Generation Z is estimated to influence $143 billion in spending in the U.S. alone, according to a study by ad agency Barkley, so Facebook IQ turned its attention to the members of that group with the most direct spending power, those aged 18 through 24.
A Facebook-commissioned study by Qualtrics found that 71% of Gen Z respondents want to see more diversity in advertising.
The social network’s research arm said, “Strategists can engage this new generation by developing messaging that embraces diversity, inclusion and adaptable lifestyles. Forward-thinking brands are already finding ways to celebrate this cultural elasticity in creative ways.”
Facebook IQ cited clothing retailer Asos as an example, noting that it created a youth-focused fashion line, Collusion, with items that are all sustainable, animal-free and gender-fluid.
Asos used the poll sticker in Instagram Stories to find that nearly two-thirds of respondents believed clothes should not be gender-specific.
Facebook IQ also found in a Facebook-commissioned survey by Crowd DNA that 43% of Gen Zers have difficulties when choosing what to watch, listen to and read, and Instagram plays a key role in helping them answer those questions.
The top interests followed by Gen Zers on Instagram are:
- Food and drinks
And Gen Zers see Instagram as a place for interacting with:
- Friends and family
Facebook IQ wrote, “On Instagram, brands can showcase their values with content that speaks to Gen Zers in their universal, native language: visuals. Whether that’s Stories, emojis, stickers or all of the above, the content doesn’t need to be overly polished. Gen Z intuitively filters out anything irrelevant or inauthentic—so aim to take some risks and experiment with creative, personalized tactics. Given that 60% of Gen Zers surveyed wish they could message more businesses, brands have a clear opportunity to invite one-on one dialogue and modernize how they connect with Gen Z.”
Crowd DNA found that 61% of Gen Zers would pay more for goods that are produced in an ethical and sustainable way.
And in a Facebook-commissioned study, Qualtrics learned that 77% of Gen Zers feel more positive toward a brand when it promotes gender equality on social media, while just 45% felt represented in the ads they saw when it came to diversity.
The social network’s research arm wrote, “Members of Gen Z find gratification in evolving their identities from ‘me’ to ‘we.’ These digital-savvy, younger consumers tend to deeply value inclusivity, community and building a better world. The brands that demonstrate their altruistic values and communicate authentically will be the ones to connect most meaningfully with this generation.”
Finally, Facebook IQ shared three takeaways for marketers:
- Provide value to communities: As young people open their communities to brands, the lines of communication should flow both ways. Marketers should try not to think of a community as a target audience; it’s more about collaborating on its initiatives and engaging in ongoing dialogue.
- Embrace a social purpose: Give back in a way that makes sense for your brand—like creating sustainable products, supporting local artisans or taking a stand on a major issue that your audience cares about. Draw inspiration from some of the nonprofits on Facebook and discover how a shared belief can mobilize a generation.
- Modernize messaging: Gen Z embraces an open dialogue with brands, looking to chat for a wide variety of reasons. From Instagram to messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Messenger, find ways to meet people where they are and streamline the consumer journey.