First, you must understand the importance of the “influencer.” The influencer is a relatively new idea based on an ancient concept of doing what “the populars” do. The main difference is that the entire internet is the high school and the popular have millions of followers who, for sometimes deeply questionable reasons, will buy the products the influencers use, listen to the music the influencers listen to, and try to live their lives like the influencers. Anyone can become an influencer as long as you have that “it” factor. The “it” factor remains a mystery to this day.

Influencers have social media accounts on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, or Snapchat, and the more popular they become, the more influence they have. As they gain influence, they gain the attention of brands. The brands then hire influencers to use their products and promote them to their followers. An embedded link in the comment section or the description started the social shopping trend. The link led to the e-commerce page of the brand or product and the purchase was handled by the brand’s website.

Second, you have to understand the concept of the middleman. In this scenario, the middleman is abstract; it is the time it takes to leave the social media site and move through cyberspace to the e-commerce site to purchase the product. With just a few clicks, entering a payment method, typing in a shipping address, and the product was on the way. Social shopping cuts out the middleman by allowing the purchase to be made on the social site. The social site implements software that allows payment information, product information, and shipping information.

Is This a Good Thing?

Social shopping is here to stay. Statistics show that it will grow into a trillion-dollar industry in the next five years. That is something that any business should pay attention to if they are interested in or invested in a digital marketing strategy. A social shopping strategy means that some digital content will require improvement and upgrades. In other words, your strategy is going to have to pivot.

This is actually a great thing for elective procedures and aesthetic practices. The content that sells products and services is perfectly suited to the aesthetics industry. Some of your content will remain static, but some of your content needs to be transitioned into dynamic content.

Dynamic Is Achievable

Video rules the content stream in social shopping. Search engine optimization will translate the content and the metatags will help people find your content. But the content has to be engaging, quality content. And that is good news for you.

You will need to begin thinking of your services as a product. Then you will consider how to promote that service best. Consider first what it is you do. You make people look better and feel better about themselves. That is digital gold. Before and after videos, brief testimonials, product how-to’s with a private label product – all of those are just a few of the possibilities for content. Within your practice, there are patients whose stories will inspire others. Tapping into those resources must become a priority to provide the digital content that will turn social shopping into your best investment.

One of the ways to create dynamic content is through digital storytelling. More than ever, people want to feel connected and social shopping makes that happen. Emotion drives the choice to purchase; if you can produce empathy-rich content, then you have social shopping gold. Another way to insert digital content is through brief before and after interviews with your client. This is particularly helpful when you are trying to market a service that requires inventory on hand. Seeing and hearing how the product and the procedure made a difference firsthand is a brilliant piece of collateral for a social shopping strategy.

TikTok’s Algorithm & Social Shopping

62% of TikTok users in the US are between the ages of 18 and 29.  It combines a bit of both Millennials and Generation Z people; putting the platform on an even more significant level since it’s popularity is rising amongst the younger generations worldwide. Our team broke down the components of the TikTok algorithm to better understand how it can be used to elevate your brand and build your target audience.

TikTok’s platform is separated into two major content feed areas. When you first start out using TikTok you’ll notice that you can toggle between two major content feed types; one feed that combines all of the content from the profiles you follow and the other “For You Page” or “FYP” is all newly published content that the algorithm believes you will like. According to TikTok: “The system recommends content by ranking videos based on a combination of factors — starting from interests you express as a new user and adjusting for things you indicate you’re not interested in, too”. This means that ads for products are recommended for someone based on what they like and view and encourages them to buy the product as an act of leisure.

Another idea is to private label a product line and uses social shopping to promote that product.

The process of private labeling may seem almost as complicated as moving into the social shopping arena, but Caledon Virtual makes it easy. We have established suppliers and small business manufacturers ready to help custom design a product that fits your needs. You can also choose to use an already existing product. We provide the labeling design and arrange for the delivery of your product. From there, the sky is truly the limit. You can add products, create an entire line, or stick with one product. From that one product, you can utilize several different types of digital content: how-to videos, before and after videos, and unboxing videos.  

With a projected 28 percent growth over the next five years, social shopping is a growing trend that cannot be ignored. It may be uncharted territory for your practice, but it is not for Caledon Virtual. We can help script, film, design, and execute a social media strategy that will elevate your social shopping presence.