“When brands decide that they want to be on social media, they first need to consider the ages of the audiences on each platform as this plays a massive part not only in the messaging they should use but the format thereof too,” says Alistair Errington, sales team lead at Ad Dynamo.
Errington unpacks some of today’s most popular platforms and the typical age groups of audiences associated with each:
This functionality is important for a generation that has grown up with digital technology and highly values individual expression and inclusivity. It’s for these reasons that, while choreographed dances and trending pop music tend to dominate the platform, Gen Z is also using TikTok as a means to voice opinions related to socio-economic and environmental issues. One only needs to think about how the youth have taken to TikTok to express opinions on issues such as climate change and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Over time, millennials have grown more accustomed to the platform, and now prefer it as a means of forging more authentic and personal relationships online, as Snapchat has honed in on its person-to-person sharing ability. However, the platform does captivate Gen Z too, due to the technology it uses and because this is a very visual generation. Globally, Gen Zers have grown up with this platform, so they know and trust it. They use it to connect with each other. Typically, Snapchat draws 18 to 34-year-olds.
Speaking of Gen Z, with this being one of the most sought-after markets for brands, Errington advises that their advertising must look as organic as possible. “You need to mirror the behaviour on platforms that Gen Z uses. For instance, if a certain behaviour is trending, the brand should echo this. However, I do also believe that brands need to have foresight to be ahead of these trends and propagate the platform with their own movements and cultures. The best way to do this is by finding content or topics to bring back from the dead - reskinning it, making it their own, and reviving it.”
Looking at the next generation, also known as Generation Alpha, he believes that this demographic is being primed by platforms like TikTok to express themselves solely via video. “Snapchat introduced the idea of visual communication and TikTok solidified it. Generation Alpha knows nothing but video, so if a brand isn’t introducing camera marketing into its strategy, it will lose this generation.”
Errington notes that there are brands such as those in the banking, retail and automobile industries that have successfully marketed across platforms to reach the different generations at their various life stages. “This helps to build lifelong brand loyalty which can ultimately affect decision-making down the line.”
He concludes by saying: “Regardless of which platform marketers pick, they not only need to know who they are targeting, but what each platform lends itself to best and to match that with their strategy.”