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How do you satisfy Generation Y's thirst for social?

Sam on his prime on Snapchat

Sam on his prime on Snapchat

I bloody love Snapchat… Sure, I may be a 23-year-old male who probably has better things to do with his time, but what is it about this App that’s taken the globe by storm? With 150 million photos shared each day, can you blame me for loving an App that is ten times faster than sending an SMS message? After all, we’re well aware that Gen Y needs instant gratification, and it looks like Snapchat is our newest fulfilment. The question is: how can you predict what the ‘next big thing’ will be? There is no simple answer, but one thing seems certain - there is no preselected mould or one size fits all for today’s youth when it comes to technology.

People struggle to understand why more teens are dropping off Facebook, yet the 55+ age group is currently the demographic with the most growth. Perhaps the perception that teenagers are always on Facebook is wrong, and in fact they are jumping between different Apps and websites depending on what’s new, savvy and popular among social circles. Generation Z can be defined as those born between the mid 90’s and mid 2000’s. This demographic are aware of the fact that their parents are now much more active on Facebook. Parents are using Facebook as a tool to check what their kids are up to, and Gen Z see it as an invasion of privacy.

26% of teen social media users say they post fake information on their profile to help protect their privacy  Pew Research Centre

I’ve never been into online dating, nor have I really known anyone that has. But never have I experienced so many of my friends talking about it after discovering a new online dating App called Tinder, that integrates Facebook and location services to help select the best match for you. For a generation that has never been into online dating and something traditionally seen as uncool, Tinder is transforming the perception of what’s cool through social integration. The majority of my single friends in their early/mid twenties are using this App, and they love it!

We’re starting to witness the backlash of having our entire personal lives showcased online, but were also seeing a swelling of uncharacteristic behaviour such as online dating when it’s integrated into the social experience. Generations Y and Z are incessantly jumping between different Apps on their phones. We constantly want new and exciting online experiences, and with the ever-increasing variety of online applications, our needs are correspondingly becoming more demanding.

Teens, Social and Tech report 

I can’t predict the future, but I do know that digital will lie at the heart of any social engagement. We’re seeing a digital revolution take place. Younger generations are evolving their everyday experiences to become more digitised, instant, and social. Online social connections are being used as a filter for people making everyday decisions, allowing these people to escape decision fatigue when looking for a good place to eat, articles to read, videos to watch, who to date, what clothes to buy, where to plan their next trip, right through to whom they conduct business with. Social is at the very forefront of this revolution and what we’ve glimpsed of it so far is only the beginning.

Sam Howie

Sam Howie has given his heart to digital and social marketing and enjoys challenging the norms that traditional advertising agencies have been trading on for years.