In light of LinkedIn's established efficacy as a B2B lead generation powerhouse, a pertinent question arises: How can asset managers leverage Direct-to-Consumer Strategies (D2C) on LinkedIn to captivate the attention of Generation Z?
Capturing this generation’s 'attention proves to be a nuanced challenge. While they aspire to participate on LinkedIn, a mere 21% of ‘Zoomers’ feel adequately represented in advertising on the platform. Effectively engaging with them necessitates a comprehensive understanding of their perspectives on LinkedIn, their digital preferences, cherished values, and objectives once they log on. This article aims to provide asset managers with insights into Gen Z on LinkedIn and offer actionable next steps that are tailored for this discerning clientele.
The Gen Z Opportunity, Quantified
But what enhances the appeal of this demographic is not solely their imminent status as the preeminent consumer generation, poised to wield an estimated $360 billion in disposable income. Rather, LinkedIn's Gen Z users stand out because they possess greater affluence compared to their 25–34-year-old counterparts on other social media platforms.
While it may be convenient to perceive this surge in users as a mere influx of young professionals entering the workforce, it is imperative to acknowledge that Gen Z's presence on LinkedIn transcends conventional job-seeking and networking motives. Recent studies illuminate their preference for going to LinkedIn for learning and research, with a distinct focus on the economy, finance, investments and business.
GenZ on Linkedin: What they ‘Like’
Relevant statistics underscore the significance of this younger cohort:
- 70% find the content shared on LinkedIn relevant to their interests
- 80% like to follow companies and organizations
- 75% believe that companies and organizations deliver valuable content on their LinkedIn Pages
Knocking on LinkedIn’s Door: Gen Z Finds ‘X’ Doesn’t Mark the Spot
Twitter has long held the spotlight as the preferred platform for young professionals seeking to establish their professional presence. However, a notable shift has occurred in recent years, with LinkedIn emerging as a formidable competitor for the attention of Gen Z. According to Suzi Owens, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at LinkedIn, there has been a significant 74% year-over-year increase in student sign-ups—an evolution notably influenced by the leadership of Elon Musk.
This generation is increasingly turning to LinkedIn for a more constructive and productivity-focused social media experience. Gen Z, driven by a pursuit of stability, perceives Twitter as incongruent with these aspirations, resulting in a discernible migration to alternative platforms. Gigi Robinson, a Gen Z creator focusing on the economy and mental health advocacy, articulates this sentiment, stating, "After the Twitter takeover, I really became uninterested in posting on the platform due to the conflicting beliefs of the people at the top." Elon’s takeover of Twitter further pushed Gen Zs to LinkedIn--with78 million Gen Zers currently active on LinkedIn—twice the figure seen in early 2020.
Zoomers allocate their attention to platforms that align with their values. This burgeoning audience seeks a virtual environment characterized by safety, inclusivity, friendliness, and trustworthiness. Impressively, 80% of Gen Z perceives LinkedIn as a brand they can trust, and 73% feel secure in posting content and engaging with other users on the platform. LinkedIn's success in cultivating this trust is evidenced by a virtual absence of negative headlines regarding privacy concerns. Additionally, the platform has proactively addressed issues such as harassment and hate speech, implementing features like comment moderation to foster a positive community—a marked divergence from Twitter's laissez-faire approach.
When tailoring content for Gen Z, it is imperative to ensure that the message is transparent, inclusive, and imbued with positivity. A failure to adhere to these criteria may prompt Gen Z to redirect their attention elsewhere.
Digital Habits + Trends: A Type-Cast of Gen Z
Understanding the digital landscapes sought by Zoomers is pivotal, but equally crucial is discerning their habits in order to optimize their reach. For starters, Gen Z is the first global generation to be digitally connected since birth. A substantial 71% of Gen Zers dedicate over an hour daily to social and 63% make recurrent visits to LinkedIn each week.
Further insights indicate that Gen Z's daily social usage surpasses the average millennial's by nearly an hour. Additionally, their engagement, quantified by total interactions, has surged to 2.7 times the levels observed at the start of 2020, aligning with consistent year-over-year patterns.
But what distinguishes Gen Z transcends mere connectedness; their hyperconnected nature is particularly noteworthy. An impressive 74% of Gen Zers allocate their free time to online activities, and 66% multitask using multiple connected devices simultaneously. Mobile centrality is a defining characteristic, with almost three-quarters of Gen Z relying more heavily on their phones than computers or other devices.
