Why Gen Z are the Makers or Breakers of Instagram in 2022 & How Brands Can Engage Them
Here’s a fun fact that brands on Instagram will love to know. A whopping 97% of Gen Z cohorts say that social media is their primary inspiration for their shopping. For many, social media is their shopping destination too.
According to a 2021 Pew Research survey, 71% of these new-age social media users heavily use Instagram for content consumption and product purchase needs. Suffice to say that Gen Z is making a significant mark on Instagram – an impact big enough to make or break your company’s efforts.
This article explores why Gen Z is so important for marketers on Instagram and how brands can successfully engage and convert them.
In search of authentic experiences
In 2020, McKinsey & Co researched in partnership with Box1824 to understand the engagement and purchase psychology of Gen Z cohorts. What makes this age group tick, and how is the best way to market to them. The results were intriguing.
One common and resounding refrain that McKinsey and Box1824 received from Gen Z was the desire for genuine and authentic experiences, focusing on individualized expression and a desire to explore their identity and place in the world.
As it turned out, Gen Z cohorts place a significant value on how “real” a product, service, or experience they were consuming. And they were willing to go to great lengths to procure truly authentic products, services, and experiences. This was why McKinsey and Box1824 dubbed Gen Z as the “True Gen” – those more willing to accept diverse perspectives and participate in multi-cultural lifestyles that might be different from their own.
This explains to a large extent why these new-age social media users depend on Instagram and have such a pivotal impact on it.
Gen Z’s relationship with Instagram
The social circumstances determine every cohort’s psychology it grows up. For Baby Boomers, the World War shaped their thrifty attitude. For Gen X, the limitless possibility of wealth creation and status-building opportunities propelled their purchases. When Millennials came around, it was the age of self-centered experience building – where the age of want replaced the age of need.
Finally, we have Gen Z, born into an environment with no shortage of access to information opportunities. This, coupled with the freedom to experience life both on a personal and community/global level, thanks to the reach and pervasiveness of mobile phones and social media platforms.
A Business Insider survey shows that Gen Z has a distinct preference for Instagram compared to other social media channels. Over 65% use Instagram every day compared to just 34% who use Facebook. The reasons are simple:
- Instagram allows these new-age social media users to get a glimpse into the authentic life experiences of people all over the world. With Instagram, Gen Z gets to discover new products, services, and experiences sold by brands that have a heritage in producing them (as opposed to mass-produced and inauthentic substitutes).
- Plus, the Instagram aesthetic – designed to make the most mundane moments look spectacularly out-of-this-world – adds an idealized quality to the content. This is highly compelling to Gen Z social media users.
- Finally, Instagram’s unique shopping ads and carousels allow Gen Z members to add items that catch their fancy to the cart immediately. They can check out with their new purchases right on the app. The ease of acquisition provides instant gratification, another trait of these new-age social media users.
In short, through Instagram, Gen Z social media users discover smaller brands that they may have never heard of but which they know for sure can offer them unique and authentic shopping experiences. They are willing to pay more for the product and often buy more frequently, especially if they are shown that the brand has sustainably sourced and created these offerings.
In this way, they pave the way for smaller, less-known brands (which otherwise may not receive much traction) to get higher engagement and, in turn, higher sales.
How Gen Z could make or mar your marketing efforts
The current Instagram algorithm suggests content based on engagement level. The higher a user engages with a particular type of content or account, the more often similar content and accounts will be suggested. Any other content that doesn’t receive as much engagement is actively suppressed.
New-age social media users from Gen Z are more conscious and mindful about which brands they interact with and which they don’t. Engagement could be hard to come by if marketers don’t smartly work with Gen Z cohorts on Instagram. A brand that once received immense traffic through social media may find itself ignored and cast aside by not engaging with Gen Z prospects the right way. They might see that Gen Z is chipping away from their market share more quickly than they can acquire them.
