Universities: Re-member Your People

With many social media resources at today’s society’s fingertips, people are getting connected with others across the world with just one click. We all do it to maintain relationships, start new ones, catch up on old ones and probably the most important one in today’s economy – networking. Everywhere you go you are networking, making connections. This is especially true for alumni who want to stay connected to fellow classmates and keep updated with news that are relevant to their university.

However, universities have noticed that if they don’t take initiative to connect to their graduates first, the students or alumni themselves start their own groups. Now, universities are quickly moving away from the traditional mailing outlets and migrating towards Facebook and Twitter as a means to re-connect to their graduates. These social networks help institutions to quickly and efficiently maintain and deliver news/updates to their groups or followers. Vadim Lavrusik, a new media student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has helped to pin down the top ways that universities are engaging their alumni via social media.

Helping Alumni Find Jobs
According to media specialist, Keidra Chaney at DePaul University, LinkedIn is the school’s biggest success with 5,500 current members and about 100 new members joining weekly. Group leaders can post or tweet about new job positions and alumni themselves post job openings/share job leads they know about to the advantage of fellow colleagues.

Collaboration and Connecting with Students
This includes transitioning advice from student life to alumni/career life posted everywhere from the University’s website to Facebook ‘notes’. This approach helps to build more brand affinity with relevant and helpful information to the group members.

Fundraising Purposes
Encouraging alumni to donate to specific causes, which could end up as a domino effect if one alumnus donates and tweets about it reminding their friends or followers to do the same.

Training New Alumni to use Social Media
For those alumni that are not completely involved with the social media world, universities are placing resources and tutorials for those newbies on how to stay connected with people and their University via social media.

Alumni-Generated Content
Schools are attracting alumni by allowing them to produce their own content and share information, like photos, via different networks, groups or by building their own sites.

Mobile Websites
With 9.3 million daily mobile users for social networking and information retrieval, having your website be mobile-accessible is vital in today’s world.

Use Google Maps
People enjoy interaction; seeing where their classmates currently are, and Google Maps can help with pinpointing where on Earth their classmates are or have traveled/lived in the past.

There are endless possibilities with social media. Bottom line: people just love staying connected and socializing with others. It’s human nature to do so. Lucky for us, current top social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter help make the reach and connections easy and possible with just the click of a mouse. Some universities have even gone to the point of building their own social media site closed to allow only their institution’s alumni, but it has proved to become burdensome for most alumni to check and stay updated with multiple social sites, so it’s suggested to just use the known, mainstream ones like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to their full potential.

Evok’s advice to Universities and companies everywhere: gather—or remember— your people. Today’s technology makes it easy for us.