Gen Z is spending big and use social media more than ever before. Source: Shutterstock

Gen Z is spending big and use social media more than ever before. Source: Shutterstock

Social media critical to engaging with Gen Z — Frost & Sullivan

MILLENNIALS have been the focus of most marketers over the past decade. However, it’s not time to think about connecting and engaging with Gen Z.

Born between 1995 and 2012, many of them are now in their early twenties, spending money on food, clothes, and other essentials every day.

According to a new Frost & Sullivan study, Gen Z currently makes up 24 percent of the global population and is set to have significant spending power.

The research house believes that the US will be a priority market in terms of the size of Gen Z and its spending potential while India and China will also be key markets since they account for 34 percent of the global Gen Z population and have a high number of graduates with good earning potential.

Further, the company’s analysts believe that among the smaller markets, Brazil and Indonesia will offer promising returns on Gen Z strategies for brands that make an early commitment.

“Brands are increasingly building their marketing strategies around issues that are important to this demographic, including the environment, health, and the greater common good,” said a press release.

“Companies that are tracking well with Gen Z are those that embrace authenticity and transparency and offer superior customer experiences,” explained Frost Visionary Innovation Group’s Principal Consultant Lynne Goulding.

“Gen Z prefers brands that enable user-generated content and employ social media influencers for marketing.

“As digital natives, their connected lifestyles will drive a range of digital services and new business models. For instance, their comfort with sharing assets will drive the evolution of the sharing economy model.”

Strategies to better engage with Gen Z

According to Gouding, one of the most important take-aways of their study is that social media as a direct platform for buying goods and services will grow in importance, and companies will have to deliver a seamless, fast, and engaging mobile experience.

Here are some strategies to help brands better appeal to Gen Z buyers:

# 1 | Know that Gen Z requires a different messaging

Gen Z requires a different messaging and brands need to understand that.

Their needs and aspirations are not exactly aligned with the millennials or any other previous generation, hence, when brands speak to them, they need to find other ways to appeal to them.

Gen Z, unlike Gen X, for example, is very concerned about the environment and about sustainability.

Hence, stories about how the brand manages its carbon footprint and contributes to preserving the environment is a good way to attract the Gen Z.

# 2 | Understand that customer reviews matter

Customer reviews always mattered, but they matter more to Gen Z.

According to Frost & Sullivan’s study, companies must focus on gaining a positive digital reputation, as Gen Z uses peer reviews, product information, and retailer ratings to make smarter purchase decisions.

While this isn’t a problem for some of the older brands with a strong history of reviews online, it’s something newer brands need to be mindful of if they expect to establish a “credible” presence in the markets dominated by Gen Z buyers.

# 3 | Remember that Gen Z seeks personalization

“Provide relevant and personalized content that speaks the language of the users,” advised Frost & Sullivan analysts in light of their recent study.

Personalization is something that most new-age customers seek, and is the common thread between millennials and Gen Z.

Using new-age marketing tools, brands must aim to personalize their marketing and messages to Gen Z when trying to engage with them on social media and other digital platforms.