Waynesburg University is home to a very special individual. Amassing over half a million followers, over 5.2 million likes and videos reaching up to six million views, business major Ben Ledbetter is a TikTok star. In fact, he is Waynesburg University’s only TikTok star. Coming here from Beaver County, Pennsylvania with an initial interest in sports broadcasting, he is now finishing out his junior year with a marketing major and a TikTok profile to add to his resume. Today, he answers some questions about what it’s like to be the local TikTok celebrity on campus.
Q: So Ben, how many followers do you have? When did you start to realize that your page was getting big?
A: About 593,000 followers. I realized I was getting big in like July or August when I had 200,000 followers, and I was like “This is going somewhere.” I started making videos in March so it took a while to get there. Around [August] I kind of noticed I was getting more followers.
Q: What kind of videos do you create? What kind of trends have you taken part in?
A: I never did dancing, because I can’t dance to save my life, but I’ve done sports, I’ve done fun facts, I’ve done stories. And I also do true crime videos like cold cases and stuff … Trends are tricky because there’s a new trend every day on TikTok. There’s a “What do you Meme?” trend (based on the card game) and I used it for a video and it got like six million views. That was my biggest video ever.
Q: What kind of attention do you get around campus for your success?
A: A lot of people know me just from TikTok. There’s a freshman this year that followed my account and came into some of my livestreams and she ended up going here which is kind of crazy. I mean, when a lot of people know me just from TikTok, I honestly don’t like that because—I mean, I like TikTok—but like in my life that’s not how I want to be remembered … Like I don’t want to be known just by TikTok, but it’s nice when people come up to you and say something about it.
Q: Deep question here—what do you enjoy most about creating videos?
A: Honestly, it’s just fun for me … it’s a really neat thing and I enjoy doing it and honestly I don’t care if the video gets ten views or 10 million or 10 thousand, I honestly don’t care. That’s not my main concern. I downloaded TikTok, and I never thought I would create a video because I thought it was just dancing. Then I saw some of the other types of videos and starting making some during quarantine. But I have passion about it, which I like.
Q: And finally, last question… what is the craziest thing you’ve ever done for a TikTok?
A: I haven’t really done anything too crazy, but in the summer there was this one trend where it was the song “I’m Just a Kid” by Simple Plan, and I had an old picture of myself as a little kid and I had mud all over my face and body. So, I went outside and dug up mud and spread it all over my body and my face. It didn’t even get that big, but I don’t know it was kind of funny … that’s probably the craziest thing I’ve ever done for a video.