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!
- Give yourself the human means
- Be present online and in the field
- Offer interactive services
- 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!
En effet, être mentor c’est s’épanouir en partageant avec autrui ses propres expériences professionnelles et personnelles.
De l’autre côté, être mentoré permet d’être épaulé et suivi par le regard expert et bienveillant d’une personne ayant le même parcours et qui a déjà réussi. Au fil des échanges se crée un véritable développement personnel prévenant et rassurant. Le mentoring permet d’avoir un soutien sur-mesure : les réponses sont ciblées, l’annuaire ajusté au domaine dans lequel on évolue et les rencontres favorisées. Grâce à ce nouvel outil, la mise en relation entre membres et l’enrichissement personnel au sein de votre communauté sont enrichis à chaque session !
Best Practice: Appoint leaders to lead regional or thematic clubs
To stimulate interaction and dialogue within your online community, vous pouvez créer des composantes régionales ou thématiques. Cependant, il faut garder à l’esprit que les clubs seront plus actifs si l’initiative vient des membres du réseau ! Renseignez-vous auprès des adhérents afin de penser ensemble à des idées et thématiques de rencontres adéquates.
Nous conseillons également de nommer ou de désigner un responsable par club ainsi qu’un modérateur afin d’assurer le bon fonctionnement du groupe. Il est important de formaliser cet engagement sur une durée déterminée afin de pérenniser l’animation des clubs et assurer la passation. Et cela vaut également pour les bénévoles !
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.
You want to go further in the management, animation and development of your alumni community? Here is our best content to meet your needs!
- How to manage and animate your alumni network?
- 5 reasons why Alumni relations are essential to higher education institutions
- Animate your alumni network: 3 spaces to invest in to engage your community
You want to know more about AlumnForce solutions? Find out how to develop your network according to your needs and the expectations of your members!