Born between 1995 and 2010, Generation Z is changing the habits of social media usage. Born up to the digital era, Gen Z also called Digital Natives, Net Gen, GenWii, Tech Gen. Tech generation gets information mainly from social platforms, makes friends without seeing each other in real life, open to sharing their life on social media spend most of their time online. They are characterized by their unique style. Their purchasing decision heavily depends on celebrities or social media influencers which make brands shift their marketing strategies. They do not prefer traditional educational systems, instead, they choose to invest in their skills, take relevant courses. According to IBM statistics, 26% of Gen Z work online, while 16% work for themselves. Making money online is more attractive than nine-to-five jobs.
Although statistics show Gen Z spends most of their time online, they do not only surf on social networks but make a difference where they go. Instead of blending in society, Gen Z is enthusiastic about standing up for their beliefs. This generation is political activists, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, and peacemakers. Despite their age, they take big steps to fight for human rights, equality, avoid plastics, are in support of the environment, are earth savers. These kids do not clearly identify their categories instead enjoy the diversities of their world.
Want to know an inspirational Gen Z?
Azerbaijani student Reyhan Jamalova invented the “rain energy” which designed to harvest rainwater as a source of energy in her 15. Forbes 30 under 30 was the youngest attendee at the 8th Global Entrepreneurship Summit in 2017 and got an estimable mention in Ivanka Trump’s speech.
You probably heard about 16 years old Swedish Greta Thunberg. Environmental activist skipped school for her unbroken beliefs. Starting in 2018, she demanded the Swedish government to decrease emissions by 15%. Thunberg was awarded as Time’s Person of the Year 2019.
Former Disney princess Zendeya continues her stage carrier as a singer, dancer, and actress. She also made clothing collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger, is a global ambassador for Lancome. The popularity of the rising star is not only for her talents but also for her activism in different social issues such as gender equality, body positivity, or bullying.
Gen Z reshapes Influencer Marketing
The consumption power of this group changes brands’ marketing and communication channels. They require brands to be creative, credible and authentic. It is difficult to influence Gen Z with chic promotions. As their older generation, Gen Z is also less likely to be influenced by traditional advertising, what they do in turn, they get information by the people they trust. What works for this group is a blend of traditional and modern marketing technics.
Brands need to set a sophisticated approach. Focus on leveraging influencers for delivering messages instead of selling products. Brand story-telling is via different channels creates more authentic and engaging backlinks rather than stating fancy missions on your website. Cooler way of self-promotion is endorsing Gen Z influencers over your brand story-telling. Tech natives use Instagram for brand discovery, search for product features on YouTube.
Value creation is among the core issues Gen Z pays attention to. With 2.6 million followers on Instagram and 6.9 million YouTube subscribers, Orkun Ishitmak is one of the biggest influencers in Turkey. He creates a different range of creative content such as travel vlogs, testing, reaction, informative videos on his social media accounts. Plus to his successful influencer background, every New Year year Orkun organizes charity projects where he buys gifts to homeless and needy people. It is not surprising that global and local brands keen on collaborating with him for their commerce and charity works.
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Partnering with real people creates credible feedback for this group. This is why nano and micro-influencers are an alternative way of marketing. They are the best medium for raising awareness of small brands or campaigns. Micro and nano influencers generate greater engagements thus have a high ROI. Long-term partnerships also create authentic and high-selling projects, making Gen Z loyal to brands. When working with Gen Z influencers allow them to create User Generated Content, to present their style, freedom.
It is better to collaborate with influencers for online and offline partnerships. Creativity is one of the key ways of reaching out to this group. Go beyond social media platforms. Take Levi’s and Google’s partnership. Brands together launched new lines of “smart denim jackets” which warns wearers if they forget to take their mobile phones.
Although Gen Z has unlike social media habits the rest of the population, however, have different preferences about social media platforms, different interests, say, platforms like TikTok, Twitch, Live.ly are mainly popular among teens, while the older Gen Z favors Instagram and Twitter.
Whether brands have successful Gen Z experience or not, It is important to keep track of the latest trends, improve the quality of their products and promotions, as well.