Use The Gen Z Aesthetic To Connect With Zoomers on Social Media

Use The Gen Z Aesthetic To Connect With Zoomers on Social Media

The way we communicate with each other has shifted. Gen Z is the first generation to grow up with social media, and their experience of the world around them is different from what we’ve had before.

Gen Z is a curious bunch — they’re not just tech-savvy, they’re curious about the world around them. They want to engage with brands and products as soon as possible, and they need to be able to see what you’re talking about.

To appeal to the Gen Z crowd, you need to use aesthetics that appeal to them in your social marketing campaigns. 

In this guide, we talk about how you can use Gen Z aesthetics to connect with your young and restless audience.

We cover:

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What shapes the Gen Z aesthetic?

The Generation Z crowd is the newest generation of consumers and is already influencing how businesses operate.

Gen Z isn’t just a single group; it’s a mix of different groups with different interests, values, and behaviors. They are digital natives who grew up in a digital world. They have grown up with social media, so they expect brands to be authentic.

They aren’t interested in traditional marketing tactics. Instead, they want to engage with brands on equal terms. They want to feel like they have a connection with a brand.

Ways to use the Gen Z aesthetic to appeal to young consumers

So, how do you use the Gen Z aesthetic to connect with your young audience? Let’s count the ways.

1. Use nostalgia 

Nostalgia is one of the most powerful emotions you can use to appeal to Generation Z. 

Nostalgia is a powerful marketing tool. It’s no coincidence that some of the most successful brands in history have used it to great effect  —  think Apple, Coca-Cola, and Nike.

In fact, nostalgia has become so popular that entire TV shows are dedicated to showcasing this phenomenon and its influence on consumers. For example, AMC’s Comic Book Men is about how the rise of nostalgia has changed the way people look at pop culture and the world around them.

According to Business Insider, Gen Z’s obsession with nostalgia is a sign that they are seeking comfort and connection to offset a world that presents uncertainty. 

“Because there is so much information Gen Z can choose to consume, they lack the shared experiences previous generations had when everyone saw the same commercials, watched the same TV shows, or listened to the same music,” says mental health author and counselor Dr. Joanne Frederick

“Therefore, Gen Zers turn to early 00s shows, like Friends, Sex and the City, and That 70s Show, to “experience life in a way that they never have, before ubiquitous social media and texting.”

Because of their obsession with nostalgia, Gen Zers are immersing themselves in aesthetics like Cottagecore (an aesthetic described to be “a nod to the traditional English countryside style, romantic and nostalgic” and Y2Kcore (a throwback to the early 2000s fashion that represents “a nebulous period of barely memorable, blissful ignorance,” just to name a few.

The key takeaway here is that if you want to connect with Gen Z on social media, you must tap into their nostalgic side. 

Mirror Palais, a New York based clothing brand, does a great job of that by capturing the cottagecore aesthetic with this Instagram post.

Gen Z Aesthetic - mirrorpalais ig post

2. Use real people

Gen Z is one of the most brand-loyal generations in history. According to Student Beans research, 42% of students say they will remain loyal to a brand forever if it delivers a positive buying experience.  

This is because Gen Z wants to see real people, not just models or actors who may or may not represent them. They want to see their friends and family members – the people they look up to – and they want those same faces at events where brands are present.

Gen Z also has nostalgia for simpler times; many are interested in seeing some kind of authenticity when it comes to social media content, so using real people offers a different touch than using models or actors (or even celebrities).

Gen Z Aesthetic - dior ig post

3. Tap into their sense of Individualism and openness

The way Gen Z looks is a reflection of how they want to be seen. They want to be seen as individuals, not as just another one of the crowd. They are trying to differentiate themselves from their peers by doing things that their peers might not do or by following a trend that’s been around for years.

Gen Z is also driven by the desire to be different from their parents and older siblings, who are sometimes perceived as being too traditional and old-fashioned. 

As a result, young people have become more open-minded and tolerant of other cultures and lifestyles, which has led them to give classic styles a new spin that reflects this openness. 

The Gen Z  crowd’s sense of openness is tempered by a healthy dose of individualism, causing them to be drawn to aesthetics like:

Gen Z Aesthetic - flannels fb post

 4. Use images, GIFs, emojis, and videos to create emotion.

Gen Zers are visual learners, so use images, GIFs, memes, and videos as much as possible. Don’t just post screenshots – think about how you could use visuals in your social media marketing campaigns to create an emotional connection with your Gen Z audience.

Gen Zers love visuals, and they’re used frequently on social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. This makes it easy for brands that want to get their message out there quickly! 

The importance of visual content is also increasing as brands continue to look for new ways to connect with Gen Zers in a more effective way.

What does this mean for marketers?

It’s time to start thinking differently about what you can do with visuals on social media:
  • Use visuals as call-to-action buttons
  • Create high-quality photos and videos that are easy to share
  • Use animated GIFs as social buttons
  • Make use of location-based ads
  • Use a lot of memes. 
Gen Z Aesthetic - buglesmemes ig post

Pro tip: once you establish a connection with Gen Z, remember that their purchasing power is limited. Take advantage of coupons and discounts to encourage them to get to the point of purchase.

