“It’s just a great example of how Gucci was willing to try something different and they leaned into that trend by then reposting the videos onto their own account,” McVay said. “Hashtag challenges are a great way for a new brand that’s looking to dip their toe in the water on TikTok.”
McVay advised brands new to TikTok to think about existing content that can be reused and adjusted for the platform, such as runway footage or interviews with designers, and to lean into “rough and ready” material.
“Capture mobile-first content that’s a little more rough and ready and lo-fi. It’s all about creating those intimate moments with your fans, so it could be setting up at a photo shoot, quick how-to styling tutorials, ‘glow-ups’ and the like,” she said.
McVay also advised joining trends, creating unique versions and interacting with creators and fans to grow presence on the platform, as well as introducing “hero content”.
“If you are creating a beautiful brand campaign, think about how you can incorporate content for TikTok into your production workflow to share little moments from that with your fans, your consumers.”
Clare Winterbourn, founder of influencer marketing agency Born Bred Talent, said luxury brands in Australia “need to take more notice of TikTok”.
“They are being slow on the uptake. The content has to be really authentic and creative, and less aspirational, that’s what we’re seeing in the region that performs the best,” she said.
“The other really powerful thing on TikTok is to look at a migration strategy; that’s basically working with content creators, and drawing their audience over to your page and that allows you to retain that audience post campaign, and continue to serve that content.”
Reels rivals TikTok
And while TikTok is going from strength to strength, Winterbourn believes brands can’t afford to abandon Instagram.
Last year, Instagram introduced Reels, a short video stream similar to the experience on TikTok. And judging by its uptake so far, Winterbourn believes Reels will be “really powerful” for brands.
“TikTok, from a tech perspective, still has a way to go. In our region, [cultural and political] content can be taken down [and that has] encouraged a lot more creators to head back over to Reels to step further outside that box,” she said.
“We’re seeing huge growth for brands on Reels at the moment. I’m seeing a higher Australian audience on Reels, it really seems to be something that Australians have embraced, however both [TikTok and Reels] have got really strong points.”
Winterbourn pointed to Clubhouse and OnlyFans as key emerging platforms that brands should be paying attention to.
Audio-based app Clubhouse is becoming a popular platform for discussion, debate and learning, and is proving useful in driving traffic to websites, according to Winterbourn.
“There’s not really that interaction that you get from a lot of the other social media platforms, but we are seeing direct traction, immediately,” she said.
The controversial subscription website OnlyFans, which to date has been primarily associated with adult content, was also spruiked by Winterbourn as an opportunity for fashion brands in particular.
“[OnlyFans] allows fashion labels to create unique membership-only opportunities, and we’re seeing a huge influx of fitness, beauty, sports [brands] …It’s not for every brand, but I would say for the more adventurous brands, definitely to start exploring it, and look out for it,” she said.
“It’s about nurturing micro communities. So for those brands who really want to focus on their superfans, that’s where to do it. It’s a paid subscription model [where] you are actually only talking to that audience, who you know is prepared to invest in your brand externally outside purchasing products.”
But the jury is still out on Triller, a video sharing app similar to TikTok but with manual in-app editing.
Winterbourn expected this app to be a huge success but now has doubts over its success in Australia as the app is very US-scentric.
“I don’t really have confidence in it anymore in having success in our region … from all accounts it appears a bit watered down, that’s feedback from some of Australia’s largest creators,” Winterbourn said.
“For brands that have that focus within Australia, I would bypass it.”