He started creating social media content just to cure some quarantine boredom, but then the unexpected happened – Luling resident Eric DeSoto is now TikTok famous.
DeSoto’s videos on the popular social media platform give the world lessons on South Louisiana dialect. Many of them feature him quizzing his 13-year-old daughter Ashlyn on how to pronounce Cajun words, common Southern last names and Louisiana cities.
“It was almost unintentional to be honest. When quarantine happened and we didn’t have anything to do around here my wife created an account,” DeSoto, a Hahnville High School girls’ soccer team coach, said. “We said, ‘Well we don’t have anything else to do.”
Once DeSoto explored the app and viewed popular videos, he knew he was capable of creating similar content. He was right – his videos have garnered more than 25 million views.
“At first it was a joke almost because I told Ashlyn I would get more views than her,” he said. “Then when we had the hurricanes there was so much material, so I made a couple hurricane videos as a joke. Some kind of way it just took off.”
DeSoto said his videos have become a way for him and Ashlyn to spend time together.
“It’s fun for us because we can do a lot of these videos together,” he said. “Never in a million years did I think I would do a social media platform and get paid to do it, but I mean … why not?”
His social media presence has even inspired a merchandise line, which sports his “Hey Coullion” catch phrase.
“I think this is my niche,” he said of his dialect-centered videos. “This is what the people want. This is what they demand and I’m good at it and I know about it … this is really me.”
And even with 220,000 followers, DeSoto said he still gets a huge kick out his Dow coworkers and soccer players reactions when they find out how popular is on the social media app.
“I think it’s funny and my friends think it’s funny, but the people’s response has blown me away,” he said. “If I get 1,000 comments, 999 of them are overwhelmingly positive. People are literally sending me messages thanking me for brightening their day. It just adds fuel to my fire. I love to smile and I love people … it’s been a blessing.”
DeSoto’s TikTok account name is heyerock, and his merchandise line can be purchased at heyerock.com