Addison Rae Tells Us (and Her 70 Million TikTok Followers) Why She's Shopping Small This Holiday Season
Social media stars with varying degrees of “influence” have been encouraging followers to “shop small” this holiday season, but few have as large of an audience — or as many Gen Z followers — as 20-year-old Addison Rae Easterling. Between her 70 million followers on TikTok, 32 million on Instagram, and 4 million on Twitter and YouTube each, Easterling is in a unique position to actually influence followers to support small this December.
Naturally, in order to do this, she partnered with...Amazon? It sounds odd, but it’s part of the mega-retailer’s Support Small initiative, which highlights the small business owners who use its platform to sell. In addition to Easterling, Amazon enlisted celebrities like Chance the Rapper and Riverdale’s Charles Melton to highlight their favorite small businesses on Amazon in a campaign that runs through December 11.
Easterling’s post highlighting her favorite products racked up an impressive 21 million views and 2.6 million likes on TikTok alone, and the brands featured have seen a surge in sales as a result. See the video below.
Here are the products she mentioned in the video:
In an email interview, Easterling shared with Entrepreneur why she chose this partnership, how she picked the gifts on her guide and how some of the brands have reacted.
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
I'm sure you get approached by brands about partnerships all the time. Why did this one in particular appeal to you?
Covid-19 has made this year difficult for so many people but especially small businesses. I love the heart and passion that comes from small businesses and how careful they are with their customer service. Amazon has made it so easy for customers to support small businesses while also making it super easy to do so from the convenience of your phone or computer.
How did you pick the Amazon businesses and products you chose to highlight?
I chose these products based on the types of gifts I love to give and receive, and many of the small business owners also have amazing stories. For example, I love tea, so Tea Drops was a natural choice. It’s a woman-owned business that sells a wide selection of teas in fun shapes that quickly dissolve in water. So fun!
One could argue that shopping small through Amazon is somewhat of an oxymoron. Why do you encourage people to do that rather than just buying directly from small businesses in their towns?
LOL, I totally get it. I don’t know where you are in the county, but I’m in Los Angeles and the Covid-19 numbers here are extreme. My shopping is all happening online, and Amazon just makes it really easy to do. Even though Amazon is a big business, a lot of small businesses sell their products through their platform. Amazon just makes the shopping process easy.
Have you heard from any of the brands you've featured?
#duet with @addisonre so how did we do
Your sponsored posts on TikTok tend to perform similarly to your organic ones, which isn't common. Why do you think your audience engages with your sponsored content?
I think my fans trust me and what I share with them, and it’s nice to see that reflected.
As you choose brands to partner with, how do you think about how these campaigns will come to life on all your various platforms? (TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, etc.)
I see each platform as a different medium. It’s very rare that you’ll see the same content from me on more than one platform.