The learning habits of Gen Z also reveal distinctive features. In contrast to prior generations emphasizing soft skills and favoring weekday learning, Gen Z prioritizes the enhancement of hard skills and displays an eagerness to dedicate weekends to learning. A significant 86% of surveyed Gen Zers actively engage in online learning.
For asset managers, the opportunity lies in delivering captivating educational content on LinkedIn that not only positions them as thought leaders but also fosters trust with this discerning audience. The potential extends beyond mere attraction; asset managers stand to retain the sustained attention of Gen Z by aligning with their digital behaviors and preferences.
Characteristics + Principles
LinkedIn's appeal to Gen Z extends beyond trust, encompassing an authentic focus on professionalism, positivity, and productivity. Unlike platforms where anonymity permits negative comments and trolling, LinkedIn actively encourages users to be genuine, fostering a community built on honest relationships. Linked to one's professional image, users are incentivized to treat others with respect, making instances of hate comments or bullying less likely.
The platform's algorithm currently appears to reward authenticity, shaping the content visible to users. It actively encourages the sharing of experiences, challenges, and insights, contributing positively to respective industries. In addition to placing high value on trust and authenticity, Gen Z believes in eco-consciousness and social equality.
Here are some other key attributes of Gen Z that asset managers should be aware of:
Gen Z's engagement on LinkedIn highlights their overarching ambition and keen interest in professional development. In contrast to users on other social platforms, young LinkedIn users exhibit heightened interest in finance, investment, and business. A substantial 73% express a desire for success, with 72% aspiring to financial security. Nearly 8 in 10 believe they will need to 'work harder' than previous generations for a fulfilling career.
While Gen Z places a high value on financial security and success, they are proactive in their pursuit, demonstrating a strong desire for continuous learning. LinkedIn data indicates that Zoomers prioritize new skills, success, and financial security.
- 74% emphasize the importance of learning new skills.
- 73% aspire to be successful.
- 72% prioritize financial security.
However, only 48% claim proficiency in managing money. The need for content around money management from a trustworthy brand is evident. Asset managers have the opportunity to emerge as thought leaders for this generation by providing relevant insights.
Gen Zers have not only established their values but also defined modes of online interaction and habits for skills development and career advancement. Their priorities and work approach markedly differ from preceding generations, and their impact in the marketplace is steadily becoming more apparent.
Connecting with Gen Z: How Asset Managers Can See Their ‘Invitation’ Accepted
Connecting with Gen Z is pivotal for asset managers seeking to engage with this emerging demographic. Understanding who Gen Z is and why they gravitate towards the platform provides valuable insights for fostering meaningful connections with our newest clients.
Here are three essential tips tailored for asset managers:
1. Company Engagement:
An overwhelming 80% of Gen Z expresses interest in following companies and organizations. To capitalize on this, asset managers should optimize their company and employee profiles. Profile pages with complete information get 30% more weekly views and pages with a cover image are 11 times more likely to be viewed. Clear visuals, a well-defined mission, and showcasing company culture are imperative. Firms need to also provide a humanized digital presence.
Example: Consider involving the team in community efforts, such as events to address issues Gen Z cares about or environmental initiatives like beach cleanups. Take pictures of your efforts and post them on your company and personal accounts.
2. Valuable Company Content:
The belief held by 75% of Gen Z that companies and organizations post valuable content on LinkedIn necessitates a proactive content strategy. Since Gen Z frequents LinkedIn on a weekly basis, asset managers should aim to consistently post new educational content every few days.
Example: Since the majority of Gen Z doesn’t feel like they manage their money well, articles, events, and financial education 101 material will be appealing to this demographic. Think of topics such as, “How to Ensure Your Values and Investments are Aligned” or “Financial Security 101,” and “Investing for Beginners.”
3. Tailored Content Preferences:
Gen Z’s interests revolve around technology and hard skills, including topics like spreadsheets, data analysis and business intelligence, to name a few. Asset managers should align their content strategy with these topics. If certain topics areas are not covered by an asset manager's existing strategies or products that doesn’t mean that this type of content should be skipped. Instead, think outside of the box and find ways to touch on hard skills in a less direct way.
Example: If your firm offers internships, exploring what the interns are learning can provide insights for bridging these potential gaps. By touching on what skills these interns are adding, doing a few Q&A posts where the interns are the ones being interviewed and encouraging interns to post about their experience with your firm, asset managers are setting themselves up for success.
In serving this generation, asset managers must position their advice to align with Gen Z's values, online interaction habits, and career development approaches. Gen Z's priorities and work methodologies significantly differ from previous generations, and their impact in the marketplace is becoming increasingly evident.