Gen Z prefers specialized and decentralized online communities over centralized ones like Facebook. Marketers research and survey to understand the Gen Z mindset to strategize and target them accordingly.
As Gen Z becomes a major part of the workforce, and acquires higher purchasing power, marketers are trying to shift the focus on understanding what pushes their purchasing decisions. The social media remains to rule as a primary channel of interaction for Gen Z. Marketers need to turn social to get under the skin of this Gen Z audience to understand their perception and choices. Social media helps to build and maintain connections with the target audience, both online and offline, to understand what pulls their interest. Gen Z has been labelled as entrepreneurial, activists devoted to social good.
A survey identified Gen Zs from all over the UK to understand their day-to-day activities. Top brands focus on understanding and reaching out to this financially powerful and diverse generation as they come of age. Gen Z is a generation that is making sense of the polarised hyper-connected world where they can communicate in infinite ways while forging new identities . This comes from blending and uniting with more niche subcultures having old habits such as our original instincts kick in.
The survey highlighted a few observations about GenZ:
Conscious contradiction – Gen Z are aware and acceptant about both sides of any argument. They might ‘hate’ a brand, but a moment later, flaunt a product from that same brand. They are known to have contradictory viewpoints, that doesn’t bother them in the slightest. They are actively switching, not absentmindedly contradicting.
Learn / Unlearn – The internet provided Gen Z with many sources and methods for learning. Gen Z has grown up with fake news with no single version of the truth, which has increased their reliance on the internet and social media to explore new directions, facts and interpretations not taught by the ‘establishment’.
United and divided – Gen Z are open to discussions around diversity and inclusion, raising the potential for conflict. The division exists at a high level for Gen Z based on race, equality, socio-economics, and so their response is to reach unity in smaller, more comfortable to reach places – physical local community or digital. Finstas are the unfiltered private Instagram accounts shared only with close friends/family, “niche memes”, and private Facebook groups, are a manifestation of Gen Z’s digital world.
Ephemeral vs permanent – In today’s transparent world, the likes of Netflix, Spotify and Kindle have toppled their physical counterparts as the Gen Z is rushing towards impermanence. They’ll flood their Instagram account when they get bored of it or look forward to changes in their life. They value material things they can touch as these tangible pieces of their past make them feel grounded in a hyper-connected, fast-paced life. Permanence is a value, an idea, and a status for them.
Inverse influence – The influencers appear to be touching new heights of popularity, but their control over Gen Z is limited, as influencers with mega reputation tend to be unappealing to the Gen Z. They actively favour and follow those with hard-earned credibility having the genuine skill, an interesting perspective, an established talent, or the decision-makers.
Hyper-hybrids – Gen Z is the most fluid generation. They don’t see themselves in binary terms anymore – they can be many things all at once. This fluidity doesn’t just apply to sexual orientation or gender, but also their broader interests. As Gen Z has embraced hybrid identities, they have become more receptive and eager to embrace combined messaging from brands, e.g. unexpected and spontaneous collaborations between talents with different skill sets.
These behavioural traits of the Gen Z help marketers to form guided strategies and marketing activities on online forums.
A leading mobile forum app has declared that participating in online communities feel better understood by other members than by those on mainstream social media or even people in real life (IRL). Marketers are relying completely on specialised online communities engage Gen Z. Another survey conducted to study the behavioral traits of Gen Z show that people belonging to online communities such as forums, felt a greater sense of connection. Almost three quarters (74%) confirmed that belonging to an online community has increased their connectivity to the world, while 77% said it had reported overall well-being enhancement. 83% of the expert community members feel it is easier to find people passionate about a particular topic online easily as compared to the real world. The engagement within these communities is robust, and many members see great value in the exchange of ideas with others.
Online forums play an important role as a place where people feel comfortable discussing their passions and challenges. The popularity of these specialised online communities will continue to grow as people seek greater exchange and connection.
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