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How to keep up with the Gen Z – by Hashtag’s Maha Hussein

Hashtag’s Maha Hussein offers some insights for millennials

It’s undeniable that Gen Z plays a major role in the social media industry nowadays. The majority of the trendsetters, influencers, entrepreneurs and some of the well-known faces and success stories are from that age group. But are millennials at risk somehow? Are they getting replaced in the workspace? Are millennials supposed to look at different industries and shift careers if Gen Z is taking over social media?

As the market changes, there is something new every day to be offered, there is always an edge with each age group. Gen Z might be trendsetters but millennials are the know-howers. But in order for a millennial to keep up with the market pace, daily changes and trends, they had to incorporate a new perception into their mindsets, a compound interest in the form of having an ‘adaptive’ way of thinking to build up every day.

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, and each generation has its unique way of interacting with it. In order to be a ‘digital native’, a super adaptive and flexible mindset is essential to excel in your career in social media without losing your identity or edge.

So here is a 101 guide to understanding Gen Z, and maintaining your nostalgic millennial spirit.

First, you need to understand yourself as a millennial. We grew up to witness all the technological changes in the market, we lived through the disruption and the internet explosion, we have a huge emotional nostalgic persona, value privacy, are known for being curious and independent as we are the first to truly grasp the digital world.

In a workplace, you will find us fulfilled with a responsible attitude, work ethics and the drive to do and achieve more in life. But in order to thrive in a competitive market, you need to understand them.

Social media and wifi have been part of Gen Z’s vernacular from birth, they were practically born with smartphones in their hands, and they are true digital natives. As technology has always been so integrated into their lives, Gen Z is typically more progressive in the digital world than their millennial counterparts, frequently being at the forefront of emerging trends on TikTok and Instagram.

The main question here is – how to keep up with Gen Z and understand the assignment?

Regular captions that are hard selling are now old-school. If you don’t incorporate some Gen Z slang in the middle, you lose a whole segment of your audience.

It goes without saying that video content now is the main key player in the market, Use short-form video content like TikTok or Instagram Reels to engage with your audience. Some platforms like TikTok offer creative centres to help their users with some creative tips to elevate their accounts and content creation process.

91 per cent of Gen Z prefer video content over other marketing formats. This is why TikTok is considered one of the top platforms to market eye-catching campaigns that speak directly to Gen Z. TikTok revolves around bite-sized entertainment, whereas Instagram is viewed as their hub of social media.

Some Gen Zers identify TikTok as the new Google (but better), it’s the main source to conceptualize and search for references and trends. Gen Zs love humour and memes. Use humour to connect with your audience and create shareable content. The desire for fun is so meaningful and helps them traverse some difficult times.

They are passionate about social and environmental issues as well. Show your support for important causes and make sure your brand or profile aligns with your values. Gen Z use social media as their main source of shopping inspiration as they don’t just want entertainment from other users. They’re looking for fun content from brands too.

Spending 30 minutes daily to go through a diversity of content on TikTok and Instagram will help you stay up to date with trending transactions, audio, and ideas. TikTok is the new source for cultural trends – and Gen Z is first in line to see and create them. 

You don’t have to be a huge name to spark a trend. On TikTok, users fall in love with ideas first, whether that’s a trending song, a popular video concept or a viral visual aspect. Gen Z is consistent when it comes to content creation and posting, they are not scared  to try out new trends no matter how fancy or silly they are. By taking major content-related risks, some creations go viral and make an account more recognisable.

Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to connect with people, share information and build communities. While Gen Z is dominating the social media industry with trendsetting influencers and entrepreneurs, millennials can still excel by adapting to the ever-changing market and incorporating Gen Z’s digital native perspective.

By Maha Hussein, Social Media Manager at Hashtag