By Candace Huntly
For a while, everyone was talking about Millennials like we were the only thing worth living for as marketers. Now, with over 2.4 billion individuals making up Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2010), they are certainly giving us something to talk about instead. They are fiercely independent and value privacy (as opposed to some Millennials who put every moment of their lives on permanent display).
Instagram is a must if you are building a social media strategy targeting Gen Z, but you should also consider Snapchat (for it’s fleeting qualities), TikTok (because TikTok), and YouTube. In case you weren’t convinced, 65% of Gen Z checks Instagram daily and 73% are active users. Almost half of Gen Z checks social media hourly, so how are you going to make the most of it?
Focus on Individualization
Gen Z has grown up valuing individual expression. While they like being a part of a community, they prefer to do so while having their own opinions and unique personality. They are looking for brands to focus on personalization, whether it’s through the purchase experience or in the way that brands communicate with them. When developing your product or service offering, consider that almost 60% of Gen Z are willing to pay more for an individualized experience.
Causes are more important than ever
Like Millennials, Gen Z wants brands to share the same beliefs and values. However, almost 70% of Gen Zers want brands to take it even further. They expect brands to contribute to meaningful social, environmental, and economic change. While they are concerned with diversity and equality issues, climate change is the issue that Gen Z is most concerned about. While statistics support this, you don’t have to look further than young influencers’ social media feeds to see this as a prevalent issue among this generation. Your social feeds should focus on both your brand and the products and services you have to offer as well as the work you are doing to create change.
Build a community
Perhaps counter-intuitive to personalization and individualism (if you don’t do it properly), Gen Z responds well to community building initiatives. Brands should focus on uniting people around a cause to create meaningful dialogue. Keep in mind that Gen Z uses social media very differently than other generations. They tend to hang out with friends on social platforms (the time spent on social is much higher because of this), so community-building is a natural step for brands. Gen Z is also more likely to trust people from within their friends, family, and community over brands and influencers.
Mobile above all else
Gen Z has grown up in a world with internet and with smart phones (On average, they’re on their phones 11 hours weekly. It’s the lifestyle they know. So build your strategy based on that behaviour. Make all of your content mobile-friendly and design all experiences (even those that are in-person) with a mobile component in mind. Even watching TV, almost all of Gen Z use their mobile or a second screen at the same time. It’s the multi-screen generation and if you’re not creating social media content in the right ways, then you are missing out!
Your mobile-first strategy should bleed into your eCommerce and buying experiences as well. If you are trying to connect with Gen Z on social and you haven’t already implemented a social commerce strategy, then you need to get on that… immediately.
Invest in YouTube
YouTube has become an integral part of each and every day for Gen Z. In fact, 95% of them feel they can’t live without it and most are on YouTube daily. Fun fact? Gen Z actually often starts on YouTube at the beginning of their purchase journey. From product reviews to immersive fashion spreads, get creative with the content you are putting together for YouTube.
Social media should be an integral part of your strategy to connect with your Gen Z audience. Just remember to create a personalized experience designed to build a community… 😉 If you aren’t sure where to start or you need help creating engaging content, start with a free 20-minute consultation and we’ll get you started on the right track.