Let's talk TipTalk - a newly launched app that connects small business owners and bloggers on the rise to major celebrity and social media influencers through an online messaging platform. I stopped by their launch event in Beverly Hills, California to speak to Rick Fox and Zach Melamed, the creators of TipTalk. Zach Melamed, an avid app creator, has had early success in creating numerous technology based platforms with the main component being a means of connection. With a portfolio full of wins, what piqued my initial interest was in the inspiration that lead to the execution of his idea.
“One of my co-founders was at dinner with a friend and the friend was trying to get in contact with an influencer they were actually friendly with, but couldn’t get a hold of them. So my friend said, off the cuff, 'I wish I could just pay this person to talk to them so they would respond.' That kind of lead us into this process like, 'Oh what if you can do that? Why doesn’t that exist right now,'" explained Melamed.
The organic development of this app is the reason it's one to watch. With brands now leaning towards social media influencers more often over celebrities to expand their visibility, this is not only useful on personal levels, but is also impactful for both established and start up companies looking to expand their marketing efforts. It has become exceedingly difficult to reach out to major influencers as many of them have been signed to huge branding agencies where you now have to talk through their management teams to reach them. TipTalk cuts out the middle man to create a more intimate and personal connection with a social media mentor.
Enter, Rick Fox. An unlikely force in the world of technology, Fox expands on his involvement in TipTalk and how he became connected with app development world in the first place, with his his early interest focusing on ESports.
“ESports is this generation's professional expression when it comes to professional athletes and their mastery. Because of technology and video game play and how accessible it is because of our devices, there are now massive fans viewing the content.“
You’re probably wondering how massive of a fan base, really? According to Fox, 29 million people viewed the NBA finals last season, and 32 million people viewed the League of Legends worldwide finals in its last championship.
With the technology industry as a large interest for Rick Fox, it was only natural for him to have a hand in TipTalk. As someone who came from a sports background, I asked him what the most intriguing part about this app and what can someone really get out of it?
Fox explains, “There’s a mentorship opportunity there. I didn’t grow up in social media interaction with sports when I played, but I caught it at the tail end. A lot of social media feels like people talk at me, and in some cases it feels opinionated and aggressive. [With TipTalk] I’m feeling that we’re giving a bridge and an entryway where there’s a conversation that’s richer, where there’s a real exchange that happens. I feel like I’m leaving someone with information or a little fuller than when they came in with the question that they may have had."
The advantage of this app is there is a cost, this means the influencers or celebrities that you are reaching out to have an incentive to respond. The interface is very easy to use with simple, straight-forward categories and the key information about the influencers can be found at the top of their profiles: name, bio and following count.
With the rise of social media this is a useful app to dive into. With our world so focused on Instagram, and other major social media platforms, it's an accessible place to connect, learn and elevate your brand.