TikTok has proven itself to be a tremendous marketing force that is shaping beauty trends and buying habits. Beauty brands are flocking to it in droves, knowing it can very well make or break a brand.
The short-form video platform is a flurry of activity from the moment you open the app, and it can be a challenging space to navigate.
It also requires a new way of thinking and a new set of tools to succeed in it, explains Michaes Chan, chief of staff and chief business officer of Synagie, a Singapore-based e-commerce enabler.
Speaking on the Beauty Broadcast, Chan said treating TikTok like just any other social media platform was a fundamental mistake.
“If brands want to win on TikTok using that same bag of tricks, they will probably get frustrated.”
He elaborated that while platforms like Facebook and Instagram push content based on the connections made, TikTok “is based on pure entertainment”.
“With TikTok, you start to search for trends and interests. When you start interacting by swiping and liking, the algorithm will kick in and start to learn how you would like to be entertained.”
It is crucial to understand that with TikTok, the value lies more in the content than the number of followers a Key Opinion Leader (KOL) has.
“It’s not about how connected you are, but how entertaining your content can be. I would say TikTok has really disrupted the so-called old model of KOLs.”
Chan emphasised that anyone could become a TikTok sensation, regardless of following, as long as they produce quality content.
“TikTok is a really good disruptor, a levelled field, where a KOL may not be very good, but if they hit something, if the trends are right, if they come up with something truly entertaining, they can flip the table and go from zero to hero overnight.”
Chan acknowledged that some of the successful TikTok case studies were likely to be happy accidents.
“TikTok is really a hit and miss. Most of the commercial successes, if they want to admit it are accidental, yes. But there are also ways to be intentional about to give you the greatest chance of success.”
One of the good practices is keeping an eye on the numerous trends on TikTok. “You need to focus on trends because there’s no way to go viral otherwise,” said Chan.
However, brands need to balance this out by not trying too hard.
“Sometimes you can’t force a joke, the more you force it… It can make things worse. And the thing is, you are in an environment, at least for now, a pretty authentic environment where there’s a lot of spontaneous content, so if you try to force the point across, you can really stick out like a sore thumb,” said Chan.
To find hear more insights on TikTok and the strategies beauty brands can employ, check out our video above.