How Venmo Reaches Millennials & Gen Zers on Social Media

Instagram
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
TikTok
June 23, 2021
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Venmo has successfully captured a younger demographic, with over 83% of Venmo app users falling under the 18 to 34 age bracket. The brand mainly uses social media to communicate with its Millennial and Gen Z audience on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. 

  • Instagram Tactic — Promotional Ads: Venmo focuses their advertising efforts strictly on Instagram where the brand spends on average $407K per month on the platform. Top Instagram ads feature a promotion in the copy, such as the 3% cash back promo and the $25 referral bonus.
  • Instagram Tactic — Boost Giveaway Posts: Every month, Venmo hosts two giveaways on Instagram which typically generate 16K contest entries and 11K new Instagram followers. Each giveaway has a certain theme and purpose to celebrate various holidays such as Mother’s Day and Women’s Day. For one particular giveaway, Venmo boosted the post with a spend of $4.1K which resulted in 151K contest entries and +66K new Instagram followers. 
  • Twitter Tactic — Payment Captions: On Twitter, Venmo encourages their app users to share their payment captions and rewards users by surprising them with $25. In order to send or request money on Venmo, users have to add a caption to accompany the transaction. Venmo users often add in humorous captions and emojis, which present a great opportunity for user-generated content. 


TikTok Tactic — Influencer Collaborations: To generate brand awareness about the $25 referral program, rather than creating their own content, Venmo partnered up with a diverse group of TikTok influencers to reach their target audience. Partnering up with influencers is a great way to create content on emerging platforms such as TikTok as they are the most up to date with TikTok trends and have a good idea of what their audience is looking for when it comes to engaging content.

Venmo is a mobile payment service that was launched in 2009. The brand targeted a younger demographic of people who are splitting bills with their friends. In 2013, Venmo was acquired by PayPal for $800 million.

In the past six months, Venmo has generated a steady volume of downloads with 2.3M mobile app downloads per month.

Venmo - Global Monthly Downloads

Venmo has successfully captured a younger demographic, with over 83% of Venmo’s app users falling under the 18 to 34 age bracket. 

Venmo - Demographics
*App demographic data includes Google Play Store data only

Outside of direct and search, social drives the highest volume of web traffic for Venmo on mobile devices. 

Venmo - % of Traffic Driven by Channel

Venmo has the largest audience size on Instagram with 159K followers, and an average engagement rate of 1.17% which is about 5X higher than Twitter.

Venmo currently does not have an active YouTube and Facebook page. 

Venmo - Total of # of Followers
ER = Engagement Rate (Total volume of engagements / total number of followers).
The Facebook platform has been inactive since June 2020

1. Instagram

Instagram is Venmo’s largest social platform with 159K followers, it is also the channel that receives the highest paid ad spend with a monthly budget of $407K. Venmo focuses their advertising efforts strictly on Instagram and on average the brand spends $407K per month on the platform. The spike in ad spend in March 2021 was due to the launch of the credit card QR code campaign. 

Venmo - Monthly Instagram Ad Spend
Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

Top Instagram ads featured a promotion in the copy such as the 3% cash back promo and the $25 referral bonus. 

Venmo - Top Instagram Ads
Ad #1 , Ad #2 , Ad #3

Venmo’s Instagram page gained +66K followers in March 2021, due to a #VenmoItForward Spring Break giveaway post which received 151K entries.

Click to view

The Spring Break giveaway post performed exceptionally well as it was the only giveaway post that was boosted in 2021, with a spend of $4.1K. 

Venmo - Spring Break Giveaway Result - Instagram

On average, a typical organic giveaway post with zero ad spend generates 16K contest entries and 11K Instagram followers. Every month, Venmo hosts two giveaways. 

Outside of giveaways, top performing content buckets on Instagram include:

Venmo - Top Performing Content Buckets
Ad #1 , Ad #2

On Instagram, Venmo partnered up with the @girlboss community in collaboration with their parent company, PayPal. The influencer post advertised the ease of cashing in stimulus checks. All influencer posts use the hashtag #venmopartner, which currently has 452 posts.

Venmo - @girlboss

2. Twitter

On Twitter, Venmo puts priority on creating a two-way dialogue between the brand and its app users. The brand consistently reposts tweets and engages with their followers. Venmo encourages their app users to share their payment captions and rewards users by surprising them with $25. 

Venmo - Twitter - Payment Captions
Click to view

To increase engagement, Venmo poses a question to the audience through Tweets and uses the polling function to settle heated debates, such as “What’s the king of food emojis?”

  • Pose a Question. Venmo makes it easy for the audience to answer questions by asking them to respond using an emoji.
  • Polls. Venmo created a fun game out of Twitter’s polling feature by asking their audience every week which food emoji was their favorite. 
  • Each poll was a face-off between two different food emojis, to crown the ultimate winner.

3. TikTok

While Venmo’s TikTok channel is mainly reserved for advertisements, they collaborate with a large number of TikTok influencers to increase brand awareness about their referral program.

Venmo collaborated with a diverse group of TikTok influencers including comedians and dogs to promote their referral program where users can get up to $25 for referring new friends to Venmo.

Venmo - TikTok Influencers Collaboration
@seandoesmagic , @mattheperson , @jonnym0rales , @sushisaid

Every influencer uses the hashtag #venmopartner which currently has 11M views on TikTok. Creating a hashtag specifically for collaborations makes it easy for the audience to find other similar content. 

Venmo ran an ad in collaboration with TikTok influencer @jeffrightnow who boasts 2.4M followers on the platform. The ad generated 29M views in total and advertised the Venmo referral program. 


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