5 Things That Make Gen Z & Millennials Follow Brands on Social

Everyone knows that to reach Gen Z and Millennials a social media presence is a must—but what will actually get young consumers to follow a brand? We asked them…

Millennials and Gen Z may be notoriously ad-adverse and only loyal-ish when it comes to sticking with a brand, but there’s one way brands can snatch their attention—with a strong social media presence. Instagrammable social posts are currency in the world of young consumers who are swayed to engage by the most like-worthy shots, and with nearly half of 13-36-year-olds using an ad blocker (and even more ignoring marketing in whatever way they can), getting around the pitfalls of traditional advertising is key to a brand’s success, and social media is more likely to influence their purchases. In fact, when we asked young consumers to tell us the brands they follow on social media, just one third of respondents said they don’t follow any. That means the vast majority of Millennials and Gen Z are more than willing to engage with brands—they just want to do it on their own terms.

But more than being in control of the marketing that crosses their paths, young consumers want brands to treat them like friends—and create relevant content that fits seamlessly into their feeds. Just look at Nike. For years, the sports brand has been Millennials and Gen Z’s favorite fashion brand, the non-tech brand Millennials find the most innovative, and one of the brands young men and women alike say understand them best. While they’ve done this with great products, they’ve also mastered the art of effective social media, amassing a huge and engaged following with inspiring storytelling. As Kathleen Reidenbach, CCO, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants told us, "[Young consumers] want to get to know a brand—its values, personality, and style—and they want…


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Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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