Dallas-based Jessica Serna (aka @mycurlyadventures) is a popular blogger and social media influencer. On all of her platforms, she aims to showcase the beauty of Texas and give her followers unique local travel ideas. With over 188,000 TikTok followers, Jessica is one of Dallas’ most-watched TikTokers. We asked Jessica a few questions about her blog and TikTok content and what her thoughts are about the potential TikTok ban.
What inspired you to start your blog?
At the time I was working a job I loved. I also had a huge desire to travel, but with limited PTO realized I couldn’t be jet setting across the world. So I got creative and looked local. My husband and I would take weekend trips to go sand surfing in Monahans, go hiking and visit the English gardens in Weatherford and explore the Texas wine country of Fredericksburg. People were so surprised to learn how many cool things we had around us and were curious about them. From that, I started my blog and it has taken off since!
When and why did you decide to start creating TikToks?
I had attended a travel conference last year where an expert in the tourism industry had said that TikTok was going to be the next big thing for travel. I laughed at the idea because I thought it was just for teens and dancing, but here was a man who had spent decades in the tourism marketing industry. I hesitantly downloaded the app. Even though I didn’t get it at first I was still amused that with 0 followers my videos could get 600+ views. It really took a while to understand it, but I just spent a lot of time watching other videos and watching the trends. Finally, I started learning to put my own Texas spin on popular trends and things took off.
How has TikTok changed the social media landscape?
TikTok has so much untapped potential. So much education is being spread through it. Because the main feature of TikTok is the For You Page, you are getting exposed to so many new accounts, lifestyles and exciting things that you wouldn’t come across otherwise. The algorithm is exciting because you don’t have to have a lot of followers, you just have to create engaging content, and it will gain traction. This has meant so much for small brands and businesses. Just on a whim, I was able to create a TikTok about a small coffee shop and that weekend they sold out both days in less than 2 hours. People are actively taking advice from TikTok and quickly taking action. Whether it’s going to a destination that same weekend, buying products minutes later, or driving from Oklahoma to Dallas to visit a popsicle shop, there is something incredible about TikTok.
Another great feature of TikTok is that it’s designed for a lot of user interaction. People like to engage and comment on TikToks and have conversations there. It’s an easy way to connect with a community and more people are willing to ask questions and even share when they take action on something.
What do you think makes MyCurlyAdventures special compared to other TikToks?
I love being able to share the magic of Texas. People are looking to escape and they’re looking for resources to escape. By sharing so many getaways, telling the stories of fun spots and restaurants nearby, I’m able to provide helpful information to people in an entertaining way.
How is your TikTok content different from the content on your other social platforms?
The great thing about TikTok is the ability to get out a lot of information in a short time frame as well as help someone fully experience an activity (something they can’t get from a photo). My content on TikTok has great lists of things to do in cities, cool hidden spots, and videos of different experiences. One of my favorite things has also been short-form vlogs that tell-all about a destination. So if you’re thinking of taking a trip to a Texas city you can watch a 60-second breakdown of it and use that to draw you into learning more about what is around and check out the longer vlogs or blogs.
What can your TikTok followers expect from you in the future?
If people are looking for something fun to do, they know they can come to my TikTok for all the best resources in and around Texas!
What are your thoughts on the potential TikTok ban?
With all the good TikTok has done, it’s disappointing that this is even an issue. TikTok has not only allowed free advertising to incredible businesses who might not have had the budget before, but it’s been an amazing opportunity for all kinds of people to have a voice. People from all different backgrounds are sharing their cultures, their experiences and their businesses. You’re not getting fed ads with false skincare information, but instead, dermatologists are out there sharing what to look for in products and are helping people who might not be able to afford a dermatologist. Doctors and other professionals are sharing so much information in entertaining ways and TikTok is even creating an educational component. TikTok is looking at meaningful partnerships of all kinds. Another important thing to note is all of the people who work at TikTok. They’ve left their jobs to work there and I even have friends who have gotten a job at TikTok. Suddenly losing over 1,000 American jobs and the fact they’re supposed to increase that to over 10,000 over the next three years is hard.
Right now I’m trying not to linger on it much. Every day has so much potential for TikTok and brand awareness. I’m working on specific content that shows people more about what a resource my blog is so people know where to look in case something happens. In general, it’s important not to place all your eggs in one basket. For now, I’m just going to keep posting as much quality content as possible and working so others can see how great of a resource TikTok is.
Would you consider joining Reels, Instagram’s version of TikTok?
I’ve used Reels. It’s important to always immediately get on any new feature Instagram puts out because it’s when you have the biggest opportunity to reach new crowds. However, it still doesn’t have the organic reach of TikTok and there are a lot of things that it’s still lacking.