Social networks like Linkedin and Facebook do a great job at maintaining up to date information, but what is the true value added of having a dedicated alumni management platform? Here are the top 6 reasons you need an Alumni Management platform:
1. Alumni are a truly valuable asset, don't lose their data and the control over your relationship with them!
Alumni are a formidable asset for your school, they are:
- Potential recruiters for your new graduates
- Brand ambassadors for your school
- A significant source of revenue through donations and memberships
- A large pool of expertise across different industries and roles
- A precious help for the organization of your events
While some of your alumni will simply be happy to give back to the institution that helped them become who they are, following the learn, earn, return logic, you still need to:
- Make it easy for them to give back
- Ensure they perceive the value of the network in the long run (through actual benefits and/or a sense of pride and belonging)
- Offer them several ways to give back to the institution (not just financially!)
To do so, you need to fully control how you engage with your alumni and the experience they get. An alumni management platform will allow you to keep control of the data about your alumni, engage them through a dedicated and targeted medium and access detailed and customized analytics.
2. Reinforce alumni engagement by leveraging your school brand
Reaching high levels of engagement in your alumni community requires trust and a high sense of pride and belonging.
Providing your alumni with a branded online platform rather than interacting with them solely through non-branded and generic platform/s, will increase the emotional link and therefore the level of engagement you can achieve. A branded platform will be perceived as bringing more value and foster a sense of belonging as the platform is exclusive to your alumni.
3. Centralize your alumni management tools to extract more value from your actions and make your life easier!
An alumni management platform allows you to centralize the tools you need to engage and grow your community:
- Event management
- Email marketing
- Social network integration
- Job board
- Membership management
The collation of all of these function (and more) into one platform dramatically simplifies the management of your network and allows you to centralize information about your alumni engagement across your different actions. It further allows you to gather important analytics about your community and the level of engagement at individual and cohort level and potentially adapt your strategy to suite.
4. Create a map of your network and deliver the right information to the right people at the right time
Whether it is for you or your alumni, it should be dead simple to find and target information within your community! Whether you are sending an email campaign to your alumni in London with experience in banking? Or searching for an industry specialist for a conference in Singapore? It shouldn't take you or your alumni more than 1 minute to get that information and to use it.
Likewise if you are creating an event for a 5-year reunion in Madrid? ....you will want to make sure the information doesn't get lost in a feed. A dedicated alumni platform will mean that the communication is delivered to the right people, in the right locations, at the right time. For example, people living in New York City that graduated in a different year, will not wish to receive this information.
Your ability to target your communications so that they hit their exact target audience makes for much more powerful communications and increased community engagement.
5. Generate a pool of opportunities for your alumni
Your platform shouldn't be seen as yet another social network by your alumni! Don't expect to get the same level of traffic as Facebook or Linkedin... Instead your platform should be used as a hub for structured information and targeted opportunities within your alumni community. It should offer a sneak peek at what's going on in your community and gather the relevant information for your alumni to access when, where and how they want it.
In other words, you need to make sure your platform allows your alumni to easily extract the information they are looking for and that it creates opportunities for them. These could be:
- Opportunities to network with other alumni
- Easily meet up any where in the world with their former classmates
- Get information about alumni events
- Career and investment opportunities
- Access to research from the school or other benefits
- Opportunities to give back financially or by offering some of their time.
6. Save money and stay up to date with alumni relations best practices by using a specialist
When it comes to creating your dedicated platform you generally have 3 options:
- Build it yourself in-house
- Request a web agency to build it for you
- Use an alumni platform specialist
There are several specialists on the market including platforms like iModules, Graduway and Hivebrite that offer various degrees of customization and flexibility. The use of a specialist generally ensures you cover over 90% of your needs for a fraction of the cost of building and maintaining a platform from scratch. It also ensures you benefit from and stay up to date with the best practices of the industry in terms of alumni relations.
Leveraging the experience of an alumni management software specialist usually ensures a more stable platform and better maintenance of the solution while benefiting from the improvements of the platform. At Hivebrite, we offer a SaaS solution which allows our customers to benefit from all future upgrades of the solution at no additional cost.
Hivebrite is a leading provider of branded community management platforms and helps all size institutions grow and engage their community - Feel free to request a demo if you would like to know more.