How To Stay Hip With Gen Z on Social Media

(Contributed to by Ashley Swett)

Gen Z is such an influential demographic in today’s world. They have taken the lead in technology and how other consumers and companies behave. Companies need to be asking the questions, “What social media platforms are used most within this group? What video content appeals to them the most? How DO companies stay relevant with Gen Z?”

Members of Gen Z rely so heavily on social media; this is a habit that most of these people build when they’re children. In an article by BBH Labs, Margaret Atwood says, “you’re cast in bronze by the time you’re 12,” meaning that it’s hard to unlearn something that you pick up in childhood. With this trend, Gen Z is extremely socially competitive and feels the need to post any interesting things that happen. Margaret Atwood mentions this insight and the fact that Gen Zers consistently broadcast highlights of their lives. As our trainee and member of Gen Z, Ashley, shares, “I am extremely guilty of this as I love posting on my Instagram and Snapchat stories whenever I’m out and about.”

Because Gen Zers are so into social media, you probably wonder which platforms they use the most. In a study done by Pew Research Center, out of those surveyed, about 71% of 18 to 29-year-olds say they use Instagram, 65% for Snapchat and 48% of people use TikTok. What all of these platforms have in common is that users can message other people and show who they are by posting photos and videos. 

With the popularity of TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, video marketing is extremely important. MotionCue has four strategies to make sure your video content is appealing to Gen Z: 

  • Plan Video Content with Gen Z in Mind

    • Understand who your audience is. Make sure that you understand the differences between generations and what they are most attracted to consuming.
  • Create Interactive Video Content 

    • Gen Z is attracted to interactive videos with polls or quizzes. 
  • Make Sure It’s Attention-Grabbing 

    • While it may be obvious, it’s still crucial. Gen Zers have grown up with digital content, so it’s hard to create eye-catching things. Be authentic, hook the viewer and produce easily sharable videos. 
  • Go Where Your Audience Is

    • This generation is very passionate about having something visual to watch rather than reading a block of text. 

Let’s talk about TikTok for a second. This platform truly took off over the COVID-19 pandemic and has changed the way brands communicate with their intended audience. MotionCue says that people on TikTok prefer “fun, quick, homemade content that follows trends and memes.” This platform allows users to be creative and engage with others. We’ve seen many people become famous on TikTok because of their original, funny content. Brands need to take that insight and use it to help stay relevant with their target audience. 

While Gen Z can be hard to understand, this generation drives the way brands and other consumers behave. They are propelled by the ever-changing social media world and thrive on these platforms. The best way to remain relevant with this group is to stay present on social media with visually appealing content with a true motive and reasoning behind it. Once your brand understands exactly what Gen Z is looking for, you won’t be able to forget it. Be prepared for change because this generation is constantly looking for the next best thing. 

Tyler Rathjen

Tyler Rathjen is a partner in Decibel Blue, where he leads some of its highest-profile lifestyle clients. Whether developing strategic marketing plans, establishing creative programs, or managing digital, advertising, social media, influencer and branding projects, Tyler has a wealth of communications expertise. Tyler began his career with Decibel Blue in 2006 and has since overseen the launch of more than 120 franchises across the nation, including 80 Dunkin’ Donuts stores.

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