How Gen Z is Changing Social Media Marketing
Gen Z has $44B in purchasing power. Do you have a social media strategy to reach this emerging population?
Now that most of us have adjusted our integrated marketing efforts to cater to the millennial crowd and started to see results, it’s time (again! already!) for us to rethink it all for the next generation of consumers. Generation Z makes up almost 26% of the U.S. population, spends 75% of their free time online, and has over $44B in purchasing power. Do you have a social media strategy in place to reach this emerging population?Fortunately, Business.com has put together a comprehensive overview of who Gen Z is, and three tips for effective social media outreach to this desirable demographic.
Who is Gen Z?
Born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s, these consumers are true digital natives. They grew up with mobile technology as a given in their lives, using it for shopping, entertainment, and communication. Integrated marketing techniques and tactics for Gen Z are entirely different than for previous generations; these users don’t respond to typical outbound marketing tactics, but expect brands to come to them.
Tip #1: Go Mobile First
Since mobile phones are Gen Z’s preferred communication tool, your social media must be optimized on mobile: in-app purchases, mobile-friendly content and images, etc. Social features that make online purchases easier and build brand awareness are ideal ways to encourage users to act on your social posts. By simplifying the mobile version of your website and online purchase process to suit the mobile interface, you will encourage Gen Z consumers to make a purchase, share the experience, and keep coming back for more.For best results you will also want to look into increasing your site’s speed and performance, ensure that any forms are easy to use and mobile-friendly, images are compressed for quick download, and your content is broken up with headlines and subheads for easier navigation. If your social media offerings include a contact form or opt-in, make sure that it is streamlined for use on a mobile device. In short: rethink your entire marketing plan through a mobile lens!
Tip #2: Use Influencers
Gen Z is more likely to make a purchase recommended by a friend, family member or other trusted source. They are not as brand-dependent as previous generations, and are instead committed to research and authenticity. Influencers build their brands by taking the time to connect with consumers and fans on their own channels through honesty and a commitment to sincerity (or the perception of it). Businesses and marketers that take the time to explore and invest in influencers will see a valuable return on their investment.The goal is to connect with those most likely to share and value your product or service, and who are willing to endorse it. These may be bloggers, journalists, pundits, podcasters, or others in your community or industry. Once influencers are in place, track engagement and how Gen Z responds to their promotion of your business or products.
Tip #3: Be Responsible
Gen Z consciously chooses companies that exhibit ethical behavior, that are inclusive, and that are environmentally and socially responsible. If they feel that your business is committed to serving your communities and society, they will choose your brand over another when making a purchasing decision. This generation is less likely to be swayed by slick marketing than straightforward messaging that highlights how your organization is giving back or contributing to the greater good.
Social media is the ideal platform for promoting your business’ positive beliefs and practices. Gen Z is incredibly engaged, so use a hashtag, post images, share about your campaigns to help others, and make your organization visible to them. That is how you will earn the loyalty of this audience. When 90% of Gen Z consumers indicate that they will spend some of that $44B of spending power with your company because you share their values, you can’t afford to miss out.
Now is the time to re-evaluate your integrated marketing strategies for social media and mobile. Gen Z is a much more altruistic generation than previous, more interested in integrity than brands, and with companies standing up for good instead of selling to them. Your business cannot afford not to put social media at the top of your list for displaying your commitment to what matters most to the media savvy, responsible, authentic consumers of today.