Gen Zers 18–24 are reshaping the way brands connect with consumers


Unlike the generations that came before them, most Gen Zers don’t remember a time before smartphones and social media. For Gen Z, using social media to follow their interests and favorite brands is second nature. To keep up with the expectations and preferences of these digital natives, brands need to engage with Gen Z on their own terms, which means fostering deeper and more personalized connections. A Meta-commissioned study uncovers how Gen Zers engage with brands and spend their time online.


For Gen Z, Meta platforms are a way to connect with brands, not just friends and family


According to Comscore data, over two-thirds of Gen Zers surveyed are on Facebook and Instagram. Combined, these two apps rank third among top 10 digital destinations by time spent on mobile and desktop. For these users, social media isn’t just a place to connect with friends and family—it’s where they spend quality time learning about their interests and connecting with the brands they enjoy. According to Meta-commissioned research, Gen Zers are happy to see brands on Meta platforms. In fact, 60% of those surveyed follow a brand on social media.


Gen Zers want personalized, direct contact with brands


Gen Z wants to feel an authentic connection with the brands they like. According to Meta research, 41% of Gen Zers surveyed said when brands post content that makes them feel like part of the brand’s community, they feel more personally connected. The desire to belong and to be in the know can go a long way: 29% of respondents said they feel a closer connection to brands that offer an inside look into their business. Gen Zers also value having real-time conversations with brands, with more than a quarter of those surveyed saying they want to be able to ask questions directly to product experts through social media.


Gen Zers connect with their interests by engaging with communities and brands they follow on Meta


For 60% of Gen Zers surveyed, following a brand on social media is a way to connect more deeply with their interests. Forty-three percent of those surveyed say one of the top ways they like to engage with their interests is through stories posted by brands and influencers on social media. But they’re also looking for a more interactive experience: 38% of respondents enjoy taking product recommendation quizzes as a way to interact with brands.


Gen Zers take shopping actions as a result of Creator content


Influencers and creators are key to unlocking a deeper relationship between brands and Gen Z. According to Meta research, 79% of Gen Zers surveyed have taken a shopping action as a result of seeing content by a creator. Respondents reported feeling more loyal to and satisfied with the brands, products and services they discovered through influencers. Fortunately for brands, 35% of those surveyed said they recommended a brand, product or service as a result of creator content.


Gen Zers expect brands to focus on diversity and take a stand on social justice


For Gen Zers, advocating for social justice and racial diversity is paramount. According to a separate Meta study of conversational data, Gen Zers took to Instagram to voice their opinions on social justice issues, with conversation volume rising 300% YoY since May 2020. But for this generation, actions speak louder than words. Gen Z respondents expect brands to work with influencers with diverse racial and cultural backgrounds, according to Meta research. The study also highlights that more than half of Gen Zers surveyed discover more new brands from content posted by influencers with diverse backgrounds.