54 Things You Need to Know About Gen Z

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Feel like you just got to know Millennials? Well, the time has come to effectively say they’re (I am) old news. It’s all about the next fresh-faced generation – “Generation Z.” While they’re similar to their predecessors in a lot of ways, there are some stark differences that make them unique. Most haven’t experienced a world without social media, and the concept of labels is less important. Brace yourself, there’s a lot here, but take some time to get to know and understand them and it will pay off. If there is a simple concept that remains consistent though, it’s be authentic.

  1. Born between 1995-2010
  2. Approximately 1/4 of the total US population at 60 million currently, estimated to be 1/3 by 2020
  3. Consistently use emojis, hashtags, and short videos to communicate in new ways
  4. Industrious, and future-conscious. Personified by Alex of “Modern Family”
  5. Majority do not recall life without social media
  6. Will be the last generation that consists of a Caucasian majority. Currently comprised of 47% ethnic minorities
  7. Spend 2 to 4 times more time watching YouTube videos than traditional TV
  8. Approximate 8 second attention span
  9. Value experiences more than material items, and are willing to spend more on said experiences
  10. Deterring from traditional norms, and identities are defined more fluidly
  11. 48% identify as exclusively heterosexual
  12. Referred to as the “pluralist generation”
  13. Online and offline worlds are synchronized more than ever
  14. Value personal connections and privacy
  15. Averse to perfection, as it isn’t seen as genuine
  16. View spending as investment, and are highly aware of finances
  17. Friends and family significantly influence 84% of purchasing decisions
  18. Digital influencers are new superstars as they are seen as more accessible and authentic
  19. Twice as likely to use a cell phone to online shop
  20. Work not defined by a physical location
  21. New social platforms emphasize privacy
  22. Aware that digital footprints are forever
  23. “Normcore” (normal hard-core) fashion trend
  24. Define themselves less by gender and more through individuality
  25. More progressive world view
  26. High levels of digital aptitude at younger ages
  27. Be ready for a decent blend of careerists and digital mavericks, based on tech success from Zuckerberg, Spiegel, etc.
  28. Want personalization from brands
  29. Raised mainly by involved parents from Generation X
  30. Value loyalty
  31. Team sport participation has declined, as physical activity has taken a backseat to interactivity. Sports like soccer, baseball, and golf have seen decreases in participation – presumably due to their slow nature and the generation’s minimal attention spans
  32. Less motivated by material rewards, and more motivated by altruistic pursuits
  33. Experience and see the world through numerous screens
  34. More prone to procrastination due to the accessibility of information
  35. Communication with advisors occurs after traditional hours because of 24/7 access
  36. Immediate gratification mindset
  37. FOMO – “fear of missing out”
  38. Many perform freelance or on-demand work (Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, etc)
  39. High college costs and significant loan debt result in a more financially conscious and conservative group
  40. 47% participate in organized religion
  41. Socially moderate to liberal, while financially conservative
  42. Proclivity towards more genuine, imperfect messaging
  43. Value social justice – 56% concerned about racism, 56% concerned with sexism, and 61% concerned about poverty
  44. Over 9/10 have access to a computer
  45. 1/3 send roughly 100 texts a day
  46. Phone communication is increasingly non-verbal – 65% dislike or somewhat like making voice phone calls
  47. Email is seen as a formal and slower form of communication
  48. Over 2/3 prefer interacting with family and friends face-to-face as opposed to over social media or online
  49. Less exposure with in-person communication, although they have a desire for it
  50. 41% of time spent outside of the classroom is spent on a connected device
  51. Social media is used less to share about themselves, and more to keep up with others
  52. Over half of Facebook users have private profiles so they can control who sees their information
  53. Different social media platforms are used for different purposes. Facebook is typically for family and keeping up with others, while Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are for friends.
  54. Nearly 9/10 report being extremely close to their parents






Seemiller, Corey and Megan Grace. Gen Z Goes to College

Best in Show! 31st Annual Education Advertising Awards

Winners have been announced for the 31st Annual Education Advertising Awards sponsored by Higher Education Marketing Report and TWG Plus is one of the leaders of the pack!

The Educational Advertising Awards is the largest educational advertising award competitions in the country. With over 2,000 entries received, TWG Plus brought home 18 awards including “Best in Show” for the University of Central Oklahoma.

Here are a few of the winners. 

University of Central Oklahoma: Best in Show, Gold for Total Integrated Marketing Campaign



Monmouth College: Gold for Publications



University of Idaho: Gold for Search



College of Coastal Georgia: Gold for Search



Metropolitan Community College: Silver for Total Integrated Marketing Campaign



Marymount Manhattan College: Bronze for Imprinted Materials



For the full list of awards visit EduAD Awards.

[Infographic] 12 Strategies to Improve Late Cycle Enrollment

Top 12 Strategies for Late Cycle EnrollmentWhatever happened to summer vacations or the ‘slow season’? The admissions cycle used to reach a crescendo on May 1st and then lead into a quieter summer. Not anymore.

