7 Additional Ways to Improve Corporate Alumni Engagement
The number one question we often get is how to keep corporate alumni engaged in their community, and the answer involves creativity, automation, connecting people, and offering quality content & diverse opportunities.
Maintaining an active alumni community is not a “set it and forget it” type of endeavour. It takes effort to keep the spark alive within a network, but with some helpful insights and some creativity, your community will continue to thrive. We previously provided 6 ways to engage your alumni, and today we’re adding 7 more.
After determining the content strategy that will appeal to your alumni audience the next step is to effectively communicate and promote the opportunities to maximize the amount of people engaging with them. If the alumni feel they’re getting value from the program, this will have a positive impact on its business objectives including brand ambassadorship, business development and attracting talent back to the organization.
It’s crucial to have a finger on the pulse of the community by regularly gathering feedback through surveys and polls and adjusting the content and engagement strategy accordingly. If you’re still struggling to effectively interact with your community, here are some examples of alumni engagement best practice to incorporate into your program.
1. Automate Communication to Reengage In-Active Members
Use the tools in your corporate alumni platform effectively for communication opportunities. For example:
- Set up personalized reminder messages to nudge those who haven’t logged-in for some time.
- Profile review requests can be triggered automatically at a preferred cadence, e.g., every 6 months.
2. Get Creative with Campaigns
There’s no limit to the type and amount of campaigns you can set up in our platform. For example:
- Create an email campaign announcing a profile cleanup contest. This campaign would outline exact steps, dates, how to participate and what the prizes are.
- Create a jobs campaign. If recruiters are looking to fill critical roles, they can perform searches amongst the alumni profiles and then send email campaigns to the alumni that fit the criteria they need.
3. Improve the Newsletter Experience
Newsletters are still a great way to present a summary of what’s happening in the community and drive members back to the platform. In our research we have found that most corporate alumni communities communicate via newsletter on a monthly or quarterly basis. To breathe new life into your newsletter, try the following:
- Switch up the subject line to be more engaging
- Design newsletters with catchy visuals to break up text and create visual appeal.
- Provide valuable content about industry news, product updates, expert insights but include human interest content appealing to alumni motivations first.
- Interactive elements like surveys or polls are great to encourage active engagement and to show that feedback and inclusion is valued.
- Storytelling through elements like case studies or alumni spotlights always spark curiosity.
- Mix-up the type of multimedia and format by including a video or a podcast.
- Include videos – they can improve click thru rates (CTR) when done well
- Make sure all of the links point back to the platform, and not elsewhere, otherwise you’re missing an opportunity for other types of engagement and also profile updates.
4. Offer Meaningful Opportunities to Build Deeper Connections
Offer flexible options for how alumni may contribute. When they join the community, they are looking for ways to get involved and that could be through a one-time project, virtual or in-person mentoring, events, or an on-going commitment such as participating in an alumni advisory board eventually. Sharing the tangible outcome of these initiatives through a short article, photo gallery or video generates stronger emotions and inspires others to get involved and provides opportunity to mention future opportunities.
Another opportunity is to connect mission-driven alumni with volunteering or social impact options through your company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) department or internal business resource groups.
5. Foster a Sense of Community and Belonging
Celebrate alumni achievements and milestones by featuring them regularly in spotlights. These can be magazine style interviews or pulled from the alumni stories feature in the PeoplePath platform. Alumni typically feel honored to be chosen and excited about the possibility of being featured. Go an extra step and match their expertise with your content strategy theme of the month. When featuring stories, include a call-to-action (CTA) to encourage other alumni to share their own journeys.
You can also highlight success stories such as newfound connections and mentors, successful job placements, or alumni elevating their skillset using resources in the platform.
Don’t be afraid to broadcast the greatness of your program out into the world! Having a solid social media strategy will reach a broader audience, increase positive employer branding, and perhaps reach alumni that are not yet apart of the network.
6. Offer a Variety of Events Throughout the Year for Different Types of Members
Offer a variety of activities that are inclusive of all demographics within the community, regardless of their background or experience. Affinity groups within the platform enable alumni to connect to others with similar interests. Micro-communities are small groups that are passionately driven by a unique cause and tend to inspire change. These groups may have a powerful influence on the community, especially if their cause relates to the organizational mission. Stay on the lookout for these types of groups and reach out for collaboration opportunities to further elevate your alumni engagement efforts.
7. Always Be Modifying Your Content & Engagement Strategies Based on Feedback
The PeoplePath platform is an incredibly powerful analytical tool and will offer insights on the success of your engagement offerings. Monitoring program analytics frequently will help you determine whether your strategies are working or not.
Your analytics, together with annual surveys, polls, or other requests for feedback are incredibly valuable. It’s important to realize that the needs of alumni may shift over time, and it may be necessary to pivot when something isn’t working. Ultimately, the most successful corporate alumni programs are those that effectively meet the needs and interests of their members and help them stay connected to the company and one another in meaningful ways.