By: Athena Alexander
As each generation grows and evolves, so does social media and the strategies used to attract users. Gen Z includes those born between 1997 and 2012. This new generation is unique, as these digital natives grew up with technology, which, as we know, has evolved at an extremely fast rate, furthering the gap between Gen Z and its predecessors. With the ever-changing state of technology, how should companies’ market to this newest group of consumers?
Rise of Technology
To understand the difference between generations, it is important to understand the sudden changes that occurred in technology and access to information. In the early 1900s, the landline phone was the hot commodity that everyone had to have in their homes. Radio and newspapers were the most popular channels for news and entertainment. Cars and airplanes were in the process of being invented and tested for release into the world. Fast-forwarding to the early 2000s, personal camera phones, iPods, Bluetooth technology, USB flash drives, and video games were released. In 2022, personal smartphones, computers, tablets, wireless headphones, smartwatches, and so many more tech products are commonly used each day. These technological advances greatly affect the ways Gen Z takes in information. To effectively market to this generation, businesses must adjust their strategies and tactics.
How to Market to Gen Z
Gen Z is fully aware of how the internet, social media, and auxiliary technologies operate. They grew up being able to be connected not only to their family and friends, but to the world. As kids, Gen Z watched movies, played videos games, and created online profiles with the rest of the world. Growing up with technology, many Gen Zers have short attention spans and are critical and impatient. With this in mind, here are some tips to help you skillfully market to Gen Z:
#1 Build a Trusted Brand
Gen Z can research any brand, company, product, or service before they decide to use it. Whether it is looking through social media comments, reading reviews, or talking to a friend, Gen Z has grown up making decisions based on previous experiences. By building a trusted brand, a company is putting itself in the best light to be scrutinized by future clients. The higher the ratings and reviews, the more likely products and services will be bought.
#2 Use Social Media, Influencers, and Trends
Social media platforms are a great way to connect and market to Gen Z. For example, 60% of TikTok users are from Gen Z. Whether a company is spreading awareness through its platform or utilizing an influencer, social media will reach Gen Z as 85% of them use social media to find new products. Many companies use influencers to promote their brands, such as celebrities, who are paid to promote products and services. Another way to connect with Gen Z is to participate in popular social media trends. These trends change daily across all platforms, so it is critical to keep up with what is popular across all the different social media applications. For example, on TikTok, audio used with videos can start becoming popular. By being active on TikTok and watching which audios are being used the most, companies can make videos with these sounds and participate in the trend. Overall, using social media platforms will only help a business expand, gain new customers, and connect with Gen Z.
#3 Communicate Accurately and Appropriately
Gen Z is diverse, hyper-critical, and extremely vocal about controversial topics. An important aspect of Gen Z is “cancel-culture,” a trend of cancelling a business or person when they are perceived to do something wrong. When this happens, the businesses image loses traction, followers and business are lost, and it is hard to rebuild their online appearance. It is important to look at the data on different ads and posts on a variety of platforms and utilize that information to better communicate in the future. Gen Z has the world in its digital back pocket. They do not have to wait to see an ad on television during dinner time. They can open multiple smart devices and find out information on almost any topic in a matter of seconds. Thus, it is important to be aware of social trends as well as consciously compose information released by a company to maintain a solid relationship with Gen Z and efficiently market to this younger generation.