Social media stars cross cultural lines—with big influence on teens and millennials 

by | Apr 10, 2019 | Public Relations

King Bach, Lele Pons, Brent Rivera, Jordyn Woods—these are some of the top social media stars followed by teens today, according to new research from the Culture Marketing Council: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing (CMC).

While teens and young adults have always set the social trends from the Beatles to the grunge movement, their following of social media influencers is unique because it crosses cultural and racial lines across all segments, according to the org’s new study, Digital Lives 2018: A World of Digital ‘Everything’ through a Cultural Lens.

The research not only uncovers how digital is used to gather information, socialize, consume or share entertainment, but also explores this behavior through a cultural lens to determine areas of similarities, differences, cultural uniqueness or areas of cultural fusion.

The 13-49 social media influencer follower market is a multicultural majority

Fifty-five percent (6.7 million) of 13-17 followers are multicultural, 51 percent (31.3 million) of 18-49 are multicultural. Sixty-nine percent of Hispanic teens and 51 percent of non-Hispanic teens see the influencer as a trusted source and would consider buying the brand or service they feature.

Social media stars cross cultural lines—with big influence on teens and millennials 

Other findings include:

  • Unlike the entertainment industry where the majority of scripted TV show creators and leads are white, 62 percent of top 20 combined Instagram/YouTube leading vloggers in 2018 were multicultural*—58 percent of the 13 to 17 teen segment favorites and 64 percent for the 18 to 34 segment are multicultural.
  • People are not just following influencers that share their culture or racial profile. Roughly half of all 13-34’s influencers are of another culture—even among non-Hispanic whites—reflecting a generation that is more culturally open.
    • Six of the nine top influencers crossing teen cultural siloes are multicultural with one-third being of mixed race.
    • Three of the top four 18-34 influencers crossing siloes are multicultural women—in fact, Lilly Singh will take over Carson Daly’s late-night slot on TV with A Little Late with Lilly Singh this fall.
    • As a side note, Hispanics follow in-culture favorites no matter the language or where they are based.
  • Marketing/ads within in-culture spaces are superheroes, increasing purchase intent among Hispanics and non-Hispanic African Americans ages 13 to 49 by 62 and 70 percent, respectively, compared to ads and marketing in mainstream spaces.

Social media stars cross cultural lines—with big influence on teens and millennials 

“From an Instagram post to a YouTube video, product endorsement in such an influential community can make all the difference in your brand’s perception and success—this is why it’s important to integrate your influencer marketing at every step of the marketing process and be armed with the right cultural insights,” said CMC Research Chair Nancy Tellet, founder, brand & consumer navigator at PureClarity LLC, in a news release.

Social media stars cross cultural lines—with big influence on teens and millennials 

Founded in 1996 as the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, the Culture Marketing Council: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing is the national trade organization of all marketing, communications and media firms with trusted Hispanic expertise.

* Sources: Broadcast + Cable scripted TV data from UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report 2018, Avg. top 20 YouTube/Instagram stars based on reported subs/followers of study measured vloggers 

The CMC conducted an online quantitative study of 3,500 total 13 to 49-year-old respondents with equal representation of non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic African-Americans and Hispanics. The study was sponsored by Oi2 Media Response, ThinkNow, Univision and Viacom.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter