Gen Z 101: Five facts to attract more members to your association

Is your association looking to crack the Gen Z code? While we can’t promise we have all the answers, this blog offers vital facts about the important young professionals that your organization is so eager to recruit. 
If Gen Z isn’t yet on your radar, it really should be. Statista estimates there are 68.6 million Generation Z Americans. While not quite as large a demographic as Millennials, Gen Z is historically the most racially and ethnically diverse generation to date. If you haven’t yet started recruiting Gen Z members, it’s time to begin—by 2030, Deloitte estimates Generation Z will make up over 20% of the workforce. 
Here are five more facts and tips to help your association start preparing for Generation Z.

A crash course in Gen Z for associations

To help you build your understanding of Generation Z, here are five vital facts about your members born between 1997 and 2012:

  1. Gen Z has clear social media preferences. Sure, you’ve heard of TikTok, but does your association use the massively popular social media platform? What about YouTube or Instagram? The Community Brands 2022 Association Trends Study found 69% of Generation Z prefer connecting on TikTok, 82% on YouTube, and 82% on Instagram.
  2. Gen Z prefers using their mobile devices. Based on their birth range (1997-2012) Generation Z has always known our digital environment of the internet, computers, and smartphones. 98% of Gen Z own a smartphone, with 55% using their phone for five or more hours a day. Because of this, Yello reports 46% of Gen Z members have applied for an internship or a job via a mobile device.
  3. Gen Z likes their products to be personalized. Is your association working to customize the member experience? According to research conducted by Adobe, 64% of Generation Z consumers believe brands should offer a personalized experience.
  4. Gen Z is happy to share their shopping opinions. Accenture reports 70% of Generation Z consumers have written at least one shopping review and 40% of Gen Z shoppers give routine feedback.
  5. Gen Z appreciates innovative tech when choosing a career. According to Dell, 80% of Generation Z hope to work with trailblazing technologies, and 91% reference tech as the most important factor when choosing a career. 

Five things you need to know when recruiting Gen Z members

1. Invest in the best social media platforms to reach Gen Z. To attract more young professionals, you need to go where they are. Rather than engaging with Gen Z members on TikTok or YouTube, Community Brands research found that 78% of member-based organizations used LinkedIn as their primary form of social networking. But if you focus only on LinkedIn or even Facebook, you’re likely to miss out on a lot of potential Generation Z members who don’t engage on either platform.

Start boosting your association’s virtual presence on Gen Z’s preferred platforms today to attract new members and boost existing connections.

2. Ensure everything at your association is mobile-responsive. Being mobile-responsive is a huge must for a generation that turns first to its phones for everything—whether they’re applying to a job, ordering dinner, or catching up on the latest TikTok trend.

Leverage your association management software (AMS) as you make the move to mobile. Ensuring your association is mobile-responsive will guarantee Gen Z members can connect virtually in your online community platform, allowing them to network and socialize. When you make things mobile, you’ll additionally help members get the information they need about upcoming events and make it simple to register for a webinar or e-learning course.

3. Personalization is key to elevating the member experience. More than any other group, Generation Z is looking for a customized experience. Ask yourself this, is your association’s website optimized to meet Gen Z’s needs? You can customize the member experience with your AMS.

When you offer solutions like automated email marketing, you can set up personalized touchpoints throughout a member’s journey. Using live chatbots offers increased support for members and boosts overall member satisfaction.

4. Offer a supportive e-commerce experience for your Gen Z members. Young professionals are ready to offer their shopping feedback—be quick to listen! Next, upgrade your association’s e-commerce experience to accommodate your Gen Z shoppers’ needs. 

Start by offering e-commerce that provides personalized shopping recommendations based on your members’ past purchases. With an innovative AMS, you can offer Gen Z shoppers a recommendations feature that highlights products related to other store items. To further improve the member e-commerce experience, be sure to activate abandoned cart emails, to encourage shoppers to return to forgotten purchases.  

5. Offer career development opportunities for your Gen Z members. Young professionals are eager to apply for internships and begin the job search process early. Your association can start recruiting Gen Z members early into their professional careers by offering student membership opportunities.

Consider allowing student access to an internship and job board at a significantly reduced rate. Try providing mentorship opportunities with some of your veteran members to engage with Generation Z members. Your association can also host a virtual or in-person career fair to help Gen Z members network with employers, advance their careers, or find jobs.  

Learn more about attracting Gen Z members to your association

Are you ready to discover even more ways to recruit Gen Z members to your association? Look no further than our free toolkit for working with young professionals: The Association’s Guide to Gen Z Members.

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