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Gen Z — eight seconds to engage

Posted by Jay Cox on 6th April 2021

You hear ‘Gen Z’ thrown around a lot these days. It loosely refers to anyone born after 1995. But from the way it’s used you’d think Gen Z was an entirely different species. As a ‘97 baby I can assure you this isn’t the case.

So, here’s a few tips for grabbing the attention of Gen Zers.

Step away from traditional media

Traditional media outlets are not the way forward. Even as one of the oldest of my generation, I don’t think I’ve ever bought a newspaper or magazine. And you certainly won’t find me watching a news channel in my spare time.

But don’t go thinking we’re out of touch. As a generation we’re more connected to the world than any before us — simply because digital media allows us to be.

Gen Zers are hugely active across all social media platforms, so a brand using just one platform simply won’t cut it. You need to consider a mix of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit and TikTok to name a few.

Have fun with your content. You’ve got about eight seconds to engage Gen Z. But once you’ve got our attention we’re usually open to communicating with brands on social. I’m not saying tech brands should be churning out memes. Please don’t. But at the end of the day, Gen Z uses social media for entertainment — so constantly spewing product information is not going to work.

Positive, authentic customer content will give your brand credibility, as well as prompting genuine discussions which you can be a part of. Embracing the people behind your brand also makes you seem much less robotic.

Try TikTok

You can’t ignore this platform if you want to target Gen Z. A massive 60% of TikTok users are Gen Zers and the potential for organic reach is vast because the algorithm doesn’t prioritise accounts with loads of followers or views.

Short-form video is perfect for Gen Z’s limited attention span — and there’s content for everyone on TikTok. Why not participate in one of the countless challenges? As long as it aligns with your brand. Or collaborate with a TikTok influencer.

Work with influencers

Speaking of influencers, 52% of Gen Z trust influencers to give good advice about the brands and products they’re promoting. And almost half have made a purchase decision based on a recommendation from a social influencer. This could be Instagram ambassadors, YouTubers, Twitch streamers and so on.

Gen Zers are looking for influencers who genuinely care about their interests, so don’t just pick anyone based on popularity. Similarly, influencers with a smaller ratio of sponsored content tend to appear more genuine and be trusted more.

To learn more about working with influencers check out this blog.

Consider what Gen Z values

As a whole Gen Z prefers brands who come across as authentic. 82% trust a company more if it uses real customers in its marketing.

We also like to get behind causes that will benefit the greater good, meaning expectations of brands are different. 68% of Gen Zers “expect brands to contribute to society.” So you need to shout about what your brand is doing in that respect.

This could be championing diversity, equality or any other social issues. It all makes great social media content and shows not everything’s about profit margins.

Remember, we have impeccable research skills, so you many as well be transparent.

Jay Cox