5. Use hyper-visuality

The hyper-visual generation is a term used to describe Generation Z, who are the first generation to grow up with the internet and social media. They are known for their high standards for aesthetics and their desire for instant gratification. In short, they are always looking at pictures and videos of things that others can’t see or experience.

They grew up in a world where they could take photos of anything they wanted, share them with anyone they wanted, and have it instantly everywhere it needed to be seen. This has helped them develop a sense of self-expression through visual storytelling in their images and videos.

Hyper-visuality is a term that has been used to describe the idea that a design can be seen as more than just a collection of parts. It’s about how well the whole fits together, and how much it makes you feel something when you look at it.

Hyper-visuality is not a new concept by any means, but there are still many people working to improve on this idea. 

One of the most popular ways to create hyper-visuality in design is to use negative space. Negative space refers to the empty area around an object or image, and it can be used to create depth and shape without using objects or images themselves.

Using ambiguous colors like Pacific Pink, Velvet Violet, and Calming Coral is another good way to pull off hyper-visuality. No wonder these colors made it to the top colors of the 2022 list!

Gen Z Aesthetic - gucci ig post
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6. Use Metaverse-inspired visuals

The Metaverse concept is having a big impact on the Gen Z aesthetic.

The Metaverse is a hypothetical online virtual world where users can create and interact within a virtual space. The metaverse can be accessed through any computer or mobile device, allowing users to create their own avatars, interact with other people, engage in games, and purchase items within the metaverse.

Thanks to the growing anticipation for the next iteration of the internet, Gen Zers are using, consuming, and creating designs, games, and art influenced by the Metaverse. 

We are now seeing T-shirts, avatars, and art that show metaverse-inspired imagery, proving that the metaverse has become an intrinsic part of identity for the Gen Z crowd. 

Many brands are now taking advantage. Brands like Wendy’s, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, and Gucci are not only using the Metaverse-core aesthetic in their marketing collateral, but they’re also taking part in building the Metaverse.

Gen Z Aesthetic - selecting outfit

7. Advocate for social change

The Gen Z generation is a very different group of people than any that have come before them. 

They are the first generation to grow up with the internet, social media, and smartphones. They’re also the first generation to have access to information about how the world works, what governments are doing, and how they can affect change.

Gen Z is also a more diverse generation than previous ones. They identify as LGBT, gender non-conforming, racial minorities, and religious minorities; they have grown up in a time when these identities are considered more important than ever before. As such, these young people are looking for leaders who understand their issues and speak out on their behalf.

This presents an opportunity for organizations like yours to make an impact that will last beyond today’s headlines. You can use your voice as an advocate for social change by:

  • Supporting policies that protect our most vulnerable citizens from discrimination or harm.
  • Supporting policies that promote equality for all genders, sexual orientations, races, and religions.
  • Providing resources for people across all generations on how to create positive change in their communities.

Bombas Socks, for example, was founded with the mission of donating socks to those in need. The brand continues to fulfill that promise as shown below.

Gen Z Aesthetic - bombas socks tweet

8. Use brand consistency

As a marketer, it’s important to create a strong visual aesthetic that will help you market to Gen Z. You can do this by using consistent color palettes and fonts in your visuals.

A consistent color palette and imagery is one of the most important things when creating visual content for Gen Zers because they’re used to seeing things on their phones and other devices rather than on paper or television screens. 

This means that if you use an inconsistent color scheme or an image that disrupts the feel of your brand, it won’t appeal as much because you’re not creating visuals that your Gen Z audience can instantly recognize.

Similarly, while some think that bold colors or strong imagery are always best when trying to attract younger audiences (and maybe they are!), not everyone feels this way – so make sure whatever design decisions are made reflect what feels right for your brand.

Gen Z Aesthetic - patagonia ig post

It’s difficult to stay consistent with your brand when you have a full social media calendar and you’re busy trying to create social media visuals that will appeal to your Gen Z audience.

If you want to stick to a regular schedule, scheduling your social media content in advance helps. NapoleonCat’s Publishing Tool, for instance, lets you create and schedule a ton of content in advance.

Scheduling social media content across multiple platforms at once

Scheduling your content in advance gives you more time to strengthen your brand with consistent visuals. What’s more, NapoleonCat’s tool includes even more features that should make your social media job much easier – automatic content moderation, analytics, reports, competitive analytics, and much more! Start your free 2-week trial and see for yourself 😉

Social media marketing made easier (especially for teams)

Social media marketing made easier (especially for teams)

Automation, analytics, reporting, scheduling, and more. Try NapoleonCat and save 90% of your time spent on your marketing tasks. Try it for free:

Try NapoleonCat free for 14 days. No credit card required.

Wrap up

We’re excited for the future of Gen Z-oriented marketing, and we hope this article has helped you think about how to appeal to these young consumers. It will take a whole new way of thinking about how brands connect with customers, and we hope you’re ready for the change!

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