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6/1/2022

We Don’t Talk About TikTok (AKA The Column No One Asked For)

Amanda Thomsen
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I made a TikTok account years ago because I’m unnaturally obsessed with Gritty, the mascot for the Philadelphia Flyers, and that was a source for more Gritty footage (even though I never really checked in for it).

I’m not sure what pushed me back toward my TikTok account once the world shut down in March 2020, but I immersed myself in it to the point of obsession. If you believe that TikTok is just teens doing dances or lip syncing, you are incorrect. TikTok is the home of any obsession or thing you want to learn that can exist, but for me it really provides a sense of belonging. Anything you’re into or any facet of your personality, there’s a community out there for it.

My current FYP (For You Page) is peppered with vintage hairstyle how-tos, Our Flag Means Death cosplay, info relating to realizing your neurodivergence later in life, more footage than you’d think exists about Lwaxana Troi and more Gen X tattooed moms than you could shake a Giggle Stick at. If I’m being honest, I do not follow many gardeners on TikTok, but I do follow some pros and I’d like to share them with you …

Garden Centers/shops for Your Review:

@Plantfoundry—Great at showing off what they have in stock in just the right way.

@perfectchoicenursery—They “get” TikTok culture and have a ton of followers, so fun!

@tannertheplanter —Plant shop owner that speaks common-sense, has a TON of
followers.

@tonkadale_greenhouse—Their vids make me want to run away and work there; I just might.

@fatplantfarm —Great variety of product, fun and educational, I LOLed.

@alsipnursery—Hasn’t made a TikTok this year, but here’s hoping. It looks like they have young people making TikToks for other young viewers, which I really like.

@spruceitupgardencentre—Absolutely perfect balance of information, branding and TikTok fun.

A Grower Making the Best of It:

@olsonsgreenhouse_garden—Seemingly growers for Walmart, great balance of behind-the-scenes/in the greenhouse and dancing.

Public Gardens for Everyone:

@Mobotgarden—Somewhat snarky garden tips, as well as what’s going on at MOBOT.

@Garfieldparkconservatory—Someone sings a custom song for each video they post; it’s remarkable.

I encourage you to check out these accounts and see if it’s something you may want to try (you can also check out major brands like Taco Bell and Target that are also crushing it).

You might try TikTok because: 1) It’s fun and maybe a little young; and 2) you can then use those short videos you make on other platforms (they’re easily saved and shared). If you’re looking for ROI it would more likely come from sharing those videos to your audience than to hit the right market on TikTok, although that can absolutely happen. I do follow places I discovered on TikTok that I’ve gone out of my way to visit when I’m out of town—I just think that doesn’t translate as much to, say, a $300 tree.

If you pursue this, make sure to grab a free Linktree (or similar) account to share in your bio that points viewers to your website, Insta, YouTube or whatever you use.

Now, there’s as many ways to make a TikTok as there are volunteer mustard seedlings in my front beds (hint: sooo many), so I’m not going to try and educate you about that. Choose a song (your options are more limited with a business account, but no one is saying you need to have a business account), pick some words and set them to dictation and duration and before you know it, you too will be choreographing dances in the greenhouse.

No, it’s not simple in the beginning, but the learning curve affects everyone and you just have to try it to get good at it. Watch those that have come before, ask your younger staff members to help out, and as always, let your personality shine through! GP


Amanda Thomsen is a funky, punky garden writer and author. Her blog is planted at KissMyAster.com and you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter AND Instagram @KissMyAster.

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