The animation of your alumni network is the sinews of war! It is the essential ingredient to keep your members loyal. Your ability to animate your community has a direct impact on the feeling of belonging to your network. In this article, we will directly address the 3 main areas you need to invest in to ensure quality exchanges with your members!
The field: a place of commitment by definition
The association must be present, not only on the premises of the training establishment but also in the field through events such as afterworks, conferences or networking evenings… And this on any scale! Whether the event organised is local or international, the same investment on the part of the members of the association must be felt.
Furthermore, the relationship between the members plays a fundamental role in the organisation of a graduate network. It will foster a climate of trust because the very essence of an association is based on exchange. The virtual is no longer enough and physical animation is essential for any structure that claims to be a community federator. Being able to discuss face to face with a member of the association is always much more appreciable than doing so via email or video conference.
So broaden your member engagement strategy. Offer new types of events, both formal (business meetings, company visits, conferences…) and informal (afterworks, themed evenings…) to create a strong sense of belonging and camaraderie. These occasions are the ideal time to get to know your members, leaving the symbolic places of offices and lecture theatres, conversations will naturally start and groups will mix.
Finally, make sure that information flows. And to facilitate the organisation of your events, provide yourself with a complete and updated “Agenda” tab so that all your members can access the complete list of proposed meetings in a few clicks.
Online: presence and connections are essential
It is your connected services that will attract your online members. When they join the platform, they are looking for sources of information, ways to enter working life with confidence, and tools to support them throughout their career. Remember to keep your directory up to date, offer a comprehensive job board and show that you are there for all their needs.
Offer them attractive and useful modules that will allow them to make a real commitment to their professional life. In a hyper-connected world, the online portal is indispensable. It is both a showcase for the life of the network and a way to reassure graduates and attract future students to your institution. The digital strategy is vital to building the reputation and visibility of your network. However, digital is not as simple as it seems and many rules must be respected in order for it to be effective! Always exchange and share. Keep an eye on your notifications, reply to all the private messages and comments you receive. By keeping your network up to date you show that you are involved and concerned by what your members have to say.
It is also essential that the graphic design of the network is similar to that of the training institution in order to convey a sense of belonging and create clarity. Last but not least, an online portal will allow you to communicate on a large scale, quickly and efficiently.
“The idea is to extend this “family” spirit on Instagram. I used to find Instagram too corporate, too smooth. I would like to publish more personal photos so that our students can identify with these graduates”. Perrine Cardinal, ICN Alumni Manager
Social networks: the indispensable extension of the community experience
In order to extend the alumni experience, it is strongly advised to be present on social platforms. Creating a twitter, facebook and Instagram account is beneficial to any organisation wishing to get closer to its members. By sharing less formal and more intimate content, you will naturally participate in the humanization of your structure and create a strong sense of belonging that everyone wants to join.
Moreover, thanks to social networks you can develop an intuitive link to your alumni network. By sharing an event on Facebook, guests can click on it and be redirected to your alumni platform for example. Moreover, a real snowball effect will naturally occur when people have “liked” and shared your publication on a large scale.
Social networks are a formidable vector of communication on a large scale and at a lower cost. However, it is necessary to understand the rules in order to maximise their potential and understand how to use them properly.
By creating an official account (94% of institutions are present on social networks) and by communicating sparingly about your events and news (only the essential should be revealed), you can succeed in bringing members of your community back to your platform.
“The university communicates institutionally on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter. Promotional information is put on the networks to make the platform known to our alumni, our students, our partners“. Mathias Depretz, Head of the U-Link Resources and Means Department at the University of Lille, Lilagora
You want to go further in the management, animation and development of your alumni community? Here is our best content to meet your needs!
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