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Kayla Cullity: Growing TheDisneyKiki, Becoming an Influencer and Social Media Manager, and Tiktok vs. YouTube

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Kayla Cullity: Growing TheDisneyKiki, Becoming an Influencer and Social Media Manager, and Tiktok vs. YouTube

Kayla Cullity, aka TheDisneyKiki, shares her unique journey of becoming an influencer, travel agent, and social media influencer in less than two years. Read on for her take on growing a TikTok platform versus a YouTube platform and what campaigns with The Vacationeer are like.

Who is Kayla Cullity?

Kayla Cullity, aka The Disney Kiki,  never expected to blow up on social media. However, shortly before the lockdown started in March 2020, she decided to start a TikTok sharing Disney videos. 

“I was not really a big social media person. Go figure.”

Kayla Cullity: Growing TheDisneyKiki, Becoming an Influencer and Social Media Manager, and Tiktok vs. YouTube

Initially, some of her biggest challenges were getting on the “for you” TikTok page and figuring out when to post. She started with very specific “inside tips” type content. 

When Kayla Cullity had 20,000 to 30,000 followers on TikTok, Kayla began working with The Vacationeer, a Disney vacation planner agency that helps people plan their perfect Disney vacation for free.

Kayla Cullity: Growing TheDisneyKiki, Becoming an Influencer and Social Media Manager, and Tiktok vs. YouTube

 

“So my full time job is, Yes, I guess you could say it would be influencer, but content creator for the company [The Vacationeer] is my sort of like where my bread and butter is… I did get hired with.. I want to say like 20 or 30,000 followers on my TikTok. That was part of the reason why the owner of the company wanted an interview with me because he was like, oh, part of being a travel agent is marketing, and you know, having some sort of social media following is a good place to start because I had no travel agent experience prior to this.” 

Kayla Cullity: Growing TheDisneyKiki, Becoming an Influencer and Social Media Manager, and Tiktok vs. YouTube

One year ago, she had her first huge viral video, which received 15.5 million views on TikTok. Once her audience grew, she broadened her content to travel and vacation content rather than specific Disney insider knowledge. 

This viral video resulted in over 3,500 emails about people wanting help planning Disney vacations in her inbox. Fortunately, Kayla had asked about this in her interview with The Vacationeer. 

Kayla Cullity: Growing TheDisneyKiki, Becoming an Influencer and Social Media Manager, and Tiktok vs. YouTube

“What happens if one of these videos blows up and all of a sudden I get like 3000 emails in one day. Like what if that happens? And he was like, “yeah… that’s not going to happen, but if it does, we’ll give you some help.” 

Four months after the interview, Kayla Cullity had her first viral video, resulting in over 3,500 emails from people needing help planning Disney vacations. For two weeks, Kayla and the Vacationeer staff scrambled to handle all the emails. To this day, Kaya will tease him about this incident. 

YouTube vs. TikTok

In the last two months, Kayla has begun a new venture into YouTube. The Vacationeer and Kayla are partnering on a YouTube channel called The Vacationeer Kiki, which shares exclusive content about Disney World trip planning. Kayla hopes to grow this quickly like her TikTok. 

However, she acknowledges that TikTok and YouTube are different, and a YouTube channel typically takes more time to grow. 

Kayla Cullity says, “This is why I love TikTok because you can be fun and funny and like kind of even just poke fun at yourself and those things I think people like to see because it’s like not fun to watch someone who takes themselves so seriously, you know… People like to see the fun side of it too at the same time, and you know I think there’s a trust that’s built there as well.”

Kayla Cullity: Growing TheDisneyKiki, Becoming an Influencer and Social Media Manager, and Tiktok vs. YouTube

Campaigns for The Vacationeer

Kayla’s TikTok, TheDisneyKiki, is her own social media platform, while other platforms like YouTube are collaborations with The Vacationeer travel agency. 

So, how does this affect campaigns and content on her TikTok?

Before her viral video, she was a travel agent for The Vacationeer and was one among many travel agents at the company. Kayla used her TikTok to create buzz around booking trips through herself and the Vacationeer. 

Kayla Cullity: Growing TheDisneyKiki, Becoming an Influencer and Social Media Manager, and Tiktok vs. YouTube

However, her viral video led to thousands of inquiries about trips, and she was unable to keep up with booking everyone who clicked on her TikTok link. Her viral video grew her TikTok from around 50,000 followers to 400,000 followers, which led to a massive increase in the number of travel agent requests she received. 

Kayla talked to The Vacationeer about this ongoing influx and how it was more than she could handle on her own. This led to The Vacationeer offering her a percentage of the vacations booked through her TikTok, making her more of an influencer and The Vacationeer’s social media manager, rather than an independent Disney travel agent.   

Focusing on Her Content

Kayla also stopped taking sponsorship deals involving commission-based promotion, such as telling her followers about her code for a product because she found that it was too time-consuming and the payoff wasn’t worth it. 

“I don’t do those anymore because I found that it was just too time-consuming and it was sort of diluting my content as a Disney influencer… [working with] like a toy brand that has nothing to do with Disney, I just kind of stopped doing those.” 

She’s also become even more specific and picky about her content as she’s grown and is excited to continue developing her Instagram and TikTok

Kayla Cullity: Growing TheDisneyKiki, Becoming an Influencer and Social Media Manager, and Tiktok vs. YouTube

Currently, brands that have collaborations with Disney are some of her favorite brands to work with. 

“Now if I get brands that reach out, you know, want to put me on the PR list, that’s great. For example, Colorpop Cosmetics reached out. They sent me a package with a bunch of Star Wars, like different Star Wars themed makeup they’re coming out with. Star Wars is Disney… so I’ll do a video on that.”

She never wants her followers to feel like she is “all ads, all the time” and always prioritizes what content she thinks they’ll genuinely enjoy, whether it’s valuable tips and tricks or funny posts. 

Future Plans

Kayla is very excited to work with Colorpup in the future and other smaller businesses centered around Disney, such as magical Disney candle brands. 

Kayla Cullity: Growing TheDisneyKiki, Becoming an Influencer and Social Media Manager, and Tiktok vs. YouTube

She’s also working with SiriusXM at the end of the month to share her favorite Disney picks, which is another exciting development for her.

Her ideal collaboration? “You know, I”m waiting for that Disney phone call!” 

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Amy DeYoung is a freelance blog post writer covering influencer marketing and business topics. As the daughter of two business owners, she's been fascinated by all things business from a young age, which led her to graduate from college with a bachelor's degree in business. When she's not typing away, she spends her time reading nonfiction books and mystery novels, baking scrumptious desserts, and playing with her dog.

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