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Courting the Gen Z audience

Right now, the attention of younger consumers is a highly sought-after commodity. My generation is developing purchasing power and declaring our preferred brands. A lot of us are using social media as a way to express ourselves, and marketers have taken an interest.

 

So much noise!

social media icons in fast rotation

Let’s take a step back. It’s 2016 and I’m in college. I found myself reflecting on my productivity and habits and realized that when my mind wandered, I’d pull out my phone and check social media. I started to get distracted by notifications while in the middle of work.

I noticed that I lost focus often. At this point, I made the assumption that social media was influencing me beyond being a means to share thoughts and photos. I decided to turn off my notifications. No set time-frame, really; it was an experiment to see if I could improve my focus. 

 


Rethinking social

Back to the present. During my internship at SSDM, my perception changed drastically. I really learned a lot about social media by working on client projects involving social media strategic initiatives.

Before starting here, most of my social media accounts were still on pause. I became very selective about which platforms I used and what content I consumed. Now I find myself looking at social media in a new light.

Learning more about the “science” of social media marketing has transformed my idea of branding and brand interaction. I appreciate that brand pages provide individuals with an invitation to interact and allow marketers the opportunity for instant connection with those who advocate for their products, or who are considering them. 

There are four characteristics of a brand’s social media that I look for. I think other people my age also pay attention to these too, albeit maybe not as critically as us marketers do.

 

Looks are important 

First, your brand’s attitude and appearance on social media are critical. This style can’t be replicated by traditional advertising. A cohesive social media presence has an identity. It has personality and shows how your company differentiates itself from its competition. We love seeing the unique characteristics of your brand.

It’s best to create an easy-to-find and easy-to-use library of content for your audience to digest and share at their convenience. Make sure you produce the type of content that reflects your culture, creating a harmonious image on all platforms.

 

You’d better be quick

Guy looks at watch and shakes headSecond, flexibility and responsiveness are well rewarded on social media. Things move at a frenetic pace, so you need to catch our attention in an instant. Transforming trends to produce creative, time-sensitive content for your audience can be just the ticket. 

Sharable content is more relevant than ever. If someone is talking about your product, you need to be a part of that conversation too. Interacting with your customers is super important, and it can make or break a potential conversion. Being first to a trend can show your ability to respond on the fly. Consistency – tied to relevancy – is the determining factor for great social media content. 

 

Social media impacts our customer journey

Next, Gen Z is heavily using social media during their customer journey. We research most products before we purchase. Your Instagram or LinkedIn profile could be our first point of contact with your brand, so make it count!

If we are your target audience, your socials need to be curated for us.  For example, SSDM’s LinkedIn page was my first point of contact when I was looking for an internship. It had a huge influence on my decision to actually apply.
 

Above all, provide valuable content

The final factor that sets social media content apart today is VALUE. If your content isn’t providing something for your audience, then what is it doing? Whether it’s funny or educational, we should be getting something from your content. Without value, there is no need to share or interact, and we will scroll past.