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Is TikTok the Key to Reaching Gen Z?

Brands Are Overlooking this Path to Reaching Gen Z

If you know Gen Z, you know that TikTok is a mainstay on their phones – which means in their lives. But is TikTok the best place for reaching Gen Z? Maybe not…

Our first-hand research shows that Gen Z, just like every generation before it, wants a place of its own. And since Millennials (and Gen X and even Boomers) are on TikTok – since it’s gone mainstream, in other words – the controversial social media platform may not be the best opportunity for brand engagement.

So where is Gen Z hanging out virtually – without crowds of older generations “ruining” it?

The answer, as we discovered with a recent Felician University campaign: Snapchat.

Snap Up Your Snapchat Marketing

Brands that are successfully reaching Gen Z are embracing Snapchat as the authentic virtual home of this interesting and influential target market, born between 1997 and 2012. Per Pew Research, this generational cutoff indicates significant differences vs. Millennials in terms of political, economic, and social events.

This is a generation incredibly adept at learning new technologies and open to change. That means they are willing to discover new brands – with the right messaging, the right meaning, in the right place.

Snapchat: 12x ROI vs. TikTok

In a recent college recruitment campaign for Felician University, we targeted high school students across multiple platforms, from traditional to social. And TikTok yielded some strong numbers.


Snapchat outperformed TikTok by 12:1.

Here is one of the Snapchat ads that drove the strongest results in reaching Gen Z:

3 Tips to Make Snapchat Work for Your Brand

  1. Keep it Real. Unlike the Instagram Generation before it, Gen Z craves reality – not curated, posted, processed posts and ads.
  2. Keep it Positive. Gen Z also prefers positivity, perhaps in response to the divisiveness, negativity, and anxiety of the world in which they have been reared.
  3. Keep it Short. Gen Z has superpowers when it comes to balancing multiple messaging channels – as long as those channels respect their time and attention. Short messages that give an option to engage for more are the path forward for reaching Gen Z.

There are no magic bullets in marketing. There is only really understanding your target market and the best way to reach them in the moment. And right now, Snapchat represents an enormous opportunity for reaching Gen Z. 

If your brand needs help reaching its marketing goals, give us a shout! 973.257.5533 or info@theS3agency.com.





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