August 2, 2017

The social media habits of Generation Z

Published: 2 August 2017 

When you think of social media, you often think of Generation Y. After all, this is the generation who is often the youngest in the workplace and often comes across as tech savvy. But what about the next generation - Generation Z?

Who is Generation Z?

Generation Z is anyone born during or after 1995 and before 2012. Unlike Generation Y, this generation has grown up with technology, smart phones, apps and social media. They’re a generation with a lot of purchasing power - $44 billion in fact. It’s a group that businesses can no longer avoid targeting.

Generation Z consume their media digitally through smartphones and tablets. This age group will use smartphones for almost three hours per day for social media, TV shows, music, and games.

What social media habits do Generation Z have?


  • Keep their lives private

Unlike Generation Y, who share everything, Generation Z knows the balance between public and private. Teens often shorten their name or use an alias online. This makes it more difficult for teens to be searched for.

  • Snapchat is the most popular

Generally, Facebook is perceived as the most social media platform. However, 89 percent of teens say their preferred platform for staying in contact with friends is Snapchat. Furthermore, 88 percent of teens say they use Instagram and Snapchat. This is up from 81 percent who use Facebook. Only 66 percent surveyed said they use Twitter. To target Generation Z, it’s clear marketers need to alter their strategy and ensure they’re not just focusing on Facebook.

  • Short attention span

Generation Z tends to have a short attention span when compared to the older generations. This means it’s harder for brands to try and engage with teens. You’ll have to get creative and think of something interesting to really grab and maintain the attention of Generation Z users on social media. If your ads are old and tired, you’re not going to get good engagement rates.

  • Trust celebrities and influential figures

Generation Z has a negative perception of ads online, particularly non-skip and pop-up ads. So how can you get your ads in front of Generation Z? Instead of traditional online ads, Generation Z are influenced by the opinions of celebrities and those who are famous on YouTube and Instagram.

However, it’s not enough to just be famous and have a large following. The influencer needs to have a sense of authenticity about them, or else they won’t be trusted. In fact, 70 percent of Generation Z said they would trust an online influencer when buying tech goods. However, if celebrities are going to endorse a product, it’s best to be transparent and make the sponsorship clear to the audience.  

If you’re wanting to raise awareness of your brand, it’s best to do it through a trusted, influential social media figure.

  • Mobile video rules

No matter what device is used to access the content, Generation Z loves watching videos. While Millennials watch video for about three hours per day, Generation Z consumes even more. This means it’s important for marketers and businesses to ensure video content they produce is appropriately optimised for mobile screens, load fast, and have the correctly formatted ads.  

Next time you’re trying to target Generation Z as part of your marketing strategy, remember these key factors. This will help you achieve success with your campaign.

Got any other tips? Let us know in the comments.

Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

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