Why Instagram & Generation Z Are Going to Rule the (Social Media) World in 2018

Over the holiday period, I, like many of my peers, got out my smartphone to snap all the last great moments of 2017. Christmas is the perfect setting for it – with those beautiful festive colors and excited red faces – it’s a great time to get snapping all the moments captured.

The interesting moment came when a young cousin of mine saw that I was using the app Snapchat to take my pictures and to send them to my contacts. She was aghast and stated indignantly, “why aren’t you using Instagram stories? You have an Instagram right, so why not just use that?” Ouch. That was some serious shade. Just how much do we, as marketers, have to pay attention to the trends of the younger generations?

Me & Generation Z

I didn’t have an answer for my cousin, which she found hilarious of course. I do have Instagram on my iPhone, and I’ll admit that I’m an avid scroller. Hey, it’s also my job. I know it inside out, upside down and I get results from implementing my Instagram strategies. Her indignance at my obvious wrong choice of the app took me a bit by surprise. So much so that I felt I was judged for choosing familiarity over ease-of-use and silly Snapchat filters over Generation Z, Instagram cool.

Both ‘Instagram Stories’ and ‘Snapchat’ actually do the same thing, taking videos or photos which will disappear after being read or seen. There’s a lot to be said for “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” right? Wrong.

Should encounters like these affect the way we market on social media?

The answer, in this case, is ‘yes.’ In 2017 Instagram announced that their latest tool ‘Instagram Stories,’ became more popular than Snapchat after just one year of going live. In addition, around 800 million people use the platform each month. That’s huge news since social media apps and their features are constantly evolving.

My holiday experience illustrates how marketers have to listen to the demands of consumers and evolve with the changes ahead. To keep your fingers on the pulse, you have to think as they do. Generation Z know their trends, and it may be good to monitor their generation’s current tech and social trends to separate the wheat from the chaff and stay ahead of the game.

What changes should I make to my social media strategy?

It is understood that everyone has their own preference of social media channel for certain requirements-business or personal- and some features could function seemingly better than others for specific purposes. It’s important to make clear that this doesn’t necessarily mean that any particular channel doesn’t have its worth and should be eradicated from your social media strategy altogether.

However, in my case, I needed to make some adjustments. My cousin was right about Instagram stories r.e. popularity and engagement.They sell. Brands are seeing better engagement on Instagram than any other social media platform, and Instagram – not Facebook – is looking to be the go-to social media marketing channel for any business. By increasing Instagram’s feature list they are gradually knocking out the competition in spectacular style. Keep your eyes peeled for their new features. Their two latest Instagram Story features, released in December, have already taken the world by storm.

IYDKW – If you don’t know, worry.

Here’s a little breakdown for those who missed it:

Feature #1: Instagram will now allow users to archive their stories

Feature #2: With a new highlights area, users can choose which archived story to display on their profile.

Let’s just see how long it takes for Instagram to dominate the scene entirely. They are definitely the ones-to-watch in 2018.

Need some help with your Instagram strategy? With social media smarts from all generation groups, Oliver + Sons can help you create a kick-ass Instagram campaign.