Seven Popular Gen Z Terms on Social Media Explained

April 17, 2019 by Modellist-ID editor

When it comes to marketing, a huge chunk of focus is on millennials. They are the ones with the greatest buying power in the world right now. For the smart marketer, however, Generation Z is what it’s all about. Even if you aren’t a marketer, you might have a teen or might be on social media and have come across words like “glow-up”, “yeet”, or “finsta”. For a generation that is 62% more likely to feel comfortable expressing themselves online than in real life, these social media terms are key.   

For those hoping to sell to Generation Z, or to at least build up a personal brand of their own, knowing how to accurately and organically connect with this young generation is key. Their true spending power is, after all, closer to $200 billion, and when 85% of Generation Z learns about new products or brands on social media than anywhere else, you need to know how to leave your mark. They are also a third more likely to connect with you online to stay in touch.


So what words are they using? What do they mean? More importantly, how do you use them and how can you use them in your marketing? Here is a rundown of the top seven in circulation today:


Finsta

Though Finsta literally means fake Instagram, the reality is it is probably the more genuine account a person can own. A Finsta doesn’t mean that the person who owns and operates it is a fraud or a bot, instead, it refers to the private, personal account a Gen Z will share only with their close accounts. Today, many will have a Rinsta – real Instagram, where they post only carefully curated content – and a Finsta, a fake Instagram account where they post only content designed to be seen by their closest friends.

Extra

Extra is quite literal, though you won’t see it prefixing anything else. If you are referred to as extra you are being “too much”. Perhaps your style is ridiculous, or perhaps your personality is over the top.

Basic

On the other side of hipsters is basic, or, essentially, a marketer’s dream demographic. They are the ones that like only things that are mainstream, popular, or trending.

Glow-Up

This is a largely Instagram trend where two (or more) photos will be posted to show the transformation from puberty to adulthood (or childhood to teenagerhood). The essential goal is to show off how far you’ve come since you were young, and how much better you look now.

Lit

Situations or things that once would have been referred to as “cool” are now “lit.” A person is not “lit,” but the party they host would be.

Slay

There are two definitions. One, that the person’s look, style, or words are commanding, inspirational, and awe-worthy. You might have seen comments such as “You slay, girl” to an outfit post in which their friend is wearing a retro coat. You can keep up with the latest styles of retro coats and similar staples online. Generation Z now most of their spending online, and there are many clothing sites can help you find the latest trends.  

GOAT

Greatest of all time.

Words will always change, and keeping up to date can be challenging. Essentially, you will want to follow key influencers in their sphere to make a note of what words they are using and how they are using them.

Tags: social media, Tips

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