We’re well into the summer, which means students, especially those of Generation Z, are out of school and surfing social media at warp speed. For most young people, summer is a time of physical separation from the peers with whom they spend the school year learning and growing, and social media platforms provide the opportunity to stay connected. That same group is also profiting from a tremendous amount of downtime, looking for engaging creative media content to pass the time when summer activities are dormant.
Brands can take advantage of this – best practices for creating and distributing digital content for teens overwhelmingly resides in recent developments and innovations in popular social media platforms. Check out some of the platforms that Generation Z is sure to use this summer!
Snapchat and the Discover Tab
Snapchat, a leader with Gen Z for its personalized, hi-def visual communication and fun, photo filters, has experienced a variety of controversial updates and revamps this year. But for those creators and brands mass producing content, the consolidation of subscriptions and articles into the Discover Tab has made Snapchat a one-stop shop for young users to stay connected to their favorite products and creators. This feature allows Snapchat users to remain up to date with pop culture and entertainment news, developments in their favorite brands, and the hottest new fashion trends. In between maintaining Snapchat streaks (a tally of consecutive days spent sending snaps) with their closest friends, teens and young adults can remain in the know on how their favorite creators and brands are evolving.
Instagram and IGTV
Instagram has remained a constant among Gen Z, a generation of visual learners and engagers who enjoy the sense of creative and social community Instagram provides. In recent years, there’s been an uptick in the short-form creative and comedic communities that exist on Instagram, creating a whole new industry of Instagram comedians and personalities who are especially adept in engaging young people.
IGTV was launched on the wings of that momentum, allowing leading creators on Instagram to upload long-form videos (up to 60 minutes) into both the Instagram tab and a separate IGTV app, drawing competition with original content platforms like YouTube. It’s roll out at VidCon has already stirred up buzz among content creators at all levels and it’s sure to be an exciting addition to those teens who can’t get enough of Insta.
Twitter and the Pop Culture Zeitgeist
Twitter has had an immeasurable impact on written communication and humor through interpersonal engagement. Fast Food brands like Wendy’s and iHop, formerly iHob have already shown the power of molding the popular conversation simply through tweeting, successfully engaging through humor with younger consumers.
Gen Z is generally more openly opinionated on their social media, both culturally and politically as the most socially active generation ever. Twitter provides an authentic voice through the brevity and consistency of tweeting, allowing interest and opinion-based communities to form quickly around popular figures, trend, and ideas – superfan or “stan” culture is a hallmark example of how Gen Z tend to congregate on Twitter.
This constitutes a stark and fascinating difference between how young people use the cultural capabilities of Twitter, and how older adults use it for news and journalism. Brands should take advantage of trending topics and cultural moments by entering the conversation with the proper balance of meaningful, humorous engagement and pop culture knowledge.