Social Media Marketing To Gen Z in 2022: A Quick Guide

by Masooma Memon
10 minutes
Gen Z Marketing

You’d assume marketing to gen Z is a tough nut to crack. 

In all honesty though, a little research into who is gen Z, which social channels they use, how they use them, and who they follow will give you a good idea of how to market to them. 

Don’t have the time to understand how generation Z uses social media and what you can do in terms of Gen Z marketing? Fret not. We’ve done the legwork for you as we dive into the nuts and bolts of marketing to gen Z. 

So buckle up and read on. 

What is Gen-Z?

First things first, let’s do a quick recap of the generation Z demographics so you know who you’re talking to. 

Gen Z or Zoomers are folks born between 1997 and 2012 who haven’t seen a world without the internet. The oldest in this generation are young adults in their early 20s.

Since Zoomers don’t know of a time without social media and online messaging, they are often referred to as Digital Natives. They’re very much online – using social media as their go-to channel for not just entertainment and information but also gathering news and joining communities. 

Other noteworthy traits of generation Z include: 

        • They’re fully aware of their available options. It’s why they prefer to do their research before buying. 
        • Zoomers are a vocal lot. They’re open about voicing their beliefs, opinions, and supporting causes they stand for.
        • This generation is the most ethnically and racially inclusive generation that isn’t afraid of driving change. Thanks to social media empowering them, this is all the more possible. 
        • They’re concerned about building their personal brand. Meaning: they’re fully conscious of what they’re posting online.

With this, it’s clear that you can easily target digital natives using social media. So it makes sense to ask next:

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Gen Z on social media – Quick Stats

Almost all of Generation Z uses social media as 98% of them own a smartphone. In Q3 of 2020, they averaged spending 4+ hours on apps per day – not including gaming time. 

Of the Gen Zers using social: 

  • 97% use social for their shopping inspiration 
  • 65% use it for entertainment 
  • 61% use it for watching video content 

Other than this, Zoomers also use social networks for inspiration for their hobbies, joining communities, and keeping up with news, celebrities, and influencers. Remember that they’re concerned about building their personal brand as well – something you can leverage in your social media marketing plan

marketing to Gen Z vs Milennials

This leaves us with a handful of takeaways to chew on. One, Gen Z is the first generation to say that they use social for entertainment first and foremost instead of connecting with peers (a pointer to keep in mind for marketing to millennials and boomers). 

Two, your brand needs to focus on producing entertaining content. If you’re focused on educating your audience first, choose to create infotainment content or content that entertains as well as informs. 

Three, you can’t miss video content. As we dig deeper, you’ll learn that Zoomers love video content in all shapes and sizes – be it bite-sized videos, GIFs, or live videos. 

What social media sites does Gen Z use?

Of course, you can’t spread yourself too thin by joining all social networks. Instead, you’ll need to tap the networks that Gen Z uses most. 

So which social media sites does this generation use? The leading networks that Gen Z uses are: 

      • Snapchat is used by 42 million
      • TikTok is used by 37.3 million and 
      • Instagram that 33.3 million use

The same source also says these three social channels are expected to remain popular among Zoomers in the coming years. 

Another source says the top social media sites that Zoomers use are Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. 

Whether it’s Snapchat or YouTube or IG and TikTok, it’s worth noting that the top Gen z marketing channels have a common trait to them: they’re all focused on visual content. This aligns with what research cited above pointed out: Zoomers love video content.

Who does Generation Z follow on social media sites

Briefly, Zoomers love following influencers, creators, celebrities – even brands including small businesses and big brands. 

In fact, 74% of Gen Z follow a brand on one or more social channels. In particular, they’re looking to follow brands that: 

        • Offer entertainment
        • Align with their social responsibilities and 
        • Attempt to make personal connections 

Plus, more than a third of Generation Z follows brands they like, whereas, 1 in 4 follow those they’re considering purchasing from. 

The good news? They aren’t just passive onlookers. Instead, about half of Zoomers directly interact with one or more brands. How so? By consuming their content, tagging brands in posts, participating in polls, and so on. 

What’s more, 72% of those who interact with brands on social are “somewhat” or “significantly likely” to buy from them according to research by Barnes & Noble College.

With that out of the way, it’s also essential to bear in mind that Zoomers aren’t afraid of unfollowing brands. 

To brand marketing to Gen Z means that you’ve to leverage content, authenticity, and your brand personality to not only attract Gen Z followers but also to retain them. 

