School leaders often find it difficult to both find their alumni on social media and make sure they are engaging them with the right messages. While many schools, districts and foundations make effective use of Facebook and Twitter for their messaging, the professional network LinkedIn tends to be underutilized when it comes to connecting with former students.
Below are some tips to help you find your target audience and deliver your message on LinkedIn:
- Test your targeting practices: Perform standard A/B testing for almost all aspects of your LinkedIn marketing, including the audience to which you’re reaching out. LinkedIn makes it simple to create new marketing campaigns, and so you can test different means of connecting with your audience. You might, for example, try filtering by skills instead of job title, or play around with the geographic limit functionality.
- Use the ‘audience expansion’ feature: All campaigns you develop in the LinkedIn Campaign Manager include the “audience expansion” option. Through this feature, LinkedIn’s algorithms go after audience members similar to those you are targeting. This can help you reach out to a broader audience made up of people who may be alumni of your school or district.
- Use the ‘Click Demographics’ feature: Once you have built up enough data, you can use the Click Demographics tab in your Campaign Manager to find out how your content performs with people of various demographics. This will help you track the success of your campaigns and target specific demographics you should be searching for on the social network. High-performing demographics are likely to include many of your alumni.
- Get personal: Even if you’re targeting a fairly broad audience, you can still implement tools to target specific sub-demographics to encourage a response from those people. You can run multiple versions of the same ad, but with different “call-outs” for different niches.
In general, these processes will help you find greater success in reaching your alumni and other target audiences on LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your campaigns and try different approaches, so long as you routinely measure and analyze the results of those experiments. However, you should also avoid targeting an audience that is too specific or small.
When done well, LinkedIn can be a fantastic source of reaching new alumni you haven’t been able to connect with through other means. It also gives you access to individuals who have moved on to successful careers.