Image above: social media star Emma Chamberlain.
If you grew up in the 1980s, you might have wanted to become a rock star or actor, since those paths represented a clear route to fame and fortune.
These days, teens are more likely to dream of becoming a social media influencer. A July study by HigherVisibility of 1,000 people aged 16-25 found that more than 40% of youths on the West Coast want to become social media influencers. In the rest of the country, the numbers are comparable: 33% of respondents in the Midwest, 36% in the South and 39% in the Northeast expressed the same preference.
The study also found that GenZ males (20%) are more likely than females (13%) to believe that being a social media influencer is the only career choice for them, while 49% of males believe being a social media influencer is a good career choice.
Perhaps it’s not surprising that brands are using TikTok influencers to influence Gen Zers. Arm & Hammer Laundry, for instance, recently picked such influencers based on the family-related content they produce. Lowe’s and Ocean Spray are doing the same.
PacSun, the outdoor clothing brand, also partnered with Emma Chamberlain, a 21-year-old woman who hosts a YouTube channel with11.7 million subscribers (she also has an Instagram following of about 16 million).
PacSun partnered with Chamberlain for its spring 2022 launch. Chamberlain also partnered with Mediterranean culinary brand CAVA, which released menu items including Emma’s Fire Bowl and Emma’s Spicy Hummus.
There are countless other examples, including Crocs, which has partnered with 23-year-old Filipino social media star Bretman Rock, and Kylie Jenner, who, at 24, runs her own brands, including Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Skin and Kylie Baby.
These days, if you’ve got a following on social media, there’s a plausible case to be made for cashing in.