Engaging Alumni | 5 Simple Strategies Using Social Media
Many educational institutes are turning to social media to stay connected with students who have passed out of the college. However, there are many more innovative ways in which institutes can harness the power of social media to engage alumni.
But why use the social media?
Simply because it has the widest reach and is the most convenient and the quickest way to connect with your alumni.
How should you use it?
An institution needs to engage its former students at all times. Alumni engagement cannot be restricted to seasonal occasions. Universities must keep finding the trends of posting that will excite alumni interest.
So these are 5 potential strategies which you can use to maximize engagement with your alumni in a productive and friendly way.
1) Create a Valuable Bond by providing Job Search
Social media can be used to help alumni students reach out to best job opportunities that enhance their career prospects. This is the most valuable engagement between a college and its alumni base.
It is often difficult to find suitable job opportunity after graduating. By assisting alumni in getting right recognition of their talent, institutes can create a more valuable connection with their graduates and show that the association is based on care and affection.
Colleges can use social posts to share job opportunities, offer career counselling services on alumni Facebook group and LinkedIn page. They can also create videos covering tips to crack job interviews on YouTube, organize Twitter sessions on personality development and so on.
2) Crowdfunding can be a great way to spark off Alumni Engagement
Educational institutes often need outside support to ignite incubation centres for funding start-ups of young graduates. Through crowdfunding you can give your alumni a platform to invest in innovative projects created by students at their alma mater.
They can provide seed fund to research work of students or help them give access to capital they need to kick off their business ideas.
Social media can help mobilize alumni support to guide entrepreneurial initiatives of current or ex-students. In this way it can be used as a tool to create deeper relationship between the college and its alumni.
3) Your network is your net worth
Using social media, both universities and alumni can create a valuable network for mutual growth. For pass-out students it can be a platform for career advancement and network expansion, whereas for universities this association can prove valuable in terms of strengthening industry linkages.
Creating a LinkedIn group or a Facebook page for alumni can be a great way to start open discussions and information sharing. These social conversations can be a great asset for alumni to make new connections and stay connected with their alma mater. It is easy on LinkedIn to find fellow graduates and explore career advancement opportunities.
Hence, universities can tap this need and create a vital platform for its alumni network using social media.
4) Give voice to your Alumni by publishing their content
The biggest benefit of social media is that it has given space for everyone to be heard. What does this mean?
It means that universities can use this as a powerful way to create engagement by publishing alumni generated content. Not only does it give former students a platform to voice opinions and feelings but it also means that universities can spend less time and money continuously creating their own content. It’s a win-win situation for both.
Ex-students can be asked to conduct webinars using Facebook Live, post stories of success, share family photos, counsel incoming students on how to make the most out of their college life, evoke nostalgia and much much more. By sharing alumni generated content universities can make them emotionally connected.
Social channels like Instagram, WhatsApp or Facebook work well to create spontaneous and personalized social media postings.
5) Use Pinterest to share and archive alumni photos
Photographs are a very good way to rekindle nostalgia and foster an emotional bond. Use Pinterest to store photographs showing time spent by alumni in campus and other memories. Allow former students to tag themselves on Facebook or comment with friends handles on Twitter using these photo memories.
Photos are an easy way to maximize engagement with alumni at no extra effort and cost. They help in building a friendly connect with your ex-students. Retro photos help in reliving the past and people always feel more connected with nostalgic trends.
Put-up photo billboards in the campus to create mood boards showcasing alumni achievements and a run through memory lane.
Conclusion: Alumni Engagement Needs Innovative Approach
A good combination of the above-mentioned approach based on your institution’s vision will make your alumni feel part of their alma mater and motivate them to stay connected forever.
Alumni engagement should not be just about class reunions conducted once every year. If it has to be a long-lasting association based on trust and affection then the relationship must extend beyond seasonal events.
Simply spending time and money on engaging alumni through events will not serve any good. Universities should come out with innovative ideas to bring alumni on board. For achieving this, universities should first create a culture of building a support system for its alumni network. This support system will then act as a propellant to fuel organic bond between the alumni and the university that will remain alive always.
Do let us know of any other ways you have used social media to connect with existing students or your former batchmates in the comments below.