Gen Z is quickly coming up in the ranks as the next wave of shoppers to follow Millennials. That’s anyone born post-1998 and there are a few common characteristics to consider when it comes to capturing this discerning market.
- Firstly, they’ve never known a world without digital devices – technology is first nature.
- Because of this, their filter for advertising content is x10 of millennials. They’re looking for value, not being sold to. Advertorials should raise the bar and work harder because straight out selling just won’t do anymore.
- Their attention span is 8 seconds or less – tell them why they should care in under that time.
- Their focus is split across 3 screens – so a brand’s presence should be built across multiple platforms – like social, social advertising/campaigns, a strong website, Google AdWords, partnerships/collaborations and third-party sites.
According to Precision Dialogue research, 46% of US Gen Z consumers research items on their phones before making a purchase. So in 2018 it’s all about try before you buy – testing the trial version before committing to the full purchase so to speak.
Shoppers, especially Gen Z and most millennials, want to be taken on a journey, and they want to interact at a personal level. Straight up spending just isn’t the case anymore, especially when there’s so much to choose from online, and so many brands are capturing attention in a flash.
That’s why ‘social selling’, the art of using social tools to find, connect to and nurture customers is critical to business success – because when they’re ready to buy, your brand is right at the top of their purchasing decision. The key is building up a brand presence in the right places, listening to the market and joining the conversation to present a solution.
Take ASOS, for example, which has around 6 million followers. Their Instagram strategy is split across 2 accounts – their flagship newsfeed posting new collections, specials and lifestyle content while their ‘ASOS as seen on me’ account is solely devoted to sharing photos of everyday Instagrammers wearing their clothes. Brands like ASOS also partner with influencers to create sponsored posts, or event sponsored accounts (like @asos_ashley).
A picture (or video) is worth a thousand words and with 79 million followers, chances are you’ve come across National Geographic’s Instagram. They pair captivating photos that pierce the glossy veneer of Instagram and detailed captions letting followers into other worlds across the planet. Nat Geo shows you shouldn’t be focused on hard selling, instead showing expertise/things you are good at and passionate about creates a lot more cut-through.
If you have brand presence on social media then you’re already doing the basics of social selling. But there are specific tips to social selling across every platform which Hootsuite covers.
What does social selling mean for SMEs? Firstly, endeavour to respond to social enquiries at the speed of lighting – followers want a response to their question, quick. The same rule applies to emails – don’t leave them unattended and unanswered. Secondly, the role of sales consultants has dramatically shifted. At the point of contacting a company, thanks to the multitude of information readily available, the customer will already know everything about the product – which is where service, expertise and attention to detail is critical to pushing the sale across the line.
Social selling also disrupts the traditional path of advertising and waiting for the customers to come, which has swung around to constant engagement. Apart from serving customers, a café owner will be on their tablet updating daily specials, the mobile car mechanic will be responding to quote requests on Twitter and basically the customer/business owner divide has dissolved in a social world.
Social selling is just one trend shaping small business in 2018 and beyond – what else are you doing to create impact in the current market? Share with us below!