Top 4 ways to engage with Gen Z on Instagram
1. Use stories and reels to showcase your products and services
Studies have shown that Gen Z has the shortest attention span to date, at just 8 seconds. Therefore, numerous studies have observed the rise in consumption of short-form content. These predominantly include blog posts or videos that are under 30 seconds long. Some of the best-performing videos are between 10 and 15 seconds long.
Instagram stories and reels allow brands to create super short content pieces to engage with Gen Z. From teasing a new product about to be launched to fast-forwarded unboxings to showing product hacks, a lot can be done to make short videos entertaining and informative.
These days, many Gen Z’ers are also using TikTok on Instagram. Marketers can repurpose the TikTok videos they create and use them to start a trend on Instagram centered around their product or service.
2. Use posts to share about your ethical sourcing and operations
Human interest stories are a massive hit amongst new-age social media users like Gen Z. In fact, you can use this to your advantage by showcasing your behind-the-scenes operations and displaying your ethical and sustainable sourcing techniques. You can share content in your posts, from interviews with the locals to candid shots of your operations to even infographics that make technical product/processing specifications easy to understand.
Gen Z loves to see the farm-to-table story, which strengthens their need for genuine and unique experiences. You can even consider giving them a short glimpse into your complete 360-degrees operations to garner their trust and patronage.
3. Tap into their FOMO
The Fear Of Missing Out is a real threat to Gen Z social media users. Given how busy life is these days, there is nothing more than Gen Z cohorts hate than missing out on a product or service that their peers have already experienced.
One of the best ways to get Gen Z to engage with you actively is to create time-sensitive offers. For example, adding “Offer valid only for 24 hours” to your product listing on Instagram will get you more clicks, site visits, and possibly even purchases, compared to just giving a discount outright. It would help if you made Gen Z fear the prospect of not getting the chance to try your brand, and that’s when they’re likely to engage with you sooner.
4. Get more people to talk about their experiences with your brand
As part of their desire for “real and true” experiences, new-age social media users like Gen Z love to hear from people from around the world. For Gen Z cohorts, getting a native person’s positive confirmation about purchase authenticity makes them more likely to become frequent buyers of a brand.
You’ll often see Gen Z social media users actively scanning the comments on Instagram and engaging with other commenters more often than they do with the brand. There’s a new trend on various social media channels, including Instagram, called “Comment Things Gen Z Would Say,” where the comments written under a post are used as inspiration to create new content and celebrate the quirkiness of Gen Z social media audience.
Marketers can use this trend to connect with their Gen Z audience members personally and develop a more youthful personality. If you are a small brand and don’t have any comments on your post, why use free Instagram comments? These free Instagram comments can help you build brand credibility. When new-age social media users find your brand account on Instagram, they’ll find the presence of comments as proof of your being an authentic and trustworthy brand.
These free Instagram comments are easy to acquire and customized to suit your brand image, marketing objective, and post content. They can quickly jumpstart communication about and around your brand by attracting authentic followers.
Choose Mr. Insta to supercharge your brand engagement with Gen Z today.
Mr. Insta is an Instagram growth platform with immense experience helping companies develop a consistent and memorable brand presence on Instagram. We offer free Instagram comments, views, and likes that can help increase your brand presence while creating a compelling appeal to prospective Gen Z users.
We also offer free Instagram followers to brands who want to protect their content from being suppressed due to lower engagement. When you are a start-up or an SME with a brand new Instagram account, it can be challenging to find followers who can give you the engagement you need to ensure your content isn’t inundated amidst the competition. With the help of free Instagram followers, you’ll be able to create a good brand presence that Instagram users and prospective buyers will be able to trust.
Soon you’ll see that the free Instagram followers help you attract authentic Gen Z followers (and those of other cohorts), supercharging your way to social media success. Contact us to know more about our services. We discuss your requirements and mindfully deliver these comments, likes, views, and followers depending on your unique marketing goals.
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