Creator spotlight: Jane Ko talks TikTok and Instagram Reels

Jane Ko tried to avoid TikTok. The blogger and creator’s platform of choice is Instagram, where her @atasteofkoko account has about 118,000 followers, and she felt she wasn’t the right fit for an app that burst on the scene with singing and dancing—things she says she isn’t good at.

Insider Intelligence talked to her about why she eventually caved.

Insider Intelligence: Why did you decide to start posting on TikTok?

Jane Ko: There was an increasing demand for TikTok, and I knew creators there were seeing video viewership numbers you just couldn’t reach on Instagram. My first few TikTok videos got no traction, but then I got the idea of turning a listicle I had made, about 100 things to do in Austin, into a series of 100 TikTok videos.

II: What were the results?

JK: During the two and a half months I was posting the series, my TikTok follower count shot up from basically zero to 100,000. What was most interesting, though, was that I had one video that got 2 million views when I had barely 10,000 followers, which doesn’t happen on other platforms. Now, when people recognize me in Austin, it’s not only from Instagram; I’m also the “100 Things” girl on TikTok.

II: Tell us about your branded video campaign for Hawaiian Airlines.

JK: Hawaiian Airlines wanted to promote its new nonstop flight from Austin to Honolulu, so I created a guide to all the fun things and best restaurants in Honolulu to get my audience excited for the destination. It ran on TikTok and Instagram Reels.

II: How did the videos perform?

JK: The TikTok version reached nearly 200,000 views, while the Instagram Reels version hit about 27,800. I noticed that people on TikTok will engage with a video well after it posts since it gets recommended to them on the For You page, and viewership was still climbing after about three or four weeks. Viewership on Reels tends to plateau a few days after posting.

II: Has your attitude toward TikTok and Instagram changed since?

JK: Instagram is still my main platform. It’s where most of my core followers are, except for those in a few markets, and where I have the most brand partnerships. I’m not posting on TikTok every day anymore, so my growth there has slowed. On TikTok, it’s hard to guarantee a brand a certain number of views, because you never know what’s going to go viral.