A mother/daughter team in White Sulphur Springs (Greenbrier County) are benefiting from the world’s most visited domain to spread the word about their bath, body, skincare, and clean burning candles. Erin Lovell and her daughter Sophie Bowes with Sweet Cedar Soap Company have so-far built a following of more than 30,000 folks on TikTok @sweetcedarandco since December 2019. The explosion of TikTok (which is an all video platform) in the last couple of years has created a paradigm shift in marketing and it’s changing the way businesses and creators spark trends around content, services, products, and personal brands. It was recently reported by Forbes that TikTok now exceeds revenue of both twitter and snapchat and is pioneering the internet’s new way.
Describing their digital presence, Erin tells us she and her team are active on several social media outlets, have a full e-commerce site, and a wholesale site. Collectively, they have gained 34,000 followers on TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. Their retail shop is located on the main street in downtown WSS (beside Barnwood Living) and there’s also a Candle Cottage in a separate building on the property. Products are made on site in small batches “with great care in packaging and presentation.” They say they use local mountain spring water and the best ingredients they can source in all of their formulations.
“I love tiktok. It’s been great for my business, but it’s also so much fun!” – Erin Lovell
Erin tells us she goes in spurts when creating video content on TikTok. “Some months I am super active and can do as many as two a day, other times maybe two a week.” She says her goal with the platform is to grow her business while having fun and her weekly social media commitment is about 10 hours. Ultimately, her goal is to gain more customers and increase sales. 30k TikTok followers is a really big deal and Erin says the key to her success is consistency and trying to stay on trend with what is popular on the app from day to day. Learn more about Erin’s success on tiktok with our Q&A:
Do you follow the “rule” of the algorithms? Seems a lot of people are talking about this lately. I do sometimes, but nobody really knows how they work, so I try not to focus too much on that. My most viral video has 725k views, and it was an afterthought one day. My second highest viewed video at 423k is literally a machine filling a jar for 12 seconds. Nothing too exciting in my eyes, but people love behind-the-scenes stuff like that.
How would you say TikTok stands apart from other social media platforms? It’s more relaxed and fun, mainly because the algorithm for the “for you page” is outstanding. The app doesn’t take long to figure out what you like and what you enjoy watching, and it reflects in the videos that are shown to you.
“I tell everyone that has a business, that if you aren’t trying this app, you really need to.” – Erin Lovell
Would you say the TikTok platform serves your purpose? Absolutely! I tell everyone that has a business, that if you aren’t trying this app, you really need to.
Where do you see this going for you in the future? I try not to take it real serious. There is no doubt that without it, our business wouldn’t be shipping to every state, and with a lot of repeat business. We started the app at a time when we had to shut our physical location down due to covid. Without it and the sales it brings, I don’t know that we could have survived that first year.
What advice do you have for folks and businesses trying to grow their following? Try to be consistent, making content on a regular basis. I am not perfect at this, and sometimes not even good at this advice. It takes a lot of work to make good videos, and sometimes with all of the other business stuff, I just don’t want to. But stay consistent and you will learn and do well.
HashtagWV Art & Entertainment is a high-quality print and digital multimedia platform for all things West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region. The editorial focus is local music, unique shopping, the arts, events, theatre, and food and drinks. tiktok.com/@hashtagwv