Why Dermatologists and Cosmetic Companies Find Success on TikTok

Every 22 year old female in America that has used TikTok has seen short form videos for something related to skin care or makeup. Part of being a young woman is worrying about appearance and maintaining a youthful look as long as possible. With this being the case, young women and teenage girls all throughout the United States are searching for ways to make themselves look better while not ruining their skin. They are texting friends, watching Snap stories and getting links sent to them on Instagram. All of this engagement is part of everyday life. This is also how TikTok determines what is seen on their For You Page.

When Samantha texts a link to a TikTok video tutorial of the new Sephora product to her best friend, TikTok puts extreme weight on that interaction. TikTok then serves more videos to Samantha and her friends that are related to other products from Sephora and Ulta. When a product starts selling out at stores it gains even more popularity on TikTok. Before you know it, the product is sold out online and at all Sephora, Ulta or Target locations. This is not uncommon when it comes to skincare products and makeup.

With this being a popular trend, it makes sense for medical professionals and/or dermatologists to post short videos discussing skin care topics. There are millions of teenage girls using TikTok to get advice when it comes to acne treatment and overall skincare. Unfortunately, they are not necessarily getting advice from a medical professional that has been to over a decade of higher education. The TikTok algorithm goes on engagement rather than authority. The Google Algorithm is based on authority built over time. The TikTok algorithm is based on how quickly a video gets engagement through likes, comments, shares, etc.

Before a dermatology office sinks all their marketing efforts into TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts it is important to remember what demographic will be consuming the content. As a dermatology practice if you want to work with more acne treatment then you should absolutely be on TikTok and other short form video. If you are looking for more cost surgeries as a dermatologist, TikTok is not the place to go.

It is also important to understand the value of branding. If a dermatology office has the time and budget to work on short form videos there is a branding opportunity. Having a brand name in a local city is invaluable. That said, it is extremely time consuming and very costly. If a dermatology office simply wants to add new patients and keep the doors open getting patients through Google Search or doctor referrals is the way to go. Spending countless hours on social media and doing videos is not a quick return. It can take months and possibly years to get discovered on TikTok, Instagram or YouTube. Even if you have been discovered it then takes constant videos being published to remain in the feed.

Unlike many other professionals, there is a place on social media for dermatologists. It is much easier to help a 14 year old girl with her rash than it is to discuss the legal separation of a marriage. You probably don’t want to be discussing the removal of a lien on a client’s home on social media. With Ulta, Sephora, Target and other companies that sell cosmetics seeing great success on TikTok it would be wise for a dermatology practice to offer medical advice to those looking to buy skincare products.


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