I'm Gen Z & these social media channels matter to me
Generation Z are the future. Companies need to connect with them now, to build brand loyalty and sales in the future. But where is this generation connecting online? We chatted with our very own Gen Z (an awesome intern), to discover her favorite social media channels, and how your brand can build a strong connection.
Introducing Eleonore - our Gen Z
As a 16 year old, I’m practically in the middle of the Gen Z age range. I would describe myself as hardworking, stubborn, and highly organized in everything but my room and my maths books. I’m eager to learn and lean more academically towards literature, geography, and history. Hanging out with my friends, writing and wasting time on Netflix during my free time sounds just about right to me.
Several important factors lead companies to increase their focus in targeting Gen Z and marketing to them. Firstly, Gen Z now represents around 40% of consumers - a significant portion of the market.
Generation Z are also the next generation of social influencers - creating and commenting on social media platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. Promoting products and brands according to experience, recommendations, and paid advertisements. Influencer marketing is an authentic, relatable, and effective way to connect your brand to this large audience, and increase your brand awareness.
My 4 favorite social media channels
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a free social media platform that allows users to create their own content in short-versions - videos that are usually 15 to 60 seconds long, and more recently, with a 3-minute long option. This allows TikTok to move fast and keep the audience engaged. Of course, uploading your content isn’t mandatory, 68% of TikTok users just watch other users' videos, while 55% upload their own.
Musical.ly (the app’s original name) was planned to be an educational app, but soon pivoted to become the new lip syncing platform. In 2018, it became the brand I know and love, TikTok. TikTok presently dominates as the most downloaded app in 2021 and continues to grow as a result of widespread trends such as dance challenges and crafts.
Although TikTok is mainly used by the younger generation, marketers have created their own community on TikTok, where influencers introduce their products and aim to keep up with the preferences of the public. It is often carried by shopping hauls, recommendations, and hashtags to increase brand awareness.
General TikTok statistics
- 689 million monthly active users worldwide (excluding China, where the channel operates under a different name: Douyin)
- Douyin 600 million daily active users
- Together, 1.2 billion active users worldwide
- Achieved 689M in 3 years whilst Instagram did in 6
- TikTok has been downloaded over 2 billion times, therefore the most downloaded app on Apple App Store
- 62% of US TikTok users are aged between 10 and 29
- 7.1% of US TikTok users are above 50 years of age
- Average of 52 minutes spent on TikTok per day
- Available in 155 countries and 75 languages (as of 2019)
- 90% of all TikTok users access the app on a daily basis
- The most viewed video is Zach King’s Harry Potter illusion with 2.2 billion views
- The most liked video is a lip-syncing video of Bella Poarch with 50.2 million likes using the song ‘M to the B’
How brands can use TikTok as a marketing tool
If you have a business or are starting one, marketing on TikTok can be a profitable strategy to increase your brand’s awareness and target your audience. One reason for this is the relatively minor competition on the platform. Although, you must consider before viewing it as your new marketing strategy because there have been disagreements with the app regarding data privacy. Its user numbers are still increasing, so TikTok permits you to reach a growing Gen Z audience and increase your chances of interactions.
Many business owners have not yet considered TikTok as part of their marketing strategy as its audience is mainly the younger Generation Z. However, a wide range of people have been attracted to TikTok. In the US, approximately 50% of users are under the age of 34: with 32% aged between 10 and 19. Most marketers, however, are drawn to TikTok’s key social media trends for innovation and cooperation which attracts all sorts of communities.
How does TikTok help your marketing strategy?
TikTok’s algorithm is known to be good and extremely accurate, powered by common hashtags, liked videos, sounds you liked, etc... Meaning that the audience is more likely to interact and invest themselves in your brand. Thanks to the algorithm, accounts with zero followers can get millions of views, unlike any other social media channel, which further attracts more people. Its rapidly increasing popularity and daily active users can only be an advantage for you.
