Known for their increasingly low concentration levels, Gen Zs avoid advertising by instinctively reverting their attention to a different device. Alternating between five devices (smart phone, TV, laptop, tablet and desktop) traditional forms of advertising will make no impact on this group of users who do not have time to sit through a 15 second YouTube ad. Rather than focusing on one-way messages, brands have to collaborate with this generation through their preferred social media channels. One of the main reasons they are attracted to these platforms is to connect with their friends and the wider online community – it’s where they do ‘business’ and where your brand can become an integrated part of that community.
Generation Z see social media as a tool that helps shape their individual identities and express themselves. They feel pressured to not only fit in but to also distinguish themselves in a professional manner. Brands, speaking their language, can creatively inspire and influence this audience, providing them with the necessary tools - cool tools - to manage their personal and professional identities.
Compared to Millennials, Generation Z prefer to use social media as a more private broadcasting tool, consciously choosing the stories they want to share with specific people on a particular channel.
Facebook - Facebook is less favoured with Gen Z than previous generations, with a reported 25% of 13-17 year olds deactivating their Facebook accounts in 2015. Originally the key platform for engaging with users, Generation Z consider Facebook as more of an information hub.
Snapchat - Snapchat is an essential app for the typical Gen Z-er, with more than half of users saying they would feel cut off from friends without the platform. As well as sharing images with friends, Gen Z show high levels of interest in the featured content, ranging from real-life stories, behind-the-scenes and how-to videos. The most effective way for brands to utilise Snapchat is for storytelling, delivering interesting and engaging content and connecting with Gen Z in a meaningful way.
Instagram - The compelling stat that 88% of Generation Z use Instagram on a regular basis, means brands have huge potential to connect with this influential audience on this popular platform. Similar to Snapchat, drive brand awareness by optimising Instagram stories. Also consider partnering with an influencer popular within the Gen Z age-group. Be very thorough with researching your influencer collaboration – micro influencers specifically engaging the Gen Z community, in Australia (if that’s where you want to build sales/connection), is way more effect with ROI than a mega influencer with half, or more, of their followers overseas. Spend time checking out their followers – are they who you want to engage with or are they oglers with no interest in your brand values? The right fit with a (micro) influencer will have them authentically endorse your brand and teens will associate your product/service with their needs.
Every generation could be described as “an independent age-group striving to find their own identities” but with Gen Z theirs is a digital world like we’ve never experienced before. Teenagers are synonymous with growing-up challenges with the same tensions we all faced where we were anything from deeply vulnerable to openly sponge-like to messages that fuelled our ambitions and desires. Gen Z are no different but their world is alive with digital messages like never before. Understanding Gen Z motivations is key to providing relevant platform-tailored content to encourage digital conversations and help you to build strong Gen Z connections.
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