Each generation has its own defining attributes, styles of communication, and lifestyle preferences. As technology has advanced, younger generations have become more savvy and more technologically fluent. While Millennials grew up with emerging technology, Generation Z is unique in that it has never known a time without iPhones, social media, and instant connection via the internet.
For years, your primary client audience has been Millennials. Like all of us, they are aging! Older Millennials are well into their 30s. Because they grew up during a period of time with great technological changes, it’s become common to associate “Millennial” as “young, techy people,” or just young people in general. But remember, Millennials are getting older and a new audience you must focus more attention on is Generation Z.
Today, we’ll look briefly at some distinctions between the two generations and then explore the platforms where Generation Z spends most of their time. This guide will take you through how to engage well on each of these platforms to increase the effectiveness of your communication with Gen Z.
MILLENNIALS VS. GENERATION Z
Although Gen Z grew up plugged into technology, they view it differently than Millennials do. They tend to be more private and like spending time on platforms where the content they put out only lasts a set amount of time. Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and Tik Tok are all appealing to them because of this.
Whereas Millennials are digitally fluent, Gen Zers are digital natives. Using technology and understanding social platforms comes naturally to them and is very intuitive. They also just expect technology to work; if a page takes too long to load or is not easy to read and navigate, they’ll move on quickly, looking elsewhere for the information they need.
They don’t share everything online, but are more curated in what they post. They like to follow accounts that are curated and put together well.
Forty-four percent of GenZ uses social media hourly. It’s possible that intense social media usage is just part of being a teenager, but researchers now think it’s more likely due to the reality of growing up immersed in technology and social media for their whole lives. They’ve never known a world without social media and online connection. The line between real life and digital is not significant to this generation like it is to older generations.
With that background in mind, let’s dive into the top platforms where Gen Z is spending time!
With so many new social media platforms emerging, it can be tempting to think that Gen Z has moved on to the latest and greatest apps, leaving Facebook behind. But actually, even if they don’t engage much on Facebook, 60% of them are still there, scrolling through and processing information they see.
In general, the older people in Generation Z (17-24 year olds) are the ones most likely to be on Facebook. They like engaging with visual content like photos, graphics, and videos. They use Facebook more for browsing than engaging, and are less likely to post their own content on the platform.
While Gen Z won’t like, comment on, or share your posts as much as other generations might, it’s still important to have information there. A lack of engagement doesn’t mean they aren’t seeing it, and your posts may be a seed planted for a time when they may need your services for an unplanned pregnancy.
To reach Gen Z on Facebook, you should incorporate the following types of posts on a regular basis:
Facebook users watch a total of 100 million hours of video every day. 85% of Facebook users watch videos with the sound off, so make sure you always caption your videos so people still receive your message.
Going live on Facebook or Instagram can be intimidating. Many people avoid using that feature of the platform because of fear they aren’t doing it “right” or simply because they don’t have enough time. But social platforms love and reward users who utilize all aspects of communicating on their platform, so it’s worth spending time to get to know and use.
Whether you’re posting pre-filmed videos from your phone or going live on Facebook, make sure that you pick relevant, helpful topics. Many of the topics you blog about would make great topics for videos as well. Think through questions you get asked a lot or issues that your clients face, and make short videos about that. Pick a well-lit area of your office (preferably with natural light) and speak from your heart. Generation Z values authenticity and will appreciate feeling more of a human connection with your pregnancy center.
Sixty-three percent of Gen Z is active on Instagram. They’re on the platform to follow celebrities, or accounts that talk about topics of interest to them. Their own feeds are highly curated, and they will delete photos they’ve posted if they feel it takes away from the look and feel they’re going for.
Maybe more than any other social platform, Instagram rewards users who utilize all aspects of the app. If they release a new feature, experiment with it to figure out how to use it. Use a variety of stories, posts, live videos, and IGTV (longer videos you can post to your story and IGTV section of your profile).
