10 Best Practices for Engaging Your Alumni on Social Media
Social media is a pivotal tool for alumni engagement, especially young alumni who spend around 3 hours a day on such platforms. Engaging young alumni after graduation is crucial to building lifelong relationships. In order to stay connected with these young alumni after graduation, the two must-haves are: an effective social media strategy and high-quality content.
Let’s take a look at some of the best practices from world-famous educational institutions, and how they use social media content to engage their alumni:
1. Talk about your professors
Alumni respect the professors who helped them master new skills and gain valuable knowledge during their formative years. A social media post featuring one of your beloved professors can tap into your alumni’s sense of gratitude and nostalgia, strengthening the sense of belongingness to the institution.
Keeping alumni regularly informed about deceased professors also offers a good opportunity for the former to pay their respects.
2. Let alumni share their experiences
One of the ways to engage and motivate your followers is to share inspiring stories of your alumni. It can be stories related to internships, scientific researches, entrepreneurship projects, or other topics that resonate with your audience on social media.
3. Celebrate your alumni’s accomplishments
Celebrating the small and big wins of your alumni paves the way for stronger bonds.
If one of your alumni gets recognized for an academic or business front, don’t forget to give a shout out to this achievement. Show your followers that you are truly proud of people who glorify their alma mater. Genuine appreciation will make your alumni feel valued and more connected to your institution.
4. Inspire creativity
One way to truly create a community for your alumni is to help them display their skillset. Encourage them to create and share the artworks that represent your educational institution. Creative works of your alumni would perfectly complement your content strategy and help your alumni feel welcomed.
Remember that you can’t share your alumni’s work without getting their permission and you should always tag the original content creators in your posts.
5. Start a hashtag
Hashtags play an essential role in content promotion. If you want to improve the visibility of your social media content and increase reach and engagement, you should add relevant hashtags to each post.
Here are a few basic rules to follow:
- Add three to seven hashtags to each caption or tweet
- Make sure that all hashtags you are using are relevant to the image and message of your post
If you have already mastered the art of using hashtags, you can start a hashtag to collect a specific type of alumni-generated content.
6. Share throwbacks
“Throwback-to-the-good-old-days” posts resonate with graduate students on a deep emotional level. Sharing black-and-white photographs of campus buildings and other old pictures that evoke nostalgia is bound to grab your alumni’s attention.
7. Cross-promote your content
Whenever you post a new article in your blog or add a thought-provoking research paper to your publication database, you should share updates on social media. Try writing a short caption to intrigue your readers and use a call-to-action to invite them to your website. Here are a few examples of call-to-actions you can use: check the link in the bio, browse this site, or hit the link below.
8. Provide useful information
If you want to engage your alumni, you should provide them with useful information. For instance, you can give tips on how to apply for an internship or how to stay productive while working from home. Also, you can share checklists, guides, templates, or any other helpful content.
Stanford University published a holiday gift guide for book lovers and invited its alumni to check it out. It’s a great example of helpful and relevant content to use on Instagram.
9. Offer discounts
Do you use social media to sell college merchandise? Offer your alumni a special discount, and you will hit two birds with one stone – boost your social media engagement and increase sales. Numerous institutions have used this approach and seen great results.
10. Share inspirational quotes
People like to share inspirational quotes with their friends, family, and coworkers. Inspirational quotes are a big hit amongst alumni of all ages. Posting daily or weekly inspirational quotes to motivate your audience is a great way to drive engagement on social media. Remember to choose quotes that resonate the most with your alumni.
Wrapping it up
Social media is the up-and-coming thing for alumni engagement and if you’re not leveraging it already, you’re missing out on engagement opportunities. A vast majority of your alumni community is more active on social media than anywhere else, so a strong social media presence should be a part of your engagement strategy. Incorporate these 10 tried and tested strategies to drive higher alumni engagement than ever via social media.
About the Author
Kristin Savage is a freelance writer and blogger at https://subjecto.com/. Her main target audiences are college students and young professionals. She covers topics related to college life, academic success, and starting a career. She always provides her readers with actionable tips they can easily apply to solve their dilemmas and problems.