Generation Z, the oldest of whom are about to enter their 20s, have grown up using social media. Today’s teens are interacting with everyone and everything via social media as naturally as members of older generations speak face to face. Social media isn’t something separate from other parts of life to them. It’s not “getting online” – it’s just looking, hearing, talking.
This generation is determined to make social media an equal playing field, where they can express their ideas and make waves as easily as corporations can. They come to these platforms to make statements about their identity; they use Instagram to be artistic, Twitter to be in the know, Facebook to be altruistic. Identity is their capital and they expect brands to speak the same language.
Marketing to Gen Z via social media (which is a must, because it’s where they live) means moving beyond traditional advertising messages. They won’t be impressed by how long you’ve been in business – that might just mean your ideas are outdated. They won’t care about how many customers you serve – they believe they can figure out a more efficient way to serve people themselves.
Today’s teens care more about who you are than what you do. Are you passionate about what you do? Are you a fun brand? Are you serious? What purpose do you serve? If they don’t know, Gen Z may just tell you to step aside so someone with a personality can take your place. If they see nothing to follow as customers, they’ll lead, as startups plotting to steal your market share.
To reach Gen Z, take a break from selling your product to start selling yourself. Be real. Reveal your passions, the way you think and the ways you’re impacting your community. The up and coming generation is asking why they should trust you and accept you as a leader in your field. Be sure to answer the question before they answer it for themselves.