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As Gen Z begins to enter the workforce, many experts are beginning to wonder what the future of work will look like for this fledgling generation reshaping many of the ways organizations work. For a generation that has grown up with social media and knows how to identify the many different methods brands use to market online, it is a fair question whether Gen Z will break the traditional online marketing status quo. to shake up.
One key place that Gen Z has the potential to shake up is the realm of organizations struggling to transition to community-led growth. Community-led growth (or CLG) is the practice of turning users into passionate followers of your brand by creating a community where brand representatives and users can gather online.
Usually this is done by ‘community managers’ who act as a liaison between the brand and its supporters in a variety of settings, both in-person and online.
The community has exploded in recent years, with over 76% of internet users participating in some way in an online community, and 82% of users stating that they are open to organizations participating in the community.
According to the 2022 Community-led reportthere has been a 22% increase in organizations with community teams since 2020. Along with the increase in teams, there has been a 25% increase in organizations with community leadership representation.
Co-founder of Reddit Alexis Ohanion has stated, “By 2030, more than half of all publicly traded Fortune 500 companies will have a Chief Community Officer.” As the relevance of community-led growth grows over traditional marketing, Gen Z has the potential to play a major role in the transition.
This generation is one that spent their teens in Discord lobbies with real-time chats, often moderating their own communities in their spare time. According to Friendship48% of Gen Z trust communities as much as traditional news sites and significantly more than social media.
After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. as many in Gen Z were nearing graduation or about to graduate from high school, there was an 81% increase in online community engagement. This population has the potential to channel their time spent in online communities into long-term careers in community management.
The most important thing is to provide educational opportunities that are lacking in traditional education.
While the potential for Gen Z to capitalize on this trend is there, knowledge of this burgeoning career path is lacking. Traditional education still focuses heavily on the fundamentals of marketing, not on equipping students with the skills needed to perform softer community management tasks such as strategy and planning.
The average starting salary for a community manager is about $75,000 per year. But knowledge about the career path is sporadic. More needs to be done to provide opportunities to enter the field beyond traditional education. Another aspect to note about Gen Z is that this is a generational group that cares less about getting a four-year degree than previous generations.
The field of community management is believed to be very welcoming to people from non-traditional backgrounds. It also puts more emphasis on soft skills and communication than on credentials. This puts Gen Z in a perfect position to progress into careers in this field by leveraging the skills they acquired in their teens – without spending money on traditional education.
James Bohrman is a content manager at Loft Labs.
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