Move over millennials as Gen Z is becoming a more important target audience for social media marketing as they enter adulthood, according to a new study by Amazon Alexa.
While 68 per cent of Gen Zers "expect brands to contribute to society," 71 per cent of Gen Zers say they want ads to have more diversity.
"That means your social media channels should display what your brand is doing in that respect," said Kim Kosaka, Director of Marketing at Alexa, detailing the social media trends that will rule 2021.
Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 is considered a Millennial, and anyone born from 1997 onward is part of a new generation called Z.
Covid-19 has drastically changed the way people utilise social media.
"With a 74 per cent rise in social media marketing spend during the pandemic, marketers are investing more money in social media marketing. They expect to spend the same, if not more, in the coming year," Kosaka said in a blog post.
One of the most unique things about Gen Z is their world outlook; they often see themselves as global citizens.
Gen Zers care about what's going on in the world because they're more connected to it than any other generation before them.
As the aptly nicknamed "iGeneration," they're the first generation to have grown up with smartphones and social media easily at their disposal, Kosaka noted.
"Generally speaking, Gen Zers want to see brands that care about equality and the environment, and need those values prominently displayed on social media in order for them to engage".
Another key piece of the social media puzzle for Gen Z is giving them options.
"Younger generations are constantly toggling between different apps and social media channels. It's your job to make sure you're right there with them when they decide to make the jump from Instagram to TikTok," she emphasised.
Speaking of TikTok, the video-sharing social network has become one of the most successful social media channels during the pandemic.
TikTok saw nearly 100 per cent growth in the United States in 2019, and the average time spent on TikTok per user in the US in September 2019 was nearly 500 minutes.
"TikTok has also continued to produce a number of viral videos over the course of the pandemic," Kosaka said.
On average, TikTok ads clock in at around $10 per 1,000 impressions (CPM) vs Instagram, which only has a CPM of about $8.
"People are using social media to connect with more brands from home and shopping from their laptops and phones. The role of influencers in that sales process has been amplified by the pandemic," she observed.
Social media influencers are also becoming increasingly important in relaying health messages to younger audiences during the pandemic.
"The UK government hired influencers to help relay Covid-19 safety messages to young people using the platform. This trend will likely continue in 2021 as the pandemic continues to be part of our everyday lives," she added.