By the middle of December, many college students have wrapped up their final exams and are heading back home for winter break. This offers a great opportunity to keep your alums—and especially your recent graduates—engaged in the narrative of your school.
Below are three ideas that can help you connect with your alumni during this special time of the year:
Reach out on social media
Make sure your alumni know they are appreciated through special posts to your school or district's Facebook, Twitter and other social media profiles. Welcome your recent grads back to town as they visit for the holidays and invite them to any events happening over the next several weeks (see below).
Engaging your alumni through social media can help them feel a sense of connection with your school or district. It continues a relationship with the people who can be some of your most ardent supporters.
Have a presence at school events
Most schools have a variety of events happening in December and early January, including some that may take place during the winter break. While they're home from college, your alums might attend holiday band concerts, choir performances, basketball games or hockey games. These are great opportunities for recent grads to see friends they've missed over the past several months or couple years.
Consider setting up a booth specifically for alumni at these events, and get them to sign up for your school's Alumni Nation or email list. You could even organize a special "alumni night" at these events, recognizing those who have graduated from your school.
Communicate with reunion committees
It's common for these committees to hold reunions around the holidays, as they know more alumni will be in town to visit their families already. This is especially true for five-year reunions, for which many attendees may still be in college and likely to have a several-week break.
To that end, connect with these committees and ask if they can get attendees to sign up for your Alumni Nation during their reunions. You can also ask them to include references to your Nation in any email or social media correspondence they send out to alums.
Although regularly communicating with alumni is important throughout the year, the time around the holidays offers some unique opportunities for your school. We suggest working these ideas into your December alumni engagement strategy.