3 Trends of Gen Z social media consumption 

With the basics done, let’s look at how Generation Z uses social. So far, we know that they use it for shopping and hobbies inspiration, killing time with infotainment products and staying updated.

Here’s more: 

1. Generation Z is all into social commerce 

Meaning: Zoomers are likely to research, add to cart, and buy products directly from social media without visiting the brand website. 

The reason they’re so comfortable doing so? Gen Z appreciates the social algorithms for detecting their taste and preferences and suggesting the right products to them. 

Not only that but the reduced friction in the checkout process makes the shopping experience all the more interesting for them. 

To add, Gen Zers are quick to research products and study what a brand stands for – all on social media. 

Want proof? The hashtag #Tiktokmademebuyit has over 7.4 billion views

2. Zoomers love joining communities 

These could be communities that help them learn about products or learn something themselves such as online writing or personal branding. 

Gen Z uses these communities to buy and sell products too while sharing buying experiences and product recommendations. 

3. Zoomers are big on consuming content influencers create 

Digital natives love following celebrities, influencers, and creators. However, they’re always looking for authenticity online before they follow someone. 

They’re also likely to take product recommendations from influencers who are genuinely passionate about the product/service themselves. Like we said, they can smell unauthenticity a mile away. 

How to market to Gen Z: 4 don’t-miss tips 

Now for essential tips for marketing to Zoomers: 

1. Optimize your accounts for social commerce 

Since Gen Z is big on shopping on social media, your job is to make it easy for them. How? A few things to do today: 

    • Share high-quality product pictures 

If you don’t have the budget for AR apps for shopping, the least you can do is to provide clear, crisp quality pictures of your products. Moreover, take pictures from different angles and provide sufficient details related to the products, delivery, and your return policy. 

    • Minimize distractions from discovery to checkout 

The simplest thing you can do here is to provide only important details using simple, to the point copywriting. What’s more, ensure you keep shoppers on your page. And, never complicate your checkout process.

    • Provide social proof on your profiles 

Make sure you share what other customers are saying about your product. Look at how Chewy does this: 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Chewy (@chewy)

2. Post-user-generated content (UGC)

Recall that Zoomers discover and research brands on social. Now to ensure your brand is getting your target audience’s attention, take steps to spread positive word of mouth. 

One way to do so is to encourage customers to share content such as pictures of your products. You can host contests and create branded hashtags to this end. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by SHEIN.COM (@sheinofficial)

Getting customers to create content for you helps you in two ways: 

      • First, customers post the content on their profiles which shows to their followers – exposing your brand to a new audience.
      • Second, when potential customers see UGC on your profile, they’re likely to trust your brand more.

Hence, UGC not only helps with brand awareness but also grows your credibility. 

Other than user-generated content, provide exemplary customer service on social media. This way, satisfied customers will likely talk about you, helping you grow word of mouth. 

3. Take a community-first approach 

You can also start a Facebook group or host regular IG lives or Twitter Spaces to build a community. The aim, however, should never be to sell first. Instead, focus on providing value. 

Plan contests and discussions that help your target audience, for example. Say, if you sell pet food, invite experts on your live show to answer your community’s questions. 

Occasionally, also share discount codes and interesting offers such as free shipping or buy one get one free deal with your community. Instead of offering those deals with your audience in full though, share them as limited-time, community-only deals. This way, you can leverage FOMO for better marketing. 

4. Pair up with niche influencers

By now you know that Generation Z not only follows influencers but also trusts their recommendations. So it makes sense to pair with relevant influencers as part of your social marketing. 

However, the key to winning with influencer marketing here is to work with micro-influencers who are passionate about your product – or, at least, the niche. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Nasty Gal (@nastygal)

This way, the marketing content is going to come across as more genuine. The influencer itself will come across as interested in your product/service, helping you get more Zoomers to buy from you. 

Don’t know where to find influencers? Use ContentStudio’s powerful influencer search engine that hunts down niche influencers based on location. 

Marketing to Gen Z via Influencers

To ensure the influencers are best fits, the AI-fueled discovery engine gives you a breakdown of each influencer’s audience demographic. You also get a snapshot of their engagement statistics so that you invest in the right micro-influencers and maximize your ROI. 

Ultimately, using Influencer Discovery in ContentStudio means you wouldn’t need to spend hours tracking down the best influencers to work with. And you also don’t need to work with middle people to manage influencer relationships. 

