Generation Z, commonly referred to as “Gen Z” or “Zoomers”, are a driving and largely untapped consumer base. At 10 to 24 years of age, many of them help dictate household buying habits & and are starting to develop their own buying power, collectively as a segment.
Harnessing social media is key to getting a foothold with this demographic, as the majority of Zoomers interact with digital media for several hours a day and prefer it to other forms of media. The following social media strategies will help you win and retain Gen Z customers.
Invest in Sponsored Content
Generation Z overwhelmingly prefers short-form entertainment to traditional formats. Short-form media platforms are embedded in the daily life of most Zoomers; they use these platforms to connect with each other, both in seemingly privates’ settings like Snapchats to and from individuals and private Instagram posts, and in public ways that demand attention on TikTok and YouTube.
The intimacy fostered on these platforms can make public figures seem like trusted friends; this relationship is a natural entry point for sponsored content. While many amongst Generation Z are jaded about overtly branded content, they statistically also tend to trust sponsored content promoted by their favorite content creators.
Many high-profile influencers on YouTube, Tiktok, and Instagram partner with brands that fit their target audience; makeup artists promote vitamins meant to encourage clear skin and hair growth, fitness coaches promote weight loss solutions, and family channels sell everything from cat litter to maternity clothing. An ideal partnership will be brokered through an agent or PR department and will foster a high engagement rate with your target demographic.
Connect with Social Causes
Gen Z is characterized in part by their political activism; they use social media to organize rallies, boycotts, and raise awareness to the causes most important to them. This awareness of social injustice has caused many Zoomers to become wary of capitalism as a system and to seek out as ethical a method of consumption as possible, which is also why many in that generation are proponents to emerging technological pivots like the Blockchain.
Gen Z prefers brands that echo their own activist sentiments without trying to take attention from the issues at hand. Successful businesses tend to use social media in the same way that their young consumers do; in this case, by taking a stand, amplifying marginalized voices, and representing a spirit of social justice. Their logic and amicability lies in the authenticity of any brand or cause. For example, they would participate in online activism by sharing posts dedicated to gay, lesbian, and transgender awareness throughout the year, not just for the sake of June pride month; Another example, they would share posts and hashtags for solemn movements like Black Lives Matter, without adding promotional material or any underlying commercial motive.
Embrace Trends with Caution
It can be tempting to load your posts with the slang typically associated with Gen Z’s internet presence. Words like “yeet”, “sksksk”, “fire”, and other popular phrases seem like good ways to signal to a young audience that your brand is on trend. Unfortunately, this often does more harm than good. Most phrases like these are context-specific in a way that is difficult to understand if you are not a regular user and using one of these words incorrectly will erase any credibility you have built. The occasional meme is a fun way to break things up, but it’s important that a young staff member confirm that it is being used correctly.
A more effective way of embracing trends would be to place your product by currently popular items; in 2020, hydroflask water bottles and scrunchies became trendy among young women, so staging your product in an environment with these items casually in the background would appeal to those consumers without running the risk of looking desperate for their business.
Capturing the attention and buying power of Generation Z consumers can be a challenging task but harnessing their love for social media can get you well on your way to winning their business.
Written By Dr A.J Minai