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Top tips for engaging Gen Z in your cause via social media

18 February 2022

Reaching a wide audience is extremely important for charities. With the emerging engagement of Gen Z (those born between 1997-2012) it’s important to understand as a charity how you can engage this specific demographic through the power of social media.

Here are a few of our top tips you and your charity can try:

In 2021, TikTok was awarded the most downloaded app, reaching a startling total of 656 million downloads.

With the younger generation being attracted to this video led, creative, fast-paced platform there is no question that this is a great place to start when engaging with a Gen Z audience.

According to research, 59% of users feel a sense of community when they are on the platform which is one reason for the popularity amongst this generation.

In order to resonate with this demographic, a top tip is to jump on TikTok trends as quickly as possible. From adding trending music to your videos or participating in a trending dance your charity will see an immediate increase in the level of engagement your platform receives.

To find trends, all users have to do is go to the ‘Discover’ section of the app an immediately you will discover trending hashtags and trending music.

A prime example of a charity that has become a master of jumping on TikTok trends is the British Red Cross. They create reactive, yet educational content whilst ensuring they are taking part in trends on the app.

tiktok screenshot

Google Trends is an excellent and useful tool to use to ensure your charity is creating content that Gen Z supporters are interested in hearing more about.

This tool enables you to monitor trending topics from around the world so you can create content that appeals to a vast audience.

It’s important to ensure as a charity you understand what the audience you are aiming to reach is talking about.

Content doesn’t just have to revolve around your cause but also topics that people are talking about. By doing this, you will see an increase in the discussions taking place in the comments sections of your posts.

There are a vast range of opportunities here to then also offer your expertise as a charity on these topics even if they are not the main focus of your cause.

Above shows an example of popular topics on Google Trends that people are talking about. On the left, you can see what the world was searching for around the time of COP26 in Glasgow. On the right, you can see the spike in people searching for topics around the UK economy during the time of the pandemic.

Reach Gen Z through the power of hashtags

Hashtags are a simple yet effective way to reach a wider Gen Z audience.

In order to use the right hashtags to reach the right people, a great free tool is All Hashtag. Simply type in a keyword, for example, what the post is about and then you will be provided with the 50 top hashtags under that specific topic.

On Instagram, you need to ensure you add at least five relevant, key hashtags to the caption of your posts. The reason for five is due to the fact that according to Later, Instagram can help users accurately categorise and recommend your posts in suggested content streams. This will not only increase your charity’s awareness, but your posts will see the engagement they deserve.

A charity that utilises hashtags extremely effectively is Barnardos. They have mastered the art of selecting relevant hashtags that can reach the right audience. This is shown as they get a large amount of comments and likes on these posts and are simultaneously reaching a wider yet relevant audience.

Reveal the faces behind your charity

As a charity, connecting with your supporters virtually can often be difficult. A top tip to connect on a deeper and personal level with your Gen Z followers is to reveal the faces behind the charity.

According to recent research, photos with faces in are 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more likely to receive comments.

A person is more likely to resonate on a personal level if they can associate specific faces with that specific charity.

A charity that does this exceptionally well is Macmillan Cancer Support who shares images of those working on the cancer support line. This acts as a window that allows the audience to see the real people that provide vital services on the support line every day.

Educate, don’t sell

In order to communicate with a Gen Z audience, it’s important to ensure you don’t try to sell your charity to them.

Instead of bombarding people with the call to action to donate, it’s important to gain their trust. The way of doing this is by educating your audience on exactly what you do as a charity, what you do with the donations and the amazing work you are doing to help those in need.

Rather than overwhelming social media platforms with statistics, firstly start with the story of your charity. Make sure your followers can understand how and why the charity started, what journey you have been on, where you are now and what your aim to achieve in the future.

Breast Cancer charity, CoppaFeel!, have perfected sharing educational content on their feed. Through hand-drawn graphics, to easy snippets of digestible information, this charity educates in an extremely effective way.

CoppaFeel Instagram profile

What are you waiting for?

Follow these top tips and engage with a Gen Z audience instantly.

If you’re interested in finding out more about reaching new audiences and gaining cut through check out the CharityComms PR Conference.

Banner Image: Aman Pal on Unsplash

Hannah Jarvis

marketing executive, Social Republic

Hannah is a marketing executive at Social Republic and specialises in copywriting, content creation, reporting, research and blogging.