The TikTok Effect: Monitoring Trends to Reach Gen Z
Carol Feigenbaum |
 01/26/21 |
5 min read

tiktok trends gen z

To understand Generation Z, start by tossing out any preconceptions. Their range of interests is extensive and can be seen quite clearly with social media listening. But you need to be listening! They love a good viral dance, sure – but did you know they’re also very interested in investing?

Let’s explore!

We’re going to take a deep dive into what’s important to Generation Z, including their future investments, both financial and otherwise as we inspect analytics for social media to learn:

  • What defines Gen Z
  • How to deconstruct TikTok – it’s more than dance-offs
  • What else this generation is surprisingly obsessed with (hint: one is financial fitness!)

We discovered interesting audience analytics about this young generation as we dug in, including:

  • Gen Z spends 23 hours each week streaming video content
  • 55% use their smartphones for five hours per day
  • 35% recognized themselves as investors, and 57% expressed an interest around learning more about investing – which powerful intel for consumer and shopper insights!

importance of trend analytics

Reading the Virtual Gen Z Room

Move over Millennials, Generation Z is in the house – and they mean business. After all, they take up 32% of the world population, their buying power is at $143 billion. And this doesn’t take into account their influence on family spending, which is around $600 billion. If you’re wondering where they’re putting their money, we can answer everything about consumer buying behavior by using the power of consumer intelligence.

We researched consumer analytics data around Generation Z and what’s important to them. Conversations of interest are categorized by color:


Music is a big influence, as it tops all other segments. Other trending topics of note are Mental Health, Social Justice, Politics and Climate Change.

The latter two come as no surprise, as this generation believes that causes are a part of their identity. And emerging market research indicates a full 72% believe that they can be a valuable part of a movement by participating online via social media.

And being online is a big focus point as well, coming in third on our cluster radar. In fact, consumer behavior research shows that this group of consumers streams about 23 hours of video content each week, with 50% of them spending 10 hours per day online. And 58% of Gen Z said they begin to feel uncomfortable if they go more than four hours without it.

Pulling Back the Layers

Social media listening allows us to tease out details within the clusters, revealing top Gen Z terms and emotions. And it’s the simple things in life such as Happiness and Self Improvement that take up space.


But what’s the best thing? Luckily, we can click through and we can discover what’s behind this emotion. It leads to a spike in chatter on January 1st with the post in question retweeted +66K times! This tweet, combined with consumer insight and analytics, demonstrates how important relationships are and how deeply Gen Z seeks to connect with other relative strangers online.

And this speaks to Generation Z’s attachment to social media apps – especially those like TikTok that make posting feel like hanging out with friends. It’s another way to communicate and this crowd would rather text than talk, and they’d rather be communicated with through social media too. Which is great, as it offers lots of opportunity for consumer behavior analysis. And they do this many different ways, such as dance offs.

Viral Dance Stars

55% of Generation Z use their smartphones 5 hours or more a day. And no doubt, some, if not all of that time is spent viewing dances and influencers like Charli D’Amelio and her sister, Dixie D’Amelio.

top-gen-z-tiktok-influencersThese two sisters have 150+ million followers between the two of them. They often have dance competitions between themselves, and individually tackle Tiktok dance challenges. This speaks to the importance on having a robust influencer marketing strategy baked in to any brand’s campaigns.

TikTok is trending, in fact it’s the number two app in Generation Z’s world, and 60% of TikTok users are – yep, you guessed it – Generation Z.

Instagram is third. But even on Instagram, TikTok is present. An account called @tiktokroom has 1.9 followers and keeps users up to date on trends and all the gossip on this social app. It offers consumer insights for marketing, and importantly – consumer insight specific to brands.

So, we’ve learned that Generation Z likes Dance challenges and TikTok. But there’s another category that’s less obvious that is picking up speed on this popular social media app – one that consumer analytics tools tease out of the conversation.

Looking to consumer intelligence, our conversation timeline is centered around TikTok. In it we can see the many segments, such TikTok Stars, Influencer Marketing, TikTok Fashion and even one that is entirely full of blogs, posts and articles about Charli Damelio. It’s when we explore a bit more that a specific area piques our interest – investments. And this is why it’s important to closely analyze social media!


This article has been viewed 2.7K times and it’s speaking to investment influencers on TikTok – and one, Errol Coleman. 

importance of trend analytics


Gen Z Investment Gurus

social-influencers-show-gen-z-interest-in-investingFour out of five Generation Z adults factor in ESG (environmental, social and governance) into investment decisions, and this jibes with everything we know about them based on previous consumer behavior analysis.

Not only do they want maximum value for every dollar they spend, but they also want their money to go towards ethical or sustainable sources.

And there are a few influencers that Generation Z are flocking to for investment advice – equally savvy smarty pants in the Generation Z crowd.

And one such guru is Errol Coleman. Any brand targeting Gen Z may want to consider adding him to their influencer marketing strategy!


Errol only joined TikTok in February 2020, but he already has 225K followers. He explains investments in an easy-to-understand way, including technical analysis patterns and individual stock picks. He throws in memes on being a stock trader just for fun.

It’s no wonder he picked TikTok to expand his social media presence: The hashtag #investing has 1 billion views and #stocktok had 254 million views.

Combine this with the fact that 35% of Generation Z recognized themselves as investors, and 57% expressed an interest to learn more about investing – and you have a win/win, as well as some interesting consumer insight and analytics!

Social media listening shows us the rest.

Our bar chart (below) offers powerful consumer analytics. It has been sorted by readers’ ages to show which segments and articles are being read by Generation Z. We’ve also organized it to show us articles with the highest social engagement, making fast work of pinpointing popular topics. In addition to this, we’ve chosen to see results based only in the US, UK and Canada, a must have function with consumer intelligence when attempting to see and compare what’s happing in specific parts of the world.

Not surprisingly, we see a lot about green or sustainable investing, with ESG investments appearing prominently, as expected. And, of course, the stock market is of interest as many Gen Z-ers bought into it.

But let’s dive into a couple categories to discover the unexpected.


Looking at Value Stocks, one article that stands out is about an app called Robinhood which allows its user to schedule recurring investments on a daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. It’s largely used by millennials, but according to consumer intelligence it’s of interest to Generation Z as well. That’s consumer trends research you can take to the bank/

And if we explore Foreign Investments, we see an article on investing in robotics. The engagement is higher on this one at 83 vs Robinhood’s 11, confirming another consumer buying behavior we know about Generation Z – they love technology.


But, things change rapidly, of course. Although Generation Z are the native technology group, their interests could change as they age, or become distracted by the next new thing. Having the ability to analyze social media with solid social media listening and consumer intelligence is critical for reading the room with this fickle demographic. Reach out for a demo and always be one step ahead of the next generation!

importance of trend analytics

Premier social media analytics platform

Expand your social platform with LexisNexis news media

Power of social analytics for your entire team

Media analytics and market intelligence platform

Enrich your media analytics with social data

Social media benchmarking
and competitive intelligence

Data streams & custom KPIs for advanced data science

AI, Image Analytics, Reporting Tools & more

Out-of-the-box integration with other data sources