The next generation of consumers are now coming of age and are predicted to be the most influential generation in the digital world. Made up of teens and young adults, typically born in the mid-1990s to early-2000s, they are the first generation of digital natives. Welcome to the world of Generation Z, a new breed of consumers who have mastered the art of social media and continue to reinvent it by the day. As a business it is very vital to connect with them because if you don’t keep up, you are likely to be left behind as they will account for a huge percentage of the consumer base in the coming years

Given, social media is the fastest, cheapest and easiest way of reaching out to consumers and many businesses have now warmed up to the idea of using it as a tool for marketing and advertising. However, they are yet to understand and get through to Gen Z! But truth be told, if your social media marketing is outdated, Gen Z will swipe their way to your competitors so fast (and take their millennial parents with them!!) you won’t know what hit you!!

Get Their Attention!

Gen Z’ers are habitual multiscreeners. They could be watching a movie while scrolling their phone and still concentrate on both! These younger audiences are not always on a single platform as past generations. They can go through multiple social media platforms in less than five minutes and therefore as a brand you cannot afford to stick to only one channel. They seek to get content faster and speed is of the essence, you should therefore find a way to maintain your presence just long enough so that they can understand what exactly you’re selling. Along with being up to date and staying relevant in these moments, keep it short and simple because they expect to get all the information they need immediately your content appears.

Additionally you need to be on top of current social media trends for your posts to be noticed. They demand for instant and relevant information and may not want an email from you or have to visit your profile for further information. Ensure that you curate content that is relevant and engaging to them. Most Social Apps have devised algorithms that track users’ interest to deliver customized information, for example a feature like Moments for Twitter allows users to enjoy the latest news based on their interests.

Naturally, this generation know how to jettison what they consider boring or irrelevant in an instant, so to grab their attention and ultimately deliver your brand message, you will need to be fast and relevant. And with an estimated eight-second attention span, you do not have much time to impress them!

Put your money where your mission is! Trust and authenticity are a big thing for them.

Generation Z are very slow to trust and it may take time to acquire their loyalty. They are also socially conscious and politically astute than ever before and are more likely to purchase/do business with companies whose values they share. It is for this exact reason that you are honest and you are able to convey your core values through your social platforms to be seen as a credible business

Tell stories/share experiences

Sharing stories about other people is the best way to get this generation interested. They are born advocates and enjoy learning about meaningful experiences and will easily be swayed or influenced by social media Influencers or reviews. This is also a generation that wants to be heard and companies/brands that can provide experiences and products that enable them express their individuality and style will also be able to tap into their buying power. As a business it is crucial to foster and nurture good online relationships by sharing customer experiences.

Work with influencers!

You can easily win over Generation Z customers by working with social media influencers. They’re very diverse types of influencers and you can identify one or two that represent the same values as your business. You should thereafter cultivate genuine, long-term relationships with them as the content they share on your products or service can make a big difference. The more real their experience is with your product/service, the more believable it will be to customers, making them want to purchase your products.

Use visuals

Generation Z prefer visual media over text-based media. Think of it this way, Visual media for them is more of the main dish while text-based social interaction is a side dish. Both are important but without the main dish your meal is incomplete. They tend to favour social media platforms that are more visually-oriented and contain less messaging and this is why platforms like Instagram and Snapchat continue to gain popularity amongst this audience.

We are living in an ever-evolving digital world and before long Generation Z will be at the forefront of these changes. Ignoring the potential influence they may have on your business is not something you want to do! Regardless of your product, keep in mind that these are the future consumers and you have to begin to update your marketing approach to accommodate them or you risk being left behind.

By Tiffany Wahome.