Also remember this mantra: Quality over quantity. If you’re constantly posting new photos in your feed (more than one per day), people will tune you out and stop following. Utilizing other features of Instagram like stories allows you to share more content without overdoing it.
Photo & photo captions
Post pictures and graphics of the same color scheme and theme to create a “feed” (collection of photos on your profile) that GenZ will want to follow. Photos should be well-lit, and graphics not over-crowded with too much text or too many different fonts or colors.
Use captions for your photos that are longer than a few words. More words communicates more value and allows you to share your message and how you help people. Use this area to unpack tips, tricks, and advice your clients commonly ask you for.
IGTV is a section on the app that allows you to upload longer videos than stories (which are only 15 seconds). You could take the same videos you post to Facebook and upload them to IGTV as long as they’re helpful and relevant. IGTV videos can also be posted to your feed where the first 30 seconds or so of the video will play, or to your stories where the first 15 seconds will play. When the time runs out, people will have the option to tap the video to watch the rest on IGTV.
Another way to utilize video on Instagram is Instagram Live. It’s very similar to Facebook Live, but only gets posted in your stories section, not your main feed. Follow the same tips as for Facebook and be willing to experiment and learn as you go along!
This social media app is all about being “in the moment.” Content disappears after 24 hours, and people are there for more raw, real content than the highly-curated content on Instagram. It has 100 million daily users, and 60% of those users are members of Gen Z. Sixty-one percent of Gen Z uses Snapchat and it’s quickly becoming the new texting platform of teens.
Your best way to engage here is through Snapchat ads. Over the last year we found that Snapchat ads were not only great for raising awareness of your center, but they produced conversions as well. Some viewers will actually view and respond directly through the ad, generating new clients from a social media platform.
Make sure your Snapchat ads are organic, meaning they look like they belong on the app, created as if they were created by a Gen Z user.
Ninety-one percent of Gen Z uses YouTube regularly. They use it as a search engine, looking for answers to questions and to learn about topics they’re interested in. They’re on the platform to consume content, not to create content.
Your videos on YouTube, like on Facebook and Instagram, do not need to be overly produced. Authenticity goes a long way, and people are looking for information, not perfection. Done is better than perfect because it gets the word out about who you are, who you serve, and how you can help people in your community.
YouTube best practices
- Keep it short and to the point. People are on YouTube to find answers, so make it long enough to be comprehensive, but not so long that people will drop off or not start watching at all.
- Caption your videos. This will make the information more easily accessible to more people.
- Stay focused. Choose one key message to communicate and stick to that. This is another great place to choose topics you use on your blog and talk about them here.
Formerly Musical.ly, TikTok is an up-and-coming social media platform dominated mostly by Generation Z. Forty-one percent of the app’s 500 million users are between the ages of 16-24. Users primarily upload and consume lip-syncing and other videos.
TikTok truly stands on its own among other platforms. It’s less polished and put together than Instagram, is more public than Snapchat, and unlike on Facebook and YouTube, users tend to consume AND post content. The videos are typically for entertainment more than information.
TikTok best practices
- Because this is a new platform, we’re watching it for the best opportunities for pregnancy centers like yours to engage.
- Advertising on TikTok right now is in beta mode. Like Snapchat, this will likely be the best way of reaching your target audience and could be beneficial for raising awareness of your pregnancy as well as converting those reached into clients.
As the platform grows and their advertising policies are set and then open for more companies and organizations to participate, we’ll keep you informed about more best practices. As with any other platform, native, organic ads will perform best.
Customize your content for each platform and audience. It’s okay to cross-post some of the same videos, but have variety as well.
Start small and increase the frequency until you gain more confidence. Don’t overcommit because it can be discouraging and defeating and cause you to give up if you don’t stick to your initial goal.
Use your social media platforms to have a conversation and listen to people. Ask questions on your Facebook and Instagram stories and poll people for their opinions.
As always, if you have questions or would like more information about how we can help you market your pregnancy center, please reach out today! We want to help you reach more abortion-minded women through your marketing efforts.