Just when we thought we were starting to understand millennials, there’s a new kid in town. Name: Generation Z or Gen Z. As Baby Boomers & Gen Xers get older and retire, Millennials & Gen Z will be major spenders in the economy. Gen Z shares several similarities with Millennials, but there are also major key differences.
Born: 1982-2002 Current Population: 74.5 million
Millennials are the first generation adapted to new technologies, growing up in the age of internet. The internet has shaped several characteristics of this generation. Millennials were given a platform to connect to each other, speak their minds & educate themselves to determine their own opinions.
– Brand loyal
– Avid consumers
– Comfortable voicing opinions
– Like attention & praise
– Immune to traditional marketing
– Less trusting of others than older generations
– More accepting & tolerant than older generations
– Care about social change & charity
– Optimistic about the future
– Connect by social media (the selfie generation)
– Attached to multiple devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets)
– Seen as over-sharers on social media by older generations
– Outnumber Baby Boomers in population
– Have overtaken Gen X in the workforce
Born: 1996-2010 Current Population: 23 million & growing
Gen Z is the most connected and tech savvy generation yet. They are sophisticated, mature and more aware than most generations. Part of what makes Gen Z unique, is that they have grown up being exposed to global events as they happen. They have always had instant access to technology, social media and online videos. They use social media and YouTube for research, as opposed to starting with a search engine like Google. By 2020 Gen Z will account for 40% of all consumers.
– Technology geniuses (more so than Millennials)
– Prefer mobile technology, have always had mobile options
– Impatient to slow websites/apps, long videos & response times
– Choose digital conversations over real life
– Mature, sophisticated & confident
– More independent than older generations
– Don’t like conformity or traditional ways
– Aware of global events, seen from an early age
– More accepting and inclusive than older generations
– Entrepreneurial, prefer to own a business
– Optimistic about personal future
– Need a sense of purpose in work & to give back
– Focused on long-term global issues
– Selective about what they share on social media
– Brand loyal, often influenced by recommendations from friends & family
MUST HAVE TECH for Millennials & Gen Z:
Mobile Friendly Websites
Your site HAS to be mobile friendly & it needs to look good. 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Millennials & Gen Z are tech savvy & don’t have time for slow loading, desktop websites.
Apps Are a Must
When you provide an app, your brand is right there on their phone all the time. This gives your audience easy access to your products or services. The easier it is to access, the more likely Millenials & Gen Z are to stick around & explore what you have to offer. Apps account for 89% of mobile media time of ALL users.
Social Media Presence
Millennials and Gen Z expect all brands to have a social media presence. They often check Facebook first, before they go to Google to research your brand. Millennials & Gen Z use Youtube to research products or services, get answers to questions and find recommendations. Don’t make them work to find you, put your brand on as many social platforms as you can manage. Social media will help develop trust in your brand, showing that you are authentic with nothing to hide. If you don’t have the most basic social media accounts, these generations will pass by your brand.
6 Ways to Reach Millennials & Gen Z with Social Media
1. Facebook Live something that makes your business unique. Do you work with lasers? Do you take care of cute puppies all day? Gen Z & Millennials don’t want to see you in a perfect scripted video. They want an inside look & to see the real people behind the screen. This can be anything from showcasing your personality to presenting new technologies. If you trust your audience with an exclusive look, they will start to build trust & brand loyalty.
2. Update your Instagram Story. Millennials & Gen Z want short, bite sized information. The Instagram stories feature gives you the chance to create short videos, photos and Boomerang gifs. This allows you to really showcase how your brand is unique. There are 6 million active users on Instagram, reach out to them in a creative & interesting way.
3. Offer experiences, not a sales pitch. Millennials & Gen Z are not going to buy what you’re selling if you market the old fashioned way. They want to spend their income on something that will last a lifetime. What can your product or service do to benefit your audience in the long run? Show Millennials & Gen Z how you can change their life & what experiences are possible in the future.
4. Let them talk about it. Millennials & Gen Z use social media to find out more about a business & to share their own experiences. Make sure you are offering them a place to connect with you. Your brand should be easy to find on all social platforms. Stay on top of reviews & mentions, making sure to respond in a timely & sincere manner. Connect the audience to your brand by assigning a hashtag that matches your company story & start the conversation with them. Most importantly of all LISTEN.
5. Put them in the spotlight. Millennials & Gen Z often share photos & videos on social media. This includes showcasing the products & services they love. They assign themselves the role of brand advocate & pass on positive word-of-mouth messages. Use the awesome free content they are providing & re-share with your entire audience. These generations love to feel appreciated and valued. They develop brand loyalty when their creativity is embraced & recognized.
6. Keep your web/social clean & modern. Millennials & Gen Z are accepting, tolerant and multicultural. They don’t want to see traditional stock photography in your ads. Show that you think outside of the box, using modern photography that showcases lifestyle & experiences. Communicate visually to diverse audiences. You are selling them the experience, so showcase the entire story in your social media graphics.
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