To add, you can get a cost estimate for working with an influencer using ContentStudio’s CPM tool. 

Marketing to Gen Z with ContentStudio

Plus, the app gives you content information to directly reach out to the influencers you want to work with.  

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What content should you create for marketing to Gen Z?

Focus your efforts on creating a social media content strategy centred around: 

      • Memes 
      • Videos 
      • Infotainment content 
      • Interactive content 
      • User-generated content and social proof 

Let’s look at these content categories one by one: 

1. Memes 

55% of Gen Zers admit they love memes and viral videos. 

While getting a video to go viral isn’t exactly in your control, you can focus on making memes a regular part of your content strategy. 

Take VeryUK on Instagram, for example. They regularly share memes like the one below related to what’s trending. This could be anything from the weather to a trending Netflix series. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by veryuk (@veryuk)

Here are more examples of brands killing it with meme marketing on Instagram and Twitter meme game by brands

2. Videos 

61% of Gen Zers watched more video content online during the COVID pandemic. This video consumption trend isn’t going anywhere though as both Zoomers and Millennials watch over one hour of video per day on social apps alone. 

So one of the best content formats you can leverage for Gen Z marketing is video. 

Try anything from long-form educational videos, short explainer videos, and bite-size videos. Even branded GIFs are a great way to get your audience’s attention. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Crocs Shoes (@crocs)

 This also means you need to be focused on creating authentic and engaging ephemeral content or Stories on Snapchat and Instagram. 

What’s more, Zoomers are a generation that loves raw, unedited content. It’s why live video is another content format you need to be tapping into. 

3. Infotainment content

As mentioned above, Gen Z uses social to educate themselves as well as get their fill of news. They’re also big on entertaining content so your content needs to blend both education and entertainment to create engaging content that gets Zoomers’ attention. 

For example, Crocs created an engaging video that educates customers on their product in a fun, light-hearted manner: 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Crocs Shoes (@crocs)

Here’s another example of educational content that features the product without coming across as salesy: 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Chobani (@chobani)

You don’t have to be necessarily create new content from the scratch all the time. Instead, use content curation to supplement your content bank.

The best part? With ContentStudio, discover trending content pieces to share on your social channels. 

Enter your target audience’s interests in the tool and it’d return with a plateful of relevant posts. From there, select the ones that will resonate with your audience as well as align with your brand. 

Curated Content Marketing to Gen Z

You can also create a custom topic feed using the Query Builder where you can include and exclude keywords to find the best, audience-engaging curated pieces. 

ContentStudio Query Builder

4. Interactive content 

Next up: create content that encourages Zoomers to interact with your brand. To this end, use polls, stickers, sliders, and other interactive elements on social.

What’s more, when writing captions, prompt readers to share their opinions. Ask questions and send out requests for feedback. 

Not to mention, never hesitate in telling your audience your DMs are open as most people now directly inquire about products, services, and related details via direct messages on social media. 

On that note, it’s also essential you get back to messages and social mentions quickly. Such an A game in customer service on social media will help you win your audience’s eyes.  

Want a pro tip? With all the content that you create for marketing to Gen Z, make sure your brand personality shines through. 

It’s also a good idea to be vocal about what you stand for – these could be a social issue or trending concerns such as the BLM movement. 

Wondering why? Because Gen Z knows that they’ve a lot of options. In the consideration stage, they research all brands, taking into account how well their views and principles are aligned with a brand. Hence, by opening up about your social responsibilities, you give Gen Zers a reason to buy from you. 

Similarly, by showcasing your brand personality, you increase your odds of standing out in the sea of choices Zoomers have. 

Ready to market to Gen Z

With this guide by your side, we’re hoping marketing to Gen Z shouldn’t be an impossible feat. 

Remember: video content, influencer marketing, authenticity, and sharing your values are important pillars of Gen Z marketing

Most of all, make sure you’ve the right social media marketing tool by your side. This way, you can schedule content (and get more time for engaging with your audience), discover influencers, find curated content and provide exceptional customer service – all in one place. 

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for ContentStudio for free today and start marketing to Gen Zers like a pro. 

Masooma Memon

Masooma Memon is a pizza-loving freelance writer by day and a novel nerd by night. She crafts research-backed blog posts and articles for small businesses and app companies who aim to employ quality content to educate and engage with their audience.

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