One of the unique things about Generation Z is that they have grown up in a world where social media has always been around. They weren't alive at the time when contacting long-distance friends involved an expensive landline phone call or sending letters.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been a part of their lives since their earliest memories, so it's no wonder Gen Z is influencing the way people use social media.
One area where we can see more specifically the influence of Generation Z is concerning consumer behaviour through these social platforms. According to Hootsuite’s report, 85% of Gen Z consumers use social media to discover new brands and products. Additionally, they are 59% more likely to follow a brand account than any other age group.
But Gen Z isn't just another age segment for brands to target. The behaviour and sentiment of this generation towards social media advertising are revolutionizing the way companies market themselves on these platforms.
This is precisely how social media is changing due to Gen Z.
Social Media Is Fun, Which Means Your Marketing Should Be Too
Gen Z sees social media as part of everyday life, and they often have a different appreciation for these platforms than other generations. Older age groups see social networks as a tool to keep in touch with friends and family and share content such as images or status updates. On the other hand, Generation Z sees social media as entertainment and inspiration.
So if you wish to keep Gen Z's attention, you need to connect to their lifestyle by making sure your content is engaging and entertaining. One of the most prominent (and practical) ways is to use influencers and nano/micro-influencers for content promotion. Generation Z is not as opposed to influencer marketing as other generations. A recent study found that 52% of young consumers thought influencers were highly trustworthy.
However, your influencer marketing needs to be approached in an entertaining way, rather than just a typical promotion, if you're really going to engage with this younger age group.
Well-known social media influencer Bretman Rock's collaboration with Fashion Nova is an excellent example. They created an entertaining video featuring their latest fashions on Rock's YouTube channel, which received more than 7 million views and 16,000 comments.
Of course, influencer marketing isn't the only way to create entertaining content. First of all, your brand should focus on the interactive aspect of social media by engaging with followers through educational, engaging or fun native posts.
Experience is more important than the product
One of the key points to connect with a younger audience is to rely less on the hard sell and more on the "concept" of what your product can bring to them. Essentially, they are more interested in unique value and brand personality.
Similar to many other generations, Gen Z wants to buy from brands they can trust, and they often turn to consumers to do their research. As a result, younger consumers are 99% more likely to trust online reviews when making a purchase decision.
Social proof is an essential aspect influencing the purchasing decisions of this generation. Generation Z uses social media to assess what types of products they want based on other people's experiences; therefore, reviews should be essential for your social marketing.
For example, The Pearl Source, a high-end jewellery retailer, did a fantastic job establishing social proof by incorporating feedback throughout their marketing plan and using customer testimonials to build trust. Posting these reviews on their platforms even helped them rank higher in Google SERPs and drive more traffic.
Given Gen Z's value in social proof, brands should prioritize reviews across all of their digital media.
It's also important to note that today's younger consumers have high expectations of a brand's social media behaviour. According to the Sprout Social report, most consumers these days expect companies to give back to the community (or the world at large), positively use their influence, and even raise and support moral standards.
This works so well with younger consumers because it gives them a reason to invest in a brand emotionally. So ask yourself:
- What does your social media advertising strategy make you feel?
- Will Gen Z respond to the emotions you're igniting?
- How can you get a more emotional response from them?
Constantly watch videos
If you wish to market to Gen Z, you can't ignore the prominent rise in advertising through short, snappy videos on social media. In fact, the average Gen Z-er watches 70 videos daily across 5 social media platforms.
YouTube is, obviously, the most common social media site for this type of content. Still, young consumers also stream on Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, which is starting to become one of the most downloaded social applications for Gen Z.
Keyword research is among the most vital steps in building a video campaign that resonates. This crucial step shows you which queries and topics are relevant on the primary video platforms regarding your business industry.
Now, once you have a good idea of what topics are trending on the major video platforms, you need to create that sense of individuality that draws people to your channel.
A great example comes from "Will it Blend?" a Blendtec's YouTube channel series. Instead of strictly promoting their blenders by making smoothies, they combine more exciting items, like the glow sticks, iPhone X, and an Amazon Echo.
The video is all about visual captivation, obviously. People beyond Gen Z are loyal fans of specific video channels for some key reasons:
- The content is extremely relevant to them.
- They like the personality that brings the videos to life.
- It is very original.
Marketers need not fear Generation Z – they are already becoming a very influential consumer segment that determines how businesses interact with their customers. However, it is imperative for marketers to really understand the motivation behind the actions of this generation.
The old strategies just aren't going to work with this group, especially on social media platforms. You must know what they want from a company, what interests them, and what influences their buying decisions. As the digital landscape evolves, your social strategy will need to follow suit.
Love our content? We have a variety of blogs that’ll give you important insights into social media marketing and management. We also have a range of tips and tricks you can use to improve your social media presence as well as advice on how to make money as a nano-influencer, increase word-of-mouth marketing and so much more!
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