Social media cheat sheet to resonating with the Gen Z

Generation Z is fast becoming one of the most important consumers segments of our near future with their growing spending power and voices. At 17.5% of Singapore’s population, those aged 12-25 will outnumber Millennials by 2020, said the Singapore Department of Statistics. Yet the troop remains somewhat an enigma to marketers.

According to Jacqui Lim, CEO of Havas Singapore, the spotlight on this new generation is “shining brighter than ever and has inspired critical dialogues about generational differences”.

They are driving a greater focus on rethinking of traditional hierarchies when it comes to consumer behaviour and marketing.

“Though they were born in a world etched with turmoil and disruption – they are optimistic and very driven about their personal ambition characterised by passion, purpose and technology. It’s not a surprise that the consumer journey of this segment is far from linear. In fact, the complexity is what makes it exciting yet challenging for brands. Thus, a thorough, localised understanding of this segment is critical for brands,” she said.

What it means for branded content

With this in mind, how should brands then market to them on leading platforms and what does it mean for branded content? A study by Havas Singapore and SGAG stated that brands need to show up where it counts. Gen Zs have different expectations for different platforms and there is no one-size-fits-all approach, so brands have to know what different formats or content to use for different platforms.

Facebook: Marketers can expect passive consumption of content. Gen Zs find Facebook meaningful for passively consuming inspiration and informational content. However, they would not use Facebook to socialise since most Facebook friends are mere acquaintances. Commenting and sharing mechanisms would not fare well on Facebook since Gen Zs would prefer to take less visible actions such as liking or simply viewing the content.

Instagram: GenZ’s have a very active consumption of content since they actively use the platform to socialise and express themselves. Brands can leverage this fact to engage Gen Zs more actively, such as asking Gen Zs to comment or share the content if the brand is able to deliver a worthwhile value to the Gen Zs.

YouTube: YouTube has long been known for longer form content. With more time invested in the content, there is a deeper involvement as well. Unlike other platforms that are more touch-and-go, brands can take advantage of this fact to engage Gen Zs more meaningfully.

TikTok: Gen Zs live in a “scroll culture” and TikTok’s endless feed fits perfectly for it. Gen Zs said that they would turn to TikTok to binge on endless content to kill boredom. For brands, this means that they only have seconds to capture attention. Awareness campaigns would fare better since the time available to develop interest is limited.

Telegram: For Gen Zs, Telegram is not just a messaging app. The channel feature allows Gen Zs to subscribe to keep up with information. Telegram is well suited for disseminating information in a more direct way.

So what is it that makes the Gen Z tick?

Media as a compass: Navigating their life through meaningful media. For Gen Zs media has become the lens that frames their views of the world. However, for media to be meaningful it needs to fulfil the roles of being able to deliver utility, strike an emotional chord and content that is reliable.

Woke through tech: Singaporean Gen Zs are aware and want to be involved in socio-cultural issues shaping the society. They have taken it upon themselves to be educated and educate others around them. Technology and access to information has empowered them to not only raise their voice against social concerns but also help to equip them with practical skills.

In my own skin: Gen Zs are proud of who they are. They prefer to be in their own skin than to be told who they should aspire to be which means having full control of how they define themselves in real life.

Need for social: Singaporean Gen Zs actively seek meaningful connections through media be it online or offline. Besides using media to connect with new people who share the same passion, media also facilitates relationships in real life. In Gen Z relationships, there is no division between the online and offline and virtual actions have an impact on friendships in real life.

Expert navigators: As digital natives Gen Zs are adept at maximising the value a platform can bring for them and well aware of where to go and how to engage with content in order to get what they want, making them  expert navigators of platforms.

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