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How Gen Z Uses Word of Mouth [11 Statistics]

Authors: Jay Baer Jay Baer
Posted Under: Digital Marketing
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11 Gen Z Statistics on Word of Mouth

Gen Z (ages 13 to 22, as of 2018) is the first truly wired generation.

Constant connectivity to their friends and a multitude of information sources give this demographic group an extraordinary array of options when making choices.

Word of mouth is a key driver of buying among all generations. In fact, 50% of all Americans say they would choose word of mouth if they had to pick just one source of purchase information.

However, research reports from our team at Convince & Convert Consulting and from the Center for Generational Kinetics find that word of mouth is even more powerful when Gen Z decides what to buy.

Note that we help companies create new customers with word of mouth. The Center for Generational Kinetics helps companies capitalize on the business ramifications of generational differences.

Drawn from Chatter Matters: the 2018 Word of Mouth Report and The State of Gen Z 2018, here are 11 new Gen Z statistics that demonstrate how vital word of mouth is to this emerging generation.

48% of Gen Z has made a second-person word of mouth recommendation

“Second-person” word of mouth is when an individual makes a recommendation not because of their personal experience, but because a friend or family member told them something positive about the product, service, brand, or company.

48% of Gen Z has made such a recommendation, compared to 41% of Millennials, and 38% of Gen X and Boomers.

48% of Gen Z has made a second-person word of mouth recommendation Share on X

30% of Gen Z has made an overheard word-of-mouth recommendation

“Overheard” word of mouth is when an individual makes a recommendation not because of their personal experience, but because they were listening when someone they didn’t know praised the product, service, brand, or company.

30% of Gen Z has made such a recommendation, compared to 23% of Millennials, 16% of Gen X, and 13% of Boomers.

30% of Gen Z has made an overheard word-of-mouth recommendation Share on X

86% of Gen Z reads reviews before making a first-time purchase

Reviews are increasingly important for all buyers, but Gen Z consults online opinions extensively, and more so than any other generation.

86% of Gen Z reads reviews before making a first-time purchase Share on X

68% of Gen Z reads 3 or more reviews before making a first-time purchase

Gen Z is not satisfied glancing at one review and making a buy.

68% of Gen Z reads 3 or more reviews before making a first-time purchase Share on X

21% of Gen Z females read 9 or more reviews before making a first-time purchase

This embrace of reviews is made even more interesting considering that 11% of Gen Z males read 9 or more reviews before making a first-time buy.

21% of Gen Z females read 9 or more reviews before making a first-time purchase Share on X

Gen Z + Millennials are 99% more likely to rely on online reviews and social media when choosing a restaurant

These younger diners almost never make a restaurant selection without checking reviews and social media chatter. Compared to Gen X + Boomers, the Gen Z + Millennial cohorts are 99% more likely to use those sources of information.

Gen Z + Millennials are 99% more likely to rely on online reviews and social media when choosing a restaurant Share on X

Instagram is most popular way for Gen Z to follow brands

Among Gen Z, 41% follow brands on Instagram, with a smaller percentage checking in on companies via Twitter and elsewhere.

Instagram is most popular way for Gen Z to follow brands Share on X

52% of Gen Z brand followers are connected to at least 3 brands on Instagram

Among members of Gen Z who do follow brands on Instagram, 52% of them follow at least three.

52% of Gen Z brand followers are connected to at least 3 brands on Instagram Share on X

Gen Z females more likely to follow brands on Instagram

48% of Gen Z women follow brands on Instagram, compared to 36% of Gen Z males.

Gen Z females more likely to follow brands on Instagram Share on X

46% of Gen Z follows more than 10 influencers in social media

Gen Z trusts each other, and they trust influencers in their generation who have disproportionate audience, expertise, or experience. Nearly half of Gen Z follows more than 10 influencers in social media today.

46% of Gen Z follows more than 10 influencers in social media Share on X

Gen Z trust YouTube ads more than any other type of ad

This includes radio, print, television, social media ads, and beyond. YouTube ads — often featuring influencers — are the most trusted form of advertising among Gen Z.

Gen Z trust YouTube ads more than any other type of ad Share on X

These statistics and other research on Gen Z show that this generation is not simply a continuation of Millennials. Behaviors are different. Expectations are different. Attitudes are different. And use and embrace of word of mouth are different.

Fundamentally, Gen Z — at least at this time — relies more on word of mouth, in both its offline and online forms, more than any other generation.

Consequently, if your company sells to young consumers, you simply MUST have a successful word of mouth strategy. If you don’t, perhaps we can help?

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