Organisations around the world focus on building alumni networks, but many fail to create meaningful engagement with their alumni. If you aren’t committed to regularly engaging alumni and adding value, then your alumni network won’t achieve desirable results for your organisation.
This is why understanding and measuring the right alumni engagement metrics is so important.
Tracking engagement metrics will help you improve communication and attain more meaningful results from your alumni network. Here’s everything you need to know about alumni engagement metrics, and how to measure the degree of connectedness former employees feel to your business.
Understanding Alumni Engagement Metrics
Alumni engagement metrics help you figure out how engaged your community are with your organisation. When you add value to alumni’s lives by giving them something they need, they will, in turn, be willing to put their time and effort back into your organisational objectives.
Tracking alumni engagement helps you understand just how effective your alumni program is. You can then adjust your engagement strategy and set tangible goals for it.
Measuring the success of alumni programs through engagement can be achieved by looking at:
- The size of your network
- How many alumni attend events
- Number of social media followers
While metrics like this are important, they don’t necessarily reflect an accurate depiction of alumni engagement. Looking at things like the number of responses you get from members of the network, and the type of responses provides a more accurate measurement.
It also refers to the level of connection and influence they have. When there are positive relationships in play, it’s easier to get members to provide input and work toward outcomes for the business.
Why It’s Important To Monitor Alumni Engagement Metrics
The way you engage with your alumni directly influences how successful your alumni program is. By serving your community better, you can achieve greater results from the program. Results can include higher event attendance, a more prominent alumni community, positive brand awareness, access to qualified talent, mentorship, and more.
Alumni engagement metrics are necessary for understanding exactly which areas of communication your organisation can improve to create a stronger alumni network. It is important to understand how individuals feel about the alumni program, what types of engagement they are missing, and how you can help them achieve their personal and professional goals.
What Alumni Engagement Metrics Should You Be Tracking?
To understand which alumni engagement metrics are important, you’ll need to think about your alumni base as an index for participation. You should aim to achieve more participation in each area that your engagement strategy focuses on.
This could include an increase in things like:
- Social media participation
- Attendance at events
- Participation in the digital alumni community
- Volunteer opportunities
Each of these areas can be used to form quantitative goals around alumni engagement. The alumni engagement metrics you follow should be used to measure the success of these goals.
Let’s break down the alumni engagement metrics that you should track.
1. Social Media Engagement
Having a huge social media following is always positive, but this isn’t the best alumni engagement metric to follow. Instead, organisations should monitor the type of engagement they get on social media, and not just the number of followers they have.
Some more accurate alumni engagement metrics to track on social media should include:
- How much website traffic is coming from your social media platforms
- Engagement rates on each social media post (likes, comments, shares, reach, etc.)
- The amount of negative engagement you receive from social media campaigns
- How much user-generated content do you get
- The number of email or SMS opt-ins achieved
2. Communication Responses
Alumni communication and engagement should never be a one-way flow. Instead of looking at how many people your communications reach, it’s more important to measure the kind of responses you get from your communication efforts.
This should include things like:
- Open rates and click-through rates of email communications
- Email response rates
- How many new subscribers do you get
- How many replies do you get to alumni engagement surveys
- Alumni actions from SMS communications
3. Event Attendance
Events are an important part of most alumni programs. While it’s important to have well-attended events, a common mistake is to measure the number of attendees alone.
More meaningful alumni engagement metrics around events include things like:
- The number of RSVPs you get and the type of responses these are
- How many first-time attendees do your events attract
- The amount of returning attendees
- Feedback from your events
4. Volunteering Metrics
An important area of alumni engagement comes down to how many of your alumni are willing to volunteer their time for your organisation. This could include hosting events, raising funds, strategically networking, mentorship, and more.
Instead of only looking at the number of volunteers you attract, here are some important volunteering metrics to follow:
- The interest rates of your volunteer requests (this can be measured by click-through rates of volunteer request communications)
- How many positive responses you receive compared to how many actual volunteers participate
- The number of responses you obtain – both positive and negative
Setting Goals for Alumni Engagement
Knowing how to track alumni engagement is necessary for setting business objectives around your alumni networks. Ultimately, you want to create a bigger and more close-knit alumni network.
Set measurable, actionable goals that you can track. These should be specific and relate directly to your alumni engagement data. For example, a goal could be to increase your email open rates to 60%. This can be measured and monitored through your alumni engagement metrics.
At the end of the day, following the right alumni engagement metrics is only important if you’re able to apply them to improve your alumni network. This should be a continual process of monitoring metrics, shaping goals, and increasing your alumni engagement performance.
Creating a framework for how you measure engagement is important for achieving better results from your alumni network. This will help you set more meaningful alumni engagement goals and optimise engagement strategies for better outcomes.
Knowing what alumni engagement metrics to follow will help you improve communication and build a more robust, more engaged network.
Ultimately, this will result in a better value add for both your organisation and alumni. Our team are more than happy to offer you a bespoke demonstration of our platform to show the benefits to your organisation.