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7 ways to be relevant to Gen Z on social media

by Christina Germano
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    Digitally native Gen Z spends a lot of time online staying connected through social media. Is your brand staying relevant on the platforms they use most?

    The teens and young adults of Gen Z spend more time on social media than any other generation—30 minutes longer each day than the millennials who previously held the record. Gen Z is also the only generation that goes to social media first (rather than a search engine) for product research. And it’s more than just a few: 64 percent of them use social media for product research and 60 percent use it for brand interactions. If you’re not trying to reach Gen Z through social media, chances are they’ll find another brand that grabs their attention while scrolling.

    What platforms are most popular for Gen Z social media? You’ll find them on Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat, YouTube, Twitter, WhatsApp, and rapidly rising newcomer TikTok. As for content, short attention spans call for short videos and livestreams.

    7 ways to attract attention on Gen Z social media

    Fortunately, you can fit a lot into eight seconds. Try it with these seven tips: 

    1. Advertise with branded items.

    If you are building your brand through influencers, generate content with them wearing or using branded items. Online car dealer Carvana did this at SXSW with a shakable toy car vending machine that dispensed branded replicas. The individual experiences were captured on video and shared through social media, and the fun promo created buzz at the event.   

    2. Constantly make stories.

    You read it a few seconds ago, but hey, attention spans are short. Stay fresh with new content at regular intervals. Instagram stories are tried and true, but be sure to branch out into TikTik videos and Insta’s new Reels feature. Need some inspiration? Sephora France is nailing it with eye-catching quick clips and engaging text. 

    3. Stay current with the constantly changing times and trends.

    The world is changing more rapidly than usual these days, and you can’t just “set it and forget it” when it comes to Gen Z social media. Stay on top of the latest trends by tracking hashtags and popular videos to learn what’s catching their attention. Avoid appearing tone deaf by looking at your campaigns through the lens of current events and adapt as needed. If the nation is in lockdown, don’t post about parties and festivals. If customers can’t come to you, follow in the footsteps of UK brand Nando’s and post your most popular recipes on social media.  

    Download the free Gen Z marketing Playbook here4. Be real and authentic to your brand.

    Gen Z can spot fakeness from a mile away, and as soon as you’re busted, your brand is cancelled. They value authenticity, and the brands that embrace that will win them over. Fashion brand Aerie took this concept for a test drive and used amateur models with no photoshopping in their “Aerie Real” campaign. The gamble paid off with a notable boost in sales. 

    5. Make a positive impact on the world.

    Gen Z has more purchasing options than any generation before it did. With an abundance of alternatives, this crew has shown that they prefer brands that share their values: 60 percent of them support brands that take a stand on the issues they believe in. Tell your audience what you’re doing to make a difference. 

    6. Be shareable!

    Create content around what inspires Gen Z and make it easy for them to share it, not just on social media, but also through private channels that aren’t as easy to track. Gen Z communicates through apps like Whatsapp and Messenger, and although you can’t always get metrics on how your brand’s content is shared, it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Playstation’s proactive approach to reaching Gen Z through shareable GIFs got 1.4 billion views. 

    7. Be of value or help solve a problem.

    Generate Gen Z loyalty by offering more than just promotional content. Provide meaningful advice and tips that Gen Z can use, to let them know you care. For example, Credit Karma uses its presence on YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms to share bite-sized videos of authentic, relatable stories. 

    How UNiDAYS helps

    The UNiDAYS platform can help you supplement your Gen Z social media campaigns with discounts, deals, contests, and giveaways. To get started, all you have to do is create a new account, build your brand page, and start posting.

    UNiDAYS x Ad Age: Gen Z Marketing Playbook

      Learn more about the UNiDAYS self service platform

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