How brands are using TikTok as a channel for customer service and product feedback
The co-founders of Blue Kazoo never expected that TikTok would become a space for product development.
“I started to use TikTok for fun,” said Abraham Piper, one of the co-founders of Blue Kazoo, a puzzle company. “Communication with our customers was just a happy coincidence.”
Those “happy coincidences” have started resulting in more sales, and new products in the pipeline.
Blue Kazoo and other brands have taken notes from the unsolicited feedback in their video comments, allowing them to answer customer questions, see trends, and make product changes.
Combing through the comments can be labor-intensive on both organic and paid posts. Yet brands have found that customers’ comments can lead to easy product improvements if they can become comfortable with the tone of the app and put in the man-hours of listening to their customers there.
Piper and co-founder Josh Sowin made a company profile, but started using their personal accounts as a way to ask consumers about new puzzle releases and products. Sowin asked customers in a video if they preferred gold, silver, or white lettering on the puzzle boxes, and whether they wanted the company to make puzzle glue.
Those personal TikToks “were not a part of our original strategy at all,” explained Sowin. Without giving exact figures, he said the company sees a small sales bump when Piper talks about the puzzles. The company did $1.6 million in sales in 2020, which it, in part, credits to 600% growth over every quarter last year.
Blue Kazoo also used TikTok and emails to send out a call for artists’ submissions for new puzzles. “We spent over five hours going through TikTok submissions, and we’re now talking to three of those artists,” said Sowin.
Pair Eyewear, a DTC glasses company, has been using TikTok to answer quick customer service questions, such as shipping policies, or if glasses come in progressive lenses. “It’s a great platform for us to informally answer questions for potential customers,” said co-founder Sophia Edelstein.
Habit, a DTC sunscreen company, has also been using customer feedback on TikTok to make product tweaks.
“We can’t get to every comment, but we can see trends emerge,” said Habit CEO and founder Tai Adaya. “There’s so much disinformation around sunscreen, so we started doing Sunscreen 101 TikToks.”
The videos were so popular that the brand put a Q&A feature on its TikTok profile, and will soon make it a part of Habit’s website.
Now that brands have discovered a treasure trove in TikTok’s comments, they see an opportunity for the short-form video app to give them a better way to digest the information from both paid and organic posts.
Unlike Facebook, TikTok’s ad platform doesn’t have a comment aggregation feature. Brands have to manually review paid and organic content. If a brand runs multiple ads with the same creative in different ad sets, they have to manually read the comments on each of the ads, according to Anders Piiparinen, CEO of Wallaroo Media, a digital ad agency that works in tandem with brands to manage TikTok.
The main reason that getting through comments is so laborious lies with TikTok’s API, which doesn’t yet have capabilities brands and social analytics companies would use to make this process easier, said Nick Cicero, vp of strategy at Conviva, a social and streaming intelligence company.
Still, brands are finding insights by wading through comments and videos on their own.
Based on feedback on TikTok, Habit also revised parts of its welcome kit for consumers to include more specific information about its line of goods, including the link between anti-aging and SPF as well as how to apply products, said Adaya.
These are small changes, but an opportunity to establish a direct line of communication with consumers. Habit also has a running deck of customer product requests made from the app.
Recently, Piper was tagged dozens of times in a video about a visually impaired person who made their own tactile puzzle. Piper duetted the video and connected with the user to see if there is a product they could develop. “That’s an interaction and idea that we wouldn’t have had without TikTok,” Piper said.
‘The data strategies of these companies aren’t progressive enough’: 10 Confessions on the pivot to privacy
An inside view of how privacy changes are having big consequences throughout advertising.
Why companies are using virtual concerts to introduce their users to the metaverse
Music is a spectacle, but it’s also a deeply social experience, a pairing of traits that experts believe make virtual concerts a perfect fit for companies looking to showcase the metaverse to skeptical users.
Member ExclusiveMarketing Briefing: ‘Not a hypothetical problem’: ANA CEO Bob Liodice on why there needs to be a unified effort to combat hate speech
This week, GARM and the ANA announced they are working with Pernod Ricard to scale that initiative working with brands and social platforms as well as small and medium-sized businesses.
SponsoredHow retailers can be ready for holiday shoppers this year
Suchi Sastri, managing director and partner, Boston Consulting Group As the holiday season approaches and the pandemic continues to evolve, retailers want to know what to expect. Will e-commerce continue to grow at the rate it did last year? How big of a role will in-store shopping play in holiday shopping? While it’s still early, […]
As non-endemic brands eye the gaming space, a lack of industry standards is delaying their arrival
The caution with which some brands still approach the gaming industry -- and the need for better industry standards to help brands feel more informed -- were recurring themes at last week’s Digiday Gaming Advertising Forum.
Cheat Sheet: How Apple’s ATT is giving it more influence over ad dollars
The signs that Apple is building an ads business is there — here is what we actually know.