28 Sep 2020

How to tap into the ‘Gen Z’ Market on Social Media

Whilst millennials are still a significant consumer segment and represent a large proportion of the population, the generation Z market is the one to watch out for. It possesses over £44 billion of buying power and will quadruple in the next two years. If your company can tap into this, you’ve got a real opportunity for success.

If you’re unfamiliar with it, the term Gen Z refers to anyone born between 1995-2010. This group is by far the most active on Social Media and is the first generation to use the tool to engage with their community. With generation Z making up 32% of the population, they are currently the largest demographic on the planet. These teens and young adults are true digital natives, having grown up around screens and not knowing a time without the internet. When it comes to this tech-savvy generation, if your social strategies are outdated, expect to get left behind.

Over half (55%) of Gen Zers use their smartphones five or more hours a day and often have limited patience and attention spans. They’re used to watching multiple screens at once and are deemed as highly efficient multitaskers. Much of their consumption behaviour, including interest in brand engagement and concern for privacy, is fuelled from the widespread availability of the internet which they’ve always experienced. 

Below, we explore the influential factors, experiences, behaviours and content preferences of our Gen Zers, to get to grips with this powerful demographic and their Social Media activities.

Understand the Market

First thing’s first, it’s important to understand your market. What platforms are generation Z focusing their attention on? With the average time of 3 hours per day spent on Social Media, let’s take a look at which channels appeal to this demographic (according to ypulse):

There are similarities between millennials (25-39) and Gen Zers (13-25) with Instagram, TikTok and YouTube spanning all three decades, however, with an obvious preference for fast-paced, image and video-based platforms. 

Why do Gen Zers go Online?

73% of Gen Zers use their devices primarily for texting and chatting. The majority of their time is split between Social Media, entertainment, gaming, schoolwork, with only 17% for shopping and browsing. 

Shopping Habits

Gen Zers are thrifty shoppers, choosing value over designer labels. According to business insider, this is how they decide on the brands they buy from:

Political, Social and Environmental Progress

This cohort is more likely to pay for products and services like plant-based foods from eco-friendly companies and brands. Politics are also of huge importance with many leading the way for protests on diversity, equality and climate change. As this demographic is the most ethnically diverse, it’s no surprise that the majority of Gen Zers have either attended a protest, posted on social media about a protest or actively took time to learn about racial injustice. 

Corporate Social Responsibility

The majority of Gen Z care deeply about making an impact and are therefore interested in brands and products that do just that. Creating Social Media campaigns that are associated with improving life which is relevant and current and impactful, will build a stronger connection to Gen Zers.

Mobile Experiences

Go mobile! Unlike any other generation, Gen Zers are the highest percentage of mobile users and smartphones are what they live by. It’s also imperative your website is perfectly optimised for mobile. The majority of this demographic prefer streaming services to traditional cable, as well as getting snackable content they can access on their phones.

The breakdown of device usage, according to Global Web Index’s report on Gen Zers:

Changing Marketing

Gen Zers are pushing for brands to market their new products through Instagram and Snapchat and not solely via email marketing. (They rarely check their emails).

Instagram has taken steps towards improving eCommerce on their platform, and this offers a significant opportunity to market your business to this generation. Gen Zers expect instant information, and now Instagram’s shopping tags in images and the “swipe up” option in Stories tap into that need and help maximize their ‘8-second attention span’ before it’s gone.

The Importance of Influencers

The most powerful way to tap into this market is influencer marketing. Only 10% of Gen Z’s social media accounts are brands, meaning the vast majority are influencers. A business will struggle to gain traction without the help of an influencer or partnership. Gen Zers see influencers as trusted peers and are more likely to buy something that was recommended by an influencer. With a high number of this generation needing a positive review pre-purchase, influencers will tap into this dependence by reviewing each product. 

The Most Engaging Social Media Content for the Gen Z Demographic:

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are widely popular with the Gen Z audience. Instagram Stories are great because they’re short and engaging, which is perfect for an audience with a shorter attention span. With so much content on the internet, it’s important to get information across quickly and in an entertaining way.

Video Content

Blog content is capable of getting millions of views, but Gen Z seems to prefer video content over traditional text. It’s best to mix it up – create a blog post and also a short video version of the article for people who prefer this format.

Focus Your Efforts on the Right Channels

Facebook is trending towards the millennial and older group, while Tik Tok, Snapchat and even Instagram are much more appealing to Generation Z. Make sure you focus your efforts on the channels in which your audience exist, then produce content that resonates with them. Short videos, in particular, are very powerful for interacting with this audience.

Now that you’re aware of these key facts and stats about Gen Zers, you’ll be able to engage with this powerful market on Social Media and make a lasting impact.

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