On December 22, 2022, niche influencer Jake Shane, known online as @octopusslover8, celebrated hitting 20 thousand followers on Tik Tok with an Instagram giveaway. Now, just two months later, Jake has grown to 15 times that size.
How did he do it?
Jake's Tik Tok has been an account I've had my eye on for a few months now. Not only am I a fan, but it's clear that Jake's managed to develop a community–not simply an audience. Even before his recent follower surge, his posts were getting consistent, excited engagement; not simply likes or shares, but comments from like minded followers looking to contribute to the conversation. In the month of January, Jake was able to double his following from ~20 thousand to ~40 thousand.
The key to his growth was, and continues to be, the true authenticity of his content. He doesn't rely on trends, he creates them. Even though most, if not all, of his content is clearly comedic, it's not done without purpose. Some of his videos are more staged, like his "Tents Up" food reviews, where he even includes the chefs! Most of his content, though, is much more off the cuff. This mix of consistent series and impromptu postings really helps to grow a follower base. "Series" type posts help let an audience know exactly what they're signing up for when following, and consistently delivering with those videos keeps audiences happy. Contrastingly, sporadic posts help to keep the audience from getting bored with an overly formulaic posting structure. If you can find the perfect mix, you're bound for success.
Clearly, Jake managed to find that sweet spot. In the last week Jake has grown from ~50k to around ~300k followers. What sparked this recent surge in followers is his new series, born straight from his comment section. Followers have been asking him to recreate iconic historical events from his POV, and the end result is frankly hilarious. It may seem that this new series is the sole reason for Jake's big jump, but this is not the case. While this series helped Jake's content land on new eyes, and in turn find new followers, his established community is the true source of this swift growth and what will allow him to continue to grow in the future.
Now, developing a community and perfecting your brand are not the only factors for success. Jake also benefits from being incredibly original, funny and creative in his content. His content has always been high quality, but this new video series simply helped to boost him to a new audience that could appreciate it.
Many creators will see spikes in their followers after finding success with a single video, and then plateau. I think Jake will be one of the exceptions to this rule. His already consistent brand and community will undoubtedly help propel him to future success. While the rate of growth will likely fluctuate, 300k is not the ceiling for Jake. If he chooses to continue to pursue growth on Tik Tok, I think he'll have no trouble finding it. I'm excited to see what the future holds for him! Tents Up!