Youth rate of unemployment may impact your social media strategy

“70% of Africa’s youth live on less than US$2 per day, the internationally defined poverty threshold” – Africa Renewal Magazine, 2013

This stat was released in 2013, but 3 years later, the economy seems to be taking an even bigger knock.

And then South Africa’s unemployment rate for 2016 was released…


“So what? I’m a youth marketer and the youth unemployment rate has nothing to do with my social media strategy and besides, the youth love my brand”. You could be very wrong!

If almost 70% of SA youth are unemployed then that leaves you with a market share of 30% – employed youth. Or does it?

A situation where even  graduates are not exempt as learnt by Anthea Malwandle, a South African engineering graduate who resorted to ‘begging on the streets’ for a job after conventional job hunting methods proved futile. Despite the economy, Africa’s youth still account for a huge chunk of the world’s consumer spending. How is this possible?


Malwandle’s  bravado captured social media’s attention, and ultimately landed her an interview with international chemical and energy company, Sasol. 

Do you think Anthea’s Malwandla’s job hunting method was extreme? Would you be brave enough to do what she did? Send us your comment.

In case you were thinking of neglecting your social media strategy

Craig Utermark, CEO of Cape Town’s Atmosphere Orange, a programmatic advertising agency,  says social media has a lot to do with why a  predominantly unemployed market segment surprisingly still holds significant buying power.

Social media ain’t dead

It is clear that as long as social media is still alive, youth marketing is not going anywhere. In tough economic times like this, a winning youth marketing strategy  is one that is aligned with the changing economic times. If the youth are still using social media despite the economic turmoil, then your business should be on every social media platform. As long as there are millennials, then social media ain’t dead. In a Mail&Gardian Africa article published in October 2015, Utermark made this statement:

“This generation of youth are incredibly sophisticated. The South African Social Media Landscape  report recently revealed that just in this country Twitter has 6.6 million users and visual platforms YouTube and Instagram have seen a user increase of 53% and 65% respectively over the past year. So our young people, like those across the world want ads with great visuals, ideally set to a great musical beat, something they can share on social media and be seen as cool by their friends.” Craig Utermark, CEO, Atmosphere Orange Advertising Agency

Do you think social media influences youth buying behaviours?

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