Generation Z Is Here - Are You Ready For Them?
May 31, 2016
Finding your way on platforms, like Snapchat, is a great way to build on the believability that your traditional brand can also be a true social brand. The audience gives you credit for recognizing their preferred platform, especially if you're entertaining and acknowledging them.
But they can also turn on you if you look out of touch. (And looking out of touch is pretty easy these days if we're not keeping up.)
One way to keep up with those true digital/social natives called "Generation Z" (pretty much everyone under 20), is to make sure you have an open line of communication.
Listening to them is one of the keys to the long term health of any brand.
So I wanted to share a recent piece from The Washington Post titled, "What's a tbh?"
The writers admit that as "tech-savvy Millennials," they were pretty confident in their reporting on teens and technology. But it wasn't until they actually began talking with Generation Z that they soon realized, "they were the olds."
If you have a Gen Z'er at home, or perhaps a niece, nephew, etc...the Post piece should give you as good of a laugh as it gave me. I have had the exact same conversations with my Gen Z'er who turns 16 this week.
Carly keeps media consumption and communication in perspective for me as I watch her every day.
And you'll be happy to know that radio is always the first media she turns to in the car. She loves radio. And so do her friends.
You know what else they love?
Their score, specifically. Just as the Post piece points out - Snapchat scores are super important.
I was feeling pretty solid over my latest Snapchat score: 2,984.
But that pride was quickly diminished when I asked Carly for her Snapchat score - nearly 173,000:
A Snapchat score is a total number of all snaps sent and received. Every time you send out a snap, or open a snap, your score is increased by a point. It's apparently super embarrassing to have a low score (like me) so don't broadcast it until you're "decent."
Beyond Snapchat, the Post piece also touched on Instagram and how it's not cool to have a ton of photos there any longer:
"The members of Gen Z spend a significant amount of time curating their profiles to show only the best pictures; they tell the person visiting your profile who you are. That's what all of social media feels like to teenagers now: They want all of their pictures to say something about their lives. So they will delete the photos that seem redundant or don't get many likes."
This plays into what we talk about here on Merge all of the time. Make your social moments matter. Random prize wheel posts just don't cut it.
What story are you telling on Instagram? Are you a gallery of bar remotes and inspirational posters, or a stunning and interesting brand?
And finally, The Post authors unscramble a few abreviations like:
What does "V." mean?
It's the new "very."
CAN WE SAY "R." FOR "REALLY"?
To be honest.
This is important for every brand texting with Gen Z. I asked Carly for some other abreviations we need to know:
You can feel the eye roll when she wrote, "No. it's wyd."
But I asked her for a few more:
Don't crack bad jokes on them... she still hasn't responded to that last text.
So here's the deal. The Post piece, most of all, should remind us that it's a new day. And new days require new mind sets and workflows.
Always assess your content. You are (literally) in the palm of their hands.
Keep working on being useful and be relevant. It's the only way to cut through.
You may not be after the 13-19 year-old crowd today - but you'll want their listenership at 25, right?
Learn how to groom Generation Z now by blending in to stand out.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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