Social media and how to really ‘reach’ the ever-changing under 25 demographic

I know your first question might be – how would you know?! Hi, I’m Shayan. PR intern at Purplefish, and a mix between the millennial and generation-Z ‘cohort’.

TikTok? TheShadeRoom? Finding the new ‘it-girl’ Influencer?! Yes, it is 2021 – the second year of a new decade that has seen phenomenal growth and constant change in the world of social media.

From the launch and undeniable global impact of Facebook in the late 2000’s, to platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok gaining billions of users, it seems like there’s a new platform being created every month. Along with new ‘updates’ and ‘features’ regularly released within each one.

The core target market in mind for each release, and the main consumers behind the surge in popularity, would be none other than the young, tech and social media obsessed under 25 demographic – otherwise known as ‘millennials’ or ‘Generation Z’.

Notorious for having a thirst for anything exciting, appealing, trending, entertaining, viral, and how could you forget – an element of shock-value! It can be hard to keep up.

The question is – how can your business stand out? How can you really engage young people to consume, want to buy, or even look twice at a particular product or service?

You need an original concept

We have seen it all before at this point – trust me! And we don’t like complete copy-cats. We understand businesses can have similar ideas, but there needs to be something new or different about your business that keeps us coming back. Once you find this – it will be a game changer.    

Factor in presentation that’s simple yet appealing!

We are very visual – almost too visual. Everything has to look good and stand out whatever the business, product or service is, it can’t be ‘basic’. Graphics need to be sleek and modern for the most part and everything should be easy to read and digest. When scrolling through an over-saturated Instagram feed – lighting, placement, positioning, and tone need to be factored in!

Throw in an element of humor

A key factor in the popularity behind YouTube, TikTok or Snapchat is that a high level of entertainment is provided on purpose to get a memorable reaction. Campaigns don’t need to turn into watered down comedy sketches but having an element of fun is definitely important to a young demographic.

Overall, a lot of us need and want to see diversity and inclusivity

It is very important to be inclusive, as a generation we want to see different ethnicity, different styles and a variety of shapes featured in campaigns. Recent social movements advocating for more diverse representation make this a crucial factor now more than ever. 

Using relatable influencers

If we can’t relate to your business’s spokesperson or ambassador – sales will definitely be affected. It is important that businesses put time and research into picking what influencer they select as well as factoring in how ‘active’ this person is on their platform and the ratio between following and actual engagement on each post. P.S. If it’s an ‘#ad’ the trick is not to make it appear or feel like one!

Blogs, blogs, blogs!

Yes, we live in a time where a lot of the under 25 demographics get their information from ‘blogs’ on Instagram. We most definitely want the tea, the gossip, the exclusive, and all the ‘facts’ presented in a way that’s easy to read and doesn’t require too much time. Factoring this into a marketing campaign is important when working out where to spend budget as a ‘post’ to one of these pages could gain over 500,000 impressions from this demographic.

Using each apps key features

Make use of each app’s key features! For example, Instagram live, Snapchat filters, hashtags or tagging. These features give your online presence or social media account a more ‘interactive’ feel as shown with popular brands that have gained a highly positive response from this demographic such as fashion brand PrettyLittleThing, Make-Up brand Anastasia Beverly Hills, and sportswear brand Nike.

Shock Value

I hate to admit it, but as part of demographic I know all too well that this is a very important factor when aiming to gain the attention of millennials and Generation Z. Without compromising ethics or your brands core values – thinking outside the box, and potentially partnering with creatives could be key to seeing a rise in shares, engagement and following – which overall contributes to an increase in business.