Generation Z’s Life in 10 Seconds
Rather than writing a Facebook post with full sentences and proper grammar, this is most likely how a teenager's morning’s events would be expressed over social media:
Among people in Generation Z, few would take the time to write out a post detailing their day for hundreds of people to see. The overwhelming rise of snapchat over the past few years can be attributed to the younger generation’s desire for a higher degree of exclusivity on social platforms. According to the Snapchat’s twitter page, 88 percent of snapchats are sent to just one person. A picture or video sent to someone’s “best friends,” which eventually disappears, allows users to be direct and private. Snapchat users know who is viewing their content, when, for how long, whether it has been screen shotted, and whether it has been replayed (viewed twice). Platforms such as Facebook do not offer these features -- there is no way of knowing for sure who has seen your posts, for how long, how many times...etc. While a large percentage of 18-29 year olds still use Facebook, there is a heavy focus on content consumption rather than engagement and the platform is rarely used among people below the age of 18.
Snapchat’s prominence among the younger generation reflects its desire for more exclusivity in social communication. 78 percent of young adults that fall in and around Generation Z (aged 18-24) use Snapchat, according to a study by the Pew Research center. Out of that 78 percent, 82 percent use Snapchat on a daily basis, and 71 percent use it multiple times per day. This differs greatly from the surveyed adults who fit into the Millennial category (aged 25-29), where only 54 percent are Snapchat users and tend to send snaps to a greater number of people.
Although companies are limited to a 10 second window of time to engage with a Snapchat user, many successful campaigns have been launched on the platform. Snapchat geofilters, like McDonald’s pictured here, are relatively cost-effective and easy ways to promote brand awareness. The geofilter offers three points at which a user can be exposed to a sponsored geofilter: swipes, uses and views. Swipes occur when people see the geofilter as they scroll through the options, uses are the people that actually choose to use the sponsored geotag, and views are the number of times any person sees the geotag in the process of sending a snapchat. Brands receive pretty organic exposure at each of these points, because it stems from user-produced content. Additionally, purchased advertisements lasting 10 seconds between user stories or published stories are becoming more popular.
Generation Z Wants to Be Noticed by Influencers
Because they grew up during the boom of social media, people from Generation Z really care about other people’s opinions. This is where the effectiveness of influencers plays in. On both a small and large scale, icons in a specific field have the unique power to influence a target demographic of individuals that are invested in their expertise.
But due to the high level of engagement that members of Gen Z are used to, many times, they want to build personal relationships with influencers. This can come from being featured or having the influencer acknowledge a comment by liking, following, or responding to them. By choosing influencers that actively engage with their followers, brands will find that their campaigns are reaching audiences in a more authentic way.
Instagram sensation, @Iskra has set the standard for how influencers should engage with followers. Iskra is known for promoting Aerie products and never wearing the same bikini twice. She has over 4 million followers and is able to reach women worldwide to promote Aerie’s clothing.
Even though she is larger than life, she responds to a considerable amount to comments on her posts. This makes her seem more like the girl-next-door who is just giving you some fashion advice, rather than a paid model. In many cases, this is the individual treatment that Generation Z prefers when looking at influencers.
Now more than ever, Generation Z wants to engage over social media. Since online presence is becoming more and more common among the general population, people want to connect personally with friends and influencers. Technology is becoming customized for these types of interactions and it’s up to each brand to: 1) market to the emerging 10-second, snapchat culture and 2) choose engaging influencers.