As the up-and-coming generation of consumers, Gen Z has become a hot target demographic for many brands. This generation of true digital natives is even more entrenched in the world of technology than the millennials who came before them. Therefore, companies that want to reach them need to go all-in on social media, Gen Z’s preferred place to “hang out” online.
However, the way Gen Z uses social media is different than older generations, and reaching them can be a challenge. You need a targeted approach that speaks to their values, interests and lifestyles.
Here’s how 15 members of Young Entrepreneur Council recommend connecting with Gen Z-ers on social media.
1. Create Personalized, Interactive Experiences
Generation Z responds particularly well to content that feels personalized to them. Try creating interactive widgets, quizzes and landing pages where they can actively engage and share information about themselves for personalized results. Visual interactive content has a 70% conversion rate, in large part because of the feeling of connection that personalization creates.
2. Be Relatable
Gen Z first opened their eyes to screens on a phone, tablet and television being part of their normal life. It’s easier to reach them now because of social media, but the real challenge is in creating the material that is relatable to their generation. Create a strategy to connect with them on a personal level so that you can build a relationship with someone who had a different upbringing.
3. Speak to Their Individuality
Target their individuality. Encourage them to be open and expressive when commenting on your social media posts, and bonus points if you can align your company beliefs and values with theirs.
4. Build Trust Around Security and Data Protection
Gen Z-ers are very cautious about sharing their personal information. If and when you engage on social media, be sure to build trust around your security and protection. Provide the information and don’t be too pushy — this generation values making decisions on their own terms.
5. Find the Right Channel
Gen Z is on TikTok and other new channels that older generations still may not realize even exist. Get to those channels quickly, because this is where Gen Z is hanging out.
6. Learn What Matters to Them
The best information comes from observing your audience and understanding what matters to them. Gen Z’s values are different and they are also very vocal on social media. You’re more likely to resonate with them when you take a clear and strong stance and showcase your values. You’ll be able to build stronger relationships and customer loyalty.
7. Ask for Feedback
Gen Z is known as one of the most open and honest generations when it comes to business reviews. These folks love to voice their opinion, and good or bad, you can use that to your advantage. When you receive feedback, share their comment on your social profile if it’s good and address their concerns if it’s bad. Both actions will result in more people hearing about your company.
8. Hire a Member of Gen Z to Help
If you’re trying to reach a specific audience, especially a younger one, it’s good to have somebody on your content team that is as close as possible to that age group that understands them. Quit guessing what kids think is cool. It’s been disproven time and again.
9. Make It Quick and Entertaining
Gen Z doesn’t want boring infographics; they prefer quick, entertaining and understandable content. Sell through TikTok by posting your products and “FYIs” through enjoyable, creative and fun content. The more original and eye-catching, the better. Use trendy words and communicate in a relatable way, even in comments or direct messages.
10. Adapt Your Vocabulary and Tone
If your purpose is for Gen Z to interact with you and really get their attention, adapt to them. You can’t address all your audiences the same way. Generate content based on their interests. When you speak and interact with them, do so with appropriate language. By conveying to them that your company is modern, and updated in terms of slang, they will consider it even closer and more open.
11. Embrace Short-Form Communication
Gen Z tends to juggle multiple screens at once. If you want to reach Gen Z, brevity in writing and advertising is a must. Embrace methods of short-form communication and find ways to communicate with fewer or no words at all, using memes, GIFs, emojis, etc.
12. Create Video Content
Gen Z-ers are all about the video content, whether it’s on YouTube, Snapchat or TikTok. Focus on generating active content that can be shared on these channels to pique their interest. Build a video-centric media platform in order to gain their trust and build a lasting relationship.
13. Host Contests and Giveaways
Contests and giveaways are a great way to create excitement around your brand and build a loyal following. People love winning free stuff and you can use this to your advantage by hosting an online giveaway targeted toward Gen Z. They’re already on social media anyway, so all you have to do is create a campaign worth participating in.
14. Use Stories
Stories are the first real content format that’s built for mobile experiences. It uses a vertical orientation and allows you to use interactive features such as polls, hashtags and other details. It’s extremely engaging and is widely used by Gen Z. Making Stories a part of your social media strategy will help you reach out to them more.
15. Engage Often
People from Gen Z love buying products from businesses that actively engage with them on social media. We check our social media accounts every day and respond to as many of our users as possible. According to our data, many of our customers are from Gen Z, and it seems that our engagement strategy plays a significant role in our sales and traffic.
Getting the Most Out of Your Social Media Efforts
When it comes to social media and reaching your target audience, it’s important to always create your content, headlines and ad copy in a way that relates to your audience. This is especially true when trying to reach Gen Z users online. Every generation reacts to ad copy and content differently, so be sure to keep these useful tips in mind before running your next social media ad campaign.
If you enjoyed this expert round-up, be sure to also view our previous guides on how to get more feedback from your customers and 11 different platforms for growing your personal brand.