Part 3 of Why the Orange Order is struggling in New Zealand

Is Social Media The Only Way To Talk To The Younger Generation?

From last article ( we made a number of observations:

  1. That the younger generation live in a mobile-on-demand world and communicate in a “SoMoVid” form (social media, mobile & video) fashion
  2. The indifference of the younger generation to following their parents example because only 36% predict they will be better off than their parents
  3. The majority (77%) want to be involved in “good causes” but they need business or organisations to provide the means to do so
  4. 40% take an active interest in good causes but only through social media

In regard to this:

  • The New Zealand Order has made a commitment since the end of 2013 to get into social media and have an online presence.
  • We also have to recognise the indifference from the older generation (the majority of the current members) to the needs and aspirations of the younger generation.
  • The younger generation would support the order through social media if they were convinced that the order was active in social progress.
  • The order in inherently inwards looking and is not keen on publicising its achievements.

Let’s cover these in more detail.

(1) In regard to Social Media.

The New Zealand Institution has had a website and Facebook page since the end of 2013, all with the aim of reaching out to the younger generation.

However it does take time to build up an online presence and our efforts to date are as follows:

Our most productive 28 days on Facebook has the following stats:

  • 22,841 impressions – that’s the number of FB users who have seen a post from our page
  • A maximum reach of 6,461 – that’s the maximum number of people who have seen a post and shared it with their friends and/or who have in turn shared with their friends.

Facebook severally limit the number of people who follow our page seeing any particular post. Currently it is less than 5%. Even if I use a figure of 10%, then the maximum reach is potentially 60,000 Facebook users.

Of course Facebook want to earn from their huge base of members so by throttling down the number of people who can see a post they force you to use their advertising platform to reach interested people.

And that is our agenda for reaching out to the interested people in NZ.

Over Christmas we ran a trial advert for 3 days on Facebook for a total budget of $18 US

The criteria for the advert was:

  • Targeting men and women between the ages of 18 to 65+, and
  • Who live in New Zealand, and
  • With interests of Protestantism, Methodism, Presbyterianism, Mainline Protestant or Anglicanism

The campaign ran for 3 days with a budget of $18 US

By the end of the third day we had reached 3,678 people, 1,606 from the advert and 2,072 free from Facebook sharing the post (they are more generous at doing this if you run an advert).

(2) In regard the difficulty of the current older generation in not succeeding in attracting younger members.

In a previous article it was mentioned that the current approach to attracting members is based on “selling” the order based on its principles, lodge work and fellowship within the order.

That is a very narrow focus.

If you take the analogy of an archer’s target then our current approach is aiming straight for the bullseye. But that can only result in an answer of yes or No. There is no “maybe”.

It would be better to widen the approach to get people ranging across the circles of 2 to 10, the “maybes”. People in the outer rings of interest would not be instant candidates but at least they would then be in our circle of influence.

So the question is, what messages can we use when advertising to get people at least into the 10 circle and hopefully closer to the bullseye.

(3) In regard to the order not being active in social improvement

The order has been proactive in charity work; that is gifting donations to other services who carry out social improvement activities but has not been active itself.

Because the order itself is not directly involved in social improvement activities, this is one reason why the younger generation is not attracted to the order.

(4) And finally in regard to the order being inward looking

Another reason the younger generation are not interested in the order is because the order is not keen on publicising its achievements.

In the younger generation’s world of “SoMoVid”, the order is never news worthy and so is not on the younger generation’s radar.

This will also be explored further in the next article

To Wrap up this article.

Your comments you provide will help us in planning and creating a story relevant to the younger generation and presented as a video series which we will publish on our YouTube channel and then promote within New Zealand. We are trying to condense the Order’s history down to the key points and outline its future in a manner relevant to the interests of the younger generation. In case you missed it, here is the link to the previous articles ( &

Next article is



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