The virality of hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt and #BookTok are making brands eager to crack the formula for what drives sales on TikTok. But while TikTok is getting all the accolades for making products go viral, platforms like Facebook and Instagram are still driving most of the e-commerce traffic online.
TikTok, the Chinese-owned app, proved it can peddle products with precision, especially when it comes to unpaid “viral” posts. But with paid media, Facebook and sibling app Instagram are still the biggest drivers of e-commerce traffic, according to MikMak, the e-commerce platform that works with more than 500 brands on digital media marketing strategies and sales.
Billie, a direct-to-consumer brand that just put out a new ad campaign calling itself “the internet’s favorite razor,” is a prime example of Instagram’s pull. TikTok factors into Billie’s marketing push, but Instagram is the base of its advertising operations, according to Georgina Gooley, Billie's co-founder.
“We’ve been on Facebook and Instagram really since the beginning,” Gooley said. “And we’ve had a number of viral campaigns, and this was even years before TikTok really took off, and so we’ve always had success on those platforms.”
See Ad Age’s 2021 Social Commerce Guide here.
Billie launched as a direct-to-consumer shaving-kit company in 2017, and last year it was sold to Edgewell Personal Care for $310 million. Billie products were sold exclusively online until this month, when it announced Walmart would carry the products in stores and on Walmart.com. The new ad campaign was launched to promote the new retail union.
Billie will buy traditional ad space on Facebook and Instagram to run its 30-second commercial, which will also appear across websites and on TV. Billie is working with social media creators on Instagram and TikTok, but there isn’t a plan to pay to run the commercial on TikTok, Gooley said. “We will partner with influencers and create content in that respect,” Gooley said. “So that it’s not just a brand posting their ads on TikTok, but it’s really working with the TikTok community to create content that is relevant to the brand, but also relevant to the audience there.”