High school students are making decisions later in the cycle. Transfer students have become a more critical piece of the enrollment puzzle. Adult students are seeking solutions to perceived immediate needs.

Last month, TWG Plus’ Senior Marketing Consultant Chris Tyburski and Kean University’s Director of Admissions Jennifer Kanellis hosted our first webinar of the year “4th Quarter Enrollment Strategies” filled with great insight and tips for reaching those slow-moving prospects.

We have compiled a list of 12 core strategies based on that webinar that will help you thrive in this new era.  Download the infographic now.

For more information on late cycle enrollment strategies watch the full webinar recording or download the webinar presentation slides today!

Social Media Webinar Q&A – Part 2

For everyone who missed our webinar last week, here is the link to the recording. And now for part two of the Q&A that Taylor and I did not get a chance to get to last Wednesday. Have any other questions our audience didn’t ask last week? Shoot either one of us an email – our contact info is below!


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What is your opinion or experience with student social media ambassadors?

Ambassadors have a tendency to lose consistency as the year wears on, so select students with a real vested interest in creating consistent content. Think leaders of organizations, teams, and groups across campus that would benefit from a strong incoming class. Also consider using students who truly love social media or are pursuing a degree in digital marketing or communications. For them it’s a resume builder and for you it’s a teaching opportunity and a huge help!


Are community colleges using this social media devices to market themselves?

They absolutely are! The successful community colleges know their strengths, how they differentiate themselves from other institutions, and translate that into their social strategy.


I have a fear of a student changing the password of the Snapchat account. Is this is a trust issue?

That is a very valid question. Snapchat required a valid email and password for an account. Therefore, if at any time a temporary password is compromised, the primary email account holder can request a new one which would logout the current user. There is definitely trust involved with this process. I recommend going the extra mile of requiring an application and/or interviews for any social media ambassadors. This would create a heavier weight of importance on the position.


How do we get students interested in following us on Snapchat?

In short, create interesting and applicable content. Organizing a contest could generate some excitement and draw students to find the account. You should also promote your Snapchat account across your other social channels.


What social media devices would you use for parents vs student to influence them more about your school?

Facebook has a large number of adult users, so if you want to start somewhere, that would be it. Keep in mind though, just like the students are ready to leave the nest in real life, they don’t necessarily want their parents by their side on social (one of the theories as to why Snapchat is so popular). I would start a small, private group for parents who want to know more about your school and monitor the engagement from there.


Should we eliminate individual team pages in athletics and consolidate to make one athletic page?

I recommend this to help streamline your social strategy. The closer you can get to one page, the easier it is for your audience and prospects to follow you and understand your messaging. While this is the goal, whether this is feasible or not for your school will really depend on the communication between teams and departments.


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Social Media Webinar Q&A – Part 1

Thanks to everyone who attended our webinar, “Social Media in Higher Ed: How to Get Results for Your Institution.” I hope you enjoyed it and took a few things away that you could apply to your school. By the time we got to the Q&A portion, everyone had responded with some great questions that we couldn’t get to in time, so Taylor and I wanted to answer them for you afterwards. Here is the first set of the answers, and if you have any others, feel free to email us or leave a comment!

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I’m interested in learning how other institutions are using Snapchat and how they measure its impact on enrollment.

Snapchat is notorious for disclosing minimal statistics on its usage and engagement. However, you can view the number of followers you have and the number of users who view your snaps. With this info, you could compare to see if there is a correlation.


How do you use social media to encourage students to look at community colleges versus your traditional four-year institutions?

We recommend placing your social media account information on publications and emails so students know how to reach you.  It’s all about selling your school and programs with the student’s best interest in mind.  If you keep a healthy social presence, they will notice.


What are the best times to post for each media, and what are each media’s followers looking for (what will make them like our posts or our page)?

We are firm believers that great content is far more important than trying to time your posts to hit a theoretical “golden hour.” If you post great content, your followers will find it and respond. Social is just a medium, think about what’s exciting on your campus and translate it online.


Do you recommend Pinterest as a platform for students? Boards can include health tips, dorm room ideas, etc. (just as a fun and interactive way to gain and retain students)

We recommend it as part of your overall social strategy if you have the bandwidth to support it, and have a content strategy specific to Pinterest. It sounds like you do, so great start!  Make sure to always include your institution’s name and link to your website for gaining better traffic.


With a small staff and so many platform options, what are the best choices? I maintain FB and Twitter -with success- and would find it hard to add another channel and do it well.

Something to consider when feeling overwhelmed with managing social media is rethinking your collaboration. It is possible for the school’s marketing department to manage the main Facebook account which would allow admissions to drive students there.  I vote Instagram being an absolute must. Snapchat is quickly becoming the new Twitter for Gen Z.

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