Social media marketing expert weighs in on working with creators amid potential TikTok ban

“Creator is in their name. So let them create.” That was the advice Sophie Jamison, CEO of Lightning Media, shared at the recent EMARKETER Summit. Jamison warned against giving creators too much direction and was optimistic about the future of social media marketing, even if TikTok goes away.“I don’t send [creators] briefs. We just let them go for it,” said Jamison. “They know what they’re doing. So we’re going to let them do it”One of the biggest mistakes brands can make is holding onto too much creative control, Jamison said. Doing so can create overproduced content that is inconsistent with a creator’s general tone and won’t perform well. The strongest creator partnerships happen when brands keep creators in the loop and informed of their marketing strategy without micromanaging them.Jamison also warned against focusing too much on follower count, which she called a vanity metric. “Sometimes those smaller creators that already have that niche community are a much better use of time and money,” she said.Despite focusing primarily on TikTok, Jamison is not concerned about the app’s potential ban. “If TikTok goes away, there’s Instagram Reels, there’s YouTube Shorts, there’s a new app that will take its place,” Jamison said. So long as brands understand their audience and how to find the right influencers, their approach to social media should be applicable across platforms.Approaches to audience can vary depending on the product, but a good social media team should be able to figure out what works. “It’s about being very flexible, and really just understanding what’s resonating and kind of just testing,” Jamison said.Influencer marketing spend is still growing by double digits in the US. We forecast it will increase by 16.0% to reach a total of $8.14 billion this year.
YouTube, where users could go if TikTok is banned, will account for the greatest share of that spend (34.5%).
Instagram will hold a 31.5% share, while Facebook’s share will be 12.8%.
TikTok’s share of US influencer spend will be 17.2%.
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