10 Ways Retailers Can Reach Gen Z with Social Media

Marketing to Gen Z on Social Media

You may think you’ve got a handle on Millennial shoppers — but are you ready for Generation Z?

While the two groups do have many similarities, Gen Z takes Millennials’ shopping tendencies to the next level. Defined as consumers age 20 and under, Gen Z is leaving older shoppers (and many retailers) “in their digital dust,” warns a new report from Accenture.

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Marketing to Gen Z on Social Media

The good news: Like Millennials, Gen Z shoppers love brick-and-mortar stores. But their real-world shopping choices are greatly influenced by the digital world — specifically, social media. Here are 10 social media moves you should make to get Gen Z into your store.
1. Think beyond Facebook. YouTube is number one with this crowd; almost twice as many Gen Z shoppers as Millennials visit it before making a purchase. You also need a presence on Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

2. Make it easy for them to get social in your store. Four in 10 Gen Z shoppers get opinions from friends and family before they make a purchase. Offer free Wi-Fi in your store so they can quickly consult with their social circles on their smartphones.

3. Practice “social listening.” More than other generations, Gen Z is open about what they think. Forty percent say they give feedback, such as writing reviews, “very often.” Whether they’re reviewing you on ratings and review sites or posting on your social accounts, be sure to stay on top of online feedback from these customers. And make sure you act on it — there’s nothing this age group hates more than feeling like businesses don’t listen.

4. Ask for their opinions. Don’t wait for Gen Z shoppers to share their opinions—ask them! This group is very responsive when you survey them. Try asking quick questions on Snapchat or Twitter.

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5. Put them in the spotlight. Even if they don’t know each other, Gen Z shoppers trust each other’s opinions. When you get positive feedback from one of them, share it on social media.

6. Create a sense of community. Ask young shoppers to share photos or videos of their purchases and themselves on your social media accounts. Engage them in contests or polls. And be sure you respond to them on social media! You’ll build trust in your business and engagement among Gen Z shoppers.

7. Picture this. For Gen Z shoppers, images are more important than text in influencing their decisions. Avoid text-only posts and assess whether you need to up your game when it comes to the photos you share on social media.

8. Make a movie. Gen Z loves online video (witness their YouTube addiction). When it comes to making online videos, don’t be intimidated—they don’t have to be Oscar-winning productions. Sharing quick, live videos on Snapchat or Instagram is just as effective with this age group.

9. Keep it fresh. Gen Z shoppers have a short attention span, so make sure your social media presence is not only consistent, but active. A steady stream of new posts, photos, videos and comments will keep them interested—and coming into your store.

10. Connect with influencers. Popular YouTube stars, Instagram personalities and other social media names can sway Gen Z’s purchasing behavior. However, you don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars for an influencer at this level to promote your store. Instead, try reaching out to those of your Gen Z customers who have big followings on social media to help market your business. Perhaps they’ll be willing to review a product to sell or participate in an event at your store.<>

Young Shopper Photo via Shutterstock

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Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.

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