Most of us remember when our phones became smart. We remember the birth of Facebook and the death of dial up. Imagine having all of this technology already at your fingertips from childhood. That is how Generation Z knows the world and it has shaped their buying habits, the way they engage on social media, and their travel needs.
In a recent blog, we mentioned Generation Z and discussed how they will be a focus for marketers in 2018. We promised we would cover this intriguing demographic in more depth, so today, we will walk through how hotels can draw Generation Z through social media efforts.
What is Generation Z?
Anyone born roughly between 1995 and 2010 is considered to be a part of Generation Z. The oldest age in that demographic is about twenty-three, meaning they are now of purchasing age and are making travel decisions. They make up 26% of the US population and contribute around $44 billion to our economy. They also come in second to Millennials for traveling the most.
It is clear that Generation Z is much different than the audience we are used to targeting. That being said, how should we be targeting them? To answer that, we must first take a look at their habits and what they want.
They Want It, And They Want It Now
An important attribute of Generation Z is that they are used to receiving information almost instantaneously, and anything they wish to buy or research is only a click away. Ads saturate the digital space, and Facebook especially is loaded with everything you never knew you needed. This world is not new to Generation Z as they have never known anything different.
With all of this quick access to anything they want, they have an even smaller attention span than the Millennial generation, 8 seconds versus 12 seconds to be exact. That makes reaching Generation Z a bit more tricky. Powerful imagery, short copy, and clear calls-to-action become even more important when targeting them.
Experience Over Comfort
While it holds true that most generations value personal experiences when they book their travel, Generation Z requires it. They crave adventure and excitement when they travel, while Millennials generally want comfort. Millennials are more concerned with comfortable rooms, close proximity to downtown life, and amenities. Gen Z travelers are less likely to go for the all-inclusive, worry-free vacation and opt for cheaper accomodations so they can spend their money on sightseeing and adventure.
Social Media Is King
Generation Z is heavily influenced by social media during travel inspiration and planning phases. Nearly 90% say their travel decisions are based on what they see on social media. Social influencers play a huge role in this process as they trust these influencers to provide them with photos or personal experiences that will inspire them. This is the perfect opportunity to connect with social influencers in your area to encourage and entice this generation to come to your city and book a stay at your hotel.
If you are not familiar with the acronym “FOMO”, you should be when thinking about Gen Z. It stands for “Fear Of Missing out” and it is a large factor in their purchasing and travel decisions. Seeing friends, family, or social influencers on social media enjoying fun vacations motivates this generation to do the same. “They have a little bit of social ‘FOMO’ — a little bit of social fear of missing out — because they see all of their friends documenting their entire lives and posting everything on it.” – Brian Hegarty, VP of Marketing for Travel Leaders Group. Tap into their FOMO by showcasing plenty of user generated content and fun activities in your area.
Personalize Your Ads
Generation Z is used to having everything tailored to their needs and wants down to the finest detail. For example, they want ads that are intuitive enough to suggest new bands, products, or styles based off of what they already enjoy. Generation Z thrives off of discovery and trying new things as long as it is in the realm of their current, individual tastes.
It is clear that targeting has gotten much more precise over the past two years. It is actually downright creepy at times how intuitive ad placement has become. Have you ever visited a website and searched for an outfit or perhaps a new couch and afterwards see an ad on Facebook for that exact merchandise? While this may make some uncomfortable, Generation Z thrives off of it. Keeping this in mind, your ads should always target only relevant interests when it comes to Gen Z. Depending on your particular goals, try targeting a lower age range such as twenty-one for example. Also, target interests that would appeal most to GenZers. If you are trying to get bookings for Spring Break, that is the perfect opportunity to target this particular demographic and interests such as summer vacations, adventure travel, and, if you are located by one, beaches. For a deeper look into ad targeting, visit our blog Helpful Facebook Ad Targeting Strategies.
So What Should Your Hotel Do To Reach Gen Z?
The good news is that Generation Z is very present and engaged on social media. Therefore, you have the perfect opportunity to reach them via several channels, but it will take some effort on your part to engage them. As a recap, follow these strategies to best reach this generation:
- Choose powerful imagery and keep your copy short and to-the-point
- Include clear calls-to-action (For example, requesting to see their travel photos or asking them their favorite things to do while in your city.)
- Be authentic
- Entice them to book by showcasing other guests’ experiences
- Utilize social influencers and user generated content to inspire them
- Personalize your ads
Each new generation brings new challenges, but it also allows for new and exciting opportunities. In a digitally driven age, we must continue to adapt and utilize the tools given to us to help reach audiences. For more updates and top trends in the digital marketing space, visit our blog to ensure you are always ahead of the game!