When it comes to running any business successfully, it’s important to reach out to a variety of customers. Way back when, baby boomers were the main demographic; but now, times are changing. At first, millennials became a huge group to market your products and services to, and you had to adapt to using social media and understanding their obsession with avocado toast. And now, there’s another group you have to learn to market to–Gen Zers. Even though they’re a little like the millennials that came before them, there are some stark differences. They trust advertising less and are less likely to spend money.
So when it comes to getting them to become your customers, it can seem almost impossible to gain the trust of a generation that’s even more jaded and distrusting of businesses than their predecessors. Luckily, there are some strategies that work.
1 Make your presence mobile-friendly
Gen Zers, more than anyone else, live on their phones. They grew up playing on their parents’ iPads, and spend many hours socializing with friends on apps like Snapchat and Instagram. According to Google, “Today’s teens had phones when they were in elementary or middle school, compared to high school or college for their older counterparts. And that shift is already shaping behaviors. Teens are moving from texting to messaging apps and from shopping on desktop computers to shopping on their phones.”
So if you have a website, it has to be optimized for mobile use. Going mobile-first is an even better idea, especially now that search engine companies are giving higher SEO rankings to sites that are designed with mobile in mind. Additionally, it’s not a bad idea to develop an app related to your business. For example, if you’re running a restaurant, create an app that makes it easy for customers to create their own creative entrées–and reward the best one by putting it on your menu and giving the winner a free meal. This also has the additional benefit of truly engaging with your customers, which is a huge value for this generation.
2 Get on Youtube, Instagram, and Snapchat
Being mobile-friendly means having a huge social media presence. And even though you should be active on all social media profiles, there’s nowhere better for getting Gen Zers’ attention than Youtube, Instagram, and Snapchat. In large part, this is because Gen Zers love visual content. The most popular social media apps for them are Youtube (85 percent), Instagram (72 percent), and Snapchat (69 percent). So if you were thinking of writing a blog post called “What is B2B Dropshipping,” you might be better off answering the question in a video or a fun infographic explaining how it works.
Additionally, don’t forget to optimize your social media profiles as much as possible. For Instagram, get a Business for Instagram account, so that you’ll get more views (and get free statistics about who’s looking at your images). Use all the right hashtags, too. If someone’s commenting on your YOutube videos, reply to them thoughtfully; too often, businesses forget that the comments section is a great place to make new connections.
3 Have strong values–and prove it
Gen Zers are a political group. Partly because they’ve grown up with the spotlight consistently on them, but also because they’re the most diverse generation in all of America, they have a lot of ideas of how they want the world to be. They don’t trust capitalism, which means they don’t trust businesses. So if you want them to respect you as a business, you need to brand yourself as a company with strong values.
For example, if you run a pizza parlor, you can work with only local food suppliers, and start recycling initiatives. Then, spread the word about this, and make it a huge part of your mission. Again, engaging with customers helps, too–so the next time you’re starting an initiative, ask customers if they have any ideas about how you can be more inclusive or more green.
4 Have great customer service–and listen
Finally, if you want Gen Zers to love your business, you need to make them feel like they’re valued. As one of the youngest generations in the US, they’re not taken as seriously as they’d like to–despite the fact that they understand more about finance than the generation that came before them.
So reply to their queries immediately. Have a thorough Q&A section on your website. Invest in AI solutions so that you can be available 24/7. And when they have questions or concerns, think about them seriously, and think about how these comments might help you reshape your business as a whole. Gen Zers are going to make up 40 percent of the world’s population by 2020, so it’s time to listen to them.
These are some of the best ways to get Gen Zers to become your customers. What other strategies do you think would work?