Connection with the Next Gen Not Found

Falling behind in today’s digital age isn’t a difficult task. Whether it’s the lack of solid messaging or an oversaturation in the market, the consequences of blending in with the crowd and being left behind is greater than ever before. In fact, a whopping 55% of companies without digital transformation initiatives already underway believe they have less than a year before they begin losing valuable market share. 

However, there’s a not-so-secretive, go-to special tool in the marketing arsenal to help ensure your company stays at the top of customers’ minds – a strong social presence. The challenge is going about it the right way.

Social Adds Value

The landscape is always changing so staying current and relevant is a never-ending process. Take, for example, the rising Gen Z demographic. They continue to gain more “share of wallet” as they age. Here are a few quick examples of their growing power:

  • Gen Z has $360 billion in disposable income; 
  • 54% of Gen Zers reported using social media for four or more hours a day; almost double that of all U.S. adults (28%); and
  • 72% of Gen Z said they’d more readily make a purchase from brands they follow on social media.

Social is Central for Gen Zers

To reach, engage and impact the buying behaviors of Gen Zers, it’s clear that social is not merely a nice to have, but an absolute, central need to have in your marketing strategy. 

Breaking through the noise can easily become the biggest obstacle to being heard by the next generations, but with the right strategy to approach social media, you’ll be en route to the top of your audience’s hearts, minds, and most importantly, feeds. 

Following are a few tips to help shape your social strategy:

Tighten Up Your Social Messaging

The key is discovering your social voice with the right style, tone and unique personality that will appeal to Gen Zers. Authenticity and differentiation is important as well as uncovering gaps in the market that aren’t currently being addressed. This way, your brand helps lead the narrative in certain, target areas rather than just follow or piggy-back on others.  

You can also turn to experts like Fastlane to develop breakthrough social strategies and playbooks that make a measurable difference. Leveraging AI-driven tools, we analyze your current audiences and positioning and identify core message pillars and reputation drivers. We also further crystallize and extend your brand’s story and amplify the right (visual, audio and written) messages to the right audiences for maximum impact. 

We continue to use these next-gen tools throughout our work to learn from each campaign. This way, we listen to your audience for feedback and further optimize accordingly in near real-time. Just as you would in a one-on-one conversation, learning how to adjust company tone and style with time is a must to keep up with the ever-evolving standards of your customers.

Influence the Right Influencers

“Influence the influencers” often gets thrown around today, but aimlessly hiring and partnering with influencers simply because they have an attractive reach won’t make your marketing an automatic success. Today’s consumers are part of niche communities talking about topics they care about. The voices leading these conversations are often micro-influencers and are proven to have more trust from their loyal followers than bigger accounts – up to 60% more engagement than macro influencers.

Whether your budget accommodates large spending on partnering with big names or only product gifting to smaller influencers, having these partnerships drives your products/services to the audiences who matter. Recently shared insight from Hootsuite shows that all groups are being influenced to make purchases. For example, 33% of Gen Z, 26% of Millenials, and 18% of Gen X have bought a product based on an influencer’s recommendation in the three months prior to being interviewed.

Communicate Visually

The sheer magnitude of information bombarding us daily makes it that much more challenging for any marketeer.  How do we break-through?  One time-tested, proven way is through truly, stand-out visual communications.  

Whether a captivating static image, whacky GIF, or attention-grabbing intro to a video, imagery is the first and sometimes only chance to hook a viewer. After all, who reads past the first few words of captions anymore…?

But it isn’t just about being flashy and trendy. You’ll win over the long-run by remaining true to your vision and values that hopefully align and appeal with your target audiences.  As you curate the best imagery to build your brand’s visual identity, it is key to ensure consistency in the design, aesthetic, and feel of the media you share. 

Although there are uncontrollable factors like algorithms, economic trends, and shifts in platform activity that can impact the results of your social efforts, the real determinant of success is how and where you play your cards. It’s not a game of solitaire, ​​but rather an endless round of canasta.