Adapting to the Generational Shift
Associations have existed in one form or another for hundreds of years. Generation after generation, associations have enjoyed a steady flow of memberships. In the past, there was no internet resource for professional development. At the time, associations were the main source for industry insights. Today’s generation has an unlimited source of information at their fingertips with access to industry articles, events, and networking opportunities. As a result, association membership has decreased over the years.
The key to increasing Millennial memberships is to find out what associations can provide them that they can’t do themselves. Previously, we’ve discussed who Millennials are, how to reach them, and how to build a community for young professionals. As a result, here are our six hacks to engage Millennials and increase association membership.
Build a Strong Social Media Presence
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Most young professionals communicate via social media. A few of the ways Millennials use social media to create a professional community include:
- Following industry-specific twitter accounts
- Joining Facebook groups of young professionals in the area
- Following Instagram accounts of other inspiring young professionals
- Creating professional connections on LinkedIn
In addition to following people and joining groups, Millennials use social media to access information about upcoming networking events and industry updates. To these young professionals, social media is the most honest way to get information. It doesn’t make them feel as if they’re being pushed into a corner. Associations can use social media to increase awareness about associations and show them the benefits of association membership.
A few ways associations can improve their social media presence is by:
- Posting consistent, relevant content
- Investing in social ad campaigns that target a young demographic
- Using social media influencers to build your social brand
- Creating social media groups for young members
Find all of this overwhelming? Using an AI content curator, you can focus more on in-depth social campaigns and less on finding relevant content to post for the day. For instance, artificial intelligence collects social media content that is relevant to your target audience and streamlines the process of social media presence. Reach more young professionals with less time spent finding things to post!
Share Educational Content On Your Website
In the past, websites were often used with the expectation of being sold something. Today, Millennials are looking for websites that provide more useful information and
Likewise, this is exactly what Millennials are looking
Here are a few ways to sample content:
- Allow non-members to view blog content that is older than 6 months
- Provide a streamlined newsfeed of third-party content
- Give a short list of links to social media accounts of seasoned members
In other words, millennials are much less likely to pay for association
Are you interested in adding a newsfeed to your website, but not sure how much association time it will take up? We’re trying not to toot our own horn here “toot, toot”, but using an AI content curator is the quickest way to get it done. By using this automated technology, setting up a streamlined process for your association’s newsfeed is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Send Valuable Monthly E-Newsletters
However, contrary to popular belief, Millennials are still using email. This group uses email for everything from work to informational newsletters. They do so to establish professional contacts, for job opportunities, renting a home, utility bill accounts, online shopping, you name it! Most of this generation has the e-mail app on their phone, and check it daily.
The key to sending emails to Millennials is this: don’t make them click the unsubscribe button.
That is to say, send engaging emails to help increase association membership. For example, here are some quick tips
- Send easy to scan information that provides value
- Make emails membership oriented, compelling them to join without making them feel like they’re getting an advertisement
- Apply curated content that intrigues and is visually appealing
- Do not send more than once a month!
Collaborate with Local Colleges
Lastly, these young professionals do exist beyond the internet ethos! Find them at the point where they need your help the most. By partnering with local colleges, your association can provide value at the most stressful part of a young professional’s career. It’s the beginning. Millennials have few professional contacts, a very small resume, and a hunger to be successful. By reaching out a supporting hand during this time, associations increase their chances of making lifetime members out of this new generation.
Most importantly, make these opportunities known. Make opportunities available to college career development offices. Give information out to advisors in departments relevant to your association’s industry. Meanwhile, create career building opportunities for students and alumni who may still be searching for a community. After that, join career development fairs and enjoy some networking of your own! Bring seasoned members to meet and greets with students and create opportunities for students and members to network.
As an Executive Director, you know the benefits of joining an association. Using these hacks, you can share these benefits with young professionals and guide them towards greater career development. To sum it all up, build your social media presence, share information with prospective members, send out new and exciting industry developments, and get involved in the Millennial communities.