Generation Z refers to those born after 1996. Much like the millennials, this generation has become synonymous with social media prowess and smartphone culture, but to a whole new level. Using tools and techniques that simply weren’t available to previous generations, the young people of today are using their digital skills to find fame, fortune, and social media stardom online.
While marketers are busy creating campaigns for millennials, it won’t be long before Generation Z is the new target audience. Therefore, could learning how this social media savvy generation has found stardom online be beneficial to your business?
The changing role of the social media star
The role of the social media star has evolved from influencer to entrepreneur, with a handful of YouTube and Instagram sensations becoming celebrities of their own making. Over the past several years, this pool of so-called “digital talent” has matured, and millennial bloggers have become full-blown brands repped by agents – not unlike the pop stars and actors of the pre-Facebook.
Why do social media stars have so much influence?
The prestige of social influencers is not unlike that of the traditional celebrity, except social media stars are even more powerful. A Collective Bias survey found that non-celebrity bloggers were more likely than their celebrity counterparts to inspire purchases, with 30 percent of consumers more likely to buy from those they follow on social media.
Unlike the way fans look up to traditional celebrities, the fans of social media stars are immersed in the daily life and routines of the influencers they follow. The key here is that that social media stars pitch themselves as being relatable, with highly attainable lifestyles. This instantly makes them more likable and relevant than high-earning celebrities.
This direct relationship between follower and influencer has developed a global marketplace for brands and advertisers, and never before has it been easier to target a specific demographic and analyze the results. Understandably, many e-commerce and brick and mortar retailers are now looking to partner with social media stars and celebrities to launch new businesses, or else they hire them to endorse their products to their ever-increasing following.
So what does the social-media savvy Generation Z of influencers and digital entrepreneurs have to offer your business? The answer is everything.
How Generation Z can impact your business
Social media has a significant impact on generations Y and Z, and so there are plenty of cooperation possibilities. Here’s how to use the power of social media stars to your advantage:
Who better to market your brand or product than someone’s who’s made a living marketing themselves to the public? Although life as a social influencer may look easy, those social media stars with thousands (or even millions) of followers have earned their way to the top by knowing how to engage an audience, which is exactly what any business needs. The only difference is, influencers are businesses in their own right.
· Why is influencer marketing so popular?
It’s almost impossible for brands to ignore influencers these days because they have such an impact on audiences of the Y and Z generations. Influencer marketing content provides an impressive return on investment which is 11 times higher than traditional digital marketing, according to a study conducted by Nielsen Catalina Solutions for influencer marketing software Tap Influence. However, the reason many brands don’t use influencer marketing is not that it doesn’t work. It’s because they don’t think they can’t afford it.
·Isn’t influencer marketing expensive?
It’s easy to see where the idea of influencer marketing costing too much for small businesses comes from. After all, recent findings indicated that Cristiano Ronaldo earns about $400,000 per Instagram post, while British YouTube celebrity Zoella reportedly makes around £10,800 per sponsored video or blog post. However, the good news is that you don’t need to pay a celebrity thousands of dollars for brand promotion. Clearly, the higher the following of the influencer, the more consumers you’re going to reach, but there is a vast pool of talent on the web for every niche and budget.
·How to hire a social influencer for your brand
When looking for an influencer for your brand, browse your following to find someone who could work as an ambassador. Remember, you’re not just looking for the size of the star’s audience, but also the engagement on their posts. It’s then up to you to give them an offer they can’t refuse, whether it’s free products, a lifetime subscription, or backlinks to their blog or profile. Social influencers won’t work for free, but those still building their brands will charge significantly less than those who’ve already hit the big time.
Social media campaigns
Generation Z has grown up in the age of social media, so they are generally best placed to know how to leverage it. Perhaps they have amassed a large following themselves, or they know the right hashtags to use to get publicity for your business. Hiring someone from Generation Z for your business has many advantages, but digital prowess is a huge selling point.
·Which social platforms should you use?
When launching a social media campaign, hiring someone who’s familiar with the channels can also help you decide which platform (and therefore which influencers and bloggers) are right for your campaign. Bear in mind that Facebook is primarily used by people between the ages of 25 and 35, while platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube are mostly populated by teenagers. Twitter and LinkedIn are primarily considered to be business channels, but many bloggers use them to promote content.
Whichever social platform you use, cross-medial articles are the norm for businesses promoting on the Internet. A sponsored post featuring your product on someone’s blog should also be shared via all social networks through targeted ads. A Generation Z graduate who specializes in digital marketing would be able to set up this part of your campaign and would be a great asset to your business overall.
Generation Z and social media stardom: the bottom line
Learning how to leverage social media is vital to your success as a business in an increasingly digitally driven world. If you want to keep up with the competition and get your brand noticed online, you should think twice before dismissing the marketing prowess of today’s emerging generation, and learn how to harness social media once and for all.
In addition to writing about the financial markets, Mr. Kelly writes extensively about digital marketing and SEO.
Mr. Kelly attended Boston College where he studied English Literature and Economics, and also attended the University of Siena, Italy where he studied studio art.
Mr. Kelly has been a decades-long community volunteer in his hometown of Long Island where he established the community assistance foundation, Kelly's Heroes. He has also been a coach of Youth Lacrosse for over 10 years. Prior to volunteering in youth sports, Mr. Kelly was involved in the Inner City Scholarship program administered by the Archdiocese of New York.
Before creating ForexTV, Mr, Kelly was Sr. VP Global Marketing for Bridge Information Systems, the world’s second largest financial market data vendor. Prior to Bridge, Mr. Kelly was a team leader of Media at Bloomberg Financial Markets, where he created Bloomberg Personal Magazine.
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