Building your community has been simplified and you can attract the correct audience for your business.
Many small businesses have been created thanks to TikTok. Like jewelry designers posting tutorials to attract the younger generation, like myself. At the end of 2020, TikTok launched #SmallBusinessLove, a campaign showcasing the relationships between TikTok and businesses on the platform. TikTok is committed to helping small businesses worldwide heavily impacted by the pandemic, allowing them to apply for credit.
TikTok lets people comment on your videos to share their opinions on your products. For example, Gap is bringing back its brown logo hoodie thanks to TikTok.
How to make TikTok work effectively for your brand
In order to amplify your chances of brand recognition on TikTok, there are a few things you can do to make it work effectively.
Collaborating with influencers
If an influencer has many followers, and fits your brand, collaborating with them would increase your brand’s awareness and bring you new clients. Therefore, making yourself known to a larger public and increasing your chances of visibility, interactions, and followers.
Interacting with your audience
This is crucial for your brand to develop. Without a public, there is no brand. TikTok is an interactive platform, allowing you to comment, share, and interact with your audience. The communication between the marketer and the client will allow them to connect with you as well as with the brand. Consequently, you’ll gain loyal customers.
Creating notable content
Creating content which will attract your audience, TikTok moves fast. Stopping them from skipping past you isn’t easy. Your first line must be a hook in order to properly captivate your audience’s interest. On the other hand, posting relevant content once in a while won’t do much. Posting notable content frequently will keep your audience growing instead of decreasing.
How Talkwalker can help with TikTok marketing
TikTok doesn’t have an API for social listening (yet). But as a trendsetting platform, you can still see how it is impacting the social media landscape in this omnichannel world.
In just 30 days, Talkwalker’s image recognition detected 17.3 million visual mentions of the TikTok logo. Often, this is watermarked content that originated on the platform that is engaging enough to be shared across other platforms. A vital insight into what’s driving the buzz there.
Brands can follow how TikTok mentions diffuse outside of the channel, to understand what is creating excitement and engagement, especially for the Gen Z audience.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is an image-sharing platform intended for saving ideas and discovery on the internet using images uploaded by a creator. These can be images, gifs, or videos in the form of pinboards. Originally thought to be a visual discovery tool to help people organize their lives socially in a digital space, this platform takes on the social bookmarking site.
Multiple pins can be gathered together by topic, to form various boards or pinboards on your profile. Your content is either repinned (the pin is someone else's) or created. The name ‘Pinterest’, first suggested by the wife of founder Ben Silbermann, is a combination of two concepts, “pin” and “interest”. This platform is full of dream-like pictures of travels, people, crafts, and many more. Pinterest could be referred to as an aesthetically pleasing website which is usually the place to go for inspiration.
General Pinterest statistics
- 478 monthly active users
- 85% of pinners use the mobile Pinterest app
- 97% of searches are unbranded on Pinterest (as of 2019)
- Approximately 50% of users live outside of the US
- 240 billion pins have been saved by users
- 50% year-over-year for Gen Z demographics
- 35% year-over-year for Millennials demographics
- 25% of time on Pinterest is spent shopping
How brands can use Pinterest as a marketing tool
Pinterest has proved to be one of the most modest, flexible, and effective marketing tools you can use to improve your marketing strategy. If you're looking to grow your business and increase your visibility rate as well as brand awareness, Pinterest is the platform you need.
Compared to other social media users, Pinterest users have the highest purchase intent and exert influence on the other social media platforms in terms of marketing. Pinterest’s image sharing strategy permits the seller to display their content instead of telling the public. Images help us understand the context of the product without needing to read large amounts of text, it sets forth the character. Images help you understand faster than text.
How does Pinterest help your marketing practice?
There are several advantages to marketing on Pinterest. First of all, being present on Pinterest means the brand is available and present everywhere online, therefore increasing brand awareness.
