How Do You Market Your Brand to a Young Audience on Social Media?

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Targeting a younger audience on social media comes with a few challenges. For one, senior marketers aren’t always familiar with current trends. For another, they may not know why these trends are popular and therefore have a hard time emulating tactics that appeal to youths.

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That doesn’t mean experience isn’t an asset. Plenty of brands, both old and new, have found a home with Millennials and Gen Z audiences using a mix of traditional and innovative tactics.

How to Reach a Younger Audience on Social Media

Millennials and Gen Z are the most educated, racially diverse, and progressive generations in human history, and they’ll want to see, read, and listen to campaigns that reflect this reality.

1. Focus on Your Values

When engaging with a new brand on social media, younger audiences care just as much about your company as the products and services you sell. 45% of Gen Zers say that transparency and trustworthiness are the biggest motivating factors for engagement on all social platforms.

In the end, young audiences want you to practice what you preach. If you’re an eco-friendly brand that cares about the environment, be sure to make content that highlights this aspect. At the same time, it’s a bad idea to do something that contradicts these values, even secretly.

2. Avoid Performance Activism

Putting on a facade of activism while doing nothing to support a cause will make you enemy number 1, and you won’t have another shot at a second impression. In fact, young people are more likely to block you on all platforms, as they won’t hesitate to cancel shallow brands.

Rainbow-washing your June campaigns and celebrating women’s rights one day a year is unethical. However, if you donate real money, volunteer or attend marches, and uplift marginalized voices, you’ll prove you actually want to show up and care for these causes.

3. Market Your Brand on TikTok

TikTok is well-known for having a young user base. Millennials and Gen Z make up the bulk of its user demographic, with females dominating the platform. For this reason, advertising on TikTok is a no-brainer, but you have to get comfortable with producing video-based content first.

Keep in mind that influencers run the platform, and you’re more likely to become popular if you pay close attention to trends. Engage with trending hashtags in your niche and follow relevant accounts, as you can review popular marketing strategies and adopt them for your own brand. 

4. Speak Their Language

Being able to use Millennial and Gen Z language will pay off big time. Similar to any other language, immersion is your best teaching tool. Start your research by following younger creators. Pay attention to their vocabulary, jokes, acronyms, emojis, and music preferences.

The best way to market to younger audiences? Hire a young person. There are plenty of Gen Zers and Millennials who know how to market to their own generation. They’re also more likely to spend a lot of time on social media, meaning they’re always learning and growing.

5. Avoid Sounding Out of Touch

There’s nothing more cringe-worthy than watching an out-of-touch brand try to market to a younger audience. You see this phenomenon everywhere, but it’s more common with brands that predate the internet. In decade-old companies, you’ll typically find a lot of senior marketers.

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Once again, being older isn’t a detriment, but it can be if you’re not open to change. It pays to listen to younger marketers, or even Millennials or Gen Zers, who literally grew up on these platforms. A 15-year-old knows how to market to younger audiences, so pay attention to them.

6. Work With Popular Influencers

Influencer marketing is still going strong, especially for younger demographics. 72% of Gen Z and Millennials follow influencers, and teenagers are more likely to follow many. Influencers are the most common source young people turn to when they want to learn about new products.

If you’re worried that influencer marketing may be too expensive, don’t be. Hundreds of creators will market your products at a decent price. Even if it was, hiring an influencer is more than worth it. It’s the most effective way to market to young people and build trust in your brand.

7. Above All Else, Be Entertaining

Why do people go on social media? To be entertained! Millennials and Gen Zers prefer to follow people who are entertaining, but that probably doesn’t come as a surprise. Unfortunately, most brand-heavy content lacks entertainment because it’s focused on selling, not providing value.

Young audiences love to follow brands that can take a joke or at least produce funny content. More often than not, they’ll follow creators that have a sharp, smart, or dark sense of humor. They’ll also share or watch content about social justice when they’re in a more serious mood. 

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