The New Year brings new opportunities for starting fresh and setting goals for the months to come. The coming year is chock full of opportunities for reuniting, celebrating, learning and connecting. When it comes to alumni engagement, more is definitely merrier.
Here’s how you can boost your alumni engagement strategy in 2020:
Create a strategic engagement plan
Before you can boost your alumni engagement, you need to have a plan. An engagement plan creates a roadmap for your strategy and helps you set goals and benchmarks for success. Creating a model with clear objectives and deadlines will help you strategize for the coming year and create buy-in with stakeholders.
If your organization already has an engagement plan, be sure to regularly evaluate and refine it to fit where you are currently and where you would like to be.
Sketch alumni personas
Your audience should all have one thing in common: they attended the same high school. That’s where the similarities end. Within your alumni network, you have many segments. While everyone is different, there are patterns you can detect. Once you notice these patterns, clear personas begin to emerge.
Consider the different buckets you can use to sort your alumni. Graduation year is an obvious choice—alumni who graduated five years ago will have a different engagement level than those who graduated 45 years ago.
Commitment level is another way to sort alumni. Alumni could be:
- Connected: Follows you on social and receives emails, but doesn’t participate.
- Engaged: Attends events and participates on social.
- Committed: Regularly donates and not only participates, but also volunteers.
The tactics you use to engage alumni should vary based on the audience personas. For example, your call to action for committed alumni may not be asking them to donate. Because you know they are already steady donors, you may want to ask for more volunteers at any upcoming event instead.
Get help creating content for your community
It's always nice to hear from different perspectives. This year, make an effort to gather more crowdsourced content. Crowdsourcing not only relieves you of some of the pressure of finding something to post, but it also helps alumni feel more engaged.
An easy way to find content to share is to encourage alumni to use your hashtag when participating in activities or discussing issues related to your alumni community. You can then share these posts from your own page. Whether it’s a picture from an alumna’s front-row seats at the homecoming parade or an alumnus’ memory from his/her own graduation, find a way to share these stories and images. Bonding over shared experiences is what makes an alumni community so special.
Another effective way to engage alumni is by having them create content for your nation’s blog. Alumni can share their expertise in a variety of fields or explore their journalism and creative writing skills by writing about your hometown. Local business owners might be thrilled at the prospect of sharing information about what they do, while alumni living far from where they graduated can still feel connected.
Alumni Nations is here to help you build the alumni engagement strategy that will help you have your best year yet. Contact us to learn more about how we can help make this New Year something special.