Secondly, Pinterest allows attached links to pins which results in additional traffic to your website, increasing your chances of interaction. Users are accustomed to clicking away from the platform, in order to collect as many clicks as possible, while creating appealing pins works as a boost to your website or blog’s visibility.
Furthermore, another important advantage to using Pinterest in your marketing strategy is the reduced number of steps needed for a user to discover your brand. In most cases, when users browse, they’re looking for information, or want to buy something. It’s fast discovery strategy through links permits browsers to convert into ‘buyers’ faster. And last but not least, Pinterest is a free app, therefore you can promote your brand for free. What do you have to lose?
How to make Pinterest work effectively for your brand
In order to use Pinterest for your brand effectively, your business profile should be organized and presented in a way that will be appealing to the browser.
Organization is key
Start by organizing it in order to accurately reflect the image your brand portrays. You should always plan your strategy ahead of time and post frequent eye-catching imagery to reel your audience in.
Link your content
Sharing your pins on other channels can help drive traffic to your board, which should link back to your website or blog, therefore increasing your visibility and traffic. Posting instructional content that teaches users things such as crafts, how-tos, and tips: 84% of pinners say that Pinterest has helped them learn new things. For example, the pin below shows clear steps regarding an armband.
Understand your market
Another thing you could do to market easily on Pinterest is conduct market research; discover strategies that other marketers have used successfully that are better than yours. Discover what’s working for the audience and what’s not. Understand what your audience is discussing and adapt to their comments and suggestions.
Plan a posting schedule
Same thing goes for TikTok as it does for Pinterest, planning a posting schedule for posting your pins will lead to higher visibility. Aiming for breaks during the days like lunch, after work, or even on weekends will increase your chances of your pin appearing on their page and increasing your pin’s interaction.
Track your performance
And last but not least, tracking your performance to see what works. Using the Pinterest analytics tool will identify what’s working and what isn’t. It will give you an idea of what type of content is resonating with the audience you’re targeting. This will show you how your efforts can be amplified.
How Talkwalker can help with Pinterest marketing
Pinterest is a visual medium. To drive buzz for your brand, you want to be ahead of the visual trends. Talkwalker allows you to see your brand in context across social media, not only allowing you to monitor your brand, but see exactly where and how your consumers are engaging with it.
In the past 13 months, we detected 105 million images of cake, with around 5 engagements per mention. Include a dog in the image, and that average engagement more than doubles. If your next Pinterest campaign was to promote cake, you’re more likely to engage if you include a canine.
te quiero perrito emocionado en su cumpleaños 🥺 pic.twitter.com/rhSLMeOL2G— ⛤ (@brillitorta) March 1, 2021
People love cake. But people love cakes and dogs even more.
What is YouTube?
YouTube is a popular video sharing platform created in 2005 that allows users to store and serve video content. A user can watch, like, share videos through a link or embedded HTML code, and create their own videos for others to watch. Launched by co-founder Steve Chen, YouTube was originally meant to be a video-dating website designed as a way for people to upload videos of themselves talking about their dream partner. This idea, of course, did not go far, causing them to rethink their whole strategy. Now, it remains the most popular social media platform in the US.
General YouTube statistics
- 2.3 billion users worldwide
- Second most popular network, after Facebook
- Users watch one billion hours of videos on YouTube every day (as of 2019)
- Approximately, 30,000 hours of video uploaded every hour
- 18% of users use YouTube to specifically follow brands and companies
- 90% of users say they discover new brands and products on YouTube
- Display ads are most effective YouTube marketing strategy for 10% of marketers
- YouTube gamer PewDiePie is the most subscribed individual user on YouTube
- Most subscribed channel is T-Series with 183 million subscribers
How brands can use YouTube as a marketing tool
Using YouTube as a marketing tool might be one of the best ways to reach your audience. With 2.3 billion users worldwide, there are possible customers on YouTube. YouTube is the internet’s second largest search engine; it can help improve your SEO (search engine optimization) and increase brand awareness. Marketers are able to present unique content on YouTube that is easy for viewers to search for, watch, and share.
