Last Thursday, I was lucky enough to speak at Generator’s first ‘Social Media Day’. My topic of choice – how businesses can use social media trends to target Generation Z.
Unlike their Millennial predecessors, Generation Z are much harder to reach with both advertising and social campaigns. Not only are they the ad-blocker generation, but growing up in the information age has allowed them to form their own outlook on the world, creating a much more complex demographic. But with over two billion Generation Z members on a global scale, now is the time to act.
Because of the sheer size of this generation, it’s set to give them the majority of the buying power in just a matter of years. It’s true that the oldest members of Generation Z are only just entering the workforce, but getting on-board with them now will ensure your business remains top of mind when they need it. And if all else fails, aiming for Generation Z will simply make sure you keep pushing forward on social media.
Typically, there are two stems of Generation Z – Gen Me and Gen We. Gen Me are the visually-obsessed and considered the stereotype of this generation. Their me-mentality has given them the desire to build a personal brand – everything is Instagrammable and Facetune is their best friend.
Gen We on the other hand, are more politically-minded – they’re seeking global change for all. This stem want to stand with brands that have a complementary ethic to their own. To target Gen We accurately, brands should be standing for something. This might not always be standing by the most popular opinion, but it means always standing authentically and honestly.
Despite being polar opposites, there’s some key characteristics that stretch over both sides. These include ‘The Kardashian Effect’, meme culture, social diversity and hype culture. Brands don’t necessarily need to implement all four of these categories into their social media strategies, but being informed will allow you to pick and choose the key characteristics that fit your own needs.
Throughout my talk, I also gave an insight into the emerging world of CGI influencers – these avatars are beginning to win huge influencer campaigns. Lil Miquela has been ‘spotted’ wearing PRADA whilst Shudu has been seen bathing in Fenty Beauty. When the time comes for these influencers to become mainstream, these digitally-engineered influencers could save brands a lot of money in production. Imagine a fashion-led campaign that could capture New York, London, Paris, Milan and Tokyo all from the comfort of a studio – the potential is almost endless. They could become the face of your brand, essentially forever. They don’t age, deteriorate and have no controversial opinions of their own.
In a snapshot, here are four primary ways to target the infamous Generation Z:
Build a web of connectivity
Using tools such as influencer marketing to build a larger community will help to pool together followers and increasing engagement via collaboration.
Stand for something
Find a cause that resonates with your brand. This generation want authenticity and purpose from their brands.
Communication is key
Make sure these individuals feel valued through personalised communication. You want to work with them specifically, not just their demographic.
Build a hype
FOMO (fear of missing out) marketing works well with this generation – they don’t want to see their peers enjoying an experience or a product they haven’t. Build a hype around your products or services to entice this demographic to join in.