For Gen-Z Teens, The Purpose Of Social Isn’t Just To Follow Friends — It’s To Find Content

Marketers have ample opportunities to reach a generation that actively wants to find new brands and fun content on social platforms.

When asked about their primary reasons for using social media, 45 percent of Gen-Z teens say they do so specifically to find funny or engaging content — exceeding the 41 percent who do so to stay up-to-date on what their friends are doing, according to new research from GlobalWebIndex.

This may seem counterintuitive, considering that social media began as a way to stay in touch with friends that a user already knew in real life. But it has evolved since then: Users follow celebrities, look to “influencers” to help them discover new content, and even use social to meet new people altogether.

“Above all, social media serves as a content consumption tool for this young generation,” GlobalWebIndex’s report states. “Our data shows an unexpected motivation for Gen Z – they are more likely to be using social media to fill up spare time and find entertainment, rather than to stay in touch with friends.”

Think Video

And this trend is good for marketers: If Gen-Z comes to social media with the set goal of discovering new and exciting content, marketers aren’t a disruption — they’re the purpose of the social journey itself.

But as this demographic puts a high premium on finding fun and entertaining content — via Instagram or Snapchat Discover, for example — it’s not enough for a brand to simply post a picture of a pair of shoes. And with Gen-Z consuming more video content across the board — 68 videos per day on average — funny videos are at a premium. Marketers that haven’t explored video content on social should do so sooner rather than later.

The golden rule still applies: Brands must stay authentic, true to their own voice, and look to be relevant. But if they can find a way to do so in a video format, crafting engaging and/or humorous videos for social media is a smart bet for grabbing a follow from Gen-Z.

This research also suggests that it may be smart for marketers to making their Instagrams shoppable via product tags: After all, once a user is following a brand’s account, then purchase is just a mere click away.

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.