Rules For Engaging Gen Z On Social Media

The Company
15 April 2019

The clock. It just keeps on ticking. As the passage of time continues, it’s inevitable that things change — but did you know one of them should be your target audience? Businesses have been catering to Gen X and Y for as long as they have existed, and with good reason. 63% of millennials (today’s lingo for Gen Y) stay up-to-date with their brands through social networks, and 2 out of 3 millennials say that promotional emails influence their purchase decisions on more than one occasion. But today, it’s not just about Gen X and Y – a big warm welcome goes to Gen Z.

To date, this generation stands approximately 80 million strong – and continues to grow. While Millennials were the generation that grew up alongside the World Wide Web, Gen Z has rapidly become the generation most known for its extensive social media presence. Therefore, adapting to the newest and most efficient ways to online market to Gen Z audiences is key for any business looking to grow in the near future.

Here are some things to keep in mind when engaging Gen Z on social media.

What you believe in: building a social media profile worth sticking around for

Aesthetics and quality of content have always been the driving force behind any kind of audience engagement, especially so in this day and age. When it comes to engaging with Gen Z, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the trends of the moment. A strong social media presence builds a strong and loyal audience base. When it comes to engaging Gen Z, developing a strong social media campaign with a powerful social message is what matters. Kids these days don’t just fall for any old face value campaign; they trust brands that stand for social good.

Developing campaigns that show your brand’s consciousness of current social issues and empowers Gen Z consumers to help build their trust in your business. They look for brands with morals; particularly brands who aren’t afraid to flaunt their (good) morals. Nike, for example, has boldly voiced their support against social issues like racial and gender inequality, signing on Colin Kaepernick in the height of the Black Lives Matter movement. Sales dropped briefly but now continue to skyrocket every passing day. Cotton On also does an effective job combining social causes with boosting their sales. Having established their own foundation, Cotton On offers “add-on” purchases of smaller items like tote shopping bags, hair ties, packets of tissue, and water bottles that contribute entirely to the foundation. They keep customers engaged with this cause and their products via their social media.

Another way of engaging Gen Z consumers is through promotions. Promo codes, QR codes, and assorted variations of discounts or free gifts are known magnets when attracting the youth of this generation. This particular practice has withstood the test of time, so you can rest assured that one thing stays the same throughout the generation — everyone loves free things and a good bargain!

More than just statistics: understanding the new generation

If it’s one thing that millennials and Gen Z have most in common (outside of their technological prowess), it’s the unfortunate fact that many previous generations of marketing simplify them into nothing more than statistics. How often have we seen articles like “Millennials are killing the […] industry” and “Gen Z are lazy”? It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy in that sense, where industries that die out view millennials and Gen Z audiences as nothing more than numbers and refuse to adapt their marketing techniques to match the changing times. Industries and businesses that thrive treat them as they are — the next generation of consumers.

Cater to them and celebrate them. Gen Z kids aren’t just about getting value for their money, they’re about getting entertained. This generation’s viral trends are a testament to that, and keeping up with ways to get them to crack a smile or stay top-of-mind is the best way to keep them loyal. Capitalise on the fact that Gen Z audiences are always on their phones instead of complaining about it by ensuring that your brand and its social media platforms are all mobile-friendly.

Gen Z is about staying relevant

In this day and age of viral videos and trends that change at the drop of a hat, it’s important to stay relevant when you’re talking to Gen Z. Before you start engaging them, be sure your brand has a clear message, drive, and delivery to make sure that you’re getting their complete attention. If you believe the statistics and what they say about this generation’s shorter attention span, then you’d better make the best of it.

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