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Gen Z Social Media User Trends

Want to know how to market to Gen Z? We’ve got the inside scoop.


Gen Z is the generation between Millennials and Generation Alpha, having been born between the late 1990s-early 2010s. Generations are age groupings that tend to share significant life events at critical development stages. They also manifest culturally, socially, and even politically distinct from their predecessors. 


Why is this important for marketers to know?


Because understanding generational differences, preferences, and behaviors can help inspire effective marketing techniques and campaigns. 


Let’s get into it.


Social Media: 

  • It’s important to remember that Gen Z grew up with social media and are therefore highly adept when it comes to digital technology and social media platforms.

  • Gen Z spends a whopping 3 hours per day on social media. YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are the most popular platforms, with 85% of Gen Z-ers using them daily.

  • Not only is TikTok a top platform for Gen Z, it serves as both entertainment and search engine. You read that right. Nearly 40% of Gen Z-ers use TikTok to search for everything from recipes to fashion ideas. 

  • There’s a preferential shift towards longer videos on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, with videos that go more in-depth (2-5 minutes).

  • Gen Z-ers tend to engage more on Instagram via DMs rather than public-facing comments. Remember that this still affects the algorithm!


Shopping:

  • Social commerce is a huge shopping trend for Gen Z-ers, with over 70% having discovered products and nearly half having made a purchase via social media.

  • 77% of Gen Z-ers prefer to shop from brands that they follow on social media.

  • Gen Z also values the physical shopping experience for its immediacy and sensory engagement. An interactive online experience—allowing users to engage with content, ask questions, and see products in use before purchasing—mimics the in-store experience.

  • Influencers still have a big impact when it comes to Gen Z, with over 50% citing influencer recommendations as crucial for their buying choices.

  • Gen Z are discerning consumers and do a lot of research before making a purchase.

  • With mobile devices being the primary tool for accessing social media, the integration of shopping functionalities directly into social apps enhances accessibility and convenience, catering to the habits of Gen Z consumers who prefer quick and easy shopping experiences​.

  • Gen Z tends to shop more frequently than older generations, particularly for groceries, health, and beauty products.


Values & More:

  • Gen Z is more likely to support brands that align with their values and causes like social justice, climate change, and inclusivity. They expect brands to take clear stands on these issues and are often willing to pay a premium as a result.

  • Gen Z-ers value transparency and authenticity. It is important that they can place their trust in a brand.

  • 77% of Gen Z-ers get their news from social media.


How do we synthesize all this information?

For brands to reach their Gen Z audiences, they need to 

  1. Be active and engage with followers on social media platforms including Instagram and TikTok

  2. Create a frictionless social commerce experience directly on these apps

  3. Prioritize brand authenticity and alignment with your values


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