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The term “Digital Native,” coined by author Marc Prensky in 2001, represents a person born and brought up during the age of widespread digital technology, home computer ownership and broad public internet access. Sometimes called Generation Z, this group of younger millennials was raised surrounded by modern technology and as such have much greater familiarity and comfort around all forms of digital communication, information access and collaboration.
As this generation ages and gains greater influence, it is natural for marketers to ask themselves how to reach them, especially through social media marketing where digital natives are omnipresent and at ease. Social media is by far the most common way they learn about things online, and it’s what most influences their decisions as well.
Here are 4 ways to ensure you reach digital natives with your social media marketing.
1. Hyper-targeted and relevant content
Digital natives are looking for a personal experience matched with hyper-targeted content. Content must be accurate and relevant to what they are seeking information on. It must resonate with them by displaying an understanding of their desires, pain points and motivations so that they will find interest in connecting with your company.
2. Engaging conversations
As they are far more connected than any other group before, digital natives expect a more personal relationship with businesses they support. In fact, 62% of them say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. Make them feel special and show your true brand personality; no one wants to connect with a boring brand anymore so a human touch is advised. However trying to be excessively “cool” is not recommended either as it quickly becomes obvious when a brand tries too hard to connect with digital natives, coming off as forced and unnatural.
3. Be authentic
Authenticity goes along with the previously mentioned brand personality. What digital natives really want is an experience. For this purpose, it is important to stick with your company’s values, voice, and give your audience the credit that they deserve. As consumers get more and more product-savvy, transparency is essential to help gain trust and loyalty. Being open, honest and authentic is critical. If it comes to light that marketing claims are exaggerated or outright false, it will ruin all of your preceding efforts as word spreads through social networks.
4. Be creative
In our digital world, it has become difficult to stand out from the crowd and get noticed with everyone using social media marketing to share content, brand information and data on products and services. Take some risks by doing things differently than the others. This generation is always looking for something new to consume as they read thousands of messages per day that all look the same. By offering a unique, creative perspective, you can achieve cut-through for your marketing.
Marketing to the digital native generation can be tricky as mistakes can linger on the internet and potentially decrease engagement. However, if you stay relevant, interesting and authentic for this audience your efforts will be rewarded.
One final tip: Remember to segment the population as they are too big and different to be targeted as a whole. Try to drill down to the exact buyer you’re targeting.
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