It is important to remember that large percentage of alums who we will not see on a yearly basis. How can the institutional community be brought to them? How can they still feel like they are interacting with the school? This is where a digital strategy is ever important for an alumni association.
Here are a few tips to ensure that you are reaching as many alumni as possible through digital communications:
1. Create a content plan for your social media feeds. Content plans can feel daunting and are typically an easy thing to set aside when there are so many other pressing issues to deal with on a daily basis. However, if you can find the time to go through a content planning exercise, what you will find is it will actually reduce stress for you because you won't have to spend time every day searching for a good article or picture to post. Create a plan where you break down the focuses of the posts you will make each week. Make sure to have posts that showcase a number of different areas of your school: student life, professor recognition, athletic achievements and alumni profiles. By breaking down future posts into different areas of the institution, it can help make sure your content feels fresh and that you appeal to a broad audience of your alumni.
2. Weave in your school's mission or unique reason for being. Is your school known for its engineering program? Does your institution have a strong service community? Is your president beloved by alumni? Figure out ways to showcase those aspects of your school that stand out. Highlight amazing stories from the engineering department. Take pictures at all of the great service events. Have a weekly video chat with the president. Make sure you provide regular updates on the unique aspects of your institution.
3. Stimulate interaction. This is the hardest thing to do, because interaction is best when it is organic. It is important to discuss, as part of your social media planning, what you can do to encourage more alumni interaction on your social media feeds. What questions can you ask that you know will receive a response? Ask alumni to share stories about their favorite places on campus, their favorite professor, stories about a professor who it about to retire, and memories from student clubs, dorms and traditions. Every post does not have to include a question that needs an answer, but if you weave them into your content plan, you'll find it easier to start getting responses.
Social media strategy is challenging, but by following the three steps above you'll find that your social media feeds will become more active, engaging and thoughtful!