3 ways to engage younger people on your Insight Community


3 ways to engage younger people on your Insight Community

Emma Clark
Emma Clark
August 17, 2023
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As a millennial who has worked with Insight Communities in Europe and Asia Pacific for 7 years, I wanted to share 3 proven ways you can increase engagement with younger people in your communities.

1. Consider their values

When talking about “Young People”, the definitions can get very clinical. There are Gen Z ( aged 8-23 years in 2020), Gen Y (aged 25-29 in 2020) and Millennials (aged 24 to 39 in 2020). As Millennials have moved into their 30s, Gen Z have come into focus with a whole new set of attitudes and values.

Inside the Millennial Mind, CEB suggests that Millennials value happiness, passion, diversity, discovery and sharing more than older generations. Sharing is a common value across the two groups; according to market research firm Wildness, Gen Z “have created a new Cultural Currency that values uniqueness, authenticity, creativity, shareability, and recognition”.


Source: https://lemonly.com/work/inside-the-millennial-mind-millennial-statistics-infographic

Ways to harness this in your online community include:

Turn on commenting - Show younger members the diverse group they are part of and allow them to talk with other Community members in a portal or Member Hub. Gain support from your Social Media team when planning how to moderate these feeds. If this is not possible, provide the opportunity to share more than just restrictive answers, using open end questions, forums or live chats instead.

Do not compromise privacy or transparency – According to Salesforce Research, 71% of Millennials say they trust companies vs. 63% of Gen Z. An Insight Community obtains explicit consent from members who opt into sharing, but it’s always good to share background info on the intention of the Community – especially if it reveals a passionate company or team.

Celebrate ethical initiatives – If your business is addressing topics like climate change, gender equality, lgbtqia+ rights, then share it. Research tells us that “companies should be attuned to three implications for Gen Z; consumption as access rather than possession, consumption as an expression of individual identity, and consumption as a matter of ethical concern.”  You can read more on this concept here.

With any audience, consider the impact of culture, religion or politics on your audience’s values before making decisions.

2. Keep it light

Too often we are afraid to be brave. With younger audiences, try opting for light-heartedness over formality.

Ways to harness this in your online community include:

Communicate effectively – Engage with young people as humans, not survey respondents. Use straight to the point, simple and humorous language. Experiment with fun email content and subject lines by A/B testing. Make sure all community touch points have a consistent tone of voice – this also helps to build a brand for your community internally with stakeholders. JC Decaux’s Pigeon Project is an excellent example of this (featured below). Consider using options such as Rival Tech to encourage conversational-style surveys through Facebook chat, voice and video technology.


Source: JC Decaux

Leverage the hottest memes to generate conversation – Use Baby Yoda, Love Island and Marie Kondo. For example, if you're a bank testing a new goal-planning app, introduce the project with “We have a few quick questions on how you save money and then we’ll redirect you to our OK, Boomer debate”.  You can read more about how Buzzfeed does this here.

Keep studies short - Every study needs to be designed for mobile and should take no more than 2-3 minutes. Design the study so that it is intuitive – leave out long instructions which people will not read. When thinking about what to cut out, consider what you already know about your members or what can be asked later. Where more depth is needed, explain why and reward appropriately with inside gossip or event tickets.

3. Provide bragging rights

For Gen Z, consumption is an expression of self-identity. Give younger members the option to brag about their involvement with your brand and your Insight Community.

Ways to harness this in your online community include:

Encourage sharing – Consider including content younger people can share on the Socials at the end of the study e.g. badges, images or articles that say “I just donated my time to xx” or “I was part of xx number of people who co-created this product”.  Create Community-specific social pages with information you would like members to share, via a share button.

Provide “instagrammable” experiences – Reward younger members with tickets to events, exclusive access or behind-the-scenes experiences.  Southern Cross Austereo’s community HIT VIP do this successfully and have secured over 18k Gen Z community members.

Transform dull surveys into Persona Quizzes – If a study is very long, it’s not going to be completed by those with short attention spans unless there is an element of “self-discovery” involved. Consider turning dull Segmentation surveys into “Persona Quizzes”, where the member can find out their persona at the end and how they compare to other members.

Today’s youth are setting their own agenda and therefore it's important that we connect with them on their own terms, or risk being ignored.

If you have any further ideas or questions, I'd love to hear from you: emma.clark@potentiate.com

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*Please note, Platform One was formerly known as Potentiate