As we gear up for the holiday season, brands are presented with a golden opportunity to connect with Generation Z, a demographic known for its digital savviness and unique preferences. In a world dominated by social media, it’s crucial for marketers to craft strategies that resonate with Gen Z’s online behavior. In this guide, we’ll explore effective ways to advertise to Gen Z during the holidays using social media, backed by compelling statistics that highlight the significance of this demographic.

Understanding Gen Z: What Makes Them Tick?

Born into a world shaped by technology and characterized by unparalleled connectivity, Gen Z is a demographic that demands authenticity, social consciousness, and personalized experiences. Unlike its predecessors, this generation has grown up in an era of information overload, making them discerning consumers who value transparency and meaningful connections with brands. 

Gen Z craves experiences over possessions, and their purchasing decisions are often influenced by a brand’s values and commitment to social and environmental causes. Authenticity is a cornerstone for connecting with Gen Z; they can sniff out inauthenticity from a mile away. Moreover, this digitally native generation is well-versed in navigating social media platforms, where they actively participate in shaping trends and conversations. 

Brands that embrace these dynamics, prioritize sustainability, and leverage the power of social media can tap into the immense buying power of Gen Z, which is projected to reach trillions of dollars. As the torchbearers of the future, Gen Z’s impact on the market is undeniable, and brands that recognize and resonate with their values stand poised for success in an ever-changing consumer landscape.

Read next: Your Ultimate Guide to Marketing to Gen Z

1. Instagram: Visual Storytelling for Impactful Engagement

Instagram is a powerhouse for visual content, making it an ideal platform to showcase holiday campaigns. According to a survey by Pew Research Center, 71% of Gen Z uses Instagram, emphasizing its popularity among this demographic. Utilize Instagram Stories, Reels, and IGTV to create visually compelling content that aligns with the festive season. Incorporate elements like behind-the-scenes looks, user-generated content, and limited-time promotions to drive engagement.

2. TikTok: Short-form Creativity for Viral Moments

TikTok has taken the social media landscape by storm, especially among Gen Z. Statistics show that 48% of TikTok users in the U.S. are aged 18-29. Leverage TikTok’s short-form video format to create entertaining and shareable content that resonates with the holiday spirit. Encourage user-generated challenges, collaborate with influencers, and infuse humor and creativity into your campaigns to ride the wave of TikTok’s viral potential.

3. Twitter: Real-time Engagement and Trend Riding

Gen Z appreciates real-time engagement and trending topics, making Twitter a valuable platform for holiday advertising. According to Statista, 42% of Twitter users in the U.S. are aged 18-29. Craft witty and relatable tweets that tap into the holiday conversation. Utilize branded hashtags, participate in relevant trending topics, and run Twitter polls to encourage interaction and gauge consumer preferences during the festive season.

4. Snapchat: Ephemeral Content for FOMO Marketing

Snapchat, known for its ephemeral content, is a playground for Gen Z. Research indicates that 69% of U.S. teens aged 13-17 use Snapchat. Create time-limited, exclusive holiday promotions that play into the fear of missing out (FOMO). Incorporate augmented reality (AR) features to enhance user experience, providing a unique and immersive way for Gen Z to engage with your brand during the holidays.

5. YouTube: Long-form Content for Authentic Brand Stories

While YouTube is not a traditional social media platform, it remains a key destination for Gen Z seeking long-form content. According to a study by Think with Google, 85% of Gen Z turns to YouTube for product reviews. Craft authentic, longer-format content such as holiday-themed vlogs, product tutorials, and brand stories that resonate with Gen Z’s preference for genuine and relatable content.

Advertising to Gen Z during the holiday season requires a nuanced approach that aligns with their digital behaviors and values. Leveraging social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube can help brands create meaningful connections and drive engagement. 

This social media-centric strategy ensures that brands not only capture the attention of this demographic but also foster long-term brand loyalty during the festive season and beyond. As the holiday season unfolds, let your brand be the star on Gen Z’s favorite digital stages, creating moments that resonate and reverberate across social media channels.

Christina O'Toole

Christina is a data-driven, full stack marketer with over 20 years success leading marketing in technology, higher ed and publishing industries. Christina has developed hundreds of marketing campaigns and built all facets of programs including lifecycle journeys, creative direction and lead generation. She now heads corporate marketing at Refuel Agency.