it poorly. Um, so all in or all out, be all in or all out, but also like recognize what your strengths are.

Right? You don't need to be on every platform. Right? If you're, if you're a video, if. If you're somebody who is in a business of producing long form video content, or you think that long form video content would be the best thing that represents your brand or whatever that thing is you're doing, then maybe you only need a YouTube.

If you have a Twitter that has no following, um, and can't show people on that platform with things that are fit for that platform, why they should be following your law informed content elsewhere or not providing value on, on Twitter. I'm just using them as an example, then maybe don't have. So I would start with what plat, what is the, what is the venue?

What is the forum to best represent what you need and what you want to do? Um, and let's pair that with what you're doing, as opposed to saying, you need to be on Twitter, you need to be on Tik TOK. You need to be on this, that or the other. Um, I think it is much more important to be. Um, authentic on each of these platforms.

And I think it's much more important to be, um, fitting the content to the distribution method, because I like to simplify what we're talking about here. This is all distribution. Yeah. All we're doing is giving people something right. In the, in most people think of social media as like I'm trying to get you to interact or I'm trying to get you to engage, or I'm trying to even take you off platform.

It's all, it's all distribution. So if you are a brand or you are a company. And you have a message that needs to get out. Social media may not be your best method. It could be a newspaper, it could be on YouTube, which I is. If you consider YouTube social media, I think YouTube and Twitch live outside of what we'd call like traditional social media platforms a little bit and more towards like video, um, specific.

Um, but maybe those are the right platforms for you. So I don't think there's a, a catch-all I think if you are a brand that exists on a lot of these platforms, especially if you're a higher profile. To me, Tik TOK is the place that you'd want to be most readily because the captive audience is there and it hasn't been kind of monetized, um, as heavily yet.

Um, but I don't think there is a one size fits all. You need to be on this platform or all platforms. I think you really need to understand your, what it is you're offering and why the distribution makes sense for that. When it comes to strategy. I think of one of my idols is a Gary V who dabbles in the MMA world.

So I know you're familiar with them. And then our guy Helwani, I mean, they, they are of the mindset that just more and more and more posts, tweets, IgG story, IgE posts as much as possible. Who cares? Don't worry about the time. Just, just get it out there. You have other people on the other side of the coin.

You know, less can be more sometimes, uh, it leaves the people wanting more, like make it short and get like, where do you fall on that? Yeah. I fall closer to the ladder. I call I fall closer to less is more. Um, but let me tell you why Gary Vee and Ariel Helwani are outliers. Right? Gary V and Ariel Hawaiian.

Became who they were not on social media. Social media is a device, social media as a distribution platform for them, but they became who they were before the user will utilize these platforms. Right. So a perfect example of this is Ariel Helwani at the core of what he does. The number one thing that he is most passionate about and most known for there's two in-person interviews with MMA fighters, but a.

That in 2021 is three and a half to four hours long. There is not a person in digital, in the digital space alive. That would recommend that would tell you that that's good. Would tell you that that's good for business would tell you that that's optimal. Um, but he does it because he's an outlier because that is what he became.

Famous and popular for it because he matched the distribution, which ended up being at the time, YouTube and other platforms, um, to what he was doing and found the right fit and the right home for it. And now people continue to have that habit. Um, Gary V speaking, in person networking, meeting people, he built his brand before he became somebody who has really good Tik TOK content, what she does.

And I really liked Gary. These tick-tock content. So I think it goes back to what I was talking about earlier. If I was to make a recommendation to a brand or a company, or even a person, you need to know what your strengths are, you need to know what, what will work best for you. And you need to establish that at a certain scale when your area or where you're Gary V you can just fire things off and it will find audience because they have such a massive following.

Um, if you were somebody who was trying to build an audience and you're not Gary V and you're not Ariel, Helwani less can be. Um, the algorithms on these platforms reward you for having high performing posts and they ding you for have lower performing posts. Um, so if you have a post that doesn't do well, it hurts you as much as a good a well-performing post helps you.

So you don't want to just fire everything off. You don't want to rapid-fire you don't want to just push through. What you want to do is really be intentional with the things that you're serving and make sure it's a fit for the platform. Make sure it's optimized for the platform, right? You want to make sure that the video and image sizes and things like that are, are the best, um, performing on that platform.

And you want to make sure it's content that people will engage with the number one driver, the thing that you want to get, and, and this will enhance your growth and unlock everything else for you. Is it. You want people to interact with your posts, if it's to like it, if it's to retweet it, if it's to comment, if it's to share on Facebook, any of those, um, or to share with somebody on DM on Instagram, any of those are something that will take it outside your current following and into new, um, follower, um, opportunities.

And we'll put you in front of people that are not the existing followers, and that's where you will see the growth. Then as you continue to grow and you continue to follow that engagement. Now you'll continue to expand that network and expand that network and expand that network. So I would recommend, uh, not, um, especially if you are somebody trying to build an audience, not to overly do it, be intentional, um, be genuine and also make sure that you are providing value with each of your posts.

It's a really good point. I mean, you just brought up a bunch of great points, but I had never really thought about it because in to bring what you said into the podcast, With regards to Gary V with Ariel and they established their fans outside of social media, kind of before social media people ask me all the time, because when I advise other people about podcasts, people to talk about podcast length and yada, yada, they say, well, Joe Rogan's is three to four hours.

And I'm like, that is an outlier. That is not something that you should do. Joe Rogan can do that because he was doing that before. Podcasts were cool before podcasts were. Yeah. Before anyone knew what a podcast was. He was doing that, having these long, random conversations, smoking blunts with these random comedians and MMA fighters and different thinkers.

That's what allows him to still do it similar to what you said with Gary and Ariel. Yeah. And to tie it even more full circle, back to the conversation we were having about Tik TOK and me saying like, you need to be passionate about this thing and consistent with. Joe Rogan Ariel Helwani Gary V all three of them.

The one thing they have in common is they are who they are and they will do that for an audience of 10. In a room, just meeting Gary V and shaking his hand, or they will do that for an audience of 10 million people. When we got Joe Rogan with Elon Musk, right. They would have been doing that for any size audience.

The audience was independent of what they were doing. So you have to find what that thing is much like they did, and that's what you need to lean into and pursue. And then the audience will be. Again, there's no guarantees of how far that's going to take you and how far the audience is going to grow if there's not enough of an industry for it.

Um, but that is the key to the success. You have to find that thing and pursue that with everything you've got. Well, New York, Rick, this has been a wildly, uh, fascinating, informational conversation, selfishly for someone who kind of worked like I don't work in social media, but I, I am. It is a part of my every day, whether it's for work or for pleasure.

So I'm constantly trying to figure out ways to, to crack the code, to get better at it, to navigate it all. So this has been great. I hope to see you in the metaverse and, uh, I look forward to, even though we're technically competitors, uh, I don't see you as that. And I know we'll be talking about Rob Fonte versus Jose.

Uh, this weekend. Damn look at you. Try. It's still when it, um, two, two things on that one. Yes. I hope to see you in the metaverse and I will, uh, for sure, um, the be joining you there. Uh, but I hope to see you in real life too. I, even though we just got done with this conversation and I, and I talked about not being afraid of, uh, what's the common, the metaverse and being a willing partner.

Um, there's still nothing like seeing somebody face-to-face and I still am nostalgic for that. So I hope to see you again soon.