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Why Millennials Aren’t Joining Your Association

Marketing for associations can be tricky especially when your target audience is made up of Millennials. Are you struggling to attract millennials to your association? You’re not alone. With millennials coming of age, and now comprising a third of the world’s workforce, it’s important to try and understand how they operate. They’ve completely eclipsed baby boomers and are also gradually succeeding generation X.

This is making them the cardinal drivers of growth in business and, of course, highly influential in terms of modern connection and communication as they are the largest living generation on earth.

So, how exactly do you attract millennials to your association or organisation? The issue lies in the fact that previous generations are the ones trying to recruit new members. This, quite frankly, isn’t possible if you don’t try to get inside the mind of a millennial. It’s the age-old struggle of one generation trying to relate to the next.

By understanding why millennials aren’t joining your association you will gain insight on how to attract them. To achieve this, you need to understand what they want.

You don’t understand what they want

Millennials value their personal time. More so than their predecessors. Work/life balance is the most important thing to this generation. Putting work before family and friends is simply not an option and when it comes to personal fulfilment, they’ll even change career paths to obtain it. They are purpose-driven individuals.

What has this got to do with how they buy into any workforce or associations? Well, millennials won’t simply sign up to an organisation for its benefits. They will only buy into an association if it is mission-driven. They want to know if your association is aligned with a cause.

They will only give the time of day to an association that is actively contributing to a cause that resonates with them, so, pick a cause that empowers your members to work together to accomplish shared goals.

You aren’t telling an emotive story

This ties into our first point. Marketing for associations in the modern era needs to be emotionally driven. It needs to tell a story. It’s probably time you reassess your marketing strategy entirely. A change in messaging can work wonders for connecting with millennials.

Author, Janet Litherland puts it superbly:

“Stories have power. They delight, enchant, touch, teach, recall, inspire, motivate, challenge. They help us understand. They imprint a picture on our minds. Want to make a point or raise an issue? Tell a story.”

This is exactly the kind of content that millennials look out for. You could go so far as saying it’s what defines them. They look for the meaning in everything. So we suggest you find the meaning in what you do, what your association represents and incorporate your purpose into you marketing efforts.

You probably haven’t given them much responsibility

Once you’ve attracted some younger members, we suggest you empower them. Millennials cherish transparency and can be quite sceptical of leaders. They want to be taken seriously, so why not add someone younger than 40 years old to your board? This way, you’ll not only get the respect and attention of a younger generation, but you’ll also be able to hear directly from them. It shows them that you value their voice. Give them responsibility and allow them to be a part of crucial decision making.

You’ll find that they too want to make your association better, more accessible and more relatable so listen to them, allow them to offer feedback. This creates an environment of true collaboration and you’ll most likely find that their input will improve your association.

Millennials are a tech savvy generation and often have their finger on the pulse, offering refreshing, and incredibly current insight. The world is advancing by the minute, so why not have someone who has grown up during the information age help guide the direction of your organisation?

Are you using social media?

It’s imperative for your association to make an impression through social media, as this is where millennials spend a lot of their time. Around 88% of 18-29-year olds use social media. Further to this and according to Fortune, millennials spend roughly 27 hours a week consuming media online.

The important aspect to recognise here, is that millennials are using this time to inform themselves on the world around them. This means that you should tie our first two points together and turn them into engaging and aesthetically pleasing content for posting online.

These are some of the ways that you can aim to connect with millennials online and attract them to your association. Pair the above with a targeted digital marketing strategy and millennials will be far more likely to join your association. For more insight on marketing for associations, get in touch with us today.