While most of the discussion on how to reach the latest generation of consumers has focused on millennials, or people who were born between 1980 and 1990, another generation is quickly coming into prominence: Generation Z, which is composed of people born between 1995 and 2005. While these two time periods may not seem so far apart, there are crucial differences in how these groups of people grew up that make them very different as consumers – and social media marketing campaigns are going to have to start paying close attention to those differences if they want to remain effective.
The key difference that separates millennials from Generation Z is that millennials were, for the most part, exposed to the Internet as teenagers, while members of Generation Z have never known a world without the Internet – and many have never known a world without modern smartphones. As a result, while millennials are generally very heavy users of online media and social platforms, Generation Z-ers can be more selective, and will pick and choose which platforms to use – and they are very quick to move on to the next platform as soon as their friends do. For this reason, very few Generation Z-ers are on Facebook compared to millennials, preferring Instagram and Snapchat instead. One defining characteristic of Generation Z-ers is that they use multiple social media platforms to communicate with different groups of people – they’ll talk to strangers via Instagram, but only Snapchat their friends, for example.