Millennials, Gen Z’ers Have Love/Hate Relationship with Social Media

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Despite current global economic growth, expansion and opportunity, millennials and Generation Z are expressing uneasiness and pessimism -- about their careers, their lives and the world around them, according to Deloitte’s eighth annual Millennial Survey. In the past two years respondents’ views on the economy, their countries’ social/political situations, and institutions like government, the media and business are declining.

The research is based on more than 13,400 millennials in 42 countries and more than 3,000 Z’ers in 10 countries. It finds that among young people around the world, economic, social and political optimism is at record lows.

Should brands take a stand?

According to the study, millennials and the Z’ers are paying closer attention to how brands behave, with nearly half saying they have either started or deepened a business relationship because they think a company's products or services have a positive impact on society or the environment.

We’ve written about this in the past. Consumers’ reactions to brands taking a stance via social channels are more likely to be positive than negative, with words such as “intrigued,” “impressed” and “engaged” being used to describe their feelings.

Brands that are known to be socially conscious are often praised for their online content and that content tends to be shared more.

But just because they may be intrigued or impressed with the brand online, doesn’t mean they particularly like social media.  Seems 60% of millennials and 59% of Z’ers say they’d be happier if they spent less time on social media.

And there is plenty of research to back that up; even decreasing your usage by 30 minutes per day has been shown to have a positive impact on an individual’s well-being.

So what’s a communicator to do?

These consumers are putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to supporting businesses that make a positive impact on society. Smart communicators should capitalize on that knowledge and look to their organizations community relations and CSR initiatives as growth opportunities.

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

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