The newest generation of consumers that brands and social media marketers should have on their radar is Generation Z. Known more colloquially as “Gen Z,” and born 1995-2015, this audience is regarded as the first generation of digital natives. They have grown up fully embedded into the online ecosystem and are especially social media savvy. They can assess web presence quickly, and if your brand’s pages are not up to par, they are just as quick to move on.
They are also poised to become the most influential generation ever, with their direct spending estimation sitting at a whopping $143 billion. In order for brands to reach this big spending audience, one’s social media strategy must be tailored and up to date.
Here are some tips for ensuring your brand’s social strategy is ready for Gen Z.
Tip #1: Disregard “Best Times to Post”
The Internet is full of guides on best times to post. While these posts can be a good starting point, they are often based on outdated and irrelevant data. These guides typically recommend posting times based on when users are online and general averages. However, this does not account for times when users interact with brands, low competition and high engagement times.
A better tactic is to look more closely at your own analytics. On Facebook and Instagram, brand and business pages have this “insights” data readily available and it can be used to develop posting times that better reflect your own audience.
Tip #2: Less Self Promotion, More Engagement
Brands that constantly self-promote are a huge turn off for Gen-Z, as well as their Millennial predecessors. Users in this target market are typically more responsive to content that engages. This means polls, contests, current events, and user-generated content (ex. reviews, images). A brand’s position on social issues is also important to Gen Z. While Millennials favour brands that take strong social stands, Gen Z have come to expect it. Participating in authentic social activism is a great way for brands to connect to and engage with their Gen Z audience.
Tip #3: Organically Grow Your Following
Organically growing your following is the best way to reach a Gen Z audience. In general, buying likes, followers and engagement is a big no-no. Resorting to this tactic is not only dishonest, but it makes it hard to build an authentic relationship with your audience. Buying followers and engagement typically means you end up with an unresponsive audience outside of your intended demographic. These accounts often come from all over the world, have suspicious looking pages (i.e. little to no posts) and remain inactive. The latter especially hurts your engagement and skews your data, making it nearly impossible to know who your real audience is. Bypass these deceitful practices and focus on building a following that your brand that resonates with instead.
Tip #4: Expand to Other Platforms
While Facebook is still quite popular among Millennials, YouTube ranks number #1 among Gen Z’ers. Instagram comes in second for both and may soon become the biggest social network, according to some experts. Using a mix of these platforms is a great way to keep things fresh and relate to your target audience.
Tip #5: Add Paid Advertisement to your Social Media Strategy
Brands cannot solely rely on organic reach anymore. While organic posts are a great way of connecting with your audience, ever-changing algorithms on social media increasingly favour paid posts. Adding paid social to your current strategy is a proven way of ensuring that your content is seen.
Tip #6: Incorporate Diversity
Diversity and inclusivity are extremely important to Gen Z. If your brand isn’t diverse, audiences notice. When creating your social media strategy, it is important to analyze whether your products and services cater to a wide variety of people. Making sure your influencer campaigns are diverse and inclusive is also important. Doing so allows your brand to reach a larger audience.