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Stopping the Swipe (away): Strategies to Keep Gen Z Hooked on Your Social Media

Written by Talia Fields

Branding Executive

Are you falling victim to the vicious cycle of being ghosted on social media? Don’t be ashamed to admit that you’re struggling to capture the attention of young people online. As a 19-year-old myself, I am “young people,” and I understand how difficult we can be. We’re quick to judge and have short attention spans, but we crave connections. In today’s digital world, social media marketing is essential to a company’s success. While my generation has made it quite a challenge to keep us entertained, I’m going to (hopefully) make it seem less daunting by giving you tactics and strategies to successfully attract the younger crowds to your social media page.

Know your audience: While we all like to think we’re the funniest people around, you can’t approach social media with that mindset because it will quickly humble you. Just because you find something cute or silly doesn’t mean your audience will, and that’s where things can go downhill. You need to generate content that is interesting to your target audience. Whether they find it funny, relatable, or even sad, you just need to find what works at keeping the younger audiences focused on your social media pages. An easy way to do this is to follow the online trends your audience is currently enjoying, learn what is so captivating about them, and use that to inspire the content you post. Are aesthetic “Day in the Life” videos circulating? What is the most popular TikTok dance at the moment? Tip: Need inspiration? Follow Duolingo on TikTok!

Make “FOMO” your best friend: One thing about the younger generations is that we are notorious for letting the “fear of missing out” (FOMO) control our actions. People want to belong and be part of something. Therefore, the pressure and emotions of potentially missing out on an opportunity can easily influence them. Some examples include exclusive member offers, “limited time only” deals, early bird discounts, and limited free product samples. Also, partnering with influencers who can market your brand will attract their audience to your company or products. Their followers won’t want to fall behind on the trends, bringing them straight to your page. Tip: People remember the brands that do giveaways and freebies. Implementing these into your social media marketing strategy will help build trust and positive relationships with your customers.

Fewer words, more buttons: Be short and sweet. Young people have short attention spans, so they need something quick and visually appealing. A cute slogan or play on words in the caption is more attractive than lengthy pieces of text. Whether it’s a short video or a graphic with bolded words and vibrant colors, the post needs to satisfy the audience long enough that they view the message and don’t swipe away. It’s too easy to swipe to the next post on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. In fact, your post might not even have a chance to deliver the message if the viewer decides at first glance they would rather skip it. This leads to the second part of this tactic, which is to create content that your audience can actively interact with. For example, you can prompt your followers to repost something on their story or even offer a freebie for those who share the post with friends. Tip: Here’s a list of things you can do to increase interactions on your Instagram story: polls, quizzes, conversation starters, live Q&A sessions.

These strategies are simple but effective. Being consistent and real will get you “in'' with the young people. Step out of your comfort zone and think outside the box. Be innovative and inspiring. There is a lot that goes into social media marketing, and it will sometimes feel frustrating going through the trial-and-error process, but eventually results will show. Good luck, and happy posting!

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