TikTok made me buy it: The new home for eCommerce innovation

tiktok made me buy it

By Fab Giovanetti, {grow} Contributing Columnist

When I look to find recommendations on what skincare to buy, the new products to look out for, or the latest trends, I’ve always loved Instagram, but increasingly I’m heading to TikTok.

I’m a Millennial, so you can argue this is just a reflection of my generational habits. But I think there is something more significant going on here. Namely …

#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt !

Yes, I blame TikTok as the main driver for this change. I say “blame,” yet I welcome this new trend with an open heart (and open wallet) since it allows smaller businesses and creators to create vast awareness for their products. And, as I’ll explain today, it will also force major changes at other social media platforms.

How TikTok made me buy it

One of the most popular hashtags and trends of TikTok is all about peer reviews. The hashtag tiktokmademebuyit has over three billion views as users share affordable or life-changing products. Amazon responded to the craze by launching a Famous Internet storefront packed with various items that have gone viral on TikTok!

tik tok made me buy it

Credits: screenshot from TikTok.com

This simple hashtag reminds us of how we are looking to fellow consumers and peers to show us trusted results, recommend what works and what doesn’t, and help discover new finds. Social proof is the social currency that proves to us whether a product is worth the hype or not.

TikTok has become a powerful voice of Gen Z endorsements — an authentic window into a buying generation. Instead of relying on tiresome influencer content or sponsored posts, trends can start by everyday people sharing the good, the great, and the essential items you need, with a no-holds-barred breakdown of why the products are loved … or not.

Similar to Pinterest, TikTok users are in a discovery mindset when scrolling through the For You feed and receptive to new and inspirational videos from creators and brands alike.

TikTok’s popularity has surged thanks to its content-based algorithm, which is perfectly tailored to users’ interests, rather than just content from people they follow. This means anyone can go viral and gives the platform a democratic, unfiltered edge over others.

A new approach to advertising

Does this mean that advertisements, sponsored content, and partner collaborations don’t have a place in your social media strategy? That is furthest from the truth.

With the introduction of partnered Reels and a new Instagram affiliate shop, social media platforms are finding more creative and effective ways for brands to partner with their favorite influencers.

Native and seamless advertising still works with the younger folks.

In 2020, Kantar found that TikTok’s Branded Hashtag Challenge could surpass iconic TV moments in terms of both reach and engagement. The latest 2021 research showed that TikTok provides the best-performing ads due to the unusually relatable and native nature of the content.

Compared to ads on other platforms, people considered those on TikTok to be 21 percent trendier, with almost seven out of 10 people agreeing to this statement.

TikTok is also experimenting with live-stream shopping: a December test with Walmart, one of many advertisers testing TikTok’s growing suite of commercial solutions, was aimed at enabling businesses to “authentically engage” with its community.

With innovative ad formats such as the Branded Hashtag Challenge, brands on TikTok now have the tools to become part of the culture. They enable their audiences to create trends based on branded sounds, actions, effects, or brand-related storylines that can travel freely across the TikTok community and beyond.

The next stage of social proof

Tiktok’s innovations will set a new standard for collaborations and advertising for the whole social media ecosystem. Watch for Idea Pins coming soon on Pinterest — fast, fun, bite-sized content will become the best way to showcase products and services in action. Sort of TikTok-like!

The theme behind Reels, TikTok, and Pin Ideas is an organic and seamless user experience. Just as TikTok ads are natively embedded into the user experience, I foresee other platforms following suit. In fact, they’ll have to. A report earlier this year showed that people are spending more time each month on TikTok than Facebook. TikTok is the only app not owned by Facebook that has eclipsed 2 billion downloads!

I love TikTok and Reels, and I use them effectively for both my companies and my work to inject the human touch, so I am excited to see this new direction of content and advertising integration. From honest reviews to native advertising features, TikTok Made me buy it because we’re finally starting to put the social back in social media.

Fab Giovanetti is an award-winning entrepreneur and the CEO of Alt Marketing School, on a mission to raise a new generation of purpose-driven marketers. She is the author of the book Reclaim Your Time Off: The 3-step Solution to Overworking.  Through her work and consulting, she aims to support people making a positive impact through their marketing. Follow Fab on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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