When it comes down to it, engagement is all about attracting and retaining members with the goal of motivating them to stay active in the organization. Associations with multigenerational members need to be aware of the challenges associated with appealing to a diverse audience and how to reach millennials effectively (full disclosure: this article is written by a millennial).
Here are a few tips to engaging the younger demographic:
- Connect through social media. Last year, research showed that millennials checked their phones on average 43 times a day. Mobile phones are used to consume news and discover new content through social media and other applications. For an association, it’s paramount to reach a millennial audience through the right channels. Spreading relevant news and messages through Twitter and Facebook are absolutely key. Additionally, optimize all-important web announcement for social sharing. Can someone easily share the news through a Facebook post? Seek to make social media an integral part of an association’s communications plan.
- Keep it concise- millennials multitask. Many 20-somethings are engaged in a wide variety of activities and involved in countless projects at the same time. Understanding that millennials often face time constraints, an association should stray from asking a lot from its members or sending out lengthy, frequent newsletters. Keep communication brief and concise, highlighting important notes and eliminating superfluous fluff. Additionally, it is important to provide time-strapped millennial members with directions to participate in an event and an easy way to contribute to an associations initiative. While millennials like to be creative and enjoy thinking outside-of-the-box, providing a roadmap for involvement spurs higher levels of engagement.
- Show the value that their engagement brings. In a world where instant gratification has become the norm thanks to social media, millennials expect to see results of their efforts almost immediately. An association should be very transparent with their millennial supporters. For example, during a legislative advocacy push, an association should provide its membership with analytics and facts about actions taken, and the response of the legislators. Software products can often measure these important pieces of data, that when shared with the membership, promote a sense of contribution. At the end of the day, it’s often important to a millennial to have proof that putting their time into what an association asks of them is worth it.
- Provide benefits that appeal to the younger demographic. It is important for an association to offer fun opportunities, educational tools, and professional development resources to its members. Young professionals are especially interested in participating in opportunities that will benefit them career-wise and provide them with a sense of belonging. The more a member (especially motivated millennials) can get out of an association, the more an association can get out of its members.
For other great tips on how to engage your millennial members, see these resources: