TikTok might just be the social media solution to Instagram—If you know how to use it.
Once upon a time, Instagram was the picture of potential. Now, it’s become significantly more difficult for brands to beat the infamous algorithm, among other problems on the platform. TikTok, on the other hand, presents a friendlier alternative to the Facebook-owned app, that brands like skincare startup Habit find more affordable and efficient.
Habit began investing in TikTok last fall and enjoyed a 300% monthly revenue increase since then. Last January, Habit succeeded by tapping into the TikTok trifecta for success: demonstrating a product, jumping on a trend in real time, and focusing on consumer engagement. In a comedy video using the automated voiceover trend, Habit depicts a girl furiously trying to reapply SPF over her makeup as the girl next to her does the same in just one simple spritz of what is now the brand’s hero product, a sunscreen mist. Currently, the video boasts 2.6 million views and 55,700 likes, and the product is on back-order as a result of the video’s popularity.
Key things to note about the video: When most brands post “advertisements” or promote videos about their products on TikTok, they turn off the commenting feature. Habit did not do this, as one of the top comments on its video “I only trust ads that allow you to comment.”, reflects. Instead Habit not only allowed comments, it responded to comments that asked pointed questions such as “Can we get a visual with a UV light filter?” since one of the general concerns about a sunscreen mist is that it doesn’t provide full coverage as one sunscreen applied with your fingers would. Habit replied with a video that showed the founder using a UV filter she had bought herself to demonstrate a side-by-side of regular sunscreen vs. the Habit sunscreen spray, with a top user comment that reads “This is what I wanted to see.” Despite the fact that video aired in late January, the dead of winter, sales of the SPF product skyrocketed.
Brands, especially those in the skincare sector, which saw an increase in popularity during the pandemic according to Gartner’s report on the industry, should take notes from Habit’s viral TikTok success. Though Instagram and Facebook still provide the largest scale of all social platforms, TikTok, when used correctly, provides a pretty opportunity for brands to not only go viral, but build trust with their audience and foster communication and accessibility like never before.