'It's about keeping up with celebrities and random strangers': Social media driving millennials' spending
A recently-released study is shedding some light on the sway social media has on millennials.
Fidelity Investments’ Millennial Money Study found that 63 per cent of millennials don’t think their social media network has a positive influence on their financial wellbeing.
Over 20 per cent of millennials said the fear of missing out is a major driver of splurging, while only six per cent of baby boomers said it motivates their spending habits.
Speaking with CTV News, Fidelity’s young investors director Kelly Lannan said it’s a well-known concept that’s being reinvented in the age of social media.
“It’s almost like that old mentality of keeping up with the Joneses, but it’s a little different now. It’s not just keeping up with friends and family, it’s about keeping up with celebrities and random strangers,” said Lannan.
Lannan went on to say that 62% of millennials responding to the study didn’t understand how their network could afford the social media lifestyle they appear to be living.
Winnipeg psychologist Dr. Toby Rutner said social media makes it harder for consumers to figure out what’s real and what isn’t.
“Now we’ve blurred the distinction. So I’m getting information but I don’t know if it’s unbiased information or if this is an advertisement,” said Rutner.
Influencers, who are users with large followings, can be found all over social media, with companies often sending them products in hopes they will promote it on their feeds.
With a passion for makeup, photography and video editing, Winnipegger Shayna Wiwierski started her beauty blog A Pop of Colour in 2011, eventually expanding to Instagram.
Wiwierski has grown her Instagram following to nearly 15,000 followers, and is often sent product through working relationships with public relations companies.
While her “third job” comes with significant swag, Wiwierski stressed that she didn’t immediately receive product upon starting out on social media.
“It would definitely come out of your own pocket to begin with. Beauty blogging for me back when I started, it was all product I already had. Or I would go buy it at Sephora or the drug store,” said Wiwierski.
Wiwierski said that while she often hears about others wanting to get into the business of “influencing” many might not realize the work that goes into developing a profile.
Along with working regular hours for her paid job, Wiwierski has to find time to photograph, edit and post all of the things she receives, while monitoring her likes, comments and overall feedback on posts.
“I definitely look at my feed and try to see what my followers are engaging with, what they want,” said Wiwierski.
Photos need to be staged and captured in certain lighting, and she relies on people in her life to take some of the photos she is in.
Still, Wiwiwerski told CTV News she loves the work and said she will continue to create content through her social media pages.
Freelance videographer Josh Goossen spent the summer travelling with a full-time Youtuber, shooting and editing shoe review videos in Hong Kong.
Goossen is also an avid Youtube consumer and told CTV News he feels the key to building a following and garnering success is in creating the kind of lifestyle others want to live vicariously through.
“It’s like you see that person doing something that you wish you could be doing, but you can watch and experience that from the comfort of your own home,” he said.