For this edition of Almabase spotlights, we feature Yale University's innovative omni-channel digital storytelling initiative, which meaningfully engages the global alumni community and showcases the Yale experience to future students.
Yale Alumni Association (YAA)'s Robust Digital Communication Strategy
YAA's omni-channel digital-first storytelling strategy is the driving force behind Yale's impressive initiative to bring together the university's affluent, globally placed alumni.
A major thrust of the initiative is to engage alumni who do not frequently initiate contact with the university. YAA meaningfully engages them through a series of activities relevant to their interests and expertise, then turns these engagements into high-quality content for their social pages.
This strategy has helped YAA build a strong presence across all the major social platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter (X), and TikTok, with unique content that resonates with the vibe of each platform. The growing followership and engagement on YAA's Instagram profile, for instance, can be attributed to well-balanced content that is neither too niche nor too broad. Engagement is prioritized over the mere growth of followers. On the other hand, YAA's YouTube channel features rich conversations hosted with alumni, spotlighting themes like diversity, impact, and career growth.
Yale leadership teams' trust in YAA has nudged the core team to experiment and innovate in communications and social media. For instance, smart usage of technology has played an important role in helping the YAA team craft a cohesive, effective communications strategy with compelling storytelling at the center of its framework. The team leverages Sprout Social for content scheduling and analytics, Instagram polls, and other native tools to drive audience engagement and data collection.
While YAA's digital initiative aims to engage alumni, the other goal is to showcase the Yale experience to future students. For instance, YAA's Tiktok account, launched in 2021, targets new graduates and prospective students, offering them an insider's take on the rich Yale experience. The page features glimpses of campus events, advice and stories from alumni, and updates on alumni benefits. The content development operations are run by a team of six student employees, best poised to craft content for future generations.
Our Source of Inspiration
Carissa Violante is the Associate Director of Communications and Marketing at Yale University's Yale Alumni Association (YAA). At YAA, she leads the student team handling social media and drives the digital communications strategy to engage the "average alum" through various channels.
Carissa has played an instrumental role in YAA's shift from digital marketing to a broader storytelling approach. She has a Master's of Science in Information Design and Technology from SUNY Polytechnic University and was previously associated with Women's Health Research at Yale University as a media and design specialist.