Social Influence Reveals a Silver Lining

Ten years ago, if you’d told someone that you sought financial advice from a TikTok star, their puzzled response would have been something along the lines of, “What do one-calorie breath mints have to do with saving and investing?!” My, how times have changed. The short-form video platform has swiftly transitioned from literally nothing to strictly entertaining to competantly educating in a matter of months.

Consider Tori Dunlap, the founder of Her First $100K. The 26-year-old took to TikTok in March 2020 to get the word out about the power of high-yield savings accounts. That’s when the world began to take notice. Another video, debunking the idea that riches could only be gained if pricey lattes were avoided, went viral. 800,000 followers later, Tori is officially a TikTok star. And her fame centers around financial literacy.

Another TikTok money maven is Delyanne Barros, who champions the merits of retirement and paying down debt. Even without a financial advisor accreditation, Delyanne’s advice is reaching the masses. 183,000 followers count on her financial insights on a daily basis.

Parenting a generation of which 54% aspire to become famous is no day at the beach. Perhaps the only parents who can relate are those who sheepishly told their financial stability-loving parents of their plans to become an artist, musician, or poet.  

But if your teen aspires to become a social influencer, take heart: there are paths to social influence that don’t center on celebrity alone. If your teen has visions of becoming a social celeb, encourage developing a proficiency that can benefit from social amplification, rather than chasing likes and reach alone.

If your child is more of a social media consumer than producer, don’t worry. If the 4 billion video views associated with #personalfinance are any indicator, their social obsession may not be so fruitless after all.