Great marketing means always keeping up with each generation. Yes, even those pesky Gen Z ones (we kid, we kid!). So, what’s the key to social media marketing to Gen Z? And who ARE they?
Who is Generation Z?
Generation Z (aka Gen Z, iGen, or centennials), refers to the generation born between 1997-2012, following millennials. This generation has been raised on the internet and social media.
Understanding what makes this generation tick is a must if you want to get the most out of the spending power that lives within Gen Z, and that spending power isn’t to be underestimated! They are the new generation of consumers and already represent over $140 billion of spending power.
Gen Z are digital natives, they’re up to date with every trend and their digital upbringing has made them a challenging group to target. They hold brands to high standards and your usual marketing strategy won’t reel them in as easily as the other generations.
That’s why we decided to give you a little help!
So, what does Gen Z look for in a brand?
Be authentic and relatable.
Is authenticity important to Gen Z? Yes, yes it is. Let Gen Z speak to Gen Z. Whether that’s letting the youngest person in your office take over your TikTok and go off, or hiring an influencer to speak to Gen Z through your social channels. Find someone who speaks the Gen Z language, not a millennial who is trying to mimic Gen Z and slightly misses the mark. Gen Z will be able to sniff it out from a mile away. Trust us on this one.
Loosen up. Have a laugh. Post a meme.
Gen Z wants to support brands that don’t take themselves too seriously and can have a laugh. No, this doesn’t mean throwing your whole marketing strategy out the window and just posting memes. So, how do you successfully market to Gen Z? It means you may need to let go of the perfectly curated feed that you planned three months in advance and jump on current trends so you don’t miss out on reaching that audience. We understand not all industries can play the role of the comedian but there is also space to let your personality shine, even if it’s just responding to comments with a bit more personality.
Respond and engage with your audience.
Gen Z wants your undivided attention and they want it now. We aren’t kidding. They don’t want to wait three business days for a response to a direct message, they’ve probably moved on already. Don’t just respond to comments on your page either, interact with other brands. Brands like RyanAir, DuoLingo, and Wendy’s are known for commenting on other posts, they don’t hold back from roasting competitors or hyping up their customers in the comments. Gen Z wants brands that are bold, have a strong voice, and have a personality. What does Gen Z look for in a brand? Well, don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and let the Gen Z intern go rogue with responding and engaging with your audience (Not too rogue, please. But let them have fun.)
They are all about transparency, is Gen Z more socially aware? You bet. If you’re lying about what you’re doing for the environment in your posts and greenwashing them, they will be the first to call you out in a brutal TikTok. They are extremely resourceful at getting the information they want, and at verifying it. Gen Z takes no prisoners when it comes to transparency. If being environmentally friendly is not what your brand is about, don’t try and pretend it is. If you are a fast fashion brand, there’s no need to post on world earth day about what you’re trying to do for the environment. Own what your brand is and what they’re good at, rather than trying to be something you’re not.
UGC, UGC, UGC.
Gen Z wants to see people like them using your products. Whether that’s using influencers that relate to the Gen Z audience or re-posting (with permission!) posts your customers have tagged you in. Gen Z doesn’t relate to the picture-perfect model with perfect skin, they want inclusivity and they want to see themselves. Gen Z is the ultimate realistic generation and you’ll not only capture their attention by utilising UGC, but you’ll also build a community of loyal customers.
So, what did we learn? Social media marketing to Gen Z is tough; your picture-perfect feed that simply just looks good isn’t going to cut it if you want to capture their attention. Let loose a little, hunt down the Gen Z in your office in a desperate attempt for them to help you, and don’t forget to engage with them.
If you’ve got Gen Z on your side, you can basically take on the world.