Generation Z, social media, marketing strategy, digital marketing, intrusiveness, engagement, digital realm, advertising, evolution of social media advertising, personalized advertisement, digital natives, social media marketing, brand image, Instagram, TikTok, Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, peer influence, target audience
We live in an era that is marked by the omnipresence of social media and it is irrefutable that over the past few decades, social media advertising has undergone a profound transformative evolution. Generation Z (Gen Z), often considered to be the first generation that has been brought up in an entirely digital world, finds itself immersed in this world where social media plays a significant role in their daily lives. This digital landscape has not only changed the way we perceive the world but also the way we act within it.
Born between 1995 and 2010, Gen Z is marked by its almost natural familiarity with digital technology and more specifically, social media platforms. Various social media platforms have created a space for self-expression, socialization, and exploration, we could even add, an extension of their identities. This cohort has substantially contributed to the drastic changes that have been observed in the traditional advertising methods and the mounting skepticism or even rejection they have faced. It is safe to say that Gen Z is here to stay - not only does it represent the present but it is also expected to lead the future of the social media advertising environment.
One of the greatest challenges that marketers nowadays have to overcome is to find the balance between engagement and intrusiveness. In this landscape, Gen Z stands out as the predominant user of social media among all generations. However, as Gen Z members are exposed to an overwhelming amount of content daily, they have become quite selective about the social media ads that they come across and their judgment of them.
This study aims to explore the multifaceted perceptions of Gen Z towards social media advertising, dissecting the factors that contribute to their sense of intrusiveness and examining what constitutes engaging content. Through qualitative analysis and hypothesis testing, we will shed light on the subtle nuances that shape their preferences and attitudes.
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[...] A review of the existing literature on intrusiveness, engagement, and perceptions of social media marketing has been included in this study. In addition, interviews were conducted to collect primary data. In most qualitative studies, the most common data collection tool is interviews. Barrett and Twycross (2018) explain that "interviews give the most direct and straightforward approach to gathering detailed and rich data regarding a particular phenomenon" (p. 63). Interviews can be designed and structured according to the nature of the research question, traits of the population, and the approach that is most appropriate as per the researcher. [...]
[...] Based on the information sought from existing studies, it was established that different social media platforms have unique qualities that make them appealing to users and for advertisements. As such, the researcher sought to examine the most popular social media sites amongst the participants in this study. It was found that the most popular platform as reported by the participants is Instagram, which is followed by TikTok, Messenger, Viber, and WhatsApp. The participants revealed that they often use Instagram for entertainment, awareness, to keep communication with friends through its messaging feature, socializing, "to keep up with showbiz news", to "watch my friends' posts and stories" and to "keep up with the celebrities I enjoy". [...]
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