Just in the past few years, social media has dynamically shifted almost every type of business. With millions of eyes now glued to phones, profiles, social media links, pictures, videos, and advertisements, it's no wonder that industries are shifting their marketing techniques and tactics to align with a new generation of social butterflies.
The average user on TikTok, for instance, spends about an hour browsing the app a day. With an algorithm that even Instagram is trying to compete with, TikTok has become a worldwide sensation and is expected to reach a whopping 1.5 billion users by the end of 2022.
So what does that mean for the beauty industry in particular? Let's take a closer look.
Beauty Influencers Need TikTok
It's a no-brainer. With millions and millions of users worldwide, it's almost asinine to not have a social media presence, let alone a presence on TikTok for your brand.
Products can be placed in ads, sure. But as an individual, developing good TikTok strategy and content is an absolute must for beauty influencers and beauty brands, and a simple 15 second mascara review can lead to a sell-out overnight.
The chances of becoming viral seem slim. Many of us don't understand the algorithm, what makes views and followers pop off, or even what the best time of day to post on TikTok is.
The key? Consistency. As a beauty brand, posting daily, providing engaging content, and connecting with users is what the algorithm likes to see. But more than that, TikTok is a breeding ground for viral content. And viral content can mean a massive influx of followers. The mere exposure is enough to boost a brand in a mere matter of days, weeks, or months.
You'll Pickup on Beauty Trends
What's trending right now? Does anyone know? Trends are hot, they get everyone onboard, they get everyone talking, and they get everyone creating the same type of content.
Following beauty brands and profiles on TikTok lead to some pretty interesting insights on what's going on in today's market. Is there suddenly a viral issue with a certain beauty brand or ingredient? Are the consumers shifting away from one type of product and gravitating towards something else? Are you there to watch this transition and take notes and act accordingly?
Trends are so, so important. Even with specific audio that's used on TikTok, you can better set yourself up for viral content by following hot trends.
As a TikTok user, you'll gain beauty ideas, routines, and suggestions for products. Those who enjoy makeup will be exposed to all types of fresh artists and techniques.
It's so important to keep up with what's trending. Whether you're a brand, a reviewer, or a user, following these trends is both refreshing as it is advantageous.
Filters Are All the Rage
But then there's a definite downside to the world of TikTok, and that's the upsurge of unrealistic standards for beauty based on beauty filters.
Sometimes, it's difficult to tell from a video whether someone has a filter, has Botox, or truly looks the way they appear. As the younger generation swims the vast sea of TikTok content, including the beauty side, they begin to develop unrealistic expectations about beauty, about proportion, about what it means to attractive.
Filters aren't going anywhere. But it's important to be perceptive to how the beauty industry is shifting and what consumers' expectations might be about how they want to look. Some videos contain comments swimming with questions: "What's your skincare routine?", "How do you get your lashes so perfect?", "Your hair looks amazing, what products do you use?"
There's always going to be a market for influencers, because they provide their consumers something: a dream. A dream to be like them, talk like them, walk like them. And so as a TikTok user, following your favorite influencers may generate some unrealistic perceptions of beauty and life. As an influencer, it's important to connect with your audience and engage with their needs.
Gen Z is Dominating the Beauty Industry
The newest generation of youth is all over TikTok. With most of their influence coming from social media, they ultimately determine the success of a beauty brand. It seems like a vicious cycle: the beauty brand provides social media content, Gen Z eats it up, those beauty brands capitalize on a trending market, the competition gets left in the dark.
It's incredible pressure on beauty brands; not only are their beauty influencers, but there are Gen Z influencers as well, who can ultimately ruin a brand's reputation with a mere review. It's called being "cancelled" and it's one of social media's biggest nightmares: the overnight cancellation of a brand or person on social media through negative, viral content.
Even more so, Gen Z is shifting their ideas on identity, gender, body type, sexual orientation, and more. They're thinking outside the box with beauty, and they're expecting their beauty brands to adhere to these shifts. It ultimately bleeds down to individual freedom and expression; something beauty brands on TikTok should be well aware of. Gen Z wants their brands to be an extension of who they are, not just what they want to be. They're more spiritually tied with their products and influencers than ever before. For them, their choices define the core of their beliefs.
Beauty is Now Expression
Gone are the days when beauty was just a way of being. Beauty is now a way of showing. With TikTok, beauty trends, content, and influencers are generating beauty as an expression. Everything on TikTok has potential to be impressionable and users are understanding that their video content is an extension of their own authenticity and identity.
Beauty has become more experimental. While consumers may have been shut off to a beauty trend back in the day, there is more openness to beauty practices if they align with a user's core values and ways of expression.
This means a higher tolerance for imperfections. Freckles, scars, and even body weight are becoming "beautiful". Seeing yourself for who you are and loving yourself for who you are is now a sensation and there appears to be no limits to what exactly "beauty" means. As long as it is an authentic form of expression and harmlessly being expressed, it is more than welcome in the world of social media, especially TikTok.
Beauty Products Need to Be Quick
We live in a world where consumers' attention spans grow thinner and thinner by the day. With short bursts of video content becoming the norm, TikTok's algorithm has adjusted to determine who spends the most time on what type of content, and shifts gears to provide that similar content to users in an often successful attempt to keep them on the app for longer.
But this type of thinking also bleeds into our culture. Americans love quick fixes, fast solutions, and don't like waiting. Beauty brands that can showcase products that act fast, give great results, and require minimal effort are an absolute show-stopper in the eyes of consumers.
This even comes down to how easy it is for consumers to find information about products. Is this cream vegan? How long does it take before results happen? Can this product be combined with this other product?
Consumers want access to information and they want it fast. TikTok is reflective of a culture that expects content and knowledge without the extra footwork. And if it takes too long, we suddenly find that the attention span has moved on to something else.
It's important for beauty brands and influencers to be aware of this. That's why creating engaging content is so important, but it's also important to develop products that provide the same type of experience, as well as make it incredibly simple for consumers to find out, with ease, what they're all about.