How To Go Viral This Black Friday With Gen Z

It’s official. TikTok is officially Gen Z’s number one social media platform.

Yep – a massive 74% of this demographic are ramping up their screen time on this platform – and they’re not just using it to interact with their friends. 

In fact, when we asked 1,000 Gen Zers what they were using TikTok for, our data revealed the following:

  • 14% said to engage with close friends
  • 26% said to engage with brands and creators
  • 39% are using TikTok for entertainment
  • 25% are using TikTok for education and inspiration

The potential here for brands is huge – but success usually comes down to one deciding factor: going viral.

In this blog, we share some key insights to help brands have their most successful Black Friday yet, with the expertise of Student Beans’ Content Lead, Alice Green.

Show Gen Z you’re more than just the product you’re selling

Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the biggest spending period in the calendar, and ads around this period are pretty saturated as a result.

For brands to cut through the noise on TikTok and stand out, they need to show consumers they’re more than just the product they’re selling. 

Brand content doesn’t always have to be around a specific product. In fact, the most successful brands on TikTok are those who have built up a presence outside of their main product. 

One way to do this is to create videos that educate the user and give them value – as shown in our earlier stats, 25% are using TikTok for this sole purpose.

Fashion brand H&M is a great example of this.

After noticing that “jorts” were trending this summer, H&M created a video on how to DIY your own pair. The video was only 29 seconds long, but went viral with over 2.3 million views and 13,000 users bookmarking the video.


It’s time to enter your jorts era. #HM #TakeCare #DIY #FYP

♬ original sound – H&M

Make your content as organic as possible

There’s nothing that feels more forced than off-brand content. For example, if Microsoft started creating GRWM videos just because they knew the format was popular on TikTok, it would feel a little weird.

Try and make your content as organic as possible – consider hopping onto a trending sound or a meme that you know is making waves online for Gen Z – but only if that trend is natural to your brand! One example is RyanAir’s infamous superimposed eyes. This filter has worked for RyanAir and has now become a key brand signifier.


It’s called 25 minute turn around for a reason #ryanair #bridgerton

♬ original sound – Abbie

A quick scroll on their TikTok page would see this video style appearing again and again – and still continuing to garner millions of views each time. Hey, if it ain’t broke…

User-generated content is your gateway to success

Gen Z will be inundated with content this Black Friday – but a lot of the time, this content can feel forced and unnatural. Young consumers aren’t receptive to hard sales and cringey advertising promotions – they want to be entertained.


Always think ahead. Know where @Sabrina Ionescu is gonna go, even before she does in this game of This or That? 👁️🧠🏀 #Sabrina1 #SabrinasLawsoftheGame #SabrinaIonescu

♬ original sound – Nike

This is where user-generated content can come in handy. Work with creators to produce funny, relaxed videos that showcase products in an authentic way.

“During the Black Friday, Cyber Monday period, I would avoid getting too sales-y; if a potential customer is coming to your profile and all they get is product and they don’t want to buy the said product, why would they stick around?” – Alice Green, Social Media Manager, Student Beans

Social media managers: community management is gold dust

One thing stressed by Alice is the importance of community management for brands looking to build affinity with Gen Z.

Brands often overlook community management because there’s no instant pay-off – but this is a huge error. Things as simple as replying to comments, or commenting on other relevant videos can help your brand demonstrate the quirks and personality behind it.

This is something we know Gen Z love – they’re not receptive to robotic brands, and most of the time, just want to see some good old fashioned silliness!

And don’t forget creators…

We touched on the importance of UGC and authenticity this Black Friday.

Creators are your sweet spot in bringing these two together – and over at Student Beans, we can help. Our creator offering helps brands deliver real, natural campaigns to their target audiences. We let our creators become your biggest brand champions: telling a story that feels entertaining and authentic.

You can check out some of our creator campaigns here – we’re trusted by some of the world’s biggest brands, including FatFace, Lenovo and Weekday.

Keen to learn more about Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Check out our content hub, where we have everything you need for success during this epic spending period.

Drive your biggest growth yet this Festive Season

Access insight-packed infographics, reports, blogs and more to fuel your holiday campaigns