Data continues to point out the strength of LinkedIn for advancement teams as they steward their school’s alumni. That’s why we just released these 10 free message templates to engage your alumni on LinkedIn!
As advancement officers know, the personal touch is crucial. But before reaching out one-to-one, these simple tactics can help you get better results out of your LinkedIn strategies.
Take advantage of built-in branding tools
LinkedIn is a standalone platform with its own look and feel, which makes it harder for advancement teams to connect former students with their campus memories. Still, LinkedIn offers a few features that can assist.
Make use of branding tools like the ability to upload your own logo and background banner. While your logo may be standard across your organization, the background banner can be used to highlight memorable spots on campus or school events.
You also get an opportunity to include an organization description on your ‘company’ page. While businesses need to use this space to introduce their offerings, your alumni are already familiar with your school. Rather, you can use this area to talk about important projects and initiatives that can immediately interest readers.
Post updates on a regular basis
Sharing updates from your ‘company’ page on a frequent basis helps to stay top-of-mind. The best practice for LinkedIn updates is to post once per day, typically during business hours. Posting shortly after the top of an hour (such as 2:05pm) is often effective as well. This is when employees may browse social media after coming out of a meeting.
Your posts should vary in content type to try and engage a variety of interests. These can include project updates, links to articles, and sharing event & volunteer opportunities.
Discuss notable alumni and related companies
You may not be connected to all your alumni on LinkedIn, but former students are often connected to each other. Many of them will also follow companies that are well-known at your school because of their location or executives.
One tactic you can use to boost your followers and connections is to talk about these individuals and organizations. By using the tagging function, you can directly link to them and ensure that the notable alumni or company you discuss will see the mention. It is then easy for your message to be shared and amplified, helping you reach more supporters.
Share articles from teachers & professors
Similarly, you may find it effective to use content created by a different source. Your teachers and alumni may be writing articles about their field, and this can be of interest to many alumni. You can use the same approach as above and tag the authors so that they share it with the alumni they are connected with.
Plus, this kind of content can help remind your followers of their experiences as students. Even if they aren’t aware of the professor, it can put them back in a campus mindset and encourage them to engage in advancement activities.
Alumni relations officers should post from their own accounts
Whether your advancement team is one person or twenty, each individual can have success using the platform to promote the department’s messaging.
Not only does this allow for more amplification of content, but it can help lead to the one-on-one interactions that are often most effective. If alumni relations officers begin posting and connecting with former students, they’ll build relationships that allow them to personally reach out and engage when the time is right.