YouTube also certifies marketing tools like VidIQ, this tool helps promote your brand by focusing on important metrics like tags, watch-time and social shares to attract more YouTube subscribers.
How does YouTube help your marketing practice?
Being a video sharing platform,YouTube can help your business grow by addressing customer questions or suggestions left in comments, and sharing brand promotion messages.
Using YouTube allows you to launch or promote products that will attract a larger audience. Additionally, marketing on YouTube will help you get found on Google. Having blog posts and videos uploaded on Google will help you build backlinks to your website, which means that you’ll get found much easier and much quicker.
Uploading videos on YouTube can be advantageous as you’ll gain customers that you may not have found on other social channels. You can reach a worldwide audience through YouTube.
How to make YouTube work more effectively for your brand?
Know your audience
If you're aiming to use YouTube for your brand, learning about your audience is crucial for your brand to progress and attract a larger crowd. With YouTube, users can comment, like, dislike, and subscribe. The audience feedback can improve the communication between the marketer and the public, allowing them to connect with you as well as with the brand, which usually results in loyal customers.
Know your competitors
Moreover, researching your competition and conducting a competitive analysis will help you measure where you are in terms of visibility and identify opportunities. Discover the markets you’re missing, and where you’re ahead of the competition.
Optimize your content
Make the most use of your videos by adding keywords in your titles, links, and hashtags in your description. This will boost your visibility as your video will be easier to find. Posting these videos on a certain schedule will also increase your chances of ending up on someones ‘Home’ page. Aim for breaks, lunch breaks, after work hours (or after school hours if you're aiming for a Gen Z audience) and weekends.
Sometimes it’s worth paying
Another way of increasing your visibility rate would be through YouTube advertising. It’s proven that users are 3x more likely to find out about your brand through YouTube advertising and will help promote your content.
Work with influencers
Collaborating with influencers would increase your brand’s awareness and possibly bring you multiple new customers. Therefore, making yourself known to a larger audience will increase your chances of visibility, interactions, and followers.
How Talkwalker can help with YouTube marketing
Packed full of product reviews, unboxings, reveals, and more, thousands of brands are mentioned on YouTube every day. And Talkwalker can help you monitor those brands and exactly what’s being said about them, by processing over 60 million social videos per day.
In just 30 days, 2600 videos were found that related to Coca-Cola.
Looking at the keywords around Coke mentions on YouTube, ‘science’ experiments are a key trend, as consumers test how the drink reacts with other products. Could Coca-Cola profit from this, by engaging with the experimental minds of their consumers?
What is Discord?
Discord is a free platform that concentrates on voice, video, and texting channels. Originally made to provide gamers with a place to build communities and converse online, Discord has rapidly become one of the pre-eminent social media platforms. It was initially planned to name the program Bonfire as a result of its ‘nice and cozy ambience’.
Although Discord is mainly a group-chatting platform built for gamers, it has grown to become a general platform used by many kinds of communities with their own members, rules, topics, and channels.
General Discord statistics
- 150 million monthly active users
- Launched in 2015
- 300 million registered users
- 850 million messages are sent every day, 6 billion each day, 25 billion each month
- 19 million active servers per week
- User base has doubled over the last year
- $483.8 million fundings raised
- Company valued $7 billion
- Available in 27 languages
- Discord servers host 4 billion minutes of conversation per day
- In 2020, Discord ranks ahead of Facebook as US teens’ favorite social media platform
- Banned 5.2 million accounts between April and December in 2019 due to spam
- Genshin Impact recently overtook Minecraft as the largest Discord server on the platform, with 733,911 members
- Messages have a limit of 2,000 characters.
