How to animate your student and alumni community?

How to animate my community? How to create engagement and interactivity with my members? Let's go over the basics of running a successful alumni network!

How to animate my community? How do I create engagement and interactivity with my members? You've probably already asked yourself these questions, and the answers may take some time to come! But before going into complex actions, let's restart the basics of running a successful alumni network!

  1. Give yourself the human means
  2. Be present online and in the field
  3. Offer interactive services
  4. Good practice: Appoint regional managers


Give yourself the human means

Launching your alumni platform is a great start. Maintaining and updating it frequently will be the lifeblood of your team. You need a team that is committed and ready to devote a minimum of time to the project. Be versatile, comfortable in English as well as in managing social networks and other digital issues.
In order to steer all projects and ensure operational management, most associations choose to employ one or more permanent staff members. These people are the pillars of the association and will ensure the relational relay between the entity and its graduates. For example, the Dauphine Alumni Association offers assistance to students who wish to organize an event. It becomes easier to rent rooms, audiovisual tools, print promotional posters and disseminate information when you are assured of a certain support.
In other associations, the permanent staff will ensure the delegation of regional and international animation by meeting and appointing local leaders to represent the association on site.
"The principle of an association is clubs. Giving and receiving is the exchange that makes an association grow.
Jean-Claude Puerto, President of the INSEEC Alumni Association

Be present online and in the field

Your network must be present on the premises of the training institution but also in the field. For example through events such as afterworks, conferences or networking evenings. Whether it is organized locally or online, the same investment from the members of the association must be felt.
Online, it is your connected services that will attract your members. Your members, by joining the platform, are looking for answers to their questions, tools and ways to enter the professional world with confidence. Remember to keep your directory up to date, offer a comprehensive job board and show that you are fully present.

Offer interactive services

Over the past few years, many companies have been created in the EdTech and gamification sector. Academic institutions are now offering new gathering principles to their members. The goal is to offer activities, meetings or content to optimize the engagement of your alumni.
By creating engagement scenarios that are specific and consistent to your different user profiles, you will spontaneously motivate and convince your members to get involved for you. Motivated and encouraged in this new environment, your students will no longer hesitate to participate in their school's activities. By seeking the emergence of positive and joyful emotions, your members will be seduced by your cohesion initiatives. They will naturally become your future ambassadors and will be the first human window of your school.
Another trend has recently emerged: mentoring. Increasingly practiced, mentoring is defined as the professional accompaniment of one person by another more experienced. It is a long-term process and offers a personalized follow-up to develop the career. An effective way to strengthen your network and especially your members!
Indeed, being a mentor is to grow by sharing one's own professional and personal experiences with others. On the other hand, being a mentee allows you to be supported and followed by the expert and benevolent eye of a person with the same background and who has already succeeded. Through these exchanges, a real personal development is created that is both thoughtful and reassuring. Mentoring allows for tailor-made support: answers are targeted, the directory is adjusted to the field in which you are evolving and meetings are encouraged. Thanks to this new tool, the networking between members and the personal enrichment within your community are enriched with each session!

Best Practice: Appoint leaders to lead regional or thematic clubs

To stimulate interaction and dialogue within your online community, You can create regional or thematic chapters. However, keep in mind that clubs will be more active if the initiative comes from the members of the network! Ask members about the ideas and themes for meetings. We also recommend that you appoint or designate a leader for each club, as well as a moderator, to ensure that the group runs smoothly. It is important to formalize this commitment for a specific period of time in order to ensure the sustainability of club activities and to ensure the transfer of responsibility. This also applies to volunteers!
Some examples of thematic clubs: entrepreneurs club, sports club, finance club, wine club, expatriates club, etc. The clubs reflect the diversity of your course profiles and each association has its own club structure.



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