The Internet may seem like a more recent innovation to some, but two generations now exist who have never known life without the Internet! Gen Z and Gen Alpha (those born from the 1990s to 2020s) likely spend many of their waking hours on their smartphones, laptops and connected to WiFi in some way or another. This makes the Internet one of the best possible mediums to reach Gen Z and Gen Alpha age groups. So how do you, as a church, reach these generations online? Be where they are! Show up on the platforms they use, create content using the native format they consume, and work on developing the messaging that is meaningful to them.
If there’s one thing that social media does well, it’s make you feel more connected to others. To those generations who are digital natives, this type of social connection is incredibly important. So it makes sense that they’d use the platforms where they can find connection, freedom of expression and entertainment.
The latest platforms that are popular with Gen Z and Gen Alpha include Snapchat and Tik Tok. As some of the most used and fastest-growing applications in the world, these platforms encourage users to be themselves and to entertain others authentically without judgment.
What makes social media like these so popular? Video. Video is easy to watch, easy to understand, and takes little to no effort to absorb. For the same reason that Netflix, Audible, and cable news are so successful, Tik Tok and Snapchat (another video-based social media) are also successful.
Want to make young people “run for the hills”? Try to sell them on something. Want them to listen to you? Connect with them using the right tone: authenticity. Your church can best reach these generations by just being open, fun, creative, and real. Professional production, fancy equipment, and well-written scripts just won’t resonate with Gen Z and Gen Alpha. You’re better off using an iPhone and being yourself than hiring a camera crew and an actor.
Understanding your audience is key. These generations have specific, unique interests and messages that resonate with them so make sure that you’re not taking a one-size-fits-all approach to messaging. Take time to understand what they are looking for, what’s important to them, why they might find it at your church, and what could possibly keep them from attending your church now.
Addressing all of these components will make your online outreach significantly more effective! The ways younger generations interact and engage with outreach has changed, so it’s important that your church changes with it.
Keeping up on these new trends can be time-consuming. Be sure to do your research to effectively reach Gen Z and Gen Alpha on Snapchat and TikTok by downloading our DIY guide!