"The Gen Z Method”

Liat Blumner

Public Relations and Content Account Manager with Percepto

Using Tone to Target Younger Audiences on Social Media

Gen Z are the future. Love us or loathe us, we’re the ones making waves in the workforce, becoming financially independent and deciding on where our brand loyalty lies.

In today’s rapidly changing digital landscape, social media has become an essential tool for businesses looking to connect with younger audiences. The proliferation of mobile devices and the popularity of streaming services have made it easier than ever to access and consume video content on demand, leading to a greater demand for shorter, more concise videos that can be quickly consumed and shared with others. Our attention spans have been shaped by the constant bombardment of information and stimuli in the digital age, making it more difficult to focus on longer videos or other forms of media. Shorter videos also tend to be more easily digestible and can be watched on the go, making them a convenient option for busy people who want to consume content on their phones or tablets while on the move.

With over 2 billion downloads, TikTok has quickly emerged as one of the most popular social media platforms, particularly among Generation Z. Brands have recognized the potential of TikTok as a powerful marketing tool, creating engaging and entertaining content that resonates with users. However, in order to effectively reach and connect with Generation Z on TikTok, it’s essential to understand their unique vocabulary, commenting styles and cultural references. By speaking the same language as their customers and engaging with them in an authentic way, brands can build lasting relationships with Gen Z on TikTok and beyond. 


Strategies for Effective Brand Engagement

“The Gen Z Method” refers to a set of strategies aimed at effectively targeting the Gen Z demographic by understanding their relationship with media. With social media playing a crucial role in shaping the behavior and preferences of younger audiences, it is imperative to recognize its prevalence . Recent statistics indicate that 94% of Gen Zers are active on social media, with TikTok emerging as the most popular platform globally – and Gen Z making up 60% of its users. The COVID-19 pandemic further fueled the popularity of TikTok, with 700 million users joining the platform during quarantine. Consequently, its success has led to the development of similar features on other social media platforms wanting to follow suit, including Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Facebook Shorts.

In order to effectively reach and connect with Generation Z on TikTok, brands have been observing and studying their unique vocabulary, colloquialism and commenting styles. This includes analyzing the use of specific hashtags, emojis and slang that are popular among Gen Z users on the platform. By understanding the language and cultural references that resonate with this audience, brands can create content that feels authentic and relatable, which is essential for building trust and credibility. Furthermore, brands can use this information to inform their marketing strategies and create content that speaks directly to their target audience. 

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Reaching Gen Z Through TikTok

Brands can use TikTok to communicate with their audience through sponsored posts, influencer partnerships, and branded content. By creating engaging and entertaining content that resonates with TikTok users, they effectively build brand awareness, reach a new audience and drive engagement and sales. TikTok’s algorithm also makes it easy for brands to reach a targeted audience, with the platform using data and analytics on user behavior and interests to deliver content to the most relevant users. In short, TikTok provides brands with a unique opportunity to connect in a way that is both fun and effective.

Tailoring content to Generation Z can be a challenging task due to the complexity and independence of their language, which is often full of slang and hidden meaning. Online language evolves quickly, so it’s essential to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in order to effectively engage with them. In the past decade alone, the Oxford Dictionary has added 800 new words, most of them being slang-oriented.  “The Gen Z Method” has been widely adopted by numerous brands, who have leveraged the power of TikTok to connect with younger audiences and stay relevant in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. From Duolingo to Delta airlines, companies of all sizes have created TikTok accounts and capitalized on the latest trends by commenting on viral content. While these brands remain respected among consumers of all ages, they have skillfully adapted their marketing strategies to reach their younger audience on their preferred platform.

Examples of Excellence

One good example of “The Gen Z Method” in action is the beauty brand e.l.f. cosmetics. They have created a successful TikTok account and have used the platform to showcase their products and engage with their audience. They have leveraged TikTok’s viral challenges and trends to create entertaining and engaging content that resonates with Gen Z users. They have also partnered with popular TikTok creators to promote their products, which has helped them reach a wider audience. By understanding the unique language and culture of Gen Z, e.l.f. has been able to create a strong brand presence on TikTok with over 770,000 followers by connecting with their target audience in a meaningful way. 

e.l.f. has used TikTok’s viral challenges and trends such as the “Flip the Switch” challenge, where two people switch outfits and dance to a specific song. In e.l.f.’s version, they used their products as props and showcased them in a fun and creative way. The beauty company also partnered with influencers such as Charli D’melio to promote their “Jelly Pop” line through dance videos.  By understanding the unique language and culture of Gen Z, they have created content that resonates with their target audience that helps them build a strong brand presence on the platform. 

Navigating a Rapidly Changing Landscape

As we continue to navigate this rapidly changing digital landscape, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and behaviors, and to adapt our strategies accordingly. With the right approach, businesses can leverage the power of social media and connect with their audiences in meaningful and impactful ways. 

To effectively target your audience, it is crucial to become part of your audience. By downloading social media apps and conducting your research through observation, posting, and interacting with your audience, your business can gain more exposure. 

In a world where attention spans are shorter than ever, “The Gen Z Method” is giving a recipe for success that’s both fun and effective – so don’t be afraid to embrace your inner TikToker bestie and start speaking the language of Gen Z!

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