4 Things to Know About the Future of Social Media for Gen Z

— August 1, 2018

4 Things to Know About the Future of Social Media for Gen Z

Marketers dropped the ball with Millennials, and they know it. Now that Generation Z is in charge of their own wallets, marketers are determined to correct past mistakes. Born from anywhere in the mid-90’s to the mid-2000’s, this generation wields 25.9% ($ 44 billion) of the United States’ purchasing power. That’s a large piece of the pie that only stands to grow.

It makes sense that your brand would want to tap into this buyer group. To do that, you will have to dive into the world of social media marketing. That sounds easy enough, because companies have done that to reach Millennials, Generation X, and even Baby Boomers, but Gen Z requires a special touch. Here are four things you need to know while trying to market to Gen Z online.

Facebook Fading

Okay, so here’s the thing: Generation Z is ditching Facebook. Crazy, I know. With almost one-third of the world on Facebook, it’s hard to imagine a whole generation actively shunning it. Gen Z, however, is more concerned with consuming content on social media rather than sharing, which is how previous generations have made use of the largest social network.

While Gen Z is online longer than any other generation (2 hours and 43 minutes on average), they are also on fewer social platforms. When you try to reach them with your message, make sure you’re trying to reach them on the right platform. This new generation wants to see funny or interesting content, like internet memes and bite-sized videos, so they are more likely to spend time on Youtube, Instagram, or Snapchat.

A quick word of warning, though: In this age of ad-free video streaming, Gen Z’ers do not tolerate any brand’s traditional disruptive advertising very well. A more effective tactic is to create entertaining content that captures the attention of the viewer rather than interrupting what they’re already consuming. Also, Gen Z is more interested in celebrities than brands, so finding an influencer to help you create small bits of entertaining content would be more effective than branded posts.

Make Sure They Are Listening To Your Tune

After social media, Gen Z likes listening to music. 42% of their time online is spent listening to music, and they often listening to music while doing just about anything else. Gen Z has more opportunity to find new music than any other generation. Sweety High’s 2018 Gen Z Music Consumption & Spending Report found that 97% of Gen Z girls listen to 5 different genres of music on a regular basis.

If you’re not taking advantage of their love for music, then it’s time to start. Remember: It’s not as much about finding the right genre to advertise under, but it’s more about finding the right channel. The Sweety High report also found that 75% of Gen Z uses Youtube to discover new music, but then only 25% use Youtube to listen to music regularly. Thats much lower than Spotify (61%), regular radio (55%), or even CD’s (38%). These outlets that Gen Z’ers will frequent are the perfect place to share your brand message.

Build Yourself Up By Building Them Up

Traditionally, advertisers have appealed to consumers by advertising abilities, ideas, and lifestyles that those consumers wanted to emulate (Jordans were famed to make you “Like Mike”), but Gen Z is breaking that mold. I pointed out earlier that Gen Z spends more time on social media than any other generation, so it’s to be expected that social media would affect them more than any other generation. For example, 42% of Gen Z’ers believe that social media has a direct impact on how they feel about themselves, and 39% say that social media directly affects their self-esteem.

This generation is too smart to chase unattainable lifestyles; Gen Z prefers content and advertisements that are uplifting and positive. For example, ModCloth, a brand of women’s clothing, has made it their mission to be honest in their advertising. Instead of presenting photoshopped, airbrushed, “perfect” women, they have promised to not to alter the natural appearance of their models. They also hire their models from their community of fans and customers. They want “real” people to represent their brand.

Give Back

In a similar vein, Gen Z is more focused on effecting social change using social media more than any other generation and they look for brands that share the same philanthropy. Perhaps more than any other generation before them, the Generation Z heart is firmly attached to the wallet. Be sure to share what you do to make the world a better place.

We often point out the philanthropy of Warby Parker, TOMS Shoes, and Patagonia, but thousands of other brands have figured out unique ways to give back. Black Rifle Coffee is owned by military veterans and gives a portion of their proceeds to veterans causes on a regular basis. Dawn dish soap likes to tout that it’s the number one soap used to clean up birds after disasters like oil spills. After the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Dawn sent 7,000 bottles of dish soap to help with animal rescue efforts.

Generation Z wields large purchasing power in today’s market and that is only expected to grow larger. That is why it is vital to tap into their habits and get on their radar. Of course, if you need help creating a strategy, you can always contact us.

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Author: Liz Papagni

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