How do you find alumni to join your community? You need to attract new alumni and re-engage old alumni who have lost contact with your institution/organization. This is one of the most classic problems faced in alumni relations.
Keeping all of your alumni information up to date can be a real challenge. And when you’re trying to grow and develop your alumni network, you will want to connect with as many old alumni as you can. Even if alumni have lost contact with your institution, it doesn’t mean they are lost forever.
Follow this guide for the most effective strategies to attract and re-engage old alumni. It could help you develop a far greater alumni network.
7 Ways To Find Alumni
1. Leverage the Right Alumni Engagement Platform
The first essential step in alumni management is having the right alumni engagement platform. This can help you keep track of all alumni and provide a place for lost alumni to reconnect.
You might even have alumni that are not lost and are still regularly checking up on your institution, but you may not know that they’re there. If this is the case, having an accessible online portal for these alumni will help you to rediscover them and get them engaging with your institution again.
An online alumni platform gives you access to convenient networking abilities, which allows your alumni to connect with each other easily. This may also entice your existing alumni to invite their colleagues to join the platform.
Aluminate offers a convenient and engaging alumni platform. By utilizing a platform like this, keeping in touch with existing alumni and attracting lost alumni becomes a lot easier.
Find out how Aluminate Community Builder can help you build your community.
2. Target Alumni On Social Media
Use social media platforms as a means to target alumni and encourage them to engage with your institution.
Your alumni are most likely on Facebook, which presents a golden opportunity to target their profiles and entice them to activate their alumni membership.
To achieve this, you can run targeted ads aimed at any users whose profiles state that they have/had a connection with your institution.
Use images that create nostalgia or a warm feeling towards your institution. You may also want to highlight special offers, events, helpful content, or any other kind of value that your alumni will get from the program.
Targeting alumni on social media allows you to get in front of the people who you want to join your alumni program.
3. Use Linkedin To Find Alumni
When figuring out how to find alumni, LinkedIn is often the first tool people think to use. While LinkedIn is not necessarily the best platform for engaging alumni and maintaining relationships with them, it is a useful tool to discover alumni.
Chances are, most of your alumni will have profiles on LinkedIn, listing your institution in their profile.
You can simply go to your institution’s page on LinkedIn and select the “see alumni” button. This will show you all the people who have listed themselves as alumni of your institution. You can then refine this list by searching for alumni in specific locations, by where they work, or by what kind of job they do.
If this seems like too much manual digging, you can also run targeted ads on LinkedIn to find and reclaim these alumni. Create a compelling ad and funnel the alumni to your platform. This is one of the best ways to target all of your alumni in one place.
4. Keep Your Alumni Engaged
Wondering how to find alumni might not be the right approach. Instead, you may want to think about how to reengage your alumni.
For all you know, your alumni are not actually missing. They might be right there in front of you, but they have just lost contact with your institution. If this is the case, then ask simply request that they update their contact information.
If alumni are still visiting your website or alumni portal, posting the right content could entice them to be actively involved with your institution again.
Share events and content that will add value, and regularly post updates directed at these “lost” alumni.
5. Post Content To Attract Old Alumni
There are a few different ideas that you can use to creatively attract alumni back to your institution. Use your existing alumni network and reach out with content to attract old alumni.
For example, you could send out a form to existing alumni, asking them to add any family members who are also alumni. In fact, you could even include questions like this on registration forms. This could get lost alumni to reconnect with you.
You could post nostalgic images on social media, asking your audience to “tag a friend who remembers this” or to “tag your alumni buddy.” You never know; it could result in recovering a wave of lost alumni.
6. Engage Alumni From Day One
Put effort into engaging alumni from day one. If you are able to develop strong relationships with your existing members, they will likely remain a part of your alumni network for a long time to come.
It’s easier to maintain existing alumni than it is to find and reengage old ones. So, try to start the alumni experience as soon as you can.
Encourage students to join your alumni platform before they graduate. Engage with existing members by inviting them to events, networking opportunities, mentorship programs, and other valuable alumni content.
By developing a strong alumni network from day one, you won’t need to spend as much time trying to find old alumni.
7. Add as Much Value to our Alumni as Possible
This won’t necessarily help you discover new alumni, but it will achieve two things:
- It will keep your existing alumni more engaged
- It could result in more referrals from your existing alumni (which will attract new alumni)
How do you add value to your alumni? Host events that interest them, run networking sessions, share interesting content with them and incorporate any unique alumni benefits that your organization could offer.
The more benefits and value you add to your alumni community, the alumni you can expect to attract and hold onto.
There’s also a good chance that many alumni know about your alumni program, but they don’t engage with it because they don’t realize the value involved. Show them the benefit to entice engagement and referrals.
Knowing how to find alumni will help you to create a larger and more engaged alumni network. This is essential for growing and maintaining your community. The bigger your organization’s alumni network is, the more benefits you can gain from it.
It’s important that institutions understand the different strategies they can take to find alumni to join their communities. This includes attracting new alumni, as well as finding and re-engaging old alumni who have lost touch with your organization.
Use the strategies listed above and watch your community thrive.
Our team are more than happy to discuss how we can help your community thrive. Get in touch today to find out more!