Membership Tips

04 November 2016 Christine

How to encourage your next generation of members

From speaking with clients and non-clients within the membership and not-for-profit sector, it seems clear that encouraging a new generation of industry professionals into their membership is quite a pressing concern. Organisations are finding that their member base is made up of a set group of faithful specialists, but unfortunately these lifelong members are slowly but surely decreasing. Not only is it sad to see any member go, it’s also difficult to face the fact that unless you encourage more young people into your organisation, your membership will grow smaller with every passing year.

Here’s what you can do.

Keep up

The easiest way to keep up with the latest trends in an evolving digital world is to look at organisations who successfully target a younger audience and see what they’re doing. The IPA’s Creative Pioneers, crafted by the Senior team, looks to match young people up with jobs in the media industry.

What do a younger audience want?

The site is bright and vibrant, with pages of copy being replaced with engaging infographics, as well as a dynamic homepage and intuitive user-journey. It’s also mobile friendly which is VITAL (in capitals, that’s how vital it is) if you want to appeal to school leavers or 20-somethings. They’re not sitting at desks, they're on their phones. 

Another way to keep up is to check out some knowledge hubs. For marketing, head to sites like Mashable and HubSpot and for membership industry news and trends, seek out sites like Associations Now or MemberWise. Or for both there’s our membership industry news hub! Don’t assume you know everything about your audience. Your next generation of members might have the same profession as your seasoned veterans, but what they’re looking for in an online experience is vastly different.

Get social

Fun facts: almost 2/3s of all Twitter users are 18-34 and on average 18-35 year olds spend over 1000 minutes on Facebook a month. Whatever your subject matter, don’t assume that your audience doesn’t use social media, because the stats say otherwise. There are hundreds of social media outlets out there, but the big 5 - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram - can be surprisingly accessible and relevant to your organisation.

Social mediaStrengthen your social media presence by ensuring you regularly post interesting and eye-catching content with links to your site, offers or events and ensure each has a graphic to go with it.

Social media is free, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay for it. Boom social says spending even a small amount of money to get your content seen is easy, inexpensive and can be highly rewarding: “social media costs an average of 60% less than traditional outbound marketing.” If you don't have the time or the resources to get involved on social, get in touch with an organisation that does (spoiler alert: it's us!)

Why not get started and follow Senior Internet on Twitter for the latest membership industry news?

Be available

The best way to welcome young people into the industry is to be where they are. This year's mobile phenomenon Pokémon Go is a great example. Say you’re the British Institute for the Great Outdoors, to get young people to engage with your content and your industry, you could use Pokémon Go, or the latest trend, to encourage people to play while exploring Britain's countryside. Hugely fashionable tech trends like Pokémon Go get lots of attention from 18-35s and it makes sense to join the discussion.Pokémon Go!

You could also use an expertly designed on- or offline marketing campaign targeted at schools and universities to encourage their pupils to look into a career in your industry. Offering a ‘student membership’ for a discounted price is an excellent way to showcase the benefits of your organisation at an appealing cost. If you demonstrate that you’re an essential industry resource your students will naturally want to become full-blown members down the line.

I hope these tips help. It might be that your team have their fingers on the pulse of what the youth of your profession are looking for and you're finding that your online presence reflects this well. However, if you feel there's more you could do, or would like to chat about any of the above info give us a call. Either way, for informed advice on what's new in the membership, non-profit and charity sector keep checking our Membership News section!

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