Nearly Two-Thirds of Gen Z Plans To Make Money With Social Media in 2023 – Here’s How

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Gen Z knows how to make money when the going gets tough, and 2023 is looking like it’s going to be a tough year, indeed. With inflation still roaring and a global recession on the horizon, this young cohort will have to get extra scrappy to get by – and for many, social media will play a huge role in making money in the new year.

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According to a new report from Instagram, 64% of Gen Zers plan to make money with social media in 2023. What are some of the ways they can do this? Let’s have a look.

Monetizing the Metaverse 

“Monetizing the metaverse can be achieved by creating virtual goods and services,” said Sam McGraw, founder and CEO of Design Hub.

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“For example, gamers may create and sell virtual items, such as virtual clothes, furniture and weapons, and offer services like fast travel, custom builds and more. Additionally, monetization of a metaverse may be encouraged by incentivizing users to participate via rewards or virtual currency. This could be used to purchase goods and services or to level up their avatar.”

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Becoming an Influencer

This one’s a bit obvious, but hey — it holds up! 

“Gen Z should think about upgrading their social profiles [if] they enjoy spending time on the internet and frequently create content,” said Carl Jensen, founder of Compare Banks.

“If they focus on a particular niche market, they can approach particular individuals by targeting their problem areas and producing more specialized content. As their fan base expands, they can begin experimenting with various kinds of content to determine which ones generate the most engagement, and sponsorships will begin to flow their way. [However], it will take time to cultivate profits and turn it into a legitimate business. Additionally, [one] should conduct preliminary research because there is fierce rivalry in some areas.”

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Affiliate Marketing 

“Affiliate marketing is simple, and doesn’t even require an upfront investment to get going,” said Alex Micol, a 25-year-old self-made millionaire who made $30 million last year through affiliate marketing on social media platforms.

“By using their existing social media platforms, Gen Z can work directly with brands and companies they care about to offer referral codes to their followers as part of a paid sponsorship deal. This is a win-win, as the Gen Z social media influencer will make money based on click-throughs and referral code usage, while the brand sees an uptick in traffic and purchases.” 

User-Generated Content 

“One of the top ways Gen Z can make money on social media is through user-generated content, but not through the typical lens of influencer marketing,” said Sarah Walsh, the brand strategist at Branch & Bramble. “Instead, Gen Z is supporting lifestyle brands that need varied imagery of their target audience using their products in their daily life. A profitable business can be built with a phone that takes quality pictures and a curated social media feed.

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“As an example, take a household products company,” Walsh continued. “They’re looking to target a Gen Z audience who prioritizes eco-friendly cleaning products, but they can’t keep showing the same few branded pictures over and over again. Instead, they’ll reach out to these Gen Z UGC creators to take photos or videos of how they’re using the products in their lives. Maybe it’s a day-in-the-life video where they clean their home, or maybe it’s a highly stylized photo that perfectly captures the brand aesthetic. As there is high demand for UGC, Gen Z creators who have a curated social feed as an example of their work can realistically ask for several hundred dollars for a small bundle of photos and into the thousands for an aesthetically pleasing, high-quality video — especially when working with larger brands. The price point only increases from there based on the creator’s skill level and the exclusivity requested by the hiring brand.”

Blogging 

“Many Gen Z writers have been gaining revenue for sharing their thoughts [via blogging] about travel, finance, gardening, etc.,” said Adam Garcia, CEO and owner of The Stock Dork. “It’s pretty popular because you have a flexible time when you blog, which means you can write whenever you want to and pause if you get tired.”

How Much Can Gen Z Make Using Social Media? It Depends

“Because the industry is so young, we are seeing variability hold a huge stake in how much these creators are getting paid,” said Gigi Robinson, a 24-year-old who has been building their business through social media for the past two years. “Not to say that won’t be more standardized over time, but for now there is too much going into it to pinpoint how much you can make and when.”

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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