With most non-profit memberships including older members, this is a valid question. And it's true: you may not reach those you consider your tried and true audience with social media posts. Surprised that we said that? Read on.
We're members of Generation X (those born approximately between 1961 and 1981) and we, along with our younger cohorts, the Millennials, are big social media consumers. Ever wonder what we're staring at on our smart phone? Or wonder what we do with that tablet? We're reading, sharing information and being marketed at by savvy businesses. And we buy things and join organizations online.
Ultimately, we're the people you want to attract to your organization. We are your future members, future volunteers, future board members. And we're here in large numbers. The Millennials (1981-2000) just surpassed the size of the Boomer generation at 80 million plus! (See the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation link at the bottom of this page.) And we're all ready to start contributing!
But how will you communicate with us? We don't read newspapers so we won't see your ad. We don't answer phone calls so you can forget cold-calling us for support. And we definitely won't find you in the phone book because, seriously, phone books? So 1990!
We should place the emphasis on the word "Media" when we think of Social Media. This is where you advertise your best assets to the world. You start a conversation with us. You tell us about yourself. You invite us to your events. And, behold, we show up!
If you're not putting yourself out there, we won't know about you. And if we don't know about you, your organization is in trouble.
The Millennial Generation Research Review by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation: http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/millennial-generation-research-review
For some interesting recent information about the generation gap, please see this Pew Research Center study of how the younger generations are using social media as a replacement for TV: http://www.journalism.org/2015/06/01/millennials-political-news/
Also, we really liked this blog post on Entrepreneur.com from 2013. A tad bit out of date but the info graphic used is quite interesting: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228029