September 19, 2022
Do’s and Don’ts of Reaching Gen Z on Social Media
Are you trying to reach Gen Z on social media? You’ve come to the right place.
At STN Digital, we live and breathe social media. Our team of strategists are always on the cutting edge of the latest industry trends and updates. In this article, we’re giving you the inside scoop on how to actually reach Gen Z on social.
Here’s what we know about Gen Z and their social media use:
- There are 76 million people in the US alone who fall into the demographic
- Gen Z is the “it generation” driving cultural conversations and shaping trends
- 40% of Gen Z use TikTok and Instagram as a search engine instead of Google and we expect this to grow exponentially
- They command $143 billion in buying power
- A whopping 87% say privacy is more important than getting likes on social
- 85% of Gen Z uses social media to learn about new brands
- There are 41 million active Gen Z users on TikTok and 37 million Gen Z users on Instagram
Our top do’s and don’ts to reach Gen Z:
- Do: Embrace Avant-Garde Content
- Don’t: Ignore Social Commerce
- Do: Create Personalized Content
- Don’t: Take Too Long to Get to Your CTA
Read below to learn our most important do’s and don’ts for reaching Gen Z on social media.
How to reach Gen Z on social media + examples
Do: Embrace Avant-Gard Content
One of the keys to reaching Gen Z on social media, especially on TikTok, is to embrace the new, avant-garde, and unorthodox ways brands are jumping into the conversation.
It’s been well documented that Gen Z is drawn to content on social media that can be described as unhinged or chaotic. This content feels far away from the highly-curated style that used to dominate your social feeds.
Think the Duolingo owl that made its debut on TikTok or the snarky voices behind brand Twitter accounts like Wendy’s and DiGiorno.
These brands create content that pushes the boundaries of what’s expected. It’s a perfect formula for reaching Gen Z on social media; it’s unexpected from traditional brands and attention-grabbing.
Here’s an example:
Take a look at Scrub Daddy on TikTok. The account boasts 2.2 million followers. It utilizes its iconic smiley face sponge to create content that’s chaotic, weird, and incredibly funny all at the same time.
It’s content that just a few years ago wouldn’t have been expected, especially on a brand’s social media account.
The Scrub Daddy TikTok account hops on the latest trends, while still showcasing product comparisons (we see you old sponge). Scrub Daddy embraces pushing the envelope and creating content that reaches Gen Z on social media.
@scrubdaddy For anyone who doesn’t know... Now ya know 😀. #scrubdaddy #smile #cleantok #americasfavoritesponge #cleaningtiktok ♬ Quirkle - Joss Peach @scrubdaddy Oh, to be young again. #scrubdaddy #smile #cleantok #cleaningtiktok #americasfavoritesponge ♬ Teenage Dirtbag - Sped Up (and she doesn't give a damn about me) (Sped Up) - Wheatus
READ: The Age of Authenticity: How Brands Can Win Back Gen Z and Millennial Consumers
Don’t: Ignore Social Commerce
There’s a reason platforms are prioritizing shopping features; 97% of Gen Z says they turn to social media for shopping inspiration.
If you’re not utilizing social commerce, you’re missing out.
If you want to reach Gen Z on social media, focus on utilizing Instagram and TikTok’s shopping features. We know these are two of the demographic’s most used platforms, so brands will already have built-in Gen Z audiences here.
Instagram’s shopping feature allows you to create product tags for all posts including Reels. Product tags allow users to easily click on a product to learn more about it and even purchase it all without leaving the app.
Similarly on TikTok, you can utilize a shopping tab on your profile to highlight current products and offerings.
Here’s an example:
Take a look at Allbirds. Gen Z loves this brand for its commitment to sustainability and direct to consumer approach. They capitalize on this by heavily utilizing social commerce features on Instagram like product tags and the “View Shop” button on their account page.
For more do’s and don’ts of marketing to Gen Z, download our 2022 Generational Marketing Guide.
Do: Create Personalized Content
Make sure what you’re sharing speaks directly to Gen Z as they want to feel like brands understand them.
There are numerous ways brands can create personalized content to reach Gen Z on social media. Try quizzes that suggest product recommendations or create content series around a specific buyer persona.
For more, see our blog How Brands Can Utilize Personalization to Connect with Gen Z.
Here’s an example:
Cava, a Mediterranean fast casual chain, reaches Gen Z on social through highly personalized posts which they know the demographic will relate to.
They take a fun spin on astrology signs, create Slack messages everyone wants to receive, and share their own take on popular dating app responses.
There’s no denying that Cava is going after a younger and more playful demographic.
Don’t: Take Too Long to Get to Your CTA
Gen Z’s attention span is short, so make sure your CTA is within the first few seconds of your video or is easily identifiable in your content.
To reach Gen Z on social, think of creative ways you can share your brand messaging.
Here’s an example:
Arizona Iced Tea wanted to let users know about a new BOGO promotion. But, they didn’t feature the product itself on the first slide of their post. Instead, they created an eye-catching meme and included their CTA directly in the post’s copy.
Arizona Iced Tea was able to reach Gen Z on social media by creating a meme that immediately spoke to their CTA but in a fun and engaging way.
For more, check out 3 Ways to Capture Gen Z’s Attention.
Gen Z is rewriting social media best practices every day, and as the demographic’s influence and buying power continues to increase, brands who want to target this demographic need to stay on the cutting edge.
For even more tips and tricks for reaching Gen Z on social and creating content they’ll love, download our 2022 generational marketing guide.