With current social media, there is a new generation digital-native millennials, comfortable with technology and expressing an devotion to social media. They embrace the capitalistic advantages that lie just beneath the surface and are fully addicted on the surface.
Young adults view social media far more than just a tool for chatting with friends and posting embarrassing late-night selfies. This is life for them, as they often spend half of their waking hours online. Yes, it has potential for being a platform for creativity, innovation, and even monetization…but a scant few bring that potential to realization.
How do you market to these people as they enter the workforce? You have to know them and their mindset. For example, as a result of the unique makeup of millennials and the extensive options of social media platforms, we’re seeing some striking differences in the way members of this generation approach their career paths. Specifically, we are witnessing the following trends:
1. Visual Platforms Lead the Way
The path to success on social media isn’t primarily via Facebook or Twitter, but on predominantly visual platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat, Vine, and Instagram. Millennials love consuming visual content and prefer the streamlined interfaces of these platforms to older networks whose audiences mostly consist of their parents and grandparents.
2. Sponsorship Opportunities Abound
Visual social networking platforms — Instagram, in particular — create attention for personable millennials with large followings so that they get approached by companies who offer sponsorship deals. This is one way millennials have attempted to turn social media into a paying job.
“There are 500 million users on the free and popular photo sharing site, and if you’re savvy enough, you can be one of the very few who actually makes some money from it,” Coupon Ninja’s Amy Johnson, a millennial, points out. “Instagram users with lots of followers may find that larger companies may sponsor them (as in, pay them a pittance) for using their account to promote certain products in their photos.”
Katie Rodgers, an artist and former 9 – 5er, is living proof. How much money does she make from her Instagram sponsorships? “Enough that I could quit my job, move into a one-bedroom on the Upper East Side, and travel. My salary has multiplied since my corporate days,” she claims. But keep in mind that is only one example.
Obviously, a lot of work has to go into building an audience that’s large enough to attract a sponsorship offer, but once the audience is there, the opportunities become more likely. Now there are even websites and agencies that are dedicated to helping millennials identify such opportunities.
3. Growth of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing has been a common method of making money online for years. But it really took off when social media entered the picture and gave people the ability to connect instantly with millions of potential customers from around the world.
Launching affiliate marketing can require a substantial amount of time, effort, and investment, but it can become a profitable endeavor if you can get it kicking on all cylinders. The process entails developing enticing content, driving traffic to that content, attracting a lot of followers, and ultimately encouraging people to purchase the products you endorse.
Millennials with a business mindset and the will to succeed are pursuing this strategy. However, it takes a great deal of effort and time and savvy.
4. Social Media as the Catalyst
Finally, it’s crucial to note that social media is ultimately no more than a catalyst. While some millennials use it as a direct source of monetization, most are more likely to leverage social networking platforms as the foundation for their activities.
In other words, social media represents a marketing and lead-generation tool. Millennials build audiences on social media and then seek to funnel their brand image into other ventures.
For example, some entrepreneurs will start on social media and then segue into eBooks, courses, or products that their captive audience will purchase. Others build a personal brand and then convert that equity into lucrative speaking engagements. The possibilities are endless.
These are examples of your future clients and customers. Do you know how best to capture their interested and business?
Call us, today. We can set a course of success for you.