For the past few years, businesses have shifted social media marketing tactics to accommodate the Millennial generation. They have made efforts to better understand and relate to this generation, and many feel confident about their social media approach.
We’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there are new kids in town. And there are strong opinions and expectations surrounding how and what marketing social media to Gen Z looks like.
This group of 2.1 billion individuals born between 1995 and 2010 is the next big market for brands- and they are quickly taking over most markets and industries. With this shift in major market focus, many businesses and brands are unsure of how to move with these changes and are worried that if they don’t step up their marketing efforts, their business will get left in the dust.
Gen Z has a spending power of over $143 billion in the United States alone. If you haven’t already started shifting your social media marketing campaigns to appeal to this generation – now is the time.
And we have some tips to help you get started marketing based on Gen Z’s social media preferences.
Why Are We Marketing to Gen Z?
First, let’s break down who this generation is so you can build a better Gen Z marketing strategy
Unlike Millennials, who remember a time in their lives when technology wasn’t as common – Gen Z grew up in an age where advanced technology has always been at their fingertips. They are great at multitasking, expect brands to be loyal to them, are quick to change allegiance, and want technology integrated into every aspect of their lives. They care deeply about the future and the environment and are in the position to have an immense impact on everything from the economy to climate change.
But what does that mean for your business’s social media strategy? Here are a few ways to focus your marketing efforts on this powerhouse generation and keep your business relevant.
Be Authentically Human
Gen Z values authenticity and transparency over almost everything else. They are natural-born detectives and can easily sniff out insincerity. They have no problem deep-diving into a brand’s website, history, values, etc. Look at companies like American Eagle, Dove, Patagonia, Victoria’s Secret, and many more who are beginning to be more transparent in their marketing tactics, company culture, and impact on society.
This generation of individuals is more likely to respect, follow, and engage with your company when you stop trying to show off your “airbrushed self” and instead show up as imperfectly and authentically human. This is exceptionally important for small businesses. Authenticity can lead to a stronger brand voice that will connect with your audience on a deeper level, which gains you brand trust and, ultimately, more repeat customers.
Show a Sense of Humor
The majority of Gen Z prefers supporting brands they see as “funny” and “cool.” Humor and meme-centric content are at the top of their list for preferred branding. This can create a challenge for brands who try to keep up with the speed of the internet. Posting a months-old meme trend can make them appear out of touch.
While not every industry is set up to play the role of comedian, the thing that matters the most is that Gen Z follow brands that have a distinct voice, showcase their human side, and offer authentic interactions that don’t always sound perfectly edited and polished.
Brands need to strive to be more organic and unpredictable with their online presence rather than calculated and refined. This means fostering a brand voice that can be relatable and humorous in a way that feels natural to your audience. It doesn’t have to be knee-slapping hilarity, but you should focus on creating a range of authentic emotions, including humor, throughout your marketing efforts.
Skip Traditional Advertising Tactics
This younger generation does not want to be told what to do by businesses. Traditional advertisement strategies that have worked well previously no longer work for this generation.
Overall – they are incredibly patient and want to learn the ins and outs of something, how to use it, and how to incorporate it into their own lives and have a personal connection to a product. They also want brands that are extremely active across social platforms.
This is why Gen Z loves influencers – influencers appeal to them and speak directly to them without being too “corporate” about it. Show off your product or services without telling or forcing the benefits on viewers – instead, use influencer marketing tactics to show real people using it, utilize interactive features, and allow the benefits of your product and services to speak for themselves.
Prioritize Eye-Catching Visuals
By far, Gen Z favors social media platforms that contain less messaging and are more visual-focused. 81% of Gen Z say that Instagram and YouTube are their preferred social media networks.
Compare that to the fact that only 51% of them are using Facebook – which is more of a traditional long-form platform. Gen Z will often choose platforms that are visually oriented over anything else, every single time. Because of this, brands need to prioritize crafting unique and eye-catching visuals for their marketing campaigns. This can include designed graphics, high-quality photos, and engaging videos.
To paraphrase a fun adage, these prospects aren’t here for a long time, they’re here for a good time. There’s a reason why short, snappy content performs better on almost every platform – the goal is to grab attention, not slowly lead your audience along a journey that they may not even want to be on.
Video, Video, Video
Speaking of visuals – video content is key to attracting Gen Z followers and customers.
Instagram stories, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, and many more platforms are set up for quick, simple marketing videos that will catch this generation’s eye like no other marketing content can. Video has come to rule the social landscape. It’s richer, more versatile, and offers more engagement opportunities than traditional photo/copy posts. You can expect your engagement, awareness, and success to begin to vanish if you don’t incorporate video into your marketing strategies.
Show people utilizing your products, make quick tip videos, introduce team members; the options are endless for creating fun and engaging videos.
Now that you know some tips about marketing to Generation Z, you’re ready to take steps to switch up your social media strategy. By taking time to really learn and understand Gen Z’s preferences and how they differ from other generations, you will be in an excellent place to build valuable relationships and formulate a solid social media marketing strategy.
SharedTEAMS – Gen Z Marketing, Social Media, and More
As you are working through your strategies for marketing social media to Gen Z, don’t forget that you can reach out to SharedTEAMS for guidance, content work, and more.
Social media is an ever-changing platform for businesses looking to target their unique audience. SharedTEAMS is your on-demand social media agency – reach out when you need us, create project tracks with as little or as much management as you prefer, and let us do the rest:
- Influencer strategy
- Content creation
- Social media ads
- Community management
- Media outreach
Interested in learning more? Take our membership qualification survey to see how we can best help your business with marketing social media to Gen Z and any other content marketing needs you may have.