For today’s 16-24s, social media is their first point of call for communication, entertainment, shopping, and so much more. It’s a one-stop shop for everything they love to do online, so it’s crucial for any brand that wants to engage this audience to have a strong presence. If you’re putting together your social media strategy, or feel like your brand needs a digital overhaul, we’ve compiled all the inspiration you could need.
We LOVE Duolingo at Voxburner, and can’t stop raving about their excellent social media presence, particularly on TikTok. The account is run by Gen Zers Zaria Parvez, and the star of their TikTok is Duolingo’s mascot, Duo the Owl. Duolingo’s content quickly taps into viral audios or trends on the app, allowing them to gain a significant amount of attention in a short time. One of their highest-ranked videos has 24.2M views and 5.3M likes.
Whenever we talk about community-building on Instagram, we can’t help but reference Glossier. Founded by the blogger behind Into The Gloss, the brand already had an audience to tap into, and haven’t stopped growing since. The smart female-led team built their brand on the values of their community, and showed that they put their customers first by featuring them across their Instagram and website.
If you’re naming brands that are brilliant on Twitter, you can’t forget the drinks brand that was made for social media. Innocent already had a distinctive, sweetly cheeky tone of voice across their packaging and advertising, which they carried over onto Twitter when it took off in the 2000s. Their focus is sharing funny content and starting silly discussions, putting brand positioning ahead of direct advertising.
As a generation which is passionate about sustainability, it’s no surprise that sites such as Depop and Vinted are increasing in popularity every day. Depop’s whole vibe plays into the edgy, artsy and individual nature of Gen Z, and their Instagram not only advertises clothes which are for sale but also offers styling tips, fashion inspo and basically just wants to make you move to Soho and buy a pair of Crocs.
How does a traditional TV network engage an audience that doesn’t watch TV? Along with video on demand and live streaming, social was pivotal to turning digital natives into Love Island fanatics. Their Instagram and TikTok accounts are a must-follow for fans, with exclusive content including daily show previews, behind-the-scenes footage and memes (featuring your favourite Islanders, of course). Once you’ve built a fandom like theirs, all you have to do is feed it.
It’s no secret that Gen Zers love a shopping haul/Out Of The Day/Day In The Life on TikTok, and UK fashion brand ASOS have really tapped into this. Their account feels authentic thanks to the abundance of UGC, and their ability to hop on huge cultural trends, such as Stranger Things, is commendable.
Meanwhile, the brand’s Instagram gives a lot more of a polished feel, including model shots and artsy aesthetics. ASOS are a great example of how to tailor your content to suit the platform.
Rihanna’s lingerie brand Savage x Fenty was launched with a clear mission statement, to offer products that make women of all shapes and sizes feel great, and that inclusivity and celebration of diversity has remained at the heart of their marketing. Their Instagram feed features series of highly stylised, glamorous and aspirational images of diverse models – plus plenty of shots of their celebrity founder.
Every streetwear brand should be looking to the subculture’s digital leader for inspiration. Hypebeast and its female-oriented sister brand Hypebae make great use of Instagram Stories, which – let’s face it – is what we’re looking at first when we open the app these days. They feed the obsessives with breaking news, especially around new product drops, and exclusive access to shows and other events.
Fast food brands have gained a reputation for their hilarious Twitter feeds, and Burger King is one of the best. Their renegade tone sometimes comes close to crossing the line, and we can only imagine the concerned looks on the bosses’ faces. However, by giving their social team freedom to have fun, they’ve earned the respect of Gen Z, who can see right through a fake or forced brand personality.
Another brand that we love at Voxburner is the sustainable period care brand, August (their founder Nadiya is also a YMS alumni!). Thanks to the nature of their products, August has the hard task of making their content ‘appropriate’ for TikTok (the app has some pretty strict guidelines), but they nail it. Their honest, entertaining and bold approach to their products and periods is admirable, and will have certainly earned the respect of Gen Z.
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[Cover image 📸: @depop on Instagram]