Making up around 20% of Australians and almost 30% of the world’s population, ‘Zoomers’ are now the largest generation ever. Being the first generation to be fully shaped in the 21st century and raised in a digital environment, “Gen Z” are known as “Digital Integrators” for their engagement with social media and connection through digital devices.
Who are Generation Z?
The term “Generation Z” refers to those born between the years of 1997 to 2012, making them around the age of 10-25 in 2022, with the older ones graduating university and entering the workplace.
As Generation Z has emerged as a population worthy of our attention, it’s important to note that they’ve been shaped in dramatically different environments compared to other generations, resulting in a change of attitudes, values, and beliefs among them. They are a diverse generation that stands behind what they believe and will make sure their voices are heard.
Your first mistake will be thinking Generation Z are “mindless youngsters” addicted to social media. Zoomers are already starting to enter the workplace and they are shaking things up in every industry. They are the underdogs of society. They hate being lied to by corporations, they value companies who are authentic and are transparent with their audiences. If you want to communicate with them, be straight up or they will be quick to call you out.
This generation is known for their “cancel culture” and will not hesitate to boycott brands over problematic behaviour like misleading advertising and poor communication. If you’re a small business just starting up, don’t be afraid to be honest about your experiences running a brand and the intricacies behind. Gen Z admire brands that embrace their faults and expose their hardships, they respect brands that share human behaviours.
Know the right channels
If your brand is planning to interact with Gen Z through earned or paid media, abandon traditional media outlets such as television and newspapers and get on to social media sites overflowing with younger audiences. ‘Gen Z-ers’ are known for their heavy social media use to create genuine connections, consume an overwhelming amount of media and share their precious moments. Social networks such as Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok are the most popular among them and will continue to remain trendy over the next decade.
The widely growing video sharing app, TikTok, has taken the world by storm through their addicting algorithm, becoming the most downloaded app of 2021 and is likely to overtake Instagram’s popularity in the coming years. Generation Z are TikTok’s largest generational users with approximately 1.04 million on the app, so it’s a major deal for business to take advantage of these numbers and start communicating with your Gen Z target audience. If your brand isn’t on TikTok, go ahead and set up an account and start posting!
Strong online presence
Knowing the right channels is just the first start, your brand needs to solidify their place in whatever channels you’re utilising. Knowing your target audience is on Instagram or TikTok is completely useless if you’re not developing a strong online presence. Finding a brand you genuinely like, then finding out they have zero online presence is frustrating for younger generations. Reports have shown that for Gen Z consumers, creating a social media presence is highly significant for a brand to maintain their relevance. Younger consumers want to know more about the brands they like and how they communicate with their audiences.
Knowing the basics of each social media channel is not enough, you need to figure out how to share your brand’s message in every Instagram post or a 30 second TikTok video. If you want to promote your message on TikTok, look for the latest trends and create your video with these in mind, this can be applied to any social network you choose to engage with.
Be Relatable and personal
Yes, Gen Z knows your weak communication technique is just a way to drive sales, however they can appreciate and acknowledge when a brand does its research on their target audience and caters to them. Older generations may ignore a brand’s effort to relate, however, Generation Z respects a brand that shows them how much they really know about their audience. Brands that understand and align with their values, habits and lifestyle choices are likely to communicate better and have successful marketing, advertising, or PR campaigns.
In today’s digital society, influencers are more likely to gain the trust of consumers rather than any other public figure. So, they play a big role in your brand’s road to success. Zoomers see influencers as trusted friends compared to celebrities. Celebrities and famous figures are often seen as hard to engage with, whereas influencers, who share similar stories and identities, are seen as easier to connect with online. They are becoming the new celebrity. If you want to target Gen Z consumers, start with connecting to their beloved influencers to promote and spread the word about your brand.
Take a seat back
A great way to effectively engage with Gen Z-ers is to let them take the wheel! They love when a brand gives them the opportunity to send some insightful feedback and have input in their business choices. Gen Z wants to be heard, they will appreciate a company that is willing to listen to their voices and knows their value.
Why is it important to connect with Gen Z?
Being the largest generation in Australia, Gen Z comes with a range of diverse values, beliefs and tendencies compared to generations businesses are already familiar with. In this new age of marketing and business campaigns, social media has become a vital tool for brands, whether big or small, and if any brand is planning to engage with consumers on social media networks, they are more than likely going to encounter Generation Z. It can be incredibly risky for a brand to jump into the digital world without connecting to the “Digital Generation”. Whether your target audience is millennials or boomers, Generation Z will encounter your brand, take advantage of this by learning how to communicate with them and they will appreciate the effort. Getting on Gen Z’s good side will ultimately benefit your brand in the long run, allowing you to grow your brand and spread your message effectively.