Every alumni relations manager has a question hovering around his head 24*7;
How to engage alumni in a better way?
It is interesting when an alum engages with their alma mater. However, the process of alumni engagement does not end in a nutshell. It opens doors for zillions of opportunities for both the alumni and alma mater. But the thing is, institutions can’t keep on asking for their alumni’s time and talent without giving them something back.
Here, the role of an alumni relations manager comes into the picture. He has to show love to all the alumni members and offer them relevant products, services, and support to make them feel valued and special. In this list, we have compiled six pro tips for all alumni relations managers to enable them to build unbreakable alumni relations, promote their brand, and earn goodwill for the institution.
So don’t skip anything till the end!
1. Understand The Importance of Virtual Presence
Understanding the significance of virtual presence is the first tip we give to any alumni relations manager who asks us how to engage alumni vividly. Concerning current scenarios, universities are organizing virtual meetups instead of in-person events or physical chapters. They are launching virtual lecture series, webinar campaigns, sporting events & teams, and much more.
Conducting happy hours or online book clubs could help alumni office members to connect with alumni first and make them an inseparable part of the community later. Alumni managers should understand how building a virtual presence for their alumni is super important because it enables them to connect better, faster, and hassle-free.
2. Create Networking Opportunities And Offer Career Advice
Not all, but only a few alumni are nostalgic and emotionally connected with their alma mater. The rest all become a part of the community to get some real benefits in return. For all alumni relations managers to win at the ‘how to engage alumni’ game with a score, the second tip is to create networking opportunities and offer career advice for their alumni.
For example, Indiana University Alumni Association hosts networking events for working moms and LGBTQ+ alumni members. Moreover, the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan offers career advice by launching ‘career webinars’ on digital platforms. The more alumni relations managers do this, the merrier is the chances of improved alumni engagement.
3. Develop Alumni Digital Ambassadors
If an alumnus enjoyed a great experience while studying at your institution, being an alumni relations manager, you should convince him to share it with others. To kick out all your queries about how to engage alumni, you should develop digital alumni ambassadors. These ambassadors are nothing but your institution’s representatives in events, clubs, and campaigns.
By sharing updates on their social media, these ambassadors help boost engagement and amplify the institution’s social media presence as well. Moreover, digital alumni ambassadors can talk with prospective clients and potential students to convince them regarding a smooth educational experience over your institution. They are the recruiters of future students in the university!
4. Become a Bridge Between Alumni, Current, And Incoming Students
If you don’t foster a relationship between your alumni, current, and incoming students, you will never know how to engage alumni better. The Southwestern University Alumni Association is the finest example of it. They asked their alumni to write congratulatory letters to the parents of those who got admissions to the college.
Second, the alumni of Trinity University wrote letters of farewell to the current seniors in the college full of on-campus memories and support. If you do this, there’s nothing that can stop you from becoming an excellent alumni relations manager and ensuring the best alumni engagement.
5. Start Using Digital Alumni Cards Today
Switching to digital membership cards is one of the easiest ways to engage alumni and successfully run the alumni engagement strategy. Alumni are the youths connected well with their mobile devices. A digital alumni card can let them keep their alma mater on the top and access its benefits from anywhere. They can find any updates with a quick QR scan and be a part of events with globally accessible digital cards. If you want to ace as an alumni relations manager, it is the right perfect time to invest in building digital membership cards for your alumni community.
6. Don’t Take Social Media Lightly
Social media is inevitable. There’s nothing useful like social media to keep regular contact with your alumni. Institutions can use social media to initiate interactions, publish inspiring content, and celebrate alumni’s accomplishments with the entire world! If you are an alumni relations manager, you can create wonders with social media. For instance, you could:
- Post pictures of alumni to attract potential students
- Tweet often to receive responses from former students
- Share career opportunities to help your alumni network
- Create interest-based groups to exchange mindful content with each other
Being an alumni relations manager, you should never take social media lightly. It has the greatest power to take you out of your ‘how to engage alumni’ concerns.
Most alumni relations managers don’t know how to engage alumni. They just keep on making efforts without any thoughtful strategies, standard KPIs, and pre-established goals. It does not take them anywhere.
Instead, if alumni relations managers follow these six simple tips, they would get all the answers to – how to engage alumni effectively. Once they implement these hacks in their alumni engagement strategy, they will know its exceptional outcomes. If you are one, stop looking for further answers and start executing right away!