A Guide to Gen Z Through TikTok Trends, Emojis, & Language: Why Search – and SEO – Is Important


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 07, 2023

4 min read


A Guide to Gen Z Through TikTok Trends, Emojis, & Language: Why Search – and SEO – Is Important

The rise of Gen Z is undeniable. With nearly 3 billion Gen Zs alive today, this generation has surpassed Millennials to become the largest on the planet. What sets Gen Z apart is their authenticity and uniqueness. Unlike Millennials who strive to fit in, Gen Zs are desperate to stand out. They value individual expression and avoid labels, according to McKinsey research. This leads to new forms of consumption, where access and individual identity are paramount.

One platform that perfectly captures Gen Z's need for self-expression and creativity is TikTok. Over half of Gen Z believes that their generation is more creative than previous ones, and TikTok nurtures a culture of creativity. The app removes the friction of coming up with content ideas, making it easier for users to create and share their unique creations. In fact, 55% of TikTok users actively create content for the platform, challenging the traditional 90-9-1 rule of internet participation.

TikTok also fosters a sense of belonging through stan culture. Stanning a creator becomes a form of self-expression for Gen Z, allowing them to connect with like-minded individuals and find their tribe. The platform's emphasis on creativity and self-expression has made it a powerful tool for Gen Z's social lives.

However, Gen Z's aspirations go beyond just creative pursuits. A 2020 study found that 54% of Gen Zs want to start their own company, while 89% have considered alternative education paths outside of traditional college. Autonomy and flexibility are the main drivers behind these ambitions. In a Gallup poll, 77% of young people in grades 5 through 12 expressed a desire to be their own boss.

As Gen Z comes of age, work structures are changing. America is predicted to become a majority-freelance economy by 2026, and many young people see entrepreneurship as a way to reclaim agency in a system they perceive as rigged. The internet has played a significant role in shaping Gen Z's mindset and opportunities. They have grown up baring their souls online, relying on digital realms for creative self-expression, and now turning to the internet for work.

This brings us to the importance of search and SEO in reaching Gen Z. In 2009, Bill Gates famously stated that "the future of search is verbs." Today, search is not just about keywords but about helping users accomplish their tasks and solve problems. Gen Z, in their quest for uniqueness and self-expression, turns to search engines to find the right content at the right time to aid them in their journey.

For businesses and marketers hoping to connect with Gen Z, understanding the role of search and optimizing for SEO is crucial. By providing valuable and relevant content that aligns with Gen Z's needs and interests, brands can establish a strong online presence and capture the attention of this influential generation.

Before we conclude, here are three actionable pieces of advice for businesses looking to engage with Gen Z:

  • 1. Embrace creativity and self-expression: Gen Z values individuality and authenticity. Incorporate creative elements into your brand messaging and allow for user-generated content to foster a sense of community.
  • 2. Understand the power of TikTok: With its emphasis on creativity and self-expression, TikTok has become a cultural phenomenon among Gen Z. Consider leveraging the platform to reach this audience and participate in stan culture.
  • 3. Prioritize search and SEO: Gen Z turns to search engines to find solutions and accomplish tasks. Optimize your website and content to ensure it ranks well in search results and meets the needs of Gen Z users.

In conclusion, Gen Z's unique characteristics and behaviors, such as their authenticity, creativity, and desire for autonomy, shape their language, trends, and consumption habits. TikTok plays a significant role in nurturing their creativity and self-expression, while search and SEO are vital for businesses looking to connect with this generation. By understanding and embracing these aspects, brands can effectively engage with Gen Z and tap into their immense spending power and influence.

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