How brands can use Discord as a marketing tool
While Discord is first and foremost an app for real-time communication among users, it also offers many benefits to marketers who have a business or are interested in starting one. With Discord, users are able to build their own communities and meet similar-minded people who are interested in your product and will help you improve your content thanks to their feedback. Because customers are what makes businesses work. No customers, no business. It has many advantages like quick customer service options such as private chats.
How does Discord help your marketing practice?
Discord has many marketing tools at your disposal that will permit you to build the community you’re aiming for by targeting your customers and increasing brand awareness. Being a community-building platform, Discord creates a gripping approach to marketing. Moreover, a server facilitates customer service. It’s a great way to communicate with your customers as it's a clean organized program that permits you to search for recent or old chats.
The server channels offer you the opportunity to provide exclusive opportunities like server-only deals or sales promotions. For example, you can announce a prize offer or discounts to the first 1,000 members. This will result in a larger audience and will help your interaction grow and increase your brand awareness because it’ll generate interest among your audience. This will bring you a more attractive income.
Discord is mainly a platform aimed for Gen Z. If you’re interested in including a younger generation in your audience, Discord might be just the way to do it.
How to make Discord work more effectively for your brand
Creating Discord servers is an alternative way to keep your audience close and engaged on the channels where users can connect with each other as well as with the brand. When you are communicating with your audience, you want them to respond, to understand.
Know your audience
In order to market accurately and efficiently, understanding your audience plays a crucial role in promoting your brand. Brands exist to serve the audience and progress thanks to it. Staying connected with your targeted audience isn’t always easy. You want to be relevant to your audience, which brings me to my next point.
Create content around them
Understanding your audience’s points of view and the topics they’re discussing further increases your brand’s growth and awareness. They permit you to communicate effectively with possible customers and reach the right target audience. Understanding your audience’s interests greenlights you to plan long-term content strategies and organize your brand to more efficiently meet your audience’s likely purchase.
How Talkwalker can help with Discord marketing
Talkwalker can provide a valuable stream of consumer insights, to help you get a comprehensive view of your audience. By combining a range of data about your community, along with social data, you can understand the conversations, issues, and demands of your consumers. Helping you shape your marketing to fit them.
Talkwalker can provide demographic information about your audience. In this example, Chipotle’s US audience is predominantly between 18 to 34. This insight can help the brand shape the tone and style of their communications to fit.
How to connect with a Gen Z like me
With all these social media platforms discussed, practically in the middle of the Gen Z age range, I’ll give you my personal opinion on how brands should be talking to Gen Z in order to include us in their targeted audience and give suggestions on what brands should change if they are thinking of targeting a younger audience.
Starting with the communication that circulates between marketers and the younger generation, I personally think that when a brand tweets or posts about their content on their business page they shouldn’t try to include slang in their statements in order to attempt reaching the younger generation. I think it removes the professionality and rather comes off as ridiculous: as young people regard their elders as more mature.
Furthermore, I recommend brands create polls, launch interviews, and create surveys in order to discover what Gen Z would like to see more of and would be interested in investing in, rather than assuming what the younger generation likes. Finding out our interests will help with building a marketer-customer relationship and will result in loyal clients.
And last but not least, as I see it, brands shouldn’t continuously try creating new trends or attempt to ‘be the new thing’. Rather they should stick to one piece of content for a certain period of time and develop it over time via suggestions left in comments or surveys as mentioned above. This will permit you to grow your brand instead of having a concentration of loose ends.
If your brand isn’t working, it is logical to try something new as you could make something bigger out of it, take YouTube as an example. As mentioned before, it was originally planned to be a dating site. Once this idea was shown to be unsuccessful after many attempts, its whole purpose was redesigned which resulted in it becoming the second most popular network worldwide. The point is, work on one piece of content and work on developing it rather than having multiple unfinished pieces of content.
Thanks Eleonore. To connect your brand to Gen Zs, and to understand how to reach this valuable demographic, download the free report below.