— July 23, 2019
Nearly all social media users over the age of 18 log onto Facebook at least once a week, according to a recent survey by The Manifest.
Members of Generation Z, though, are changing the status quo.
Broadly defined as ages 7-22, Gen Z is changing the social media landscape that millennials, baby boomers, and Gen Xers set in motion.
Only 36% of Gen Z uses Facebook at least once a week, and the rest of their social media habits also differ from their predecessors, in many cases creating a stark contrast to what many thought was the “new norm” after the digital revolution set in.
Poised to make up 40% of all online consumers within the next year or two, Generation Z makes up 32% of the world and has $ 44 billion in spending power.
This generation has distinctly different online habits than their predecessors, and businesses that want to keep up with them will soon need to relearn, retrain, and re-strategize their marketing habits to keep up.
In this article, we explain how the social media habits of Generation Z differ from all generations before them. Use the information to consider how your marketing strategy should reflect this rapidly-growing consumer base.
Generation Z Prefers YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat
Gen Z rarely frequents Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Instead, they prefer YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Part of the reason Generation Z gravitates toward YouTube is that they prefer its user experience over most other websites.
Nearly one-quarter of Gen Z users say that YouTube provides the best user experience (UX) on the web. The features they value in particular include:
- Clear navigation
- Visually-rich layout
- Personalized recommendations
- Ad preferences
Another habit that differentiates Generation Z, the first digital-native generation, is that they spend more time online than all other generations – about 10.5 hours per day.
YouTube offers a one-size-fits-all platform that fits well with Gen Z since they can use it to watch TV, play music, follower influencers, and advance their education.
Gen Z also conducts far more Google searches than all other age groups, an average of 63 searches per week compared to the 3-4 weekly searches conducted by post-millennials. Which may explain why Google-owned YouTube’s navigation feels more intuitive to people 22 and younger.
Companies that are interested in maintaining engagement with this cohort over time need to stay abreast of these trends.
Gen Z Prefers Fewer Social Media Platforms and More Versatility
Instead of frequenting traditional social media platforms like their older counterparts, Generation Z uses niche platforms that cater to specific interests such as gaming platforms, influencers, and other special interests.
For example, Amazon-owned Twitch, a live streaming gaming network, provides endless small group gaming discussions.
Within gaming discussion groups, conversations break off into specific aspects of a game such as customizing characters or gaming strategy.
When Gen Z users want to learn more about Twitch, they turn to YouTube. For example, YouTuber Retro Ali talks to her peers about how to choose the right name for your Twitch account.
According to Zebra IQ, Twitch has 15 million unique daily visitors that spend an average 95 minutes a day on the platform.
Other niche platforms that Generation Z loves include Tik Tok and Imgur.
Marketers Should Adapt to Gen Z Social Media Habits
Although Generation Z uses fewer social media platforms, social media marketers need to know that this generation’s online social interactions are a constant and natural part of their everyday lives.
Marketers should learn about the social platforms and UX environments that Gen Z prefers so they can plan and strategize for 2020 and beyond.