Getting Social With Gen Z

If you ask a Gen Z-er when they last checked their Facebook feed, or picked up the phone to call a local business, chances are you’ll just get a blank stare. It’s true that more and more people are using social media and Facebook leads the way in terms of number of users. However, younger people are logging out of Facebook just as quickly as their parents and grandparents are logging in.

Knowing how to reach millennials and older is definitely important, but as Gen Z grows up it’s time to realize that reaching them requires a completely different approach than marketing to older generations. You won’t regret the time you take getting to know the digital generation, as they are projected to make up 40% of all consumers by 2020.

If you want to reach Gen Z, learn more about where they’re at online and how to reach them!

Where to Find Your Target Demo Online

According to a study by Pew Internet, 72% of Americans now use social media, but the platform you should focus on to reach your target audience is closely tied to the generation you want to reach. One challenge advertisers face is that some of the most established and feature-rich platforms for advertisers have a notably older active user base.

Because of the maturity of the ad platforms and shifting age demographics In recent years, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn have become a great tool for reaching the Millennial+ age demographic. Even Instagram now boasts 47% of those 30-49 years old, not far behind the 67% of Gen Z and younger millennials also on the ‘Gram.

This creates a challenge for those trying to reach Gen Z users that are about to become adults with their own decision making and buying power. The most versatile Social Media platform to reach Gen Z is not in the Facebook family, it’s in the Google Family! Specifically YouTube!

A higher percentage of Americans are on YouTube than any other social media. About 90% of people between 18 and 49 are on YouTube, and 70% of those 50-65 use it too. So if you want your content to be seen, it’s a good idea to try putting it on YouTube organically or through paid ads.

How to Reach Gen Z on Social

Besides being younger, the main difference between Gen Z and those who came before them is their experience with technology. Gen Z kids grew up with Netflix and iPads for just about as long as they can remember. They’ve been exposed to 4,000-10,000 ads per day for so long that they unconsciously filter through and ignore the brands that don’t speak to them.

If something feels disingenuous or too sales-y, they don’t even see it. While millennials are known for Instagram walls and avocado toast, Gen Z is all about the authentic, the weird, and the real.

Here are five ways to speak to Gen Z in their language so you can get noticed:

1. Focus on Their Values

Activism, sustainability, and giving back to the community are all very important to teenagers and college age adults. They don’t like supporting brands that don’t share their values, and they will become advocates of products and companies they believe in. On the other hand, if a company appears to be disingenuous, it will turn them off as potential customers. There’s not much worse than a brand pretending to be conscious to get sales.

2. Fit Within Their Attention Spans

People have short attention spans on the Internet, especially younger users. Millennials are known to have a 12-second attention span, while Gen Z only gives their attention for 8 seconds. If you want your content to be seen, break it into small, digestible chunks. Try using images and videos instead of just text. Emojis can help break up text, but using too many will come across as spammy.

3. Pay Attention to Current Trends

Making your own spin on the latest viral meme or trend is a great way to be part of the hype and get attention. However, there’s nothing worse than a stale meme– so make sure you don’t join the party too late. Several brands like Lego, Wendy’s, and Burger King recently capitalized on the Area 51 petition and joined the conversation on social. This is a great example of paying attention to the trends your audience cares about.

4. Keep it Real

Gen Z is moving away from the picture-perfect staged photos that millennials are known for and trying to keep things real. They use their phone cameras instead of DSLRs, and when they use a filter they’re often making the photo appear blurry or faded rather than polished. They’re inspired by celebrities like Billie Eilish or Emma Chamberlain, who choose to show their real selves and personality rather than curate a perfect feed. Some of the posts are a bit weird and don’t even seem to make sense. So, keep it real. Show the humans behind the brand and don’t worry about leaving things a little rough around the edges.

5. Create Shareable Content

There’s a rule that 80% of your content should be relatable and the other 20% should be promotional. Younger audiences are used to the communal aspect of social media and don’t hesitate to tag a friend or DM a post that caught their attention. Whether you’re sharing memes, interesting facts, or user generated content, look at it from your audience’s perspective. If it isn’t something they’d want to share with their friends, it might not be the best thing to post.

Get in Front of the Right Audience

It’s important for everyone to learn how to talk to America’s youngest consumers. But if you’re in the post-secondary education industry, learning how to talk to high schoolers and recent grads is essential. The strategies that worked to reach millennials won’t be as effective anymore. Being unprepared to shift to Instagram, YouTube, and relatability could really set you back. At Oozle Media we are experienced with the platforms and strategies that your customers relate to. If you’re ready to reach the right customers for your business, please contact us!

Erica West Aug 02 2019
Categories: Social Media
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