Social media is helping to create a new class of young influential entrepreneurs that spend $44 billion a year on themselves, according to a recent study by Millennial Marketing.
A growing number of Generation Z — a 61 million strong age group born after 1996 — are being propelled to stardom via the Internet, and securing their financial future in the process. Audacious and social media-savvy, the age cohort behind millennials – the group marketers are currently enamored of – wield the sort of influence that in some cases can earn them seven figures and above.
Take 6-year old social media star Ryan, who according to Forbes reaped $11 million last year reviewing toys, and in the process became Forbes sixth-highest paid YouTuber. He boasts of over 13 million followers and has more than 21.1 billion views.
Ryan’s success is emblematic of a digital-savvy generation that’s been able to turn social media into a goldmine. For Luka Sabbat, a 20-year old actor and entrepreneur, it’s “less about leveraging social media, but being able to leverage and finesse life as a whole,” he told CNBC in a recent email.
Sabbat ditched acting school and after landing a coveted internship, built a network that helped him ease into fashion. Sabbat now stars in ABC’s “Grown-ish,” has modeled for brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, and boasts more than a million followers on Instagram.
“Everything I do is to be able to change the next generation’s culture,” Sabbat wrote. “I’m trying to push the envelope.”
‘Much more accelerated impact’
Indeed, emerging young entrepreneurs are raking in the dollars and social media followers. In the process, they’re also fairly savvy about personal finance: A recent report by the Center for Generational Kinetics (CKG) showed 21 percent of Gen Zers already have a savings account.
Emerging Gen Z is behaving “like they’re going to fall over and trip if there’s nothing to hold on to, so they’re holding onto themselves,” said Emily Viola, VP and head of intelligence strategy of marketing consulting firm sparks & honey.