Generation Z, also known as Gen Z, is the group of individuals born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s. As digital natives, they have grown up surrounded by technology and social media, making them experts in these fields. Millennials, on the other hand, were born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s and were introduced to technology and social media during their teenage years. While both generations use social media, their relationship with it differs, and Gen Z has some insights they would likely want their millennial co-workers to know.

How to get that Gen Z Instagram Aesthetic

TikToker, @channingstatum released a video outlining some key tips to achieve that Gen Z Instagram Aesthetic. In her TikTok video, she explains that she is the ‘resident’ Gen Z at her workplace and she works with a lot of millennials- who often compliment her Instagram stories.

Obviously, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a millennial and using Instagram to your own aesthetic. But, if you have ever admired Gen Z and their Instagram stories, then here are tips for millennials on how to make your stories feel less millennial include:

  1. Golden Rule: Always post vertical content to your Instagram story
  2. The serif font is the only acceptable font and do not slant your text

3. Absolutely no filters

4. Ghost tag your friends. To do this, tag your friend and then drag their handle off the screen. So, your friend can still repost it but it doesn’t clutter up your story

5. You can use emojis, but you (and I quote), “can’t be weird about it”.

Social media is a way of life

Typically, Gen Z view social media as an integral part of their daily lives. They use social media to connect with their friends, family, and even strangers worldwide. They also use social media as a tool to keep up with the latest trends, news, and events. To Gen Z, social media is more than just a platform to post pictures; it’s a way of life.

To learn more about the current social media usage of the different generations, read our latest social media updates blog.

Authenticity is everything

Millennials grew up with the emergence of social media and have seen it evolve into what it is today. As a result, they are more likely to have a polished and curated social media presence. For example, millennials may be more comfortable with shooting videos on high-quality cameras with professional editing. However, Gen Z value authenticity above all else. This can take the form of videos and images that were quite clearly shot on an iPhone, with minimal editing.

They prefer to see real and raw content, whether it’s from individuals or brands. To make content authentic, it is important to focus on both the meat of the content and the context of the platform on which it will be posted.

Source GWI

Social media is diverse

Gen Z values diversity and inclusivity, and they expect the same from social media platforms. They want to see diverse representation in the content they consume and the people they follow.

Although this view is shared by many, regardless of age, a 2020 study found that 76% of Gen Zers felt that diversity and inclusion are important topics for brands to address. This is compared with 72% of millennials, 63% of Gen Xers and 46% of Boomers. Gen Z typically has an “inclusive-first” approach to a lot of their social media preferences.

Despite there definitely being some overlap, Gen Z’s relationship with social media can differ from that of millennials. However, it is important to note that there is no ‘right way’ to use social media and ‘millennial mistakes’ are far from mistakes- they can just be different to that typically admired by a Gen Zer. By recognizing these insights, millennials can be inspired by their Gen Z coworkers and their way of viewing and creating social media content. This can also help brands in general understand the mind of their audience if their target demographic is Gen Zers.

So, how do your Instagram stories compare to that of a typical Gen Zer? Have you made any of the ‘millennial mistakes’ mentioned in the first point?

Tinisha Osu is a Marketing Executive with two degrees in Psychology. She is the first-author of a published psychology paper and is beginning her career in marketing through blog-writing, creating social media content and running marketing campaigns.