Welcome to What’s On Your Screen? — a series dedicated to taking a peek behind-the-screens of your favorite content creators. Because behind every notification, there's a story. This month: Luke Franchina.
If you’ve been loitering around TikTok, then you’re familiar with the magnetic presence of one Luke Franchina.
Synonymous with positivity and a signature giggle, Franchina is a ray of sunshine captivating the internet:
Dubbed the "CEO of Dumping Them", Franchina is known for posting videos where he shells out advice, self-love affirmations, and of course, encourages his community of besties to “dump his a**.”
He’s become one of TikTok’s most talented creators and has landed lucrative brand partnerships with EyeBuyDirect, LoveHoney, and no big, IHOP.
So how did the Cleveland-born, Florida-raised bestie get here?
We spoke to Franchina about his start on TikTok and the secret to his viral engagement:
*Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Later: First thing’s first: What’s your average screen time?
Luke Franchina: Oh, God. I avoid looking at that because I have no self-control and I know it's bad.
I remember it was around eight or nine hours a day, and I thought, “Whoa, okay, I’m going to pretend like that didn’t happen,” and turned it off.
Later: A lock screen says a lot about a person. What's your image?
Luke Franchina: It’s a stock photo of a rainbow, and I haven’t changed it because it’s the best way to let everyone know that I'm gay.
I mean, if they can't look at me and tell [insert signature laugh here].
Later: What’s the first app you check when you wake up in the morning?
Luke Franchina: It's usually Instagram because that's the only platform where I have notifications still turned on — just for DMs from my close friends.
Later: You are the king of self-love, good vibes, positive affirmations, and relationship advice. How did you start creating content for this niche on TikTok?
Luke Franchina: I was not conscious of it at all.
At first, I would send videos to my close friends saying, “You’re gorgeous!” or “You’re looking perfect today!” and they’d tell me to post them on TikTok, so that’s how it all started.
To be honest, in a lot of videos I’m also speaking to myself, like, “Hey, I'm proud of you.”
I'm trying to be kinder to myself. And I think it resonates with people because we can be our own worst enemies.
Later: How would you describe the content on your TikTok For You page?
Luke Franchina: I'm looking at it now and I want to say: daddies, dogs, and food. And real estate, too.
Oh, and I get a lot of self-love content. Like a really pretty picture or a video of a waterfall with text overlay that tells me I'm a "bad b*tch" or something.
Later: Speaking of TikTok, you gained a million followers in the span of five months. When it comes to growth on the platform, what would you attribute your follower count to?
Luke Franchina: There are a few things.
A friend of mine told me that people naturally gravitate towards me, which is a hard pill to swallow because I’ve not always liked myself. It’s something that I’ve had to learn to accept.
I also don't overthink my content. I don't script anything out and aim to be the most genuine version of myself.
And of course, I saw a big uptick when Taylor Swift used my audio with Selena Gomez. From that video alone I gained over 300K followers.
Later: In terms of content ideation, what’s your secret? It seems like you post every day, sometimes multiple times a day.
Luke Franchina: Well, I have 1703 drafts.
I just record my thoughts and then I think, “What did I just say? Should I post that?” and I'll post it. Otherwise, it’s drafted. And 99% of those will never see the light of day.
I have to be in the mood to make a video. I just get a burst of energy. It’s almost as if the universe is telling me, “Hey, post.”
Later: Do you have a favorite editing tool? Or are you editing directly in the app?
Luke Franchina: A lot of the time I end up recording directly in the app.
Though, if I’m posting on Instagram I don’t like recording through the app because the editing tools are not as easy or intuitive to use. So I use InShot to edit.
I also don't do any editing on the computer because I don't have the attention span or patience. I'd rather sit comfortably on the couch or at a coffee shop.
Later: What are your five most used emojis?
Luke Franchina: 👹🍆💅🏼👯♀️
Later: What is your Uber rating?
Luke Franchina: Oh, it’s 4.92. And I want to know who gave me less than a 5 because I feel bad. I’m a very sensitive person!
Later: Now when it comes to monetization, what advice do you have for creators starting out?
Luke Franchina: Don’t sell yourself short but also don't shoot for the stars.
I have a day job so I'm very picky about working with brands. I have to actually like the product, get it, read up on it, and research it.
If you want to get more attention from brands, work products into your content and show it off on-screen. Showing brands that you can naturally do that will get their attention.
For me, I made videos with Takis, and then Doritos reached out to me. So even working with products that are adjacent or within the realm of what you're interested in is a great place to start.
And then when it comes to brand partnerships, the biggest thing is giving creators the freedom to create.
Later: What platform do you like to communicate with your followers the most?
Luke Franchina: I like interacting in the comment section on TikTok, but I like messaging on Instagram best.
Having separate folders for DMs on Instagram makes it easier to foster a community over there.
Later: Which leads me to my last question. Your community of besties is super-engaged with your content. How did you foster such a chatty comment section and shares galore?
Luke Franchina: I don't have a set strategy!
When I first started, I used to reply to every single comment — it would take me hours.
I wouldn’t make a new video unless I’d replied to every comment on my previous video. I think that really helped foster my community because people knew I was actually reading what they wrote.
Even now, I read almost every comment I get. But I can’t reply to everyone anymore because I'm trying to protect my energy and my battery.
I also think my content resonates with people because it's an easy way to tag or share with their friends and put their appreciation into words — even if it's a short video to say, "You're incredible!"
Which at the end of the day, is my goal.
So, maybe that’s the strategy after all?
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