Using Social Media at Events to engage Generation Z

If you want your event’s marketing and social media activities to resonate with your chosen target market, you’ll need to know what makes that specific audience tick. Which all sounds simple enough – until you start taking into consideration each different generation’s consumer behaviour and technological know-how.

Baby Boomers and Gen Z’s are poles apart when it comes to their use of social media channels

Take the Baby Boomer generation and Generation Z (or ‘Zed’), for example. ‘Baby Boomer’ is the collective name given to those individuals born in the years following the Second World War – from around 1946 to 1964. Bearing in mind that the internet was only really taking form from about 1964 onwards, it’s safe to assume that Baby Boomers have been less influenced by digital technology than Gen Z, who’ve actually never known a world without the influence of the World Wide Web.

As ‘digital’ or ‘mobile’ natives (thanks to being born between 1995 and 2009), Gen Z’s engagement with using social media at events will completely differ to their older counterparts, and so it’s probably a good idea to cut your teeth on this age group if you’re wanting to learn how to target future generations with your social media marketing activities.

So, what is Gen Z’s primary engagement and learning style?

The oldest of the Gen Z’s have just finished their first three years of tertiary education. If they are attending your events, they will be there as corporate interns or in junior positions in the business. Realistically though, most of them are still at school. What do you need to know about them to sufficiently engage them at your future corporate events?

According to a Slideshare by Mark McCrindle, Gen Z’s engagement style is visual, as opposed to verbal. They like to participate in an activity (‘Try and See’) and don’t just want to sit and listen to a speaker or expert share their insights with them. They prefer to be facilitated and collaborated with, instead of merely being told what to do. Gen Z’s also value an open book approach to their learning, which makes a great deal of sense considering the almost unlimited access to information that they’ve been afforded from a very young age.

What this translates to in real-world terms is that Gen Z’s are looking for interactive, audio-visual event experiences that require them to be hands-on in their engagement. Information needs to be quickly and visually delivered to them, while being readily accessible via multiple touch points. This will have an impact on how they will be using social media at events.

What’s the best way to market your events to Gen Z?

How they shop, learn and communicate: From an interesting Marketo infographic, we learn that Gen Z are adept researchers who are skilled in using online resources to learn, collaborate and get a job done. They use mobile technology to shop online. Gen Z’s use images to communicate and are comfortable with using multiple devices at the same time, with many browser tabs running simultaneously.

Their social media habits: When it comes to using social media at events, keep in mind that this generation values their privacy more so than the previous generation of Millennials, and so migrate to social media platforms like Snapchat, Secret and Whisperer. In fact, this infographic would imply that many of them aren’t on social media channels like Facebook or Instagram at all.

YouTube and push notifications: According to a Forbes blog, they are also twice more likely to use YouTube than Millennials, emails are regarded as an outdated form of communication, and they are “three times likelier to open a chat message received through a push notification”. This is great news for marketers and should be leveraged when using social media at events to promote your corporate brand.

We love these points from the Marketo infographic on how to market your events and use social media to engage Gen Z effectively. As an marketing event manager you will need to:

1.) Use multiple screens at your event to visually communicate information to them
2.) Deliver ‘snackable’ content that is short and easy for them to digest
3.) Feed their innate curiosity with interesting facts and figures and harness their entrepreneurial spirit by involving them in problem solving and collaboration.
4.) Give your target audience choices in the way information is delivered to them (i.e. use multiple channels in your communication with them)
5.) Include live-streaming technology and collaboration at your event
6.) Ensure that Gen Z’s walk away from your event having learned something applicable and valuable to their future

You’ll be happy to know that The RSVP Agency’s Event Registration Software can help streamline the rest of your event planning processes, freeing you up to learn how to adapt your event marketing strategies to cater to Gen Z’s unique social media engagement style and approach.

For more information, download our Event Marketing Guide.

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