Best Practices

10 Best Practices for Engaging Your Alumni on Social Media

10 Best Practices for Engaging Your Alumni on Social Media




March 30, 2021

Last modified: 

July 20, 2023

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 alumni social media strategy and high-quality content.

Let’s take a look at some of the best practices for engaging alumni using social media from world-famous educational institutions, and how they use social media posts and content for engagement:


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.

Stanford University honoring the contributions made by professor Deborah Rhode during her remarkable career.

2. Let alumni share their experiences

One of the ways to engage and motivate your followers is to share inspiring alumni stories. It can be stories related to internships, scientific researches, entrepreneurship projects, or other topics that resonate with your audience on social media.

Oxford alumna wrote a post about her experience with remote internships to motivate graduates to explore remote internship opportunities.

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 for the alumni success will make them feel valued and more connected to your institution.

Oxford alumna wrote a post about her experience with remote internships to motivate graduates to explore remote internship opportunities.

4. Inspire creativity

One way to truly create an alumni community 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 social media 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.

The Cal Alumni Association’s Instagram page gives space to their alumni to showcase their skills.

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 alumni 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

- Create your own branded hashtags (e.g., #berkeleyforlife, #berkeleyPOV)

- 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 content.

UCLA started a hashtag #futurebruin to encourage its followers to share photos of their kids and friends who plan to join the “Bruin family.”

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 attention and further boost alumni engagement on social media.

Throwback-posts can help you drive better engagement and a chance for your alumni to look back on their days in college.

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 with the alumni. 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.

MIT’s alumni page on instagram uses cross promotion and call-to-action phrases to improve engagement.

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 alumni-centric 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.

Stanford University published a holiday gift guide for book lovers and invited its alumni to check it out.

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 alumni engagement on social media and increase sales. Numerous institutions have used this approach and seen great results.

University of Cambridge, like many other institutions, offers alumni discounts on their merchandise.

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 alumni engagement on social media. Remember to choose quotes that resonate the most with your alumni.

The Harvard Alumni Association shares quotes on Instagram on a regular basis.

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 alumni 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 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.

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