Generation Z is on its way to becoming one of the most crucial demographics in the marketing world. Wielding almost $50 billion in buying power, this young age group has the potential to be the largest generation of consumers yet. However, this rising generation presents an interesting conundrum for marketers, given that they do not embrace the ‘traditional’ forms of social media.
In order to really understand how marketers can cater to this up and coming generation of consumers, Carrie Kerpen of Likeable went straight to the source and asked her daughter what Gen Z thinks of various social media outlets. What she learned was fascinating.
- Unlike their millennial counterparts, Gen Z is quite unimpressed with Facebook.
According to Charlotte: “As for having an account, it’s Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Music.ly.”
But only Instagram and Snapchat are used regularly. According to a recent Piper Jaffray survey, 47 percent of teens consider Snapchat to be their favorite platform, while Instagram is the preferred platform of 24 percent of teens. Only 9 percent of teens prefer Facebook.
- They are unenthused about the Snapchat redesign.
Charlotte, like most of her peers, used to be an avid Snapchat fan. She was an early adopter and became part of its core user base. But since the platform’s redesign earlier this year, she’s been spending significantly less time on it. “My first instinct when I go on my phone is to click on Snapchat,” says Charlotte. “But I rarely stay on it. I click out and go on Instagram. When Snapchat updated, it became less appealing in my opinion. I’d see all of these different things, and it was just a lot on the screen.” She’s not alone. After launching its redesign, Snapchat received a petition with more than 1.2 billion signatures, asking the company to revert back.
- They recognize that, for better or for worse, social media is a powerful tool.
This social-savvy generation is finding its voice online. “Before social media, it was a lot easier to ignore things that younger kids were trying to do, so with social media…it makes it easier for people to speak their minds,” says Charlotte. Yet while social media has the power to drive social change, she recognizes that its effects aren’t always positive. “It’s good in that people can speak out and have their voices be heard,” Charlotte concludes. “But people are getting addicted. It can be a good thing with regulation and being able to control yourself. But if you’re on your Instagram and Snapchat all the time, it can be bad for your [mental] health.”
- Gen Z is quitting media at a much higher rate than you’d expect.
That same Hill Holliday report reveals that 34 percent of Gen Z are permanently quitting social media, while 64 percent say that they’re taking a break from these platforms. They’re feeling left out, insecure, distracted—and just plain bored.
“There are very few actually good things about social media,” Charlotte argues. “It’s mostly bragging and feeling jealous and seeing bad things happen, seeing people hanging out without you. It just causes a lot of problems that wouldn’t otherwise be there.”
So, what does this mean for the social media marketing world?
Within the next few years, we’re going to see a big migration of users from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Snapchat. For those businesses who have not made their presence known on the latter two social platforms, now may be the time.
How do you think Gen Z will change marketing? With 34% of Gen Z ditching their social media, do you think print advertising might come back in vogue?
Let us know in the comments below!