Skip links

Gen Z vs. Millennials: Social Media Use

The digital world is continuing to evolve as new generations are continually on the rise. Social media has always been of interest to Millennials and Generation Z, but each has found solace in different platforms and usage methods. While Millennials make up one quarter of the nation’s population, Generation Z is following closely, and both generations currently make up a large part of the consumer market. Businesses and corporations should be studying and evaluating their use and interests on social media as well as identifying what marketing elements get the most attention. These generations are the future of the marketing world.

The Haps on Millennials

Those that are categorized as Millennials are born between 1980 and 1994. Social media began gaining popularity and traction, while many of these individuals were in middle or high school and became a primary communication method for many. Because of the infancy of social media during this time, many Millennials took the available social media platforms as an opportunity to expand their personal and professional lives, sharing these details for all to see.

Millennials are known to utilize a diverse range of platforms as many platforms were released in this time frame, and many were encouraged to see what they were all about. Facebook is the platform that is utilized most frequently, often multiple times a day, and after that come YouTube and Instagram. Along with the previously mentioned platforms, others follow that are more popular with younger generations; Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The Tea on Gen Z

Those that are categorized as Generation Z are born between 1995 and 2012. In the current year, these individuals represent the largest group of consumers across the world. Generation Z individuals have never known a world without social media as they’ve had access to the internet and social media platforms from the get-go. Social media is their source for everything they find to be influential in their lives such as news, entertainment, and communication.

Generation Z individuals are known to spend more time on social media when compared to Millennials but on fewer platforms. Their interests are typically more targeted, interested in mastering platform(s), and they know exactly what they want to get out of their social media use. YouTube and Instagram are the platforms that are utilized most frequently and are followed closely by Snapchat. Along with the previously mentioned platforms, others are also used, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, but have significantly lower usage rates.

What’s the Diff?

While there are many generational differences present when comparing Millennials and Generation Z, a select few stand out more than others. Generation Z individuals look for entertainment and fun in their social media while Millennials enjoy sharing, updating statuses, and interacting with friends. The popularity of Facebook in younger generations is decreasing substantially because of this, as Generation Z prefer platforms that are more visual like YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Generation Z individuals utilize fewer social platforms but spend longer durations of time on their chosen platforms. Due to their interest in an incredibly visual platform, Generation Z is very selective as to where they share their content, but it’s typically on Instagram or Snapchat, while YouTube is accessed primarily for entertainment. Along with this difference, there’s also the influencer marketing method that’s becoming more and more popular. Generation Z enjoys utilizing social media to keep up with their favorite celebrities or actors rather than brands they’re interested in, which is what Millennials focus on.

Don’t Be Extra With Millennials

Millennials tend to be well-informed and internet savvy since they’ve had access to the internet for most, if not all, of their lives. They revert to online sources such as search engines, reviews, and forums to answer any questions they may have about a topic, business, and many other points of interest. Growing up mastering the ability to multitask, Millennials also value flexibility and mobility, whether that be in their personal or professional lives.

  • Connect With Brand Through Content
  • Customer Reviews and Testimonials
  • Passionate About What They Believe In

These individuals are drawn to brands that seemingly understand, speak, and connect with them as Millennials have their beliefs and passions and stand behind them firmly. When marketing to this generation, it’s essential to encompass these ideas into your social media and marketing as they will help you gain traction.

Don’t Be Basic With Generation Z

Generation Z individuals have a shorter attention span than their Millennial counterparts, so it’s vital to make an excellent first impression as that will draw them in. If you catch their attention, they will likely remain loyal to your brand for quite some time, if not forever. These individuals aren’t interested in purchasing your product until they’ve fallen in love with the experience; utilize influencer marketing, and share what your product can do for them.

  • Sell the Experience, Not the Product
  • Incorporate Large Volume of Visuals and Graphics
  • Engage with Generation Z

As mentioned earlier, Generation Z appreciates visuals and graphics because they’re looking for a fun experience. Businesses that focus on incorporating these marketing elements gain far better traction with Generation Z. Lastly, they thrive off engagement rather than reading reviews and forums. These individuals are known to leave positive feedback should they have positive customer experience and feel as though they’ve been heard.

Mic Drop

As the digital marketing world continues to change generation by generation, social media ebbs and flows as well. While Millennials and Generation Z have a lot of overlap in their platform usage, each encompasses different values and are drawn to specific details. Millennials are well-informed and internet savvy, but also incredibly passionate about what they believe in. When it comes to digital marketing, they want to connect to the brand and can stand behind what they believe in.

Generation Z individuals have a shorter attention span when compared to Millennials, so a first impression means everything. They look for a fun digital marketing experience that engages and excites them. While it seems we have these two generations mastered, social media and consumer interests will continue to evolve as the world continues to change.

Leave a comment