Jay Wey is the cofounder of Ubiik and the proud influencer behind all these amazing social media channels where he has amassed an incredible following: TikTok: jayandsharon (1.7M followers), Instagram: jayplussharon (620K) Instagram and YouTube: JaySharon (640K). We had the special opportunity to pick his mind about TikTok, social media, comedy, and growing an online audience.
thread by Limarc Ambalina, Jay W, Amy Shah, SuperSaiyanProgramming, August Kim, Zaf, Zaeem Shoaib, Jack Boreham, Mónica Freitas, Sara Pinto, and David Smooke occurred in slogging's official #amas channel, and has been edited for readability.
- Social Media
- Growing an online audience
Hey Jay W thanks so much for joining us on this AMA. I'm a longtime fan of your Tiktok and found your videos by chance before David introduced you for this AMA.
My biggest question is where did your Tiktok journey begin? When I creeped your LinkedIn profile you seemed to follow a career path that had nothing to do with comedy.
Secondly, those social media followings are no joke! Do you run everything yourself or do you have a team of people that help you manage those channels?
Limarc Ambalina I was anti social media for 10 years. Didn't use facebook, instagram…nothing. Then that COVID thing happened (still happening), and I went on a road trip with my now wife (Sharon). She proposed that we document our road trip using TikTok. She was able convince me by saying …and I quote "don't worry no one will see it, we have no followers anyways." I looked at the follower account "0" and agreed to make some stupid videos along the way.
Long story short…people saw it. Social media algorithms these days are primed to hook new users onto their app by giving them a random spurt of exposure dopamine. We have been blessed to be able to maintain and prolong that exposure by churning out creative, funny stories (well, at least we think its funny). My wife and I still have demanding, full-time jobs. Social media hasn't really changed anything.
And we run the social media channels ourselves. It's funIdeation/Script/Filming/Editing/Laughing all done in-house
Hi and welcome! Just curious how you protect your comedy material? Some comedians go to great lengths to ensure that their routines are not stolen or revealed.
Since I was in middle school, I kept a book of full of my own jokes and funny observations. I would watch stand-up comedy religiously after school and tape my favorite sets. So I have always had a passion for putting humorous spins on every situation. I have too many ideas in my head (majority of them inappropriate for tiktok). I also write jokes for other BIG youtube channels as a side gig.
Welcome Jay W!!! What is your full-time job apart from your influencer career, if your don't mind me asking? And thanks to your success, have you ever thought about quitting the 9-5 like many of us dream of and focusing all on the channels you've grown?
SuperSaiyanProgramming great name. I grew up watching dragon ball Z but always found it frustrating how long it took for them "charge up" and fight. They could be charging up for three episodes straights. And, regarding your question, I am a co founder of a company called ubiik. We build private wireless networks for utility companies to connect assets like smart meters (water,gas,electricity). We started in 2016 and have innovated RF technology that connect the most amount of meters with the least amount of infrastructure. I actually really enjoy being part of both communities (start-up/tech and creative content) . It's so refreshing to bounce back and forth between the two. I am going to try and do both for as long as possible.
Hey Jay W it's interesting to hear that your story and journey into social media influencer status started by chance. So many people start them on purpose and find it difficult to get traction. What would you say were your main keys to success?
"Social media algorithms these days are primed to hook new users onto their app by giving them a random spurt of exposure dopamine."
This is a good point too. Have you seen these algorithms change at all throughout your growth and did you ever have to change your content to adhere to the algorithms?
Given I wasn't exposed to any social media content for 10 years. I guess my content was considered "unique". Everyone likes unique and original. And I proudly own up to how weird I am. I am a fugging weird person (can I cuss here?..oh well). If you are consistently pumping unique, creative content, the algorithm WILL find you.
I think all platforms are really trying to hook new users. So the multiplier of likes to views is HUGE for a new user that is able to put out something that appeals to an audience. But don't discount the impact of the buttons being pressed behind the scenes, manually.
At the end of the day, human beings are still at the top of the decision making chain regarding who goes viral. Because I post on snapchat, tiktok, instagram, and youtube, I see a drastic difference in culture and underlying messaging between each of the platforms and what they decide to allow to go viral.
I'd say you chose a great wife 🙏 Perhaps she saw your humor was going to waste and wanted to document that too! For all of us that enjoy your content, I thank her.
What was the real biggest amount of food you've ever snuck into a theater? I once stuffed an Arby's meal into my pockets and had a dairy queen milk shake in my inner jacket pocket
Zaf I don't actually get social anxiety I am actually a social butterfly. I am one to strike up conversation with strangers. I have a weird attraction to awkward situations. Something about awkward interactions is so funny and enjoyable to me. I confess I sometimes make situations awkward on purpose to just dwell and soak in the awkward soup of life.
I couldn't agree more Jay W re: " I have a weird attraction to awkward situations. Something about awkward interactions is so funny and enjoyable to me."
:rolling_on_the_floor_laughing: Even while they're happening to me I think "This is going to be a story". I once used a stopwatch at my Anytime fitness but it wouldn't work so I kept pressing all the buttons. Eventually I realized it was an emergency button that called the ambulance and cops. 6 police officers stormed in 2 minutes later. While I was pissing my pants explaining to the police officers in broken Japanese what happened, I was thankful for that experience
I'm interested to hear Jay. What are your comedic inspirations? What comedians do you most admire, respect, or draw from?
The GOAT Dave Chappelle. I also grew up watching Seinfeld and love the humor around blowing up the small things in life in epic proportion
Hi Jay W. Curious to know how you balance a full time job and content creation, which in itself can be considered a full time job too?
Also want to know if you came across any negativity/hate on social media. Seems to be lot of that going around. And What was the most effective way you found against that?
I would say weekdays I am grinding away at my company and on weekend (play time) I find time to brainstorm/record/edit skits with my lovely wife. And there is definitely a lot of negativity on the internet. Lots of mindless insults and extreme racism. But you get to a point where you become numb to it all.
Hi Jay, it's so great to have you with us. What made you jump onto TikTok and other platforms for comedy? Have you ever tried standup? Do you think social media can help break new comedians into the comedy world? Or is it just an entirely different experience?
Tiktok started because my wife said we should do it for fun (more details in my answer to Limarc Ambalina’s question) . I've always wanted to do stand up and I have opportunities laying in front of me but have yet to pull the trigger. Being on social media expedites the ability for comedians to immediately go on tour with a fan base that can instantly be reached with a post. I have seen plenty of funny social media personalities go on tour and skip the "open mic nights".
Hi Jay W, great to have you here.
What advice would you have for a content creator just starting out?
What's your favorite type of accounts to follow?
"Because I post on snapchat, tiktok, instagram, and youtube, I see a drastic difference in culture and underlying messaging between each of the platforms and what they decide to allow to go viral."
What would you say are the biggest differences between the cultures of these platforms?
My advice is quality over quantity. And the only thing sustainable is posting content you love and enjoy. Don't post for others. And I watch very little social media. Not that I don't want to, just with my full time job, I just can't get to it.
All platforms are very seriously moderated. I lost count of how many times I have had Tiktok content flagged and removed for reasons I still don't comprehend. Very frustrating. The same exact content on other platforms (youtube, instagram, facebook, snapchat) performs extremely well.
As far as culture – this is how I would rank the age demographic, youngest to oldest. TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook
Hey Jay W! Since you weren't a big fan of social media, how overwhelming do you find it to be? Have you started to enjoy all of the social media platforms and their perks?
I wouldn't say it is overwhelming but it is definitely really enjoyable to share my sense of humor with a like-minded audience. The biggest perk is being able to work with big brands. The crazier thing is that my audience looks forward to watching my ads. Some of my ads are the most-watched creations we have made. Our audience enjoys seeing what crazy stories we can spin out of everyday products (night vision camera, robo vacuums, air fryers, apps, etc) .
After this went viral, we had 3-5 brands reach out to us daily. And we have been consistently able to churn out funny, high-performing ads that stay organic to our comedy.
And much thanks! for taking some time to do a text q and a. Text is the original technology!
David Smooke we get tagged in remakes of our viral videos. Super creative, influencers will remake our exact video (not give us credit) and post it haha. We then get tagged a bunch of times in their comment section by users who know our content. The best is when our videos get remade in different languages. it's all in good fun and is very humbling. And as far as advice to fellow funny entrepreneurs: start-ups are a grind but making fellow colleagues smile every now and then, makes the grind feel…not so much of a grind.