social media

Recruiting Members: Reach Them Where They Are

This blog was written to help organizations better understand why they are challenged with differing generational demographics
Our studies show that the significant disruptions and societal shifts of the past 20+ years have influenced younger members’ behaviors. This has affected the reasons why joining and engaging with your organization is different today.
The research findings do not apply to every single member of each generation. However, our 20 years of ongoing research findings continue to hold true – making the information valuable when drafting membership engagement and growth strategies to target younger members

I recently learned that a Baby Boomer turns 65 years of age every 7 seconds in the United States. Up until now, Baby Boomers have been the majority and have been able to successfully provide associations with a continuous pipeline of members.

I recently learned that a Baby Boomer turns 65 years of age every 7 seconds in the United States. Up until now, Baby Boomers have been the majority and have been able to successfully provide associations with a continuous pipeline of members.

Unfortunately, with the shift in generational demographics, that is no longer the case.

I remember joining the alumni association of my sorority immediately after graduation because I thought it would be a great networking vehicle and provide a way for me to engage civilly with my community. Every meeting I went to I was referred to as a “younger sister.” It appeared to be a true hierarchy in the chapter and the standard operating procedure was for “younger sisters” to simply do what they were told. I felt as if I had no true value as a member of the chapter and I shared that opinion with friends that asked me about joining other alumni chapters of my sorority.

THE NEW WORD-OF-MOUTH MARKETING

When looking to involve, recruit and showcase value to young members of your association, reach them where they are. And if you don’t know where they are? Find out.

A hint: Generation Y has been charged with over-sharing given their affinity and usage of social media, blogs, and websites.  Associations have to market to Millennials (Gen Y) in the language that we speak. Social Media is a great vehicle because it enables young members to find and share information online (good and bad). When members are a part of organizations that they believe in, find beneficial, and believe add value to their lives–it’s shared with friends and networks via social media. Associations that are actively engaged in various social media platforms have more chances for success in reaching, attracting, and retaining members.

FLEXIBILITY

Generation Y values flexibility. Associations should be willing to reexamine their bylaws as they seek to attract a retain younger members. The current state of the majority of association bylaws offers no flexibility. Associations have to adjust with the times and recognize virtual opportunities where meetings and consensus can be made without everyone being in the same room.
In order for associations to effectively reach and retain younger members, they must keep their relevance, actions, and communication methods in clear view. One bad experience with an association can spread quickly in this day and age. It’s important for associations to actively and consistently engage in social media platforms; to reach members where they are.

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