Insights

Understanding the social media generation

30 September 2021 5 min read
Harriet Hunt image
Written by

Harriet Hunt

In September, four members of the Mobas team were lucky enough to attend Youth Marketing Strategy (YMS) by Voxburner. The event, which took place across two days, focused on Gen-Z and provided insight into the way this demographic views the world, uses social media and what they really want from companies. Digital Marketing Account Manager, Harriet Hunt, provides her round-up of the day and insight into what she learned.

I was lucky enough to attend day two of YMS. There were short 25-minute talks running all day with smaller ‘breakout tracks’ interspersed: I attended the e-commerce track hosted by Student Beans and Missguided.

The day started with a Gen-Z panel where attendees were invited to ask questions to really delve into their thoughts, feelings and outlooks on life. The overwhelming outcome of this was that Gen-Z want to make a difference, but they feel like this can’t be done unless they’re part of a larger movement. They appreciate the power of social media in helping them do this. Social media provides them with the power in numbers: they can use hashtags, movement groups and communities with like-minded people to help them make the change they want to see.

Obviously, given my job role, I really took interest in how Gen-Z view and use social media, and the messaging that brands use within that. It was almost unanimous that this demographic notices the small things – whether this be ASOS now declaring their models’ pronouns on posts, their awareness of clickbait titles, or brands showcasing diversity in skin colour, body types and identity within their marketing.

The e-commerce track, which included a Q&A session with Missguided and a Gen-Z panel, provided insight into how Gen-Z view and use social media and how brands such as Missguided are reacting to Gen-Z’s wants, needs and usage habits.

I want it now

One thing that stood out to me was that this generation want to make changes that are more long-term, however, when it comes to day-to-day life, they want everything at the click of their finger (or a button) – whether this be same-day delivery, ‘one-stop shop’ type apps or impulse buying.

The panel, rather predictably, said that Instagram was their social media site of choice as it provides that ‘one-stop shop’ experience in terms of keeping up with friends, watching video content and then also having access to shopping features. In answer to this, Missguided revealed they have been reacting to this by introducing their makeup, home and sportswear ranges: moving Missguided away from just being a clothing website to it being somewhere users can go to buy everything they need. 

Keeping it real

In addition to this, the panel gave insight into their thoughts on social media influencers. This showed that Missguided’s new strategy of placing the influencer within their target demographic by utilising a student ambassador programme was in keeping with Gen-Z’s view that influencers need to be authentic, relatable and real.

One user experience point that they were passionate about, and something that we’ve found when analysing user behaviour on client websites, is that they appreciate transparency before entering a purchase process or form-filling exercise. They want to know how many steps there are and even how long it’s likely to take them.

Overall, the event showed that Gen-Z aren’t quite as complex as many marketers believe they are, and that they actually have the same usage habits, purchase-drivers and bugbears that many other generations have too. They perhaps just speak about it a little louder with the help of social media!

If you’re trying to reach a Gen-Z audience and want to speak to us about how you can do that, contact the team here.