Member preferences are constantly changing, particularly as generational shifts occur. Did you know that Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force? That shift just happened over the past couple of years. The question is, has your association or chamber’s communications shifted along with it? (New generation, new preferences!) 

So how exactly do members prefer to be communicated with in 2021? Personify recently conducted a study, gathering insights from nearly 1,000 association and nonprofit members and staff. The goal was to identify what “The Journey Ahead” — which the report is appropriately titled — will look like for member-based organizations. 

What did the report conclude about member communication preferences? Take a look!

Facebook and Instagram are the most preferred…and the most effective

This may not come as a surprise to you since Facebook and Instagram have held steady in popularity over the years. But the report affirmed that the majority of members said they prefer these two channels, and a majority of staff said they find these channels to be the most effective. 

So what if your association or nonprofit is active on these channels, but not seeing that type of response from members? Well, it’s important to remember that not all organizations and industries are the same. Your members may very well prefer other channels. That said, you should be open to the idea that poor engagement could be a result of an unclear strategy. If you think this might be the case, take a look at our free guide, Nailing Social Media at Your Association or Chamber, for tips and inspiration! 

Twitter may have reached its peak

For a while, Twitter (along with Facebook) ranked high in popularity. But with the development of other social media channels — Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc. — Twitter became less and less the first place for people to go. 

What’s interesting about the study’s results, though, is the disconnect between how staff and members view Twitter. 

According to the study, about half of associations are leveraging Twitter, but only a third of members say they want to engage here. 

If you’re spending a lot of your time trying to engage members on Twitter, but coming up short, your time may be better spent on a different social media channel (Instagram, for example.) 

Private online social communities are in demand

Many associations and nonprofits have online social communities, but few view them as a top channel for communicating and engaging with members. In fact, according to the study, only about 20 percent of associations and nonprofits use their private online social community. 

But here’s what’s interesting: About a third of members said they want to engage here. 

Going back to the point above, maybe this means less time spent on Twitter and more time spent on your private online social community! 

Not really sure what a private online social community is (and how it differs from Facebook) or how to get yours